Extinct Attractions – Mickey’s Detective School

Welcome to Disney Extinct Attractions. My name is Cole, and today’s I’ll be your head sleuth as we unravel the mysteries of a short-lived Fantasyland Theater show.

This past week, Disney finally announced a release date that Disney Parks fans have been anxiously waiting for, ever since it was announced before the launch of Disney+: namely, Behind the Attraction. The show promises behind-the-scenes looks at a large number of classic Disney attractions and pretty much serves as the successor to Launch Day hit, The Imagineering Story.

From everything we’ve heard about the show, the show is a Disney Parks nerd’s dream with as an in-depth a look at each attraction as we’ve ever seen including interviews with the creators and never before seen test footage. So basically, if you enjoy reading this blog, the show is made for you. Now, today’s attraction is one that stands virtually no chance of being on the show in future seasons (if they happen), but luckily I’m here to help provide the lowdown on the experience.

Via YouTube

Opening in 2002, Mickey’s Detective School took over the Fantasyland Theater from Animazement – The Musical, a showcase of a wide swath of Disney characters. Mickey’s Detective School took a different approach by primarily focusing on the Fab Five and other classic characters. Unfortunately, there is not much history to this attraction that I could find, but one interesting note is that it marked the full-time return of Mickey Mouse to the stage after a long hiatus where there were only seasonal Mickey shows there.

The first thing that I noticed was how much the sets looked like they were a part of Dick Tracy. Considering that the show opened twelve years after the movie was released, it was an interesting production choice, but I thought it fit the noir atmosphere that is so common in detective movies and television shows.

Via Tawalink 

The detective trope was a fun way to connect the Fab Five by giving each of them, plus Chip and Dale, a fun way to get involved in the process. Along the way, various villains like Captain Hook and Cruella De Vil popped in as potential suspects who had hidden Pluto away. As they tried to get to the bottom of the mystery, the crew went to pretty extreme measures, basically torturing Captain Hook by playing the sound of a ticking clock over and over again. It seemed funny, but when you think about it, it really was pretty harsh of Mickey and friends to subject poor Hook to that.

On the whole, the show was a pretty typical Disney Park show, with some songs thrown in and a lot of characters that we know and love. I did like the idea of it being a Toondunit as they called it, and actually have some vague memories of seeing it as a child. Sure, I was only a child at the time, but I do remember being really excited to see Mickey coming out and solving the mystery.

But as you could probably tell from this article, the show was not very memorable as was seen by its leaving the park by 2003, barely a year later. Even with all the mystery involved, there wasn’t enough to keep people intrigued and keep the show chugging along. In its stead, we got Snow White: An Enchanting Musical, a delightful little show that definitely helped make the Fantasyland Theater the place to be again.

All in all, there simply wasn’t much to discuss with Mickey’s Detective School. It was a simple show with classic Disney touches, but simply not a compelling enough story to stick around for a while.

Via Buzzfeed 

As always, don’t forget to check out my interactive maps of the Disney Parks throughout the years where you can watch or learn more about all the attractions from every Disney park around the world, with Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland added recently.

Thanks for reading and have a magical day!

Cole Geryak
Cole Geryak is a childless millennial making his way through the world. He has ridden every single ride in Disneyland in one day, all while wearing a shirt and tie. Imagination is his middle name, and his heart truly lies in the parks.