“Through the years, we'll all be friends, wherever we may be.”
–Mickey Mouse Club Alma Mater
It has been rumored for weeks, months and even years and it appears 2019 will be the year that it finally happens—it being the reunion of The All New Mickey Mouse Club. And perhaps it may be a coincidence that the reunion comes as Disney Hollywood Studios, the one-time home of the MMC, prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
The #MMC30 – Where it all began… is expected to feature Mouseketeers from all seven seasons of The All New Mickey Mouse Club, which premiered on the Disney Channel in 1989 and taped at a sound stage at was then the newly-opened Disney MGM Studios at the Walt Disney World resort in Florida.
More than 300 episodes were taped at Disney MGM in front of a live-but-small studio audience. The third iteration of the popular show featured 35 Mouseketeers, only three of whom were showcased in all seven seasons of the series. The program highlighted theme days such as Music, Guest and Anything Can Happen days similar to the format of the original Mickey Mouse Club and a version of the show that aired in 1977.
Exactly who will be participating in the reunion is still up in the air but at least three former Mouseketeers have committed to attend. Former castmates Chasen Hampton and Dale Godboldo will serve as executive producers of the reunion which is scheduled for the weekend of May 18th at the Hyatt Regency Orlando during MEGACON Orlando.
Just like high school or college reunions, Hampton and Godboldo are promising fans a weekend full of fun and interactive cast reunion panels and a fan Q&A featuring some of the cast and a special performance of Blood, Sweat and Mouseketeers by former MMC alum Lindsey Alley. “It feels like yesterday, still….even though time has happened it doesn't feel like that, we're still family,” reflects Godboldo, who appeared in four of the show's seven seasons.
The weekend's events will be hosted by NSYNC’s Joey Fatone, described as an honorary Mouseketeer by Hampton and the unofficial godfather of Orlando by Godboldo.
Proceeds from the gathering will benefit onePULSE Foundation and their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion and Give Kids The World to help fulfill the wishes of critically ill children of all backgrounds and faiths visiting Central Florida and its vast array of theme parks and attractions as well as youth arts and education programs through Always In The Club Foundation.
When The All New Mickey Mouse Club premiered 30 years ago, the series made efforts early on to promote diversity and inclusivity, creating a safe space where viewers from any and all backgrounds could relate to someone in the cast. The show highlighted outstanding young people around the country, celebrated civic action and charitable giving.
Barbara Poma, Executive Director of onePULSE Foundation expressed her organization's gratitude to The Mickey Mouse Club for cultivating “a culture of diversity and inclusion long before it was brought to the forefront of corporate social responsibility.” She thanks the reunion organizers for helping in her group's efforts to fight hate and promote acceptance.
Give Kids The World also was appreciative of the MMC partnership. Pamela Landwirth, President and CEO of Give Kids The World said “we are truly honored to be part of this special reunion of The Mickey Mouse Club.” She added, “the joy that participants will bring to these precious families through their support of this event is immeasurable.”
Just like in its previous runs, the club that “was made for you and me,” proved to be a training ground for some of the most celebrated international artists and philanthropists in the world. Among today's superstars who launched their careers on the MMC are recording artists Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Christina Aguilera, and Tony Lucca, and actors Ryan Gosling and Keri Russell just to name a few.
There have been at least two unofficial mini-reunions in recent memory one occurring backstage on NBC's Ellen show and the other taking place during season two of NBC's The Voice. During a taping of Ellen DeGeneres' talk show in October 2018, the two-time Oscar-nominated Gosling and Grammy winner Spears had a pleasant backstage encounter both reflecting that it had been quite some time since the actor and singer had seen each other.
Things did not go so well and, as a matter of fact, were awkward at times when Lucca appeared as a contestant on season two of the NBC hit-singing competition The Voice in 2012. Aguilera, a judge on the program exclaimed “I didn't even recognize….how are you?” when she connected backstage at the show. It was pretty much downhill from there as the season progressed and Lucca finished as the second runner-up. At the time Lucca told The Hollywood Reporter, “I don't think I'd be here right now if I had picked Christina.”
Hopefully differences aside all the former Mouseketeers will reunite for what is likely going to be a once in a lifetime event benefiting some fantastic Orlando-area organizations.
For more information on the reunion and to purchase tickets go to: www.MickeyMouseClubReunion.com