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Mickey Mouse Revue at Walt Disney World

Mickey Mouse Revue

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Full Mickey Mouse Revue stage Walt Disney World

 The Mickey Mouse Revue opened on October 1, 1971.  If the preshow film and the original attraction poster were any indication, the original name of this attraction was supposed to be the Mickey Mouse Musical Revue.  None of the voices in the show were from the original film soundtracks and were noticeably different than their film counterparts.  This attraction at first required an E ticket before later dropping to a D ticket.  The show closed September 14, 1980.  

Mickey Mouse Revue poster Walt Disney World

 The  theater was empty for a few years, only being used to occasionally show Disney cartoons before being used for the Magic Kingdom showing of  Magic Journeys.  The space later became home to Legend of the Lion King which closed in 2002 to make way for the 3-D film Mickey's PhilharMagic.

 After being removed from Walt Disney World, The Mickey Mouse Revue became an opening day attraction at Tokyo Disneyland, where it was dubbed into Japanese.   The show played in Japan until May 25, 2009.  Just like in the US, the space was then used for Mickey's PhilharMagic.  

Mickey Mouse Revue band Walt Disney World

Mickey Mouse Revue Preshow
(This transcription of the Preshow is courtesy of Eric Paddon.)

(Guests are brought into a holding area outside the main theater that is largely colored pink. The walls show paintings of Mickey as numerous characters from his films, such as the Sorcerer's Apprentice from "Fantasia." A live cast member's spiel about no eating, drinking etc is given at this point, as well as a warning to not sit on the rails of the pre-show theater. A funky sounding 1970s music score, heavy on bass, signals the beginning of the pre-show film which for this opening portion consists of an animated line representing the soundtrack that moves and squiggles when there is talking and music.)

Mickey Mouse Revue preshow area
(Walt Dated World fan Jonathan Lim poses by one of the Trompe l'oeil-style murals at the Mickey Mouse Revue when it was in Tokyo Disneyland.)

Soundtrack:  Hiya. I'm the soundtrack who made that silly overture you just heard. True, I'm not much to look at.  In fact, I'm so skinny and unattractive that they make me work offstage.  Over there.   And that's too bad because I've got talent.  Here, I'll show you.

(Loud crashing noise of cymbals which causes the soundtrack line to react accordingly followed by sound of snare drums.)

Soundtrack:   And how about this?  (Bell rings.) Now here's one that really takes finesse.  (Sound of rapid movement over a xylophone or similar instrument.)  Ah, but music is really my specialty.  (The sound of a harp going up and down.)  But enough about my talents.  Before the big show starts, I want to tell you a few things about a real entertainer.  My old pal, Mickey Mouse.  You see, Mickey and I got started in showbiz about the same time.  In fact, he was the first cartoon headliner I ever worked with.  At first, I was strictly utility.  All I did was make simple little sounds. (Steamboat whistle.) But my pal Mickey was a star from the start.  This is how he looked in "Steamboat Willie".  His first sound cartoon.
(Excerpts from "Steamboat Willie" play on-screen, accompanied by the sound of Mickey whistling from the cartoon's opening scene.)

Soundtrack:  Oh that's Mickey's co-star and girlfriend, Minnie Mouse.

(At this point the tone of the voice shifts to indicate that we are now hearing a conventional narrator, rather than the "soundtrack".)

Narrator:  Mickey and sound weren't much in those early days.  But their close relationship immediately became a Walt Disney trademark.  With each new picture they became more important to each other.

(Excerpts from other early black and white Mickey cartoons follow.)

Narrator:  With the help of a soundtrack, Mickey acquired a voice.  Actually it was Walt Disney's voice, and it suited Mickey just fine.
(The screen now shows the color cartoon, "The Band Concert".)

Narrator:   When color was introduced to the motion picture industry, Mickey and his pals at the Walt Disney Studio were the first to take advantage of it.  Mickey Mouse, color and sound became a winning combination.

(Excerpt from "The Band Concert" continues and then shifts to one from "Orphan's Benefit".)

