The Fairy Ring is a magical portal leading to Toad Hollow. During the Great Migration, toadlets must go on a journey to find the Fairy Ring before it closes at the end of the warm season; otherwise they will turn into Toadstools.
In the series, the Fairy Ring only appears at the very end of the first season, in the last episode ("The Fairy Ring"). It is revealed to be a circle of ordinary mushrooms that the Toad Patrol first mistakes for a band of Toadstools. When the ring activates, a ray of red light will burst from its middle and shoot in a straight line into the sky.
On the last day of the season, the mushrooms composing the Fairy Ring will wither away and die as the night starts to fall. The portal will gradually close as the sun lowers behind the horizon, shutting off the circle permanently once it has fully disappeared.
LocationFinding the Fairy Ring is a very difficult task since it changes location each year. It is impossible to predict where it will appear next, unless a toad can make contact with a Thunder Tree. These magical trees always know where the Fairy Ring is, but very few toadlets are actually capable of hearing them through telepathy. This makes the Fairy Ring very elusive, and young toadlets often cannot reach it in time.
Other entrance and permanent location
While passing through the Fairy Ring is a crucial step in the life of a toadlet, the second Season reveals that it isn't the only entrance to Toad Hollow. There is at least one permanent portal in the Great Forest, but it's incredibly well-hidden and nearly impossible to reach without some special help. It is situated inside Calypso's pond, which shelters it from preying eyes. The Toad Patrol uses it several times to go back and forth from Toad Hollow to the forest. And although everyone calls it a Fairy Ring, it doesn't have any of its usual characteristics (like a circle of mushrooms or a beaming ray of light when activated).
It is important to note that only the passage through a Fairy Ring will grant toads immunity against turning into a Toadstool.
Influences and folklore
The Fairy Ring seen in Toad Patrol is actually based on a natural phenomenon where mushrooms will sometimes sprout in a circle or arc. In many countries, these elf or pixie rings are often part of local folklore and myths, some of which involving toads, which loosely inspired some aspects of the Toad Patrol universe.
In France, for example, superstitions tell that whoever violates a mushroom circle will be warded off by bug-eyed toads. In Austria, in the Tyrol region, folklore says that after a fairy ring is created by the fiery tail of a flying dragon, nothing else but toadstools can grow there for the next seven years.
- In the series, the Toad Patrol finds the Fairy Ring inside a split rock in a dried up pond.
- Oyster and Slippery Jack were the first ones to enter the Fairy Ring, quickly followed by Shaggy Mane and Puff Ball, Elf Cup, Fur Foot and Beauty Stem, and finally Earth Star and Panther Cap.
- The previous year, the Fairy Ring was situated in a thorn bush. The area was baptized the "Stay Away Place" after a large number of toadlets (Earth Star's group) turned into Toadstools trying to reach the circle before it closed.