Welcome back to Disney Extinct Attractions! My name is Cole Geryak, and I’ll be your conductor for today’s unofficial musical attraction!
First things first, I am going to try adding a couple of new features in this post starting with a brief overview of news about new attractions that were just announced or ended within the past week, if any. That way there is a way to stay in touch with the present, while staying firmly placed in the past.
With that out of the way, Muppets Land will be coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!!!!!
This announcement was under the radar because of everything else going on at the park what with Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land coming in the semi-near future (2018 ??), as well. The land is going to take over the Streets of America and other areas around there like Pizza Planet, but no news about attractions has been announced quite yet, though I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop!
And now onto the main attraction (pun intended!).
During Disneyland’s early years, Mickey Mouse did not have a marquee attraction in the parks. Sure, you could watch him at the Main Street Cinema, see him in parades like Mickey at the Movies, or even meet him around the parks, but there was no main attraction dedicated to the main Mouse himself. When Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom opened, the Imagineers ensured that absence did not happen again.
On October 1, 1971, the Mickey Mouse Revue opened (along with the rest of the Magic Kingdom) as Mickey’s first true E-Ticket adventure. For those wondering, an E-Ticket was the most expensive ticket that one could buy for an attraction. Each attraction cost tickets, on top of park admission prices, and an attraction costing an E-Ticket generally meant that it was the best of the best.
But I digress! Ideas for a show like the Mickey Mouse Revue were actually hinted at by Walt Disney in 1962 when he said that he planned for an attraction that featured “all of the Disney characters, so everyone can see them… I have in mind a theater, and the figures will not only put on the show but be sitting in the boxes with the visitors, heckling.” While Walt had no direct involvement in creating the attraction because of his untimely death, this statement shows that Walt wanted to ensure the parks had attractions revolving around the Disney characters everyone knows and loves. For example, the late 1960s saw attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion come out, both classic attractions that live on to this day, but neither really having that true connection to Disney’s roots that Walt wanted to foster with the show.
The Mickey Mouse Revue jumped all over the opportunity to water those roots and help a beautiful attraction blossom into full view of Disney park guests waiting to see their favorite characters.
The attraction began with a preshow focusing on everyone’s favorite mouse. Guests would watch snippets of Mickey’s short films and the use of sound in them, taking a journey through the evolution of the cinematic icon before transitioning to a montage showing Mickey as a guide of guests through the Disney theme parks. The elements of sound and Mickey’s leadership created a perfect transition into the main show.
In the main show, Mickey serves as the conductor (leader!) of an orchestra (sound!! It connects!) comprised of beloved Disney characters such as Goofy, the Mad Hatter, Winnie the Pooh, and Dumbo as guests embark on a musical trip through songs from Disney Animated Classics. Again, I’m going to refrain from listing them because I’ll be posting a link to the full version of the show near the end and don’t want to spoil it for those who want to watch it!
That being said, all of the elements in the show flow really well from one song to the next, functioning in a way similar to the Country Bear Jamboree in that the musical guests appear all over the stage tying the entire show together. In fact, I would describe the show as a combination of the Country Bear Jamboree and Mickey’s PhilharMagic in that it uses the orchestra idea and melding of classic Disney songs seen in PhilharMagic and blends it with the audio-animatronic singing bears seen in the Jamboree.
Mickey’s PhilharMagic actually brings me to my next point, the ultimate demise of the Mickey Mouse Revue, because PhilharMagic is actually both the Mickey Mouse Revue’s son and great-grandson! How is that possible you ask? Wait and see!
As the 1970s was coming to a close, the Mickey Mouse Revue was losing its appeal in the Magic Kingdom, even being downgraded to a D-Ticket attraction. The show was ultimately closed on September 14, 1980. However, it was not ready to become extinct just yet because there was little park coming along in Japan that would soon be know as Tokyo Disneyland.
The entire attraction was uprooted and shipped around the world to become an opening day attraction at Tokyo Disneyland on April 15, 1983, giving the animatronics the honor of saying that they had been a part of two different opening day ceremonies! The Japanese guests tend to love the different characters more than American guests (Duffy, anyone?), so it was the perfect place for the show to be moved.
Back in the Magic Kingdom, no attraction opened in the Fantasyland theater until Magic Journeys in 1987, which was closed six years later to make way for the Legend of the Lion King. Eight years later, Mickey’s PhilharMagic took over the Fantasyland Theater, making it the Revue’s great-grandson!
PhilharMagic also took the place of the Mickey Mouse Revue in Tokyo, but after a much longer stay of 26 years as opposed to the 9 year residence in the Magic Kingdom. In that way, PhilharMagic is the Revue’s son and great-grandson albeit at different parks! The relationship between the two shows is fitting because the later show feels like a sequel to to the Revue. Sure, Donald Duck is the focus of PhilharMagic, but they both meld together Fab Five characters with characters from the Disney animated classics through music.
Overall, the Mickey Mouse Revue truly accomplished its goal of increasing the Disney feel within the park that faded with Walt’s death. The attraction is a joy to behold, and who hasn’t wanted to see an animatronic Mickey at some point?! It remains the only attraction to have an animatronic of Mickey Mouse within it, and the animatronics alone make it a spectacle to behold. I cannot recommend checking out this show enough, which can be found here. The quality of the audio in the preshow is not very good, but the main show is where the true magic lies and the video does a great job of letting you experience it. Again, if you have the time, I highly recommend it because I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed it!
Time for one more new feature that I want to add! Having finished talking about this week’s attractions, here are three clues for the next post!
- This attraction could only be found in one park.
- This attraction was a dark ride.
- This attraction featured a song.
I hope you enjoyed this post and feel free to leave any feedback about changes I made and ones you would like to see. Also, be sure to keep letting me know about future attractions you would like to hear about! You can join the Facebook group for news on when new posts are put up. It’s a public group, so if you have friends who you think would be interested you can add them to the group too! Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns, or comments! Thank you for reading!