Our 20th anniversary press weekend report continues with our Hard Hat Tour of Meet Mickey Mouse, the new meet ‘n’ greet location in Fantasyland. Because this attraction is still under construction, no photography and no video taping was allowed.
Our group was taken backstage at Fantasy Festival Stage by Laurent Cayuela, Imagineer at Walt Disney Imagineering Paris. Construction fences had been removed for the tour, so the all new painted and reworked façade was introduced to the park guests for the first time. Creamy whites and reds are the main colours on the façade, as well as all new posters with Mickey Mouse in different settings. A large Broadway-style sign over the main entrance says “Meet Mickey Mouse – Rencontre avec Mickey”.
Unlike in the Walt Disney World version (called Town Square Theater), guests have to queue in an actual theatre. All the old benches have been ripped out and replaced by copper railings and the stage received an amazing opera-style frame with a set of 3 curtains (Venetian, Greece and Italian; each will open in a different way). While waiting to meet Mickey (which can go up to 45 minutes when the queue line is complete) guests will be able to see classic Mickey Mouse cartoons on a big screen on the stage. However, if necessary or for special events, the stage can actually be used to host any type of entertainment.
After finishing up the main queue line, guests walk pass the stage and are welcomed by the “stage manager”, who’ll take them to Mickey’s dressing room in the backstage area of the stage. All the walls here are plain bricks and are decorated with Mickey Mouse cartoon posters. When looking up, there’s no ceiling, except that of the show building, which adds to the backstage setting.
Inside the dressing room there are large suitcases filled with Mickey’s suits and props for a magic show. Almost all of these props have a reference to a Disney movie that involves magic, like Fantasia, Mary Poppins and the Disney•Pixar short Presto. Other Disney references included stickers on the suitcases of different Disney resorts around the world and there is even a drawing by a child of Mickey Mouse and Oswald together! When paying attention to all of these details, you’d almost forget Mickey Mouse himself is right there to take a photo with!
A professional Disney photographer will be on hand to take your picture, which can be purchased at the exit of the meet ‘n’ greet. Screens will preview the pictures and cash registers, including one for guests in wheelchairs, are on hand for purchases. More magic related props can be found here, including the “Tank of Terror”.
Meet Mickey Mouse is expected to open in May 2012.