This is a really special and beloved show for me. I am a HUGE Donald Duck fan and I love any attraction that gets to feature my favorite character. Despite the name of the show, Donald Duck plays a much larger role in this one that Mickey does. If only we could get more Donald merchandise in the parks, too! But, I digress. This is definitely a show that is great for the whole family and has something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some really great facts and secrets about Mickey’s PhilharMagic:
10 – There were a few other attractions at the show’s location before it opened.
Mickey’s PhilharMagic wasn’t the first attraction to occupy the space. First, there was “Mickey Mouse Musical Revue” which was an animatronic show that was moved to Tokyo Disneyland as an opening day attraction. Since then the Three Caballeros scene from that attraction is now part of the boat ride at Mexico. Once “Mickey Mouse Musical Revue” closed, a film called “Magic Journeys” took over the location. There was then a puppet show called “Legend of the Lion King”. Finally, Mickey’s PhilharMagic took over the space in October of 2003 and has been there ever since. We hope it gets to stay there for a good long while!
9 – Donald was the original “Donald” (for the most part).
If you listen to Donald’s voice in the show, the imagineers where actually able to create his lines from previous performances by Clarence “Ducky” Nash. He was the original voice for our favorite Duck. Any lines that they couldn’t create were done by the current actor who voices Donald Duck, Tony Anselmo. One example of Tony Anselmo’s voice was when Donald was humming along to “Be Our Guest”.
8 – The original animators worked on key characters.
The original animator for Ariel, Glen Keane, was on the cast to develop her in 3D for the show. The original animator for Lumiere, Nik Ranieri, also became part of the cast to help draw and develop Lumiere in 3D. This helps to explain why they are so perfect in the show, since a lot of love and care were put into creating them.
7 – The lighting system was taken from technology created from Tokyo DisneySea.
The lighting used in the show is an interactive system that was new to Walt Disney World, but wasn’t new for Disney in general. This technology was originally created for use in Tokyo DisneySea attractions and Disney World was able to reproduce the technology and make it usable for PhilharMagic as the first show at Disney World to adopt the technology.
6 – You will see the most characters.
This cast of characters is the largest cast of Disney animated characters to ever appear in the same 3-D show. That is an impressive feat and a lot of work to incorporate all of these characters and classic movies into one show. You get to see characters from Aladdin, the Lion King, Fantasia, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and more. It is awesome!
5 – The screen for the show is the largest seamless projection screen in the world.
This creates and extremely immersive experience and the characters feel larger than life in front of you. The entire screen measures in at 150 feet long and 28 feet high. It is wraps around the stage to help create the immersive effect in the various scenes. You don’t even realize the screen is that large at first until the curtains are moved back to display the full length of the theater.
4 – The entire film was created via computer.
This is the first time that Disney has ever done this for this type of show. There are no hand drawings or animation used in the final film. It was all computer animated from start to finish for the entire show.
3 – The director and producer for the show is no stranger to Disney.
George Scribner was the director and producer for PhilharMagic. If you are a Disney historian you would recognize him as the same director that worked on Oliver and Company as well as The Prince and the Pauper.
2 – Pay extra attention to the Agrabah scene.
This scene was an extremely impressive one for Disney to produce and create. It was the largest 3D environment that the Walt Disney Feature Animation team had ever created, which was a huge feat for them. Look closely next time and pay attention to just how large of a scene that really was for them to create and make perfect for us to enjoy.
1 – Mickey’s first 3D appearance.
Yep, this is the very first time that our main mouse has ever appeared in 3D for any performance. This won’t be the last time that we see him in 3D, but it is pretty cool that this amazing show was the first.
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