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 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. 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.
Spin ‘round and ‘round in an oversized teacup during a madcap music-filled adventure.