Located in the heart of Fantasyland, PhilharMagic is one of my personal Must-Dos. This attraction not only provides a break from the smoldering Florida heat, but it also gives guest’s a chance to relive their favorite Disney classics, all in one sitting! Here are 10 Fabulous Facts about Magic Kingdom’s favorite animated feature.
1. 3D Screen
You may have noticed the 3D screen used for Mickey’s PhilharMagic attraction is large, but you probably didn’t anticipate it being the largest purpose-built 3D screen ever created. At 150 feet wide and 28 feet long, the seamless screen is what brings the entire show to life. Initially divided by a grand, gold proscenium, it is eventually revealed to stretch across the front of the room.
2. Director and Producer
The director and producer behind Disney’s PhilharMagic is actually George Scribner, the director behind Disney’s 1988 classic Oliver and Company and the 1990 featurette The Prince and the Pauper.
3. Queue Area
Many rush to get inside the theatre and may miss all of the different decorative posters that adorn the walls. The posters feature past performers at the concert hall including the Genie from Aladdin, Hades from Hercules, and the Three Caballeros. The queue area leads to a royal blue and gold decorated hall that is certainly a breathtaking sight to see.
4. Disney Classics
The show itself features plenty of classic Disney tunes combined together under the main storyline of Donald Duck’s journey to retrieve Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat. Donald then travels through Disney classics including Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Fantasia all played by the character’s original soundtracks and voices.
5. The Voice Behind Donald Duck
As the star of the show, Donald Duck captures the greatest amount of screen time. He was chosen to be the main character because he is known to display emotional extremes quickly. The voice behind Donald Duck is mainly archival recordings of the original voice actor, Clarence Nash. Only a few of Donald’s lines, including where he hums along to “Be Our Guest”, is a new voice actor used, Tony Anselmo.
6. Location, Location, Location
PhilharMagic is located in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, and Hong Kong Disneyland. It was also rumored to be replicated in Disney’s California Adventure during its expansion project. Originally, it was supposed to replace the Muppet Vision 3D, yet the project never occurred due to the small size of the theatre.
7. The Music
Most of the tunes featured in the attraction are Disney staples such as “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”, “Part of your World”, and “A Whole New World”. The opening and closing song is called the “Mickey Mouse March” from the television show “Mickey Mouse Club House”. Eighty musicians and singers were brought on to help create the music for the show including Alan Menken, who worked on the Little Mermaid, and Tim Rice, who wrote the lyrics for the Lion King and Aladdin.
8. Visual Animation
PhilharMagic’s show is one of the few Disney attractions that combined both Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Feature Animation. The scene of Agrabah during the Aladdin bit is currently the largest 3D environment created by Walt Disney Feature Animation.
9. Gift Shop
Upon returning your opera glasses and exiting the attraction, guests have the opportunity to splurge on a PhilharMagic themed gift shop. Items for sale include everything from the Sorcerer’s hat to Donald Duck stuffed animals. There is a treat for every fan!
10. Old Disney Collaboration
The PhilharMagic show is known to feature the largest cast of classic Disney animated stars who have ever performed together. The integrity of the animation was kept by the collaboration of returning Disney animators. Nik Ranieri, who originally brought Lumiere to life, came back to help animate him in 3D. Glen Keane, the creator of Ariel also made an appearance to bring the character to life on a new stage.
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