Complementing the British corner of Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris, between Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, is Toad Hall Restaurant. Here, rather than rollick along on a wild ride with J. Thaddeus, we can actually visit his residence and spend time getting to know him.
The plaque above the entrance, similar in some respects to one found above Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland, here is customized for the restaurant setting... including the Latin directive, "No Consumus Froglagus."
Look up before stepping inside, you'll notice custom weather vanes, depicting Toady on a unicycle or at the wheel of a motorcar.
In fact, it quickly becomes obvious that the design of Toad Hall is very much about Toad himself. He's worked his likeness into every nook and cranny, from obvious points like this bust to more subtle details like the bas relief along the roofline.
Once inside, all subtlety goes out the window. A prominent portrait of Toad hangs in the foyer, leading to the various rooms of the mansion.
The Trophy Room is particularly fun, with paintings depicting Toad engaged in everything from tiger hunting to fox hunting... or fox jumping, as it were. He seems to have missed the fox entirely, getting wrapped up in the thrill of the hunt. I especially love the suit of armor here, custom made to toad proportions.
Not to say that Mr. Toad is completely self-centered. There are tributes to his dear friends, Rat and Mole. They're sculpted into the supports of the fireplace and featured in a painting on the side wall. Of course, Toady's worked into the wallpaper right alongside them, always present.
The interests - some would say "manias" - of J. Thaddeus Toad are on display throughout Toad Hall. There are images of him boxing and golfing and climbing Mt. Everest.
His greatest mania of all, however... the one that nearly did him in... was his passion for motorcars. Ads for motorcars dominate one of the dining rooms of the restaurant. You can even find an advertisement for the Wolseley, the very model that caught Toad's eye.
It was in this room I had the fortune to dine on my recent visit to Toad Hall. The decor was fascinating, and every so often, it would change. That painting above the fireplace which looked like a Toady Van Gogh when we came in, was suddenly a Toady da Vinci and later a Rembrandt!
And what did we have, you may wonder? Why, fish and chips, of course! They even came served on Disney's own version of newsprint! It was quite good and the perfect spot to stop for lunch on our way to "nowhere in particular."