November 18th is an important day for The Walt Disney Company and one worth celebrating. On this day in 1928, Mickey and Minnie Mouse made their debut in the world premiere of Steamboat Willie at the Colony Theater in New York City. As part of D23’s Fantastic Worlds Celebration, the Official Disney Fan Club hosted a virtual party to honor these famous mice.
Mark Daniel, host of Disney Parks Blog live events, hosted this 30-minute presentation that mostly focused on the present and future for the mouse that started it all. The first guest was Imagineer Kevin Rafferty, who worked hard on bringing Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway to Life. He led a virtual walkthrough of the experience and pointed out some of his favorite Easter Eggs, including the “1401 Flower Shop,” a nod to the street and address of Walt Disney Imagineering’s headquarters in Glendale, CA.
This section also turned into a brief unboxing, with Kevin Rafferty showing off some of the new McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, which feature Mickey and his friends in attraction ride vehicles from Walt Disney World. They can connect together to form a train and when you move the wheels, the characters animate. These toys also come with a ticket that you can scan in the McDonald’s app for a chance to win one of fifteen Walt Disney World vacations. You can even unlock exclusive Spotify playlists hosted by Goofy. The Happy Meal toys will be available now through December 14th.
A new series debuted today on Disney+ called The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse. While we already knew that there would be ten episodes in this current batch, Mark Daniel revealed that another ten episodes will come to Disney+ next summer.
Next was a plug for Mickey & Friends(Giving) with celebrity chef Roy Choi. On November 21st, select pizza restaurants throughout the country will be offering a themed pizza that comes with a souvenir box and stickers. You can learn more about the event and participating restaurants here.
Lastly, the voice of Mickey Mouse himself, Brett Iwan, stopped by to showcase his Mickey Mouse Designer Collection earss, which release November 19th on shopDisney as well as retail locations at Walt Disney World and Disneyland’s Downtown Disney. Brett talked about the inspiration behind his ears and how he drew on his own Disney fandom and profession to create them. The ears look like old style microphones, the kind Walt Disney would’ve used when he provided Mickey’s voice, and between them is an “On Air” sign. It lights up at the push of a button, which also causes the ears (which are speakers) to say Mickey Mouse phrases. The rest of the hat is made of felt and was inspired by The New MMC letterman jackets. There’s also an Easter Egg on the back of one of the ears, the embossed date: “November 18th, 1928.”
As a kiss goodnight, D23 shared a link for a downloadable digital button. You can get your very own here.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.