Extinct Attractions – Mickey’s Magic Book

Welcome to Extinct Attractions. This week, I’ll be taking a look back at an early Disneyland Paris attraction that managed to make its way back to guests for one night only.

Last Saturday, Les Mystères du Nautilus, the walkthrough attraction themed around 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in Disneyland Paris, reopened after being closed for nearly two years. The refurbished attraction comes stocked with new effects, music and narration, though there is one very notable difference, the removal of a show scene with a giant animatronic squid attacking the submarine. In its place is a screen scene with dolphins and other wildlife floating around, which is definitely a downgrade, but the attraction is nearly thirty years old, so that animatronic has been through a lot of wear and tear over the years.

Via WDW Magazine 

Though Les Mystères du Nautilus opened a few years after Opening Day for then-Euro Disneyland, the park was kind of a mess when it first opened because the public generally rejected it. Attendance was low with the park itself not doing a terribly good job differentiating itself from other Magic Kingdom-style parks around the world.

These issues masked the fact that Disneyland Paris had some very creative attractions in its earliest days with today’s attraction no exception. Located in the Castle Stage right next to (you guessed it) the castle, Le Livre Magique de Mickey (aka Mickey’s Magic Book) brought some of the storybook tales of Disney princesses to life. With the castle as a backdrop, there was no better way to truly immerse oneself in the tales of the princesses that we know and love.

To start out, we have to discuss the eponymous Magic Book in that there was a giant storybook on the stage, probably about six feet tall. The storybook began the show closed, but when it began, Sorcerer Mickey came out and swung his magic wand to open the storybook, which then revealed sets that popped up and Cinderella walking around on the pages. It blew my mind a bit that the pop-ups were able to emerge from this gigantic “book” and then performers could walk around on it with no issues. The Imagineers had managed to create a gigantic picture book which I never thought I would see.

Via Designing Disney 

The show worked in segments for each princess with Sorcerer Mickey appearing between each to move the action along (and sometimes having fireworks/sparks fingers). Cinderella was up first and she had the most songs in the show (four) with her mice friend, Prince Charming and the Fairy Godmother popping in to sing songs like “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.” Through the show, songs were sung in an English/French hybrid, creating a new sounding experience for those of us accustomed to hearing the English versions.  

Via YouTube

After another amazing turn of the storybook pages, Snow White and all seven of her dwarfs appeared to the tune of “Heigh Ho” with the dwarfs doing some pretty hardcore dance moves, especially with Doc basically pop and locking. “Heigh Ho” took up the majority of Snow’s time, but there was a bit of time to squeeze in a few verses of “Someday My Prince Will Come” before the cackling of the Evil Queen in witch form brought Snow White’s time to a close.

Via Passion DLP 

Sleeping Beauty’s time in the show was a bit different than her fellow princesses because her spot skipped much of the musical aspect in favor of some more storytelling. The Good Fairies snuck in fairly early before Maleficent made her appearance, putting Aurora to sleep. Prince Phillip then appeared with a large chase scene across the lower stage as well as the book and when I say chase I mean it. Phillip and Maleficent were both literally running around the area, but also throwing in some dancing and ballet with plenty of sparks to represent the magic in the fight. Phillip defeated Mal, but unfortunately there was no dragon involved, just a huge puff of smoke.

After the battle, all the characters came out for a final bow and closing numbers, giving the show a nice little bow to tie it all together. The show was definitely fun, but the real standout was how amazing the book was. It made the entire show feel so alive with characters emerging from the book at times and serving as a unifying factor for the entire story. In a way, the show felt like a spiritual precursor to Mickey and the Magical Map with Sorcerer Mickey moving the story along and getting characters from across the Disney pantheon involved.

Via Disney Holidays 

Like most shows at Disneyland Paris, Mickey’s Magic Book was a seasonal attraction generally appearing during the spring and summer. It got six years at the park before closing in September of 1997 to make way for Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Too. I’m sure that the storybook was in need of some crazy maintenance by that point, so it was time to bring in some fresh shows to the parks, especially with Disneyland Paris looking to bounce back from its tough early years.

But Mickey’s Magic Book wasn’t quite done in the park as it had a one night encore to celebrate the resort’s 30th anniversary in 2022 at an Annual Passholder event. Unfortunately, the revival did not include the book on stage, so it was definitely only a shell of its former self. Regardless, it is a super cool idea to bring back a show at a special event like that, a move that I would love to see at Disneyland (or better yet, bring the original Star Tours back on Star Wars Night).

All in all, Mickey’s Magic Book was a fun little show with a really incredible stage that was unlike anything we’ve seen in a Disney show before or since and for that, it deserves to be remembered as a show with a truly “magic” book.

Via Ranker 

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.

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.