This is the first installment in a new article series called Fictionland, which chronicles the history of fictional amusement parks created for films and television. In this detailed article, Kenneth Robertson takes a look at the history and closure of Potatoland as seen in the Mickey Mouse animated television series.

History

Located in the state of Idaho, Potatoland started as a dream when a young Goofy G. Goof passed by the sign “Welcome to Idaho. America’s ‘Potato Land.’” yet never had the opportunity to experience it firsthand. It was only when he decided to make the trip with his two best friends that Donald Fauntleroy Duck and Michael “Mickey” Mouse discovered that the park did not exist…yet. It was then that Mr. Duck boldly propositioned, “And what are we gonna do? Build an entire amusement park in the middle of that potato field?” and history began to be made. While Goof rested, Mr. Duck and Mr. Mouse worked tirelessly through the night to convert the spare wood, holiday lights, potatoes, and gravy found within the fields into the first and only park to ever be made almost entirely out of potatoes.

Opening day attracted a resounding total of one guest who was escorted by none other than the park’s creators. While attractions were mostly well received, visitors commented that the carousel ran a bit slow and the Potato Mansion was too scary, while Great Moments with Potato Lincoln suffered a fatal malfunction. By midday, the sun’s heat grew too hot for the gravy mortar holding together the park’s potato infrastructure, resulting in the collapse of all major buildings and the destruction of the park. No attempts have been made to restore Potatoland since.

Overview

Potatoland was simple in concept but intricate in its execution. Holding to the theme of potatoes, it still managed to host a number of rides and attractions, capable of entertaining far more than the single guest it received. That said, a larger staff might have been necessary should the park have received large crowds.  From what is known, it hosted its very own Main Street, USA and had a central hub which presumably split off into separate lands.

Attractions

Walkthrough

When guests arrived at the park, they were greeted by a large Potatoland sign over the entrance. This lead down Main Street which hosted attractions such as the Penny Arcade, Magic Windows, and Great Moments with Potato Lincoln. From Main Street, guests entered a central hub which split off to different lands with the castle in direct line of sight from the main gate. Beyond the castle lay the Carousel, the Potato Mansion, It’s a Potato World, and Potatohorn. Most other knowledge of the park’s layout is unavailable, and no park maps have ever been recovered.

Inspirations

Potatoland, like many regional theme parks in the United States, was heavily inspired by Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The attractions are direct rip-offs with the exact same names only with potato inserted into the title somewhere. The attractions were similarly clones of Disneyland attractions with potatoes inserted into them.

As depicted in the animated short, the demise of Great Moments with Potato Lincoln is most likely a reference to the infamous performance of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln in which the AA too, suffered from a malfunction that resulted in red hydraulic fluid leaking from him making it look as if the president had just been assassinated.

Finally, the park literally falling apart during its opening day oddly seems to correlate with the disaster of an opening that Disney’s original park suffered. Due to the heat, women reported that their heels sunk or stuck into the newly paved asphalt while the park just as it melted the gravy holding together Potatoland.

For more information on Potatoland, here is a documentary detailing its history.

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