MiceAge Update: Double Blast from the Past

Written by MiceAge. Posted in Disneyland Resort, MiceAge Update, MiceChat Podcast

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Published on August 27, 2014 at 4:00 am with 43 Comments

We have quick little MiceAge update today which should make many of you happy. For the rest of the recent news, please read last week’s MiceAge update HERE.

OSWALD, LUCKY INDEED

In a nostalgia move that is sure to delight Disney purists, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is set to become the newest costumed character in DCA, beginning September 14th. This classic Walt Disney character will greet arriving visitors on Buena Vista Street daily. Oswald as a new park character will be aimed directly at Annual Passholders and hardcore Disney fans who will recognize him. After the Duffy concept borrowed from Japan failed to generate any real merchandise sales, it’s hoped that Oswald can be positioned as a marketable character, even if casual tourists don’t quite understand.

RETRO BOOM

After the holidays, Disneyland’s pyrotechnics team will begin installing all new special effects equipment on the rooftops around the central Hub of Disneyland. The work is in preparation for the 60th Anniversary mega-show coming next May. The old Fantasy In The Sky fireworks show will return to Disneyland on weekends this winter, beginning January 9th, while technical work for the 60th Anniversary spectaculars are underway.

The existing pyrotechnic and lighting equipment was installed 10 years ago for the 50th pyro show. All that equipment will be replaced and the new apparatus sited in new locations around the Hub, taking into account the new backstage alleyways being built on both sides of Main Street. The new alleyways will be used heavily at night, with the new night parade and fireworks show coming for the 60th expected to create big crowds in that area. The temporary Fantasy In The Sky show will only use the launch area behind Toontown. For those too young to remember, Fantasy In The Sky was a very basic fireworks show Disneyland offered from 1957 to 1999, but which is fondly remembered by many.

We’d like to recommend that you listen to the latest show from the MiceChat Podcast Crew. Join Doug, David and Dusty as they stroll through Disneyland and take you on an audio adventure. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the parks, you’ll find yourself transported with the Disney Dudes as they explore Fantasyland and honor the Haunted Mansion. Be sure to stick through to the very end for a little surprise.

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About MiceAge

The MiceAge crew was started by Al Lutz in 2003, and is committed to bringing you the inside Disney story that you just can't get anywhere else. As much as we'd all like to see more frequent rumor updates on the site, we only publish when reliable news and rumors are available to share. Generally, you'll find a new MiceAge news update from Al and crew once or twice a month on Tuesdays. The MiceAge news Editor can be reached at: [email protected]

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43 Comments

There are currently 43 Comments on MiceAge Update: Double Blast from the Past. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. Oswald’s story is quite interesting. I wonder if they’ll explain it to the casual visitor?

  2. You guys act like no one knows who Oswald is…

    No one knows who DUFFY is.

    • Everyone on this site knows who Oswald is. But the average guest has no clue. When I’m by Oswald’s Gas Station, all I hear is, “Who’s Oswald?” They’ll need to promote/educate more than they did for Duffy or he’ll be gone too.

      • Doc McStuffins says hi

      • Wasn’t Oswald a big part of the Epic Mickey video games a few years back? Surely some guests will know him from that.

      • Yes he was but then not everyone is a gamer and not every gamer likes Disney games. It would be logical to add an Oswald cartoon into the Disneyland Main Street Cinema and start selling a DVD compilation of cartoons in DCA. I would also reproduce some of the original cinema posters.

      • I live in Cologne, Germany and just today I saw sometime down the street wearing an Oswald t-shirt. Admittedly, I did notice as I’d never seen that before outside the US! Still, I think he looks appealing enough to attract interest and there probably are more people who know who he is than we think.

    • It will be great for the fans if Oswald proves to be marketable. He’s certainly cute enough, whether or not regular guests know who he is.

      I’m thrilled to see Oswald in the spotlight at long last!

      • That’s what makes such a great story. Decades after Walt created him, he’s finally home with Disney.

      • Setting Oswalt up to be the DCA character seems fine. To be honest, I’m too young to identify Mickey Mouse with anything other than Disneyland, although my kids watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

    • I think Oswald will be hit and miss but likely far more popular than Duffy. My kids had no clue who Oswald was until I explained it to him. He’s not a classic character by any stretch of the imagination though still important in Disney history. But at this point, Disney is creating the nostalgia and demand for him which the more “involved” Disney fans are eating up like crazy. I honestly could care less about him.

    • I can’t believe how many Oswald ear hats I see. Mucho people know who Oswald is.

  3. One thing I’ve never understood is why they don’t also have a Rocketeer walk-around/meet and greet character. If there was ever a Disney character tailor made for DCA it is him.

    • I totally agree. It’s a wasted opportunity. I’d also love a Bulldog Café in DCA.

    • That would be so cool

  4. Wow! Oswald is coming so soon! Pretty stoked!

  5. So excited for Oswald. I also think that The Rocketeer and Dick Tracy would be perfect characters for Buena Vista Street

  6. Can this “retro boom” go further and bring back some old favorite attractions? I can dream…

    • Bringing back old favorite attractions would be nice!

  7. Disney has a HUGE number of characters to put in costume in the park. It is insane for Disney to thing it needs to promote an obscure character that todays great-grandparents barely know. I say put in the park some of the beloved characters that rarely are seen but people recognize.

