The newest addition to The Magic of Disney Animation – a Meet Minnie character interaction – is a success on every level. It certainly satisfies on the character interaction level, but what really caught my eye was the level of detail on the hidden details, tributes, and homages in the queue. I am obviously biased, as the author of the Hidden History book on Walt Disney World that chronicles the tributes to Imagineers and remnants of former rides found in today’s parks. Naturally I’m going to like something which adds to the oeuvre.
This video walks you through the details and the tributes. There are a ton!
For those not wishing to watch the video, here’s an abbreviated list of tributes:
- The Jungle Cruise poster names a Disney park ride
- That same poster mentions July 17, the date when Disneyland opened in Anaheim
- The Jungle Cruise poster also mentions Imagineering legends and executives such as Patrick Brennan, John Lasseter, Harper Goff, Bill Evans, and Marc Davis.
- Disney characters are all over the posters, including one of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (who is also mentioned separately in the Casablanca “Casamousa” poster).
- The Mary Poppins poster mentions Kent Powers, a character from Quack Pack, part of the Disney Afternoon shows of the 1990s. You’ll also find mention in various places of Drake Mallard (the other identity of Darkwing Duck), Fenton Crackshell (DuckTales), Webigail Vanderquack).
- The “Bride of Frankenollie” is not just a Frankenstein reference – it honors animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.
- The same Frankenollie poster mentions Harrison Hightower IV, a reference to a character invented for the Tower of Terror in Tokyo DisneySea.
- The “Mouse Pacific” (South Pacific) poster mentions the Sherman Brothers
- The credits to Mouse Pacific offer doubled references to the Tiki Room, with each emcee bird mentioned as the first name, and the last name of the voice actor given. “Michael Burley” references the bird Michael, voiced by Fulton Burley, for instance. The others are Jose Boag (Wally Boag), Fritz Ravenscroft (Thurl Ravenscroft), and Pierre Newton (Ernie Newton).
- In the background of Mouse Pacific, on the right side, can be seen the Tiki Room as it appears in the Magic Kingdom
- Near the Tiki Room image is a bird in flight; this is the Orange Bird, the original sponsor of the area when it was called Tropical Seranade.
- The Cleopatra poster is “presented” by Mortimer Mouse, Walt’s name for his new creation that his wife Lillian renamed to Mickey.
Like the Haunted Mansion and the Exposition Hall renovations before it, this one took a staid location and gave it real historical significance and character. For us frequent visitors, that renders it way more exciting.
On my visit this past weekend, there was essentially no line to meet Minnie. I mean zero wait. This was likely due to three factors:
1. the location was not named for Minnie. I suspect this may change in the coming weeks.
2. the park map had no mention of Minnie Mouse as a character meet location.
3. the FASTPASS+ machines installed here were still covered up by burlap, and will presumably come on line later to generate a steady flow of visitors.
In other words, the ideal time to visit Minnie at Disney Hollywood Studios is right now, or at least last weekend. She’s about to get way more busy. And it’s certainly a worthwhile visit, at least from the historical perspective.