The rumor mill has been working overtime the past few weeks. The latest rumor to travel the internet is that, once TCM’s sponsorship comes up in 2018, Disney won’t renew it. Instead, they will turn The Great Movie Ride into The Great Mickey Ride. It will probably have a different name in its final version but the ride will be trackless, like Ratatouille: The Adventure in Disneyland Paris, and star Mickey himself. That’s all that the rumor has for us now because the idea is still, according to the rumor, in planning stages, but it got me thinking…there really haven’t been many attractions that have starred Mickey Mouse in Disney Parks’ history which is interesting.
You would think that Mickey would be the first character that Imagineers went to when they were creating attractions for Disneyland in California, but that wasn’t the case. According to everyone’s favorite Disney historian, Jim Korkis, Walt’s brother, Roy, didn’t want Mickey to be too connected to the park just in case the park failed, so except for the famous floral face in front of the train station and various pieces of merchandise, Mickey didn’t have much of a presence in Disneyland.
Walt Disney World opened in 1971 and with it, the first Mickey Mouse attraction, the Mickey Mouse Revue. In the attraction, Mickey led an orchestra of Disney characters in playing the hit songs from their movies. The revue closed in 1980 and moved over to Tokyo Disneyland where it played until 2009.
Now, at Disneyland you can visit Mickey’s house, and up until 2011, you were able visit his vacation house at Walt Disney World.
Mickey’s PhilharMagic opened in 2003 where the Mickey Mouse Revue used to play, but it’s really a Mickey Mouse attraction in name only. The show stars Donald Duck with Mickey only making brief cameos at the beginning and the end.
My favorite Mickey Mouse attraction is Fantasmic!, the nighttime show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. An epic battle between Mickey and Disney’s rogue gallery of villains, all taking place in one of Mickey’s dreams.
The newest attraction featuring the main mouse is Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire, the show in front of Cinderella Castle where Mickey and his friends invite some of Disney’s newest royalty to join them for a party.
There are, of course, plenty of parades and Meet and Greets with Mickey, but the list of attractions starring our favorite rodent is surprisingly small and even smaller is the list of rides.
My thoughts about this rumor are much like my thoughts about the Guardians of the Galaxy coming to Disney’s California Adventure: I hate to see The Great Movie Ride leave, but I would love to see a Mickey Mouse ride. The partnership with TCM seemed to breathe new life into The Great Movie Ride, but perhaps it wasn’t enough, especially with Star Wars and Toy Story coming and bringing an entire face life to the park. I must confess, even though I like The Great Movie Ride, it’s not on my must-do list.
Interestingly, in the original plans for Epcot’s Future World was a movie-themed pavilion with an attraction called “Mickey’s Movie Land.” Guests would board an omni-mover (like the Doom Buggies of the Haunted Mansion) and take a “behind the scenes” trip through the making of a classic Mickey cartoon.
(Photos from authors personal collection)
What do you think? Do you want to see Mickey replace The Great Movie Ride? How would you incorporate Mickey into the parks more?
Chris grew up during the Disney renaissance of animation and took his first trip to Walt Disney World when he was ten. Even though he has loved Disney his whole life, his obsession didn’t start until he began planning a trip for his honeymoon. Right now, his primary job (at least the one that doesn’t pay the bills) is to indoctrinate his daughter with his love of Disney while at the same time convincing his wife to move to Orlando, so he can become a tour guide in the parks.