    I am glad that a new fireworks show is going in. It will be hard to top Remember as a show. It was great not just because of the fireworks but the emotional connection to the park it evoked. Can lightening strike twice in one place? I hope so.

    • Buena Vista Street has a more direct timeframe connection to Oswald than Mickey considering that the area represents Walt’s first efforts in California’s entertainment industry. It is INSANE for a Disney park not to celebrate Disney history and heritage and even provide some fun opportunities to learn more about Walt Disney’s legacy.

      If it weren’t for Oswald, there would be no Mickey.

      Mic drop.

      • While I respect your appreciation for the past, we have to remember that Disneyland was never meant to be a museum. Oswald should have a part of the Disney family, but he is no Mickey. The popularity of Mickey Mouse is international and enduring for almost a hundred years, but Oswald is just a footnote in history. Universal had the character all that time and NO ONE WANTED HIM! Oswald was one of Walt’s failures.

        Why not spend the money to bring characters out that children know, as well as their parents? How about Carl, Russell and Dug? I assure you that there would be screams of delight seeing Dug on the street compared to seeing Oswald. Or how about Scully and Mike Wazowski? Or Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl? All these Children would enjoy as well as parents.

        If you have to explain to a child what the character is, then that character should not be at the park. There are just too many better ones to choose.

  8. Great news. I keep seeing the same lackluster 90′s cartoon characters over and over again. Oswald will be a refreshing and welcomed face to see(even if I’m not a big fan of Cartoons). Hoping for more Marvel and Lucasfilm characters soon too outside of Fantasyland where cartoons fit.

  9. I know many people who will be so happy to see Oswald. Thanks for the update.

  10. Remember was a good show, but I still miss Believe . . . There’s Magic in the Stars. The first of the truly amazing Disneyland fireworks presentations, it was stunning in many ways–but didn’t require total gridlock in Central Plaza, the closing down of FL rides, etc., etc.

  11. An Oswald walk around character; isn’t this a No-Brainer. I guess that’s why it took TDA, so long to come up with it. For a company that enjoys cheap ”fixes”, a $2000 fuzzy custume with a rubber head is perfect.

    Oswald has such a great story, that he’ll become Very popular in the park.

    • When the new DCA entry was under reconstruction . . . they had all the retro characters on the construction wall. There was Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, Pegleg Pete, etc. I really expected and wanted to see those characters on Buena Vista street when it launched (and still do). Buena Vista Street would be a great place for the original Disney characters to call home . . . whether they sell merchandise or not.

      And who knows, these characters may just be so vintage and kitschy that they are popular even with the guests who don’t quite know who they are.

      • I thought the same thing when I saw all those posters up during construction. I thought there was even more of a chance when Silly Symphony Swings got a Silly Symphony makeover. There’s a wealth of material to market with the more obscure characters and from a true nostalgia point of view it only makes sense.
        Then a retro scifi makeover of Tomorrowland ;)

  12. Fantasy in the Sky is good, but I have always been a fan of Believe :) And I am VERY excited for Oswald.

  13. I love the story behind getting Oswald back to Disney…When Walt needed money, he sold the Oswald rights to Universal. Lucky, Walt kept the rights to a certain mouse. Long story short, Mr. Iger traded Al Michaels, the ESPN sports caster (ESPN is owned by Disney) to Universal (which is part of NBC) for Oswald. Thus bringing Oswald back to Disney.

    • Actually, Oswald was pretty much stolen from Walt in the 20′s by a man named Charles Mintz, who was the husband of the distributor, Margaret Winkler, of Walt’s earliest cartoons (mainly the animated/live action ‘Alice’ series of shorts). Oswald was a co-creation of Walt and animator Ub Iwerks.

      As the story is succinctly put by Disney History.com, “The idea for this character came about when Disney’s film distributor Charles Mintz (who was now married to Alice distributor Margaret Winkler) suggested a change in direction to keep his animated shorts fresh. Universal Studios was looking for a cartoon series featuring a rabbit and Mintz/Winkler suggested Walt Disney………Disney, constantly striving for a higher quality, began producing Oswald cartoons that were costly. In February 1928 Walt traveled to New York to speak with Mintz about an increase in pay. To Walt’s surprise, Mintz wanted to cut his pay by some 20%! In addition, he learned that Mintz controlled the rights to Oswald. Rather than accept the cut, Walt gave up his creation, making Mintz the first of many who believed they could assume Disney’s success.
      (Mintz and Winkler eventually lost the character as well and Walter Lantz went on to animate Oswald well into the 1930s).”

      • Stolen. That’s exactly right, TodAZ1

      • Also to be noted is that Charles Mintz hired away most of Walt’s artists to continue producing the Oswald series. The guy was a conniving back stabber that almost ruined Disney. Ub Iwerks was one of the few that remained loyal to Walt. Sweet revenge when Mickey become so popular and buried the conquest by Mintz.

        P.S. I have heard rumor that Charles Muntz (the antagonist in “Up”) was a nod to the evil Mintz.

  14. If they were smart they would convince the television division to introduce Oswald in one of the Disney channel or Disney XD shows and build another profitable Disney character that would appeal to both the young age group and the Nostalgic older group

  15. I like the idea, and I think Disney would even make some money off of it if they did the photos with a black and white option and offered old-timey clothes to dress up in for the photo just like the fairs do so you can take a picture to make it look like the 1930′s.

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