There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios next year. In addition to stunning visuals and and a multidimensional experience, this attraction is all about the big cheese himself, Mickey Mouse! But contrary to popular opinion, it’s not the first Mickey attraction. So for today’s installment of Attraction Archaeology, we’re taking a look at Walt’s Disney World’s original Mickey Mouse attraction, the Mickey Mouse Revue!
What was the Mickey Mouse Revue?
Mickey Mouse Revue was an audio-animatronic show starring maestro Mickey and an orchestra of Disney characters! After a pre-show educating guests about the role of music in Mickey Mouse cartoons, guests entered a theater where the show began with Mickey leading characters in songs such as “Heigh-Ho” and “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
The show then focused on smaller acts from specific films or cartoons. These acts included “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” from The Three Little Pigs, “I’m Wishing” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, “All in the Golden Afternoon” from Alice in Wonderland, and more.
One of the highlights was an old-school effect where Cinderella’s rags transformed into her ballgown while the Fairy Godmother sang “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.” Also, Donald, Panchito, and Jose from The Three Caballeros performed their signature song. However, they would disappear and reappear throughout the theater during their performance.
The show ended with Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear singing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” from Song of the South. Mickey and the orchestra then rose from the pit to join the act, as did the other individual acts. All of the characters then sang the Mickey Mouse Club song as Mickey turned to address the crowd.
Mickey Mouse Revue was an opening day attraction at the Magic Kingdom and unique in several ways. First of all, it was one of the few attractions that wasn’t a version of a pre-existing Disneyland attraction. Also, the Mickey Mouse Revue allowed guests to see a variety of characters from different films in a single attraction.
Where was the Mickey Mouse Revue?
The Mickey Mouse Revue was located in Fantasyland in the space currently occupied by Mickey’s PhilharMagic.
Facts About the Mickey Mouse Revue
- When the show opened on October 1, 1971, it was listed as an E-Ticket attraction.
- Walt Disney had expressed an idea for a show starring all of the Disney characters back in the 1960s.
- The show’s Mickey Mouse audio-animatronic was one of the most complex created at that point.
Why Did It Close?
The reasons for closing and replacing attractions are complex. We may never know the full stories behind why they happen. What we do know is the Mickey Mouse Revue was downgraded from an E-Ticket to a D-Ticket before closing in 1980. It was then sent to Tokyo where it opened with the Tokyo Disneyland Park in 1983. The attraction’s waning popularity here in the States coupled with the Tokyo audience’s love for Disney characters is likely the reason for its move to Japan. There the show ran for 26 years before finally closing in 2009 for Mickey’s PhilharMagic.
Back at the Magic Kingdom, the Mickey Mouse Revue’s show building was extra space until it received Epcot’s Magic Journeys in 1987. Then, in 1994, the Legend of the Lion King show moved in. It was later replaced by Mickey’s PhilharMagic which debuted in 2003 and is still operating today.
Where Can You Find Remnants of the Mickey Mouse Revue Today?
Let’s start with the obvious, shall we? Mickey’s PhilharMagic is definitely a tribute to its home’s original occupant, the Mickey Mouse Revue. Even though Mickey’s PhilharMagic is a 3-D film, Mickey is again the maestro of an orchestra and the attraction showcases moments, characters, and music from a variety of Disney films. Other callbacks to the Mickey Mouse Revue in PhilharMagic include the Mickey Mouse Club song and witty posters displayed in the queue. For instance, both The Three Little Pigs and The Three Caballeros have a poster, even though they’re not in the 3-D film.
Lastly, while the Mickey Mouse Revue’s pre-show began with a clip from Fantasia, Mickey’s Philharmagic took it a step farther. The 3-D film includes Fantasia’s signature Sorcerer’s Apprentice scene. Also, the iconic Sorcerer’s Hat is the source of the film’s action!
It seems several of the show’s charming audio-animatronics survived the Tokyo Disneyland closure of the Mickey Mouse Revue. In 2015, Disney added The Three Caballeros audio-animatronics to Epcot’s Gran Fiesta Tour attraction at the Mexico pavilion. Despite the fact these audio-animatronics are older than the attraction itself, guests loved the addition and it has become one of the ride’s highlights!
While I enjoy what the Disney Parks have to offer now, I also enjoy discovering relics and tributes to the magic and memories that came before and their presence in the parks today. Did you ever experience the Mickey Mouse Revue at the Magic Kingdom? If so, please share your experiences!