Mad Tea Party

Early concept drawings for the Mad Tea Party attraction by artist Bruce Bushman included a number of features that were ultimately not included in the final attraction. Of course, the attraction is inspired by the animated movie Alice in Wonderland which was released by the Disney Studio in 1951, just a few years before the park opened. 

Concept Drawing by Bruce Bushman

In the first artwork you will notice the concept includes large characters from the movie, including the Mad Hatter and March Hare enjoying a cup of tea on top of a table, as well as Chesire Cat and Caterpillar.

In the second drawing, the teacup ride vehicles were set to spin on a platform designed like a tablecloth with doilies alongside a number of items you would expect to find on a table during a tea party, including a teapot, creamer, and a sugar bowl.

Photo by Loomis Dean

The final image shows the attraction in its original form when Disneyland opened in 1955. The ride was plagued early on with mechanical problems and was soon reengineered within the park’s first year of operation. In 1983, Fantasyland received a major overhaul and the attraction was moved to the location where it sits now next to the Alice in Wonderland attraction. 


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