Talking Mickey Mouse?
Did you know there is a talking Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World? Of course you do. He’s in lots of the shows. Unfortunately if you get in line to meet him he suddenly clams up and does not say a word. Or he did. If you know the right place to go you will find Mickey has found his voice and will talk!
Face Characters Vs. Fur Characters
Meeting characters is part of the Disney World experience. In fact it is a very popular part of the visit to Disney World for children and even some adults. The performers who bring the magic to life through these characters are almost universally great. Unfortunately a large number of the characters had their interaction with guests limited because they could not talk. Sadly those non-talking characters included some of the Disney’s most beloved characters including the mouse who started it all. That all changed last year in 204. Mickey has found his voice. The main mouse will now talk to you!
There are two types of characters you can meet at any Disney theme park. These are face characters and fur characters. Face characters do not wear the big costume head. You can actually see the performers face. Fur characters do wear the big costumed head.
Besides the costume head or lack thereof there was one major difference. In the past face characters could talk to guests and fur characters could not. That has now changed with the introduction of talking Mickey Mouse.
Talking Mickey Mouse
The new talking Mickey Mouse only appears at the Magic Kingdom and you can only meet him in the Town Square Theater on Main Street.
Imagineers have done a great job with talking Mickey Mouse. They could have just created an audio-animatronic that guests could stand next to. Audio-animatronics cannot move around like a performer in costume though. They also cannot give hugs. They could have just had a voice come out of the head without the mouth ever moving. While that would have been impressive after decades of Mickey being mute it would not have been very believable.
So the imagineers created an audio-animatronic head for the Mickey Mouse costume. There is still a real person in the costume just like always but now Mickey can talk. When Mickey talks his mouth moves. The speaker system seems to be in his mouth so it sounds like it is really Mickey talking. They did not stop there. Even his eyes move as well. He blinks. He lowers his eyelids just like a real person would. It has to be seen to truly appreciate. Check out the video at the end of the article to see Mickey in action.
It seems, however, that Mickey has a very limited vocabulary. After seeing him multiple times he seems to engage in only a few pre-recorded speeches. He tells the same jokes and stories or at least it seems that way to me. That is perfectly understandable considering someone has to program his mouth to open and close at the appropriate times. Maybe some day he will become more interactive like Crush at Epcot.
Why Doesn’t Mickey Talk All The Time?
During our last trip to Disney World (which was my son’s first trip) we made the trip to the Town Square Theater to see Mickey. Mickey talked with my son, joked with him and gave him the big hug.
The next day we went to Epcot and ate at the Garden Grill. The Garden Grill is a character dinner with Mickey Moues, Pluto, Chip and Dale.
When Mickey came around my son asked him right away why he was not talking anymore. Without missing a beat Mickey put his hands to his throat and I told my son Mickey must have a sore throat today. My son did not ask why Mickey did not talk for the rest of the trip. If Mickey was not talking my son just said Mickey still has a sore throat.
Where can I meet talking Mickey Mouse
As I mentioned above the only current location for talking Mickey Mouse is the Town Square Theater in the Magic Kingdom. Talking Mickey seems to still be in the experimental stage and the experiment is limited to one location.
From my own personal observation, we went to see talking Mickey several times during our trip, Mickey’s talking is controlled from outside of the Mickey Mouse head. This would explain why he is limited to just one location for now. There must be a control room somewhere similar to what they do for Turtle Talk With Crush or the Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor. If I am right Mickey cannot just show up anywhere. He has to be somewhere the control booth can monitor him and in range of the electronic signals they use to control him.
Like all technology, including very simple stuff, there are also occasional break downs. Even going to Town Square Theater does not guarantee you get the talking version of Mickey. I have seen reports that people who went to Disney after we did and met Mickey in the same location we did but did not even know there was a talking version of Mickey Mouse. I can only assume the technology was not working that day.
So next time you are in Magic Kingdom be sure to check him out! And hopefully this technology will be spread to other characters as well.
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