Five Things You May Not Know About Mickey’s PhilharMagic
As we celebrate the opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, we thought this would be a great time to celebrate all things Mickey! One of my favorite attractions has and always will be Mickey’s PhilharMagic…from Donald and Goofy to Minnie and Maestro Mickey Mouse himself, this fun-filled (and tear jerking show) also features Simba, Aladdin, Jasmine, Lumière, and of course (my favorite!) Ariel. And like every great Disney attractions, Mickey’s PhilharMagic has lots of hidden secrets and little known facts…so join us as we take a quick tour of one of Fantasyland’s most beloved attractions. On with the show!
Mickey Comes to Life
Mickey’s PhilharMagic represents the first time that Mickey Mouse had been rendered in Computer Generated Imagery (CGI). Glen Keane, the original animator of Ariel in The Little Mermaid, returned to re-render Ariel in 3D especially for Mickey’s PhilharMagic. Animator Nik Ranieri, who brought Lumière to life for Disney’s animated classic Beauty and the Beast, returned to render him in 3D.
Hidden Mickeys….and More!
Our hunt for Hidden Mickeys starts in the queue; look on the giant mural running the length of the wall on the right side of the room. You’ll find lots of white specks of paint, and a few of them make perfect Hidden Mickeys! When you’re in the theater itself, you can also spot a Hidden Mickey in the French horn on the right-hand pillar of the movie screen. But that’s not all! There’s another hidden gem to be found here, but it’s not a Hidden Mickey! During the Flying Carpet sequence, keep an eye out for the cloud that forms the shape of Genie’s lamp.
When it opened, Mickey’s PhilharMagic featured the world’s largest seamless projection screen. The opening screen measures 40’ by 16’, and it gradually expands to an impressive 150’ long and 24’ high. The theater features a state-of-the-art audio system, with nine full behind-the-screen audio clusters. Note the use of “traveling sound,” particularly before the curtain rises, as Goofy’s footsteps move throughout the theater as he runs from back to front. The interactive lighting system also features a series of “cyber lights,” which are precisely synchronized with the on-screen action via computerization. Smoke effects enable Guests to see the lights, casting shadow elements that are integrated into the performance.
Bringing Donald to Life
The voice of Donald Duck was created from classic performances of the past by Clarence “Ducky” Nash, the original voice of Donald. Tony Anselmo, the current voice of Donald, added a few lines that were not recorded by Ducky in the past, such as the humming of the melody to “Be Our Guest.”
Mickey Mouse March
More surprises await you in the gift shop when you leave the theater! Most noticeably, you can see where Donald ended up after crashing through the wall (and yeah, he’s not too happy!). But there’s another hidden gem that you can find if you know where to look! Look for the figure of Conductor Mickey Mouse, and take a look at the music sheet on his podium. You’ll see it’s the actual music for the Mickey Mouse March! (“Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me…”). See? No detail is overlooked! And now you know the words so you can sing along! (And clearly Donald doesn’t know how to read music…or to be fair, has no idea how to control that orchestra! Admit it, you always try to catch the flute when he throws it into the audience!)