24 March 2011 by Debra Peterson Disney Travel Examiner
Today, Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) and the Disney Parks Blog released information about the new Mickey Mouse meet-and-greet scheduled to open in Town Square Theater in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. When the theater opens to guests in early April, guests will be able to visit not just Mickey, but Magician Mickey.
Tentatively called “Backstage Magic with Mickey,” the theater will be Mickey’s permanent new home and offer a new type of Disney character experience. Guest will be able to use a FASTPASS option to meet Magician Mickey at Town Square Theater, as well use that option for the Disney Princesses.
Located in Main Street, U.S.A., Town Square Theater fits into the land’s turn-of-the-20th-century Americana feel. Magician Mickey and the refurbished meet-and-greet location is designed to recall the heydey of vaudeville and stage entertainment.
Disney will take guests into the theater and lead them to Magician Mickey’s rehearsal room, evoking a behind-the-scenes encounter with their favorite star. In order to create this experience, WDI has re-designed the space as a lavish Victorian-era theater that moves guests from the lobby to backstage.
WDI concept designer Jason Grandt noted the details in the lobby, from the reds, gold and cream colors to its mosaic work:
“Upon entering the lobby, guests will be faced with a beautiful tile mosaic featuring the Town Square Theater logo,” Grandt said. “The color scheme reflects that of historical theaters with a little inspiration from our master magician, Mickey Mouse.”
In addition, Town Square Theater’s design offers all the details of an ornate theater: dramatic arches and drapery fringed in gold, a marquee, brass chandeliers and gold-leaf trim details, mosaics, and glamorous lighting.
Moving from the lobby, guests will join a queue that takes them to backstage to Mickey’s rehearsal room. In keeping with Disney’s recent focus on interactive queues, such as the recently updated The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Haunted Mansion, the Magician Mickey meet-and-greet queue will include special posters that highlight Mickey’s magic acts.
“You will recognize the poster style as that of turn-of-the-century magicians such as Houdini,” Jon Georges, WDI director/senior show producer said. “But these posters carry Mickey’s magical touch that can bring them to life and interact with you as you wait.”
The meet-and-greet area itself will carry through on the theme, with guests meeting Magician Mickey in a rehearsal room filled with stage props and steamer trunks.
The Town Square Theater, located in Main Street, U.S.A. will be the permanent home for Mickey Mouse. The characters have been relocated now that Mickey’s Toontown Fair has permanently closed as part of the ongoing Fantasyland Expansion.
Also part of Town Square Theater will be other character meet-and-greets, including the Disney princesses who will appear until the Fantasyland expansion is complete; a gift shop; and access to Tony’s Town Square Restaurant.
No official opening date for the Magician Mickey meet-and-greet has been released.
Mickey Mouse and Disney Princess meet-and-greets will offer FASTPASS options
Also new to the Magician Mickey meet-and-greet opportunity will be a FASTPASS option, in which guests can use their admission media to get ticket that provides a one-hour window to see Mickey rather than wait in a stand-by line. The free FASTPASS service, available to all Disney guests, has never been used before for meeting characters.
Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager, confirmed that the Disney Princesses will also have a FASTPASS option at Town Square Theater:
“I can verify that Disney FASTPASS tickets will be available for both Mickey Mouse and the Disney princesses, the latter of which will appear temporarily at the location.”
Although Disney has yet to confirm any specifics about how the character FASTPASS will operate, there has been some speculation among members of the online Disney fan community that Disney will require Cast Members to enforce that one-hour window. Walt Disney World has an informal policy of allowing guests to use “expired” FASTPASSes for attractions and shows during most days. GO BACK