Continuing the countdown to the biggest Disney story of 2018 this third place story came a bit later in the year. Mickey at 90 was known to be something special, but announcements trickled out and culminated into a worldwide celebration…
In March there were some announcements of what to expect for Mickey and Minnie turning 90 in November. Much of it was for some already existing events like Disney on Ice and Disney Store merchandise. There was also the announcement that a birthday portrait, common for all the milestone birthdays, would be created. What was exciting to read, although vague, was that the Disney parks around the world would be having some kind of special celebration on Mickey’s actual birthday. Not only that but an ABC special and a Destination D event would be held to commemorate the birthday.
Kicking Off the Party
Two more events were both announced and held closer to the summer time. Announced was Mickey the True Original pop-up exhibit in New York, showcasing various artists celebrating the pop icon. At the San Diego Comic-Con there was a panel celebrating Mickey Mouse with the unveiling of the birthday portrait. These were two events that started to show there would be something big with Mickey and Minnie turning 90 as there had been almost no other information between March and August.
Birthday Party Around the World
As November came close there was more and more telling in how to celebrate the Mouse. Disneyland was to have a cavalcade for Mickey and Minnie. Walt Disney World was going to have a special Move It Shake It performance with singing happy birthday at the end. But, loads of merchandise was announced and massive amounts of food to showcase the icon. These would all be just the weekend of the birthday celebration. Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai were all getting in on the act too on Mickey’s birthday.
Possibly the biggest event was Destination D which was, for the most part, all about the Mouse couple. I say for the most part because some big announcements for the Disney parks were given here that may have overshadowed some of Mickey and Minnie’s celebration. A new night show at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios were announced to come the next year, and some juicy details on things like Galaxy’s Edge and the upcoming new Epcot night show.
I was able to attend the Destination D event, which was three days of events all at the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World. Several panels showcased the history of Mickey Mouse. Great trivia of his animation origins and park appearances were great. But, much of the panels showed never before seen Mickey cartoons and attractions that didn’t see the light of day. Surprises came up in many of the presentations, including a radio script reading from Bret Iwan and Bill Farmer. The event was impressive as it showed off how much Mickey has had his hands throughout the company. The whole event culminated in a wonderful pajama party with snacks and singing happy birthday to Mickey and Minnie. Dancing, artists, cartoons, and cupcakes let guests celebrate the terrific weekend event.
Mickey’s turning 90 started off without much fanfare and grew into an international festival that is still going. It didn’t have much known at the beginning, but throughout the year grew into an epic celebration with celebrities, artists, and fans all partaking in a memorable occasion.
Here’s some of our coverage of Mickey turning 90: