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    Exclamation Town Square Theater at Magic Kingdom**Updated with Soft Opening Notes**

    3/31/11 Press Release & Press Pictures

    Magician Mickey Mouse Appearing at Different Magic Kingdom Location Beginning April 1

    Walt Disney World Press Release
    March 31, 2011

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Mickey Mouse is moving to a new location in Magic Kingdom to meet and greet his friends at Walt Disney World Resort. As of April 1, 2011, guests can go backstage at Town Square Theater for photos and autographs with Mickey -- without waiting in a standby queue!

    And that's no April Fools' Day trick! Nor is it "magic." Rather, it's the result of the first-ever use of Disney's FASTPASS Service for a character meet-and-greet experience. FASTPASS allows guests to reduce waiting by designating a window of time when they can return for a theme park experience.

    But there IS magic in the air at the Town Square Theater presented by Kodak, located just inside the Magic Kingdom entrance. Previously known as Town Square Exposition Hall, the venue has been re-imagined as a turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century theater where posters proclaim Mickey Mouse as the star of a magic show.

    A glistening marquee with gold-leaf trim and sparkling lights beckons guests to enter a lobby that serves as a hub for character meet-and-greet queues, the Box Office Gifts merchandise shop and Tony's Town Square Restaurant. Lush curtains with gold rope tie-backs, polished-brass chandeliers and a huge tile floor mosaic of the Town Square Theater logo adorn the space.

    Just beyond the lobby, guests pass through an ornate arch and enter a queue to meet Magician Mickey Mouse -- or a queue to meet the Disney princesses, for whom Town Square Theater will be a meet-and-greet location during New Fantasyland construction.

    The meet-and-greet experience begins when magical posters featuring Mickey's various magic acts come to life, enhancing guests' journey through queues into the backstage corridors of the theater. Mickey greets guests in a rehearsal-room environment amid posters, steamer trunks and stage props. It's a classic backstage area with a wood floor and ceiling. One wall is brick, the others are papered in red and black -- Mickey colors.

    During the Princesses' limited engagement at Town Square Theater, they will greet guests in an area fit for royalty -- replete with plush carpeting, lush velvety-blue drapes with gold tiebacks, and a large mural backdrop of a chateau amid green, tree-covered hills and fields.

    Exiting the meet-and-greet areas, guests pass through Curtain Call Collectibles, a shop with design elements suggesting a backstage area used for theater shipping and receiving -- with large, barn-like doors through which props and set pieces could pass. Adorning the room are some of the apparatuses used in magic tricks, including the dunk tank, sword basket and saw of dread.

    Guests wanting to meet Mickey or the Princesses can either obtain a Disney's FASTPASS ticket or get in standby queues. FASTPASS tickets, which are available near Town Square Theater, designate an hour window of time during which the guest can return to the theater and have their "magic moment" with Mickey or the Princesses without joining the standby queues.

    Official Press Pictures

    ----------------------------------------------------
    3/30/11 Soft Openings Begin


    Soft Openings for the Town Square Theater have begun.

    Here are notes from the initial soft openings regarding previously unannounced items:


    • From the lobby, Guests choose to queue for two different attractions: "Backstage Magic with Mickey Mouse" or "Disney's Storybook Princesses".
    • Disney's Storybook Princesses will feature a rotation of three different princesses. The current three princesses will be advertised in the lobby. The current offering is Aurora, Cinderella, and Belle.
    • The Storybook Princesses Queue features Princess Trivia on video screens for Guests as they wait.
    • The Storybook Princesses Meet area is moderately themed as a veranda overlooking a royal garden. The royal garden is a flat painted backdrop.
    • Backstage Magic with Mickey Mouse is advertised to only feature Mickey Mouse; however, Minnie Mouse is joining Mickey during the current soft opening. Minnie is expected to continue appearances, but may not be guaranteed
    • The Meeting area for Backstage Magic is very ornate and highly themed with props. The theme of the area is the Cast side of the Town Square Theater Stage. Guests pose with Mickey and Minnie in front of the red curtain for the stage. For photo-sake, the backside of the curtain is inexplicably decorated and contains a banner for Town Square Theater.
    • At least during soft openings, Mickey and Minnie are meeting in their regular attire.
    • After the meet and greets Guests exit into a brand new retail location-- Curtain Call Collectibles. The store features character merchandise, but is highly themed as a prop warehouse for the theater.


    ------------------------------------------------------


    3/24/11 Public Announcment

    Magician Mickey to Greet Guests at Town Square Theater at Magic Kingdom Park



    by Jennifer Fickley-Baker |Social Media Manager

    The Official Disney Parks Blog
    March 24, 2011


    ... we’re as excited as you are to learn more about Walt Disney Imagineering’s (WDI) plans for Town Square Theater, the new permanent home for Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom Park that’s set to debut in early April.

    I’m happy to report that earlier today, WDI gave us an earful – pun intended – on the details planned for this exciting new meet-and-greet area.

    In keeping with the small-town theme of Main Street, U.S.A., Town Square Theater will take on the tradition of turn-of-the-Twentieth-century theaters that served as the center of excitement in small towns, offering thrills through vaudeville and other forms of entertainment. At Town Square Theater, families will be able to go backstage to meet Magician Mickey Mouse, who is excited to meet and greet guests in his rehearsal room.