Narrator:  Mickey kept getting better and better.  In this remake of "The Orphan's Benefit," you can see how Mickey and his new co-star Donald Duck, had developed into remarkably plausible personalities.

Mickey Mouse (in "Orphan's Benefit"):  "Introducing Donald Duck, reciting 'Mary Had A Little Lamb.'"

Donald Duck (in "Orphan's Benefit"):  "Mary had a little lamb..."

(Donald's recitation is disrupted and we now see later cartoon excerpts.)

Narrator:  By now, Mickey had become a real trooper.  As a song and dance man he was superb.

(Cartoon excerpt of Mickey in this role continues and then shifts to an excerpt from "The Whalers".)

Narrator:  He handled the role of a whaling captain like a real stage pro.

(Next excerpt is from "Lonesome Ghosts".)

Narrator:  Even a troupe of pesky spooks couldn't puzzle this great star.

(The next montage of Mickey cartoon scenes end with "The Pointer" followed by "Brave Little Tailor".)

Narrator:  Mickey's antagonists were varied.  And his adventure roles ranged from scrimmages with enormous whales to ferocious bears.  No role was too demanding.  Once he even tangled with a monstrous giant, and never thought of using a stand-in or a stuntman.

(Next excerpt shows Mickey romancing Minnie.)

Narrator:  He handled each new role with amazing ability.  This matinee idol even played the great lover.  Right from the start, Mickey was a natural. And the skills he perfected in those early one-reelers were to serve him well.

(Excerpt of the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment from "Fantasia".)

Narrator:  Before long, Mickey was ready to play a role that would prove to be a milestone in the blending of music and animation.  The role of the Sorcerer's Apprentice in his first full-length feature film, "Fantasia".

(The trendy, 1970s soundtrack now returns over a scene of costumed Disney characters led by Mickey coming out of the front of Cinderella Castle.)

Narrator: Yes, Mickey has come a long way since "Steamboat Willie."  As the happy host of Disneyland, Mickey Mouse stepped out of the realm of the drawing board and film strip, to personally greet millions of delighted visitors to the Magic Kingdom.

(The 1970s guitar based soundtrack now becomes the "Mickey Mouse Club" song with the voices of what we are to assume are the costumed characters Mickey is leading in the parade singing it.)

Singers: "Hey there, hi there, ho there, you're as welcome as can be!
Mickey Mouse! (Mickey Mouse!)
Mickey Mouse! (Mickey Mouse!)
Forever let us hold our banner high!
High, high, high!
Come along and sing the song and join the jamboree.
M-O-U-S-E! "

Narrator: Join us now in a presentation of the latest colossal in Mickey's illustrious career.  Mickey Mouse, bigger and better than ever, appears in a completely new dimension.  Leading his friends in a medley of Walt Disney musical highlights.

Mickey: "Come along folks!  It's time for the Mickey Mouse Musical Revue!"

(The theater doors open, and guests now enter to see the main show.)

Bandleader of the Mickey Mouse Revue

Mickey Mouse Revue Main Show

 The show started with the Audio-Animatronic orchestra figures conducted by Mickey Mouse rising up from the stage while playing cartoon-y warm up music.  Mickey then laughed and counted an intro and the characters began an instrumental medley of various Disney songs including: Heigh Ho, Whistle While You Work, When You Wish Upon a Star, and Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (An Actor's Life for Me).

Minnie Mickey Mouse Revue Walt Disney World

An animated shadow of the Big Bad Wolf was projected on the curtain and then The Three Little Pigs performed Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.  

Mickey Mouse Revue Three Little Pigs Walt Disney World

Snow White sang I'm Wishing to forest animals and the Dwarfs played the Silly Song.

Mickey Mouse Revue Snow White Walt Disney World

Mickey Mouse Revue Seven Dwarfs Walt Disney World

Alice and flowers from Wonderland sang All in the Golden Afternoon.
Mickey Mouse Revue Alice in Wonderland

The Three Caballeros managed to pop up in several locations throughout the theater.  These figures with slightly different clothes were later used in the last scene of Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros in the  Mexico pavilion at Epcot.  They were added during a late 2015 refurbishment of the ride.

