Looking Back: The Mickey Mouse Revue
One of the three attractions at Magic Kingdom on opening day in 1971, the Mickey Mouse Revue was a dream of Walt Disney's and delighted fans for years before it was sent to Tokyo Disneyland in 1980.
A Dream Fulfilled
In a 1962 issue of Newsweek Walt Disney discussed creating an attraction at Disneyland for
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. I don't know just when I'll do that.
In 1971 Walt's dream became a reality with the opening of the Magic Kingdom in Florida and the Mickey Mouse Revue as one its main attractions.
Bill Justice, was the Disney imagineer behind the Mickey Mouse Revue. As work was started on the design process of Magic Kingdom, Justice came up with the idea for the Mickey Mouse Revue.
WED had designed some imaginative shows for the parks, but we seemed to be getting away from our heritage. Pirates of the Caribbean was a big hit, but what did it have to do with Disney? What we needed was a reminder of what Walt had accomplished. I pulled out a sheet of paper and got to work.
During the almost-10 minute show, an audio-animatronics figure of Mickey Mouse conducted an all-toon orchestra of 23 characters, and the show featured scenes and songs from Disney animated films that were staged around the orchestra. A total of 73 different Disney animated characters performed in the show, including Timothy Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Baloo, Scrooge McDuck and more.
Songs that were performed included "Heigh Ho," "When You Wish Upon a Star," "I'm Wishing," "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo," "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah," "Mickey Mouse Club March," and more.
There was also a pre-show that featured a film on Mickey Mouse. The glitch in the design was that the pre-show only had room for 300 people while the main theater had room for 504 people.
Mickey Mouse Revue Goes to Tokyo
In 1980 the Mickey Mouse Revue closed at the Magic Kingdom and was packed up and sent to Tokyo to be incorporated into Tokyo Disneyland. Some managers at Magic Kingdom encouraged the move because while popular, the show was never full. It was also said that because it was the only attraction shipped directly to Japan instead of having to replicate the entire show it saved Disney money.
The Mickey Mouse Revue closed for good at Tokyo Disneyland on May 25, 2009 and was replaced by Mickey's PhilharMagic.
At the Magic Kingdom in Orlando the theater where you could once see the Mickey Mouse Revue was renamed the Fantasyland Theater and now hosts Mickey's PhilharMagic, which also features Mickey Mouse as a conductor.
Did you get a chance to see the Mickey Mouse Revue while it was at Magic Kingdom?