- "Disney's Toontown Online started in 2003 as the first family-oriented MMO of its kind. Unfortunately, much to the player's dismay, Disney announced the game's closure in August of 2013 due to budget cuts and changes in management at Disney Online. Toons were given one final month to have the time of their life in the Tooniverse before the game would be closed down seemingly forever... But luckily, "forever" didn't even last for an hour."
- ―Toontown Rewritten
Toontown Online, commonly abbreviated as TTO, was a MMORPG developed by Disney's Virtual Reality Studio and Schell Games, and published by The Walt Disney Company. The game was released publicly on June 2, 2003 and lasted until its closure on September 19, 2013. Since the closure, many fan revivals appeared in the later years, including the most popular fan revival known as Toontown Rewritten, which started development without its existence being known as soon as Disney announced on August 20, 2013 that Toontown Online would close.
On August 20, 2013, the Toontown community was hit with tragic news about Disney's plan to close Toontown Online the following September. Due to budget cuts and changes in management, Disney shifted their focus towards other online and mobile play experiences, as well as a growing selection of mobile apps.
Despite the community's favorite online game closing on September 19th, the Toontown Rewritten Team generally does not view said date as a time to mourn, but rather, a time to celebrate how lucky players are to have the ability to continue playing Toontown, by hosting an annual Cartoonival event.
Preservation of Toontown Online's history
Design documents and artwork
In an effort to help preserve Toontown Online's history and due to high demand from the Toontown community, Joey announced that the Toontown Rewritten Team would work towards getting design documents and artwork that were delivered to them by Bruce Woodside sometime in 2018 professionally scanned. Only two design documents pertaining to Cog Buildings and doodles were so far shown in a comment made by Jeremy on /r/Toontown.
On May 26, 2021, the Toontown Rewritten Team announced via social media that they will be launching a big community resource called the "Toontown Preservation Project" on June 2nd to celebrate Toontown Online's 18th birthday, and share their favorite pieces of Toontown Online history every day until then. The Toontown Preservation Project was released via a separate domain outside of Toontown Rewritten's website that contains a large collection of never-before-seen Toontown Online history.
Pandora and Spotify
Sometime after it became apparent that Bruce Woodside donated design documents and concept art to the Toontown Rewritten Team, some leaks of previously unseen artwork, original game files, and source code surfaced on /r/Toontown. The two notable leaks go by the name of "Pandora" and "Spotify", both of which comprise of never-before-seen files.
On October 8, 2020, Joey created the "ToontownReleaseArchive" repository via Toontown Rewritten's GitHub to release a build from Toontown Online's first Beta stage in 2001, with all of its files donated by Joe Shochet. Other Toontown Online release builds consisting of the Live server dating back to the latest version of macOS from June 27, 2013 and two separate builds of the Test server were donated and added to the repository by CloudCityDev and Bryan Muschter, respectively.
- Toontown Online won 13 of the many awards it was nominated for.
- Toontown Rewritten hosted many real world ToonFest conventions that former Disney imagineers, Jesse Schell and Shawn Patton, took part in. Some of the conventions were held at ReplayFX in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the same city and state where Schell Games is located at.
- In celebration of ToonFest at Home, other former Disney imagineers such as Bruce Woodside, Felipe Lara, and Joe Shochet joined Jesse Schell and Shawn Patton for a Q&A with Joey. The video was pre-recorded but streamed live on September 26, 2020.