Group: Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter/AdministratEAR
Joined: Aug. 2001
||Posted: April 11, 2003 1:46 am/pm
Source: Eyes & Ears
Picture a young girl walking with her family near the Tree of Life Garden at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Suddenly, the Mickey Mouse plush toy she’s holding vibrates and giggles, indicating that he has something to say.
When the girl presses Mickey’s hand or stomach, he says, “Now somewhere around here is a secret trail with lots of swell animals. That’s where the capybara lives! Supposedly, he’s related to the mouse. Hmm... I wonder if he’s related to Minnie Mouse or Mickey Mouse... Ha ha! Aw, gosh, let’s see if we can find him. Wanna?”
Clutching her toy tighter, the girl spots the trail and leads her family toward a new adventure.
This experience will come to life in unique ways at all four Walt Disney World theme parks when Pal Mickey, a new type of theme park entertainment, becomes available in resorts in April and in the theme parks in early May.
“Pal Mickey brings a whole new level of personalization to our theme park experience in that he will give guests — kids in particular — a greater interaction with our characters,” said (the) vice president of Operations Strategy and Technology. “Usually, you see Disney characters in shows and parades or waiting for autographs. Now you can have Mickey himself talking to you as you travel through our parks.”
The 10-and-a-half-inch-tall Pal Mickey delivers hundreds of messages, from show details to Disney trivia to attraction height requirements, in all four theme parks, focusing on the unique aspects of each park.
Pal Mickey will relive stories at the Magic Kingdom Park, share travel tips and fun facts during a world tour at Epcot, be a star-struck Hollywood insider at the Disney-MGM Studios and play up the feeling of adventure while sharing safari secrets at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
“Pal Mickey extends the individual stories of the things you’ll see,” said (a) senior show producer and executive director for Walt Disney Imagineering. “He has a much broader emotional range — happiness, anger, fear, excitement, nervousness — and real attitude like the way he appeared in the old cartoons. For instance, when you’re near Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and you can hear the background sounds of logging chainsaws, Mickey gets angry about the destruction of the natural environment.”
Pal Mickey also tells jokes and plays games when guests press his hand or stomach, whether they’re in the theme parks or at home.
“Our goal was to make Pal Mickey feel like a member of the guest’s family,” said (a) lead interactive designer for WDI.
Guests will have the opportunity to rent Pal Mickey for $8 a day (including tax) with a $50 credit card deposit. If the guests decide later to take Pal Mickey home, the $50 deposit will be deducted from their credit card. Guests who know in advance that they’ll want to take Pal Mickey home may buy one for $50 (including tax) instead of renting one and paying a deposit.
(The) Product Development Vice President said Pal Mickey will build memorable Cast and guest experiences. “This little guy ... will create great conversations between our Cast and guests,” (she) said. “These interactions will turn into great experiences that guests can remember by taking him home.”
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Repeating the update from Thursday night, April 10th: A very nice WDW Cast Member just told me that Pal Mickey is still being tested, so there is no official start date given yet. She said it is expected to be availalbe for Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests sometime this month and available for all WDW guests in mid-May.
RichKoster, Disney Echo modEARator