Mickey Mouse Revue Three Caballeros Walt Disney World

The Fairy Godmother sang Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo to Cinderella, who changed from her Scullery Maid outfit into her ballgown was later joined by the Prince for So This is Love.  An animated shadow effect was used to show the two of them dancing.  
Mickey Mouse Revue Cinderella and Fairy Godmother Walt Disney World

Before they found a home in Splash Mountain, Brer Fox, Brer Bear, and Brer Rabbit sang Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah in the show.  

Mickey Mouse Revue Song of the South Brer Fox, Brer Bear and Brer Rabbit Walt Disney World

 The show concluded with the Mickey Mouse Club Alma Mater.  Mickey then ended the show with the following dialogue:

Mickey Mouse:  Thank you folks, that concludes our show.  We hope you enjoyed it!

Mickey Mouse Revue orchestra

Tributes to the Mickey Mouse Revue

 The 3-D film Mickey's PhilharMagic now plays in the theater once occupied by the Mickey Mouse Revue.  The movie will bring back a lot of memories for fans of the latter with Mickey playing the role once again as a conductor, although the plot is mainly about Donald.  Both the Fast Pass and the standby queues contain two posters that pay tribute to Three Little Pigs and Three Caballeros that were once in the Mickey Mouse Revue.  

 The scene at the exit of Space Mountain with the robot at the desk has a series of codes on a monitor, one of them is "FL-MMR" for the Mickey Mouse Revue. The book shelves at the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen contain a book called The 1871 Annual Review of Song by "M.M.R.".

Mickey Mouse Revue Wolf Gang Trio

Mickey Mouse Revue Festival de los Mariachis

Mickey Mouse Revue orchestra

Recycled Mickey Mouse Revue

 David Mumford, Show Designer for the Alice in Wonderland dark ride at Disneyland, claims that the Alice figure added during the 1984 renovation came from the Mickey Mouse Revue.  "The Alice figure was a last minute addition, after some debate over showing the character.  There was a set of Alice figures in storage from the 1971 Mickey Mouse Revue attraction in Florida.  Included were some Flower Garden heads, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and Alice, so we used them at Disneyland in 1984."  (The "E" Ticket, Number 31, Spring 1999.)  If this is indeed the case, the Alice figure at Disneyland received a newly sculpted head.  The Disneyland Alice in Wonderland ride was renovated in 2014 and it's possible that if the Mickey Mouse Revue figures were indeed used in the past, they may have been replaced during this renovation.  

 The Three Caballeros figures were added to the final scene of Gran Fiesta tour at Epcot's Mexico pavilion in 2015.  If the Seven Dwarf figures below look familiar, it's because they and the organ were reused in the 1994 Snow White's Scary Adventures ride renovation as well as in the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster.

Members of the Mickey Mouse Revue

These Dwarf figures from Snow White's Scary Adventures are similar to ones that were in the Mickey Mouse Revue.

Recycled Dwarves from Mickey Mouse Revue

Mickey Mouse Revue Merchandise

 Mouseketeers that couldn't make it to Florida in the 1970's could entertain themselves with the Whitman press-out version of the Mickey Mouse Revue.  There was also a Little Golden Book based on the show.

Mickey Mouse Revue punch book

Mickey Mouse Revue: Behind the Scenes

Here are some behind the scenes shots from when the show was being built and programmed.

Programming the Mickey Mouse Revue Walt Disney World

Painting the Three Caballeros Mickey Mouse Revue Walt Disney World

Imagineer Harriet Burns "figure finishes" a dwarf.

Mickey Mouse Revue Harriet Burns and Dwarfs Walt Disney World

Mickey Mouse Revue Florida Programming Practical Pig Walt Disney World

Prepping Alice for the Mickey Mouse Revue

The mechanics of the Daisy Duck figure.

Programming the Daisy figure for Mickey Mouse Revue

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See ya real soon!