    And of course, WDI has designed the entire experience to be magical. Guests will first enter the theater building through a lobby that will serve as a hub for character meet-and-greet queues, the Box Office Gifts merchandise shop and Tony’s Town Square Restaurant.

    According to WDI Concept Designer Jason Grandt, the lobby will be decorated in gold and cream colors that were chosen to recreate the feel of a historic theater.
    “Upon entering the lobby, guests will be faced with a beautiful tile mosaic featuring the Town Square Theater logo,” Jason said. “The color scheme reflects that of historical theaters with a little inspiration from our master magician, Mickey Mouse.”

    Just beyond the lobby, guests will pass through an ornate arch and enter a queue to meet either Magician Mickey Mouse or the Disney princesses. Special interactive posters featuring Mickey’s various magic acts will be in place to enhance the guests’ journey through the queue line, which will take them deep into the backstage corridors of the theater.

    “You will recognize the poster style as that of turn-of-the-century magicians such as Houdini,” Jon Georges, WDI director/senior show producer said. “But these posters carry Mickey’s magical touch that can bring them to life and interact with you as you wait.” ...

    No word yet on the location of the machines, as details on this project really are super secret. I can verify that Disney FASTPASS tickets will be available for both Mickey Mouse and the Disney princesses, the latter of which will appear temporarily at the location.
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  3. #2
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    Interesting. Thanks Jason!

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    Doesn't Magic Mickey fit so much better in Circusland??? I mean, Great Goofini.... Magician Mickey.... Can miss!!!! Oh well... This does sound like it will be an awesome experience for those who do stand on line to meet the characters... I don't... Glad to see a lot of effort was put into this though...
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    Disney sure loves their interactive queues these days!

    I agree with the above comment that this seems like a perfect fit for the circus land. Perhaps they ran out of real estate in that area?

    Haven't stood in line to see characters since I was 13, so I guess this doesn't really effect me. Sounds alright, though.
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    Disney has had interactive queues for a while. My DW and I went to DL (first and only time for me) for our 1st anniversary. The Indiana Jones ride had opened fairly recently. It had a great queue, which included a room where if you pushed a pole, the roof would start to come down with spikes on it, just like in the Temple of Doom. It may have had other things that I just don't remember.

    Technology sure has give the Imagineers a lot to play with, though.
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    I wonder if Minnie will be paired with Mickey as she was in the Judge's Tent, or if this is Mickey as a solo act?
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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KylesMom
    I wonder if Minnie will be paired with Mickey as she was in the Judge's Tent, or if this is Mickey as a solo act?
    Although not mentioned in the article, Character Cast have been reporting that Minnie will be part of the new Meet & Greet.

    ... maybe she will appear as Magician Mickey's lovely assistant.
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    Sounds cute! Thanks for the info!
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    This sounds awesome! With two small kids, anything interactive to take their minds off of standing in line for +1 hours is a godsend...
    --Heff

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    Fitting that the announcement was made on Houdini's Birthday.

    There is also a touring stage show called Disney Live! Mickey's Magic Show which features Magician Mickey but also has Minnie, Donald, Goofy and other characters like the Disney princesses in some classic stage illusions.

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    Smile

    Sounds like WDI is "borrowing" the come-to-life poster concept from the Disney Dream. I saw those first hand and they're very well done. Should be cool!
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    I spoke with a CM yesterday and it opens march 29 (Tuesday) with a ceremony (I'll be at work )

    I'll try to remember to take photos of the signage today & and also Tuesday evening when we go to see it.
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    **Update**

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    Grrrr! I so wanted to head over this afternoon and check this out, but the severe weather in central Florida today is preventing that. Hopefully sometime next week I can go!

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    Pictures online and the area looks great... Wonderful attention to detail... THIS is the Disney we all know and love.. Now, why can't we get this in the attractions???
    Son of Jor-El.. Kneel before Zod...

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    In the pic I saw, Mickey was in his typical formal wear (tail, gold bow tie, and red pants). I thought Magician Mickey would have a little something different to him. Minnie was also there in her typical polka dot dress.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PirateLover View Post
    In the pic I saw, Mickey was in his typical formal wear (tail, gold bow tie, and red pants). I thought Magician Mickey would have a little something different to him. Minnie was also there in her typical polka dot dress.
    Yes, that's what it appears to be. Kinda disappointing for me.

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    Exclamation

    Official Press Pictures

    1) Mickey Mouse
    2) Curtain Call Collectibles
    3) Props in the Meet & Greet Area
    Attached Images Attached Images    

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    Quote Originally Posted by PirateLover
    I thought Magician Mickey would have a little something different to him.
    I believe Guests are supposed to be meeting him in between shows, hence he is out of his "show" wardrobe.
    Figment! aka Jason o
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figment! View Post
    I believe Guests are supposed to be meeting him in between shows, hence he is out of his "show" wardrobe.
    Yes, I saw the trunk with his top hat etc. I just think it would've been cool for him to actually have the Magician outfit on. But then again, does Classic Mickey meet anywhere else?
    ~M.~

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