Mad Tea Party

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This article is about the amusement ride. For the nighttime event at Disney California Adventure, see Mad T Party. For the literary scene, see Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Mad Tea Party
TeacupsMadTeaParty wb.jpg
Mad Tea Party at Disneyland
Disneyland
Area Fantasyland
Coordinates 33°48′49″N 117°55′06″W / 33.8135°N 117.9183°W / 33.8135; -117.9183
Status Operating
Opening date July 17, 1955
Magic Kingdom
Area Fantasyland
Coordinates 28°25′12″N 81°34′47″W / 28.42°N 81.5798°W / 28.42; -81.5798
Status Operating
Opening date October 1, 1971
Tokyo Disneyland
Area Fantasyland
Coordinates 35°37′52″N 139°52′52″E / 35.6312°N 139.881°E / 35.6312; 139.881
Status Operating
Opening date March 8, 1986
Disneyland Park (Paris)
Area Fantasyland
Coordinates 48°52′28″N 2°46′31″E / 48.8744°N 2.7752°E / 48.8744; 2.7752
Status Operating
Opening date April 12, 1992
Hong Kong Disneyland
Area Fantasyland
Coordinates 22°18′48″N 114°02′24″E / 22.3133°N 114.0401°E / 22.3133; 114.0401
Status Operating
Opening date September 12, 2005
General statistics
Attraction type Teacups
Designer Walt Disney Imagineering
Theme Alice in Wonderland
Height restriction No restriction for the American attractions[1][2]
Manufacturer Arrow Development (Disneyland)

Mad Tea Party is a spinning tea cup ride at all five Disneyland-style theme parks around the world. The ride theme is inspired by the Unbirthday Party scene in Walt Disney's Alice In Wonderland. The ride has gained infamy over the years for the number of guests who get motion sickness as a result of the spinning component to the ride.

The attraction is called Mad Tea Party at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. It is known as Alice's Tea Party at Tokyo Disneyland,[3] Mad Hatter's Tea Cups at Disneyland Paris, and Mad Hatter Tea Cups at Hong Kong Disneyland.

All five versions of the attraction are located in Fantasyland, and all except the Tokyo version were opening day attractions at their respective parks. The Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland versions do not have a big teapot in the center of the ride platform.

Like Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Disneyland and its Hong Kong counterpart have a replica of one of the teacups located outside of the attraction to be used by guests for better photo opportunities.

Attraction facts[edit]

  • Ride system: Three small turntables, which rotate clockwise, each holding six teacups, within one large turntable, rotating counter-clockwise.
  • Themeing: The Dormouse can be seen popping his head out of a large teapot in the middle of the large turntable. This occurs only at Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland as the other parks do not feature a central teapot; although Hong Kong Disneyland and the March Hare Refreshments at Disneyland Paris feature their own teapots apart from the ride.
  • Restrictions: The original attraction at Disneyland is unable to run in the rain because once the turntables are saturated with a moderate amount of water, they slip and can no longer spin. The other versions of this attraction at Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland are covered to prevent such situations, as well as to protect riders from extreme heat and sun. Unlike its Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, and Hong Kong Disneyland counterparts, the Disneyland Paris version has a petal-shaped glass roof.

History[edit]

Disneyland[edit]

Several concepts for the Mad Tea Party were originally much more outrageous compared to today's version. One drawing showed the Mad Hatter's dinner table featured in the center of the ride with various lanterns and decorations all around. Another drawing showed 20 teacups circling a central hub, making it similar to a racetrack with banked curves.

For the first few months after the ride first opened, the tea cups spun on a bare platform before it was painted with the psychedelic spiral that exists today. Also, during the ride’s first two years, the tea cups had no brakes or clutches; nothing limited how fast they could be spun.

Until 1982, the attraction's original location was directly behind Sleeping Beauty Castle (in the present-day location of King Arthur Carrousel). It was also given slight modifications in 1972 with ornamental arches connecting the light posts, and again in 1978 with the platform and teacups being repainted. In 1983, the whole attraction was completely remodeled and relocated to its present-day location near Matterhorn Bobsleds. It also incorporated a few ideas from the original concepts, such as the colorful Japanese garden lanterns.

In 2004, the attraction was modified to make it more difficult to spin fast after a disabled rider lost his balance and slipped from a teacup.[4] Like other remaining 1955 attractions, one of Disneyland's teacups was painted gold in honor of the park's 50th anniversary in 2005.

The installation at Disneyland was manufactured by Arrow Development.[5]

Magic Kingdom[edit]

Like Disneyland, Magic Kingdom's original 1971 version of this attraction opened without a roof. It was eventually added in 1974 (along with the central teapot) due to extreme weather conditions. It was later updated in 1992 with a new color scheme, new music, and the Japanese lanterns. In 2010, the canopy was repainted.

Disneyland Paris[edit]

The Paris version of the attraction is the only version to feature a petal-shaped glass roof and surrounding gardens. It also uses the Dormouse's teapot outside of the ride, near the March Hare's Refreshments. The teacup designs were later used for Tokyo Disneyland's and Hong Kong Disneyland's teacups.

Parodies in Popular Culture[edit]

  • In the Family Guy episode "Family Guy Viewer Mail 1", the Griffins visit Walt DIsney World and ride the Mad Tea Party. A boneless Peter ends up flying out of the ride vehicle.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

  • See Cars Land under Mater's Junkyard Jamboree

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mad Tea Party". Disneyland. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Mad Tea Party". Magic Kingdom. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ Tokyo Disneyland ride description Archived 22 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ At Disneyland, slower teacups
  5. ^ Gurr, Bob (27 November 2013). "DESIGN: Those Were The Times – No.23 1955 Arrow Development – Ed Morgan and Karl Bacon". MiceChat. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 

External links[edit]