Mickey’s PhilharMagic Fantasyland Magic Kingdom
From the outside, the PhilharMagic Concert Hall in the Magic Kingdom doesn't look much different than it always has, but inside you're in for a wonderful treat. Mickey's PhilharMagic is a 3D movie offering and it is truly a magical experience.
Mickey's PhilharMagic is a "Don't Miss" attraction — a feast for the eyes and ears. Everyone from 3 to 103 will enjoy it. It's fun! It's charming! It's happy! It's Disney animation at its 3D best! The whole experience takes about 12 minutes.
Once you enter you will find yourself in the dimly lit waiting area with a series of doors. If you look closely, you'll notice that the end of the steel railings curve very gracefully inward, like the ends of a spiraling music staff.
Once the doors open, proceed inside to the theater (which seats 486 guests and has space for 10 wheelchairs) for the show. As you enter the theater, you'll see a beautiful mural on the wall in front of you.
Inside you'll see a beautiful gold proscenium stage decorated with musical instruments in relief. Once everyone is seated, you hear Goofy running around backstage. Hmmm, there seems to be a problem. Uh, oh! What's that? You hear Goofy saying that it's time for the show and… "Gawrsh, where is everyone?" The orchestra is missing and Donald is sleeping. The curtains go up anyway and the fun begins!
When the movie begins, you'll meet some of Disney's most loved characters (Flounder, Ariel, Simba, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Aladdin, Jasmine, Iago, Mickey, and, of course, Donald) and hear some of Disney’s most memorable songs. The 3D effects are brilliant, but it's the pairing of the 3D with other effects (scents, vibrations, wind, etc.) that make the whole experience so fantastic. Somewhere in the middle of the movie you'll suddenly realize that the proscenium is gone and the movie is being projected on an almost 180-degree screen, one of the widest in the world.
Mickey's PhilharMagic is a FastPass+ attraction.
When the crowd starts to back up for Mickey's PhilharMagic, folks overflow into the midst of Fantasyland, making walking through this area difficult. Strollers back up into the main traffic flow as well.
In the waiting area there are sets of doors opening into the main theater. The doors on the right lead to the back of the theater and the doors on the left lead to the front rows. Go for the left doors and try to get in one of the first five rows if you can. Make sure your view is as unobstructed as possible. Take note of the "architecture" of the theater seats; the posts on the seat backs are carved like fiddle heads.
As an aside, the seats are padded and very comfortable with lots of leg room. This is a great attraction to take in when you need a little break from being on your feet.
Mickey's PhilharMagic is truly family entertainment. Our readers sent in some tips for the youngsters:
Samantha Deluca: "A tip that might help is for the younger children to view the show without the glasses. My toddler had no problem wearing the glasses but the 3D effects were too intense. It bothered her that things were coming so close to her face. From the sounds of several young children crying in the audience she was not the only one that found this to be an issue. Once I removed her glasses and let her view the show without them she was much happier and excited at what she was seeing."
Chris White: "This information contains a 'spoiler' but you might want to read it if you are taking your young children to Mickey's PhilharMagic. A family with a child about 5-6 years old sat in the left back corner (nearest to entrance doors). When Donald went into the wall behind them (at the very end of the show), it terrified the child and he began to cry and scream as loud as he could, 'I want to go home NOW.' Seeing Donald catapulted into a cement wall may be frightening for your child. I would suggest sitting up front or at the other corner, immediately explaining it's not real, or not letting your child turn around at the end if they could be scared. After a few moments, Donald disappears into the wall, so you can walk out without your child seeing it."
Mary Cronin: "We loved Mickey's PhilharMagic, but those of you with younger children might want to warn them that it can be loud at times — not really scary, just loud. There was a chorus of crying babies after the first loud effect — they seemed to calm down after that, though. One of the most wonderful things I experienced in this attraction was during one of the 3D flying sequences: a small child sitting on her father's lap in the row in front of me threw out her hands as if she was flying."
Disney Characters are typically not found near this attraction. Check your daily Times Guide for times and locations of other Meet and Greet opportunities in the Magic Kingdom.
Just across the way is the Pinocchio Village Haus counter service restaurant.
Donald Duck fans will rejoice when they exit the theater into a shop filled with Donald Duck merchandise.
"Mickey's PhilharMagic" features the largest seamless projection screen in the world, representing the most immersive wrap-around image Disney has ever created. The screen measures 150 feet long and 28 feet high.
Donald's voice as heard in the show was created out of classic performance from the past by Clarence "Ducky" Nash, the original voice of Donald Duck. Tony Anselmo, the current voice of Donald, added a few lines that were not recorded by Ducky in the past, such as humming the melody to "Be Our Guest."
The show features the largest cast of classic Disney animated stars who have ever performed together in a single 3-D show.
Animator Nik Ranieri, who brought Lumiére to life for Disney's animated classic "Beauty and the Beast," returned to render him in 3-D for "Mickey's PhilharMagic." Animator Glen Keane, creator of the magical Ariel in "The Little Mermaid," also returned to develop her in 3-D.
The entire production of Mickey's PhilharMagic was created totally on computer, representing the first time the featured classic Disney characters were completely modeled and animated by computer.
The long mural that spans the lobby is a composite of imagery from animated classic Disney movies with musical themes: "Toot, Whistle, Plunk & Boom," "Melody Time" and "Fantasia."
Some of the songs you'll hear during the show include:
Mickey Mouse Club March – from television's "Mickey Mouse Club"
Be Our Guest – from 1991's "Beauty and the Beast"
The Sorcerer's Apprentice – from 1940's "Fantasia"
Part of Your World – from 1989's "The Little Mermaid"
I Just Can't Wait to be King – from 1994's "The Lion King"
You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly! – from 1953's "Peter Pan"
A Whole New World – from 1992's "Aladdin"
The interactive lighting system developed by Disney for the Tokyo DisneySea resort makes its U.S. debut in Mickey's PhilharMagic. The system runs on its own, with a series of cyber lights, while synchronized with the film through computerization. Smoke effects enable guests to see the lights, casting shadow elements that are integrated into the performance.
The show is in the same theater as the "Mickey Mouse Musical Revue" in which Mickey made his Magic Kingdom debut as an orchestra conductor in 1971. In 1980, the show moved to Tokyo Disneyland where it became an opening day attraction in 1983. It continues to play at Tokyo Disneyland today. The 3D film "Magic Journeys" and the live puppet show "Legend of The Lion King" occupied the theater until the installation of Mickey's PhilharMagic in October 2003.
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