Just Left of Main Street: A Five Star Revue

Magic_Kingdom_-_Mickey_Mouse_Music_Revue_posterA common question asked within the Disney community is which extinct attraction would someone bring back if they could? Common answers you hear include Horizons, the original Journey Into Imagination, the original MGM back lot tour and other attractions that have loyal followings to this day.

My answer wouldn’t be any of those or others you typically hear. Instead, I would answer emphatically – The Mickey Mouse Revue. No, I don’t mean Mickey’s PhilarMagic or The New Zoo Revue (which although not Disney related is a psychedelic mess from the 70’s that still gives me nightmares).

The Mickey Mouse Revue was an opening day attraction at Walt Disney World and ran there until September of 1980 when it was shut down and moved to Tokyo Disneyland where it opened on that’s park’s opening day.

 

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I am ancient enough to have gone to the WDW in those early days and, although I was quite young, I have very fond memories of that attraction and actually can remember crying when my parents told me it had closed. I also recall asking them if we could go to Tokyo to see it there, my little toddler mind having no idea how far that was.

The Mickey Mouse Revue was an audio-animatronic show which featured a lot, over 75, animatronic characters performing a medley of songs from various Disney features and shorts. The songs featured in the medley were many of the Disney standards such as When You Wish Upon a Star, Heigh Ho and Zip a Dee Doo Dah. However, if also featured songs you don’t hear as often such as Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf and The Three Caballeros. It was the inclusion of these lesser heard songs that led to my fondness of the attraction.

In addition to including more obscure songs, the attraction also featured lesser seen characters such as Huey, Dewey and Louie, Kaa and King Louie from The Jungle Book and, perhaps, most obscure of all, Monty and Abner from the 1936 Silly Symphony, The Country Cousin. Certainly these are not characters seen or heard from very often in any Disney park.

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The Fantasyland Theater where the Mickey Mouse Revue had been went pretty much unused for many years after the Revue closed. It didn’t re-open until 1987 when Magic Journeys was moved there from Epcot. It closed again in 1993 and re-opened in 1994 this time featuring the show The Legend of the Lion King. In 2002, the Theater closed yet one more time, and re-opened in October of 2003 with the attraction it still features today, Mickey’s Phillharmagic.

Seeing all these characters come to life in the Mickey Mouse Revue right in front of my eyes was something I’ll always remember and cherish. I’m sure, like most things we remember from childhood, if I were to see this attraction today, it would likely seem much less grand than I remember it. But, like He-Man, Luke Skywalker and Larry Bird I’ll leave the Mickey Mouse Revue in that corner of my mind where it is timeless and will remain awesome forever.

Chris Nolin
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Posted on May 14, 2015, in Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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