Pal Mickey Interactive Plush Tour Guide
OCTOBER 2008: Pal Mickey Interactive Plush, introduced in 2003 for use at the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks, is being discontinued when existing stock runs out. Although Pal Mickey will no longer be available for purchase, the interactive plush will continue to operate in the four theme parks. The remaining Pal Mickeys will be available for purchase while supplies last at the following locations:
–Island Mercantile at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
–The Dark Room at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
–Epcot Camera Center and MouseGear at Epcot
–Emporium at Magic Kingdom
–World of Disney store at Downtown Disney Marketplace
PAL MICKEY is an interactive plush Mickey Mouse that allows you to make your way around the WDW resort with your own personal guide, introduced in May 2003. With the advent of the Happiest Celebration on Earth on May 5, 2005, Walt Disney World introduced a new, enhanced version of Pal Mickey. The new Pal Mickey is priced slightly higher than the previous version ($65 plus tax) and is all dressed up in a removable tuxedo jacket. He not only comes with new games and songs, but he also has a brand-new carrying lanyard and a louder speaking voice.
What it is: A 10 1/2-inch talking Mickey Mouse plush toy uses wireless communication technology to provide guests with up-to-date information about the theme park attractions, parades, shows — he can even tell the time. Pal Mickey's 2005 incarnation includes more than 30 trivia questions, seven sing-a-longs and six games, as well as a brand-new carrying lanyard and a louder speaking voice than the original Pal Mickey.
How it works: Turn Pal Mickey on using the button on his back, then clip him to your belt or waistband, using the pager-type clip provided, making sure Mickey is facing forward. (Note: The current version of Pal Mickey has a lanyard, too, for wearing him around your neck.) As you're walking through the park, Mickey will giggle and shake when he has something to say. Just squeeze one of his hands or tummy within 15 seconds and listen. "Using infrared technology, Pal Mickey not only knows where he is in the parks, he knows where he's been, so he doesn't keep repeating the same information," says Linda Conrad, one of the Imagineers who worked on the toy. "He has 700 pieces of information to share on everything from the parade times to attraction wait times." A sample of what Mickey might say: "I hear Belle is over in France about now. Let's go say hi!" If you miss what Mickey said, and want to hear it again, press his hand or tummy within 15 seconds and he'll repeat it up to five more times.
Where you'll find it: Pal Mickey is available at resorts and selected theme park gift shops.
Pal Mickey is available in Spanish at these locations: Main Street Cinema – Magic Kingdom; Darkroom – Disney-MGM Studios; Camera Center Epcot; Disney Outfitters – Disney's Animal Kingdom; Once Upon A Toy Downtown Disney Marketplace for sale only, not rental.
How much it costs: Pal Mickey costs $65 plus tax (as of May 2005).
NOTE: As of December 1, 2004, you can no longer rent Pal Mickey; you can only purchase him outright. The plush toy has proven so popular as an outright purchase that the rental program was discontinued.
7/05: ALL EARS® contributor Linda Mac recently toured Walt Disney World with the newest incarnation of Pal Mickey:
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland, a new "Happiest Celebration" Pal Mickey was released in April, with updated information to include new shows and attractions. Mickey is all decked out in his bandleader tuxedo jacket with a golden bowtie, both of which are removable.
One quick note, Mickey needs to be turned on. It is easy to over look this important step (if like me, you don't bother with instruction booklets) because he is set up to speak a line or two as an example of what he does while he is waiting on the store shelf. Also, be sure to grab your Pal Mickey from the back of the display area to get one that has not been touched and played with by everyone walking by, and so the batteries last longer.
I recently let Mickey show me about the parks and I found him to be helpful and fun. My new buddy would shake and giggle when he had something to tell. Sometimes it was a joke or a trivia question; other times he asked me to sing a song. But the majority of the time, he would talk about the attraction or area I was passing by.
Mickey can be clipped on to your belt or can be carried on his lanyard. The clip worked great but even though the volume of Pal Mickey is louder in this version, I still could not hear him all the time. And the lanyard, which I tried first, only has a small piece of Velcro on it, causing Mickey to keep falling off. A safety pin could have helped here because I did see others with their Pal Mickey hanging from his lanyard. After an hour or so, I just decided to carry my little tour guide.
My first park with Mickey was the Studios during one of the Star Wars Weekends. I discovered you need to be sure to keep Mickey facing forward so he can see where he's going, especially when entering the parks. Mickey will begin talking as soon as you enter any of the parks and you will definitely get your $65 worth of conversation. But I was surprised by the lack of time Mickey spent talking about upcoming parades and character locations. He did chit- chat about most of the attractions that I passed while wandering around the park. For example, while walking by Who Wants to be a Millionaire – Play It, he said, "Seems like lots of people want to be millionaires, but with friends like you, I am rich enough." Sometimes, my talkative little friend would just say things like, "It's great to have a pal like you," or would ask a trivia question. When he did this, he gave me three choices and I had to squeeze his hand when I knew the correct answer.
After spending a few hours in each park, I thought he was most informative in Epcot and Animal Kingdom. Mickey pointed out a few things that I had never noticed, but walked by many times. Next time you are in Animal Kingdom and are heading to Camp Minnie-Mickey, watch out for the dragon as you cross the bridge!
Mickey, even with all his corny jokes, turned out to be a lot of fun. He has a great way of making you feel welcome in every park. In Magic Kingdom, he pointed out how beautiful the golden decorations and characters on Cinderella Castle were and told me, "They must have known you were coming." A little later, as I passed by Splash Mountain, Mickey warned me not to get him wet.
I initially felt the price was hefty for this little plush cutie, but in the end I found he was well worth the cost. Mickey is great for kids of all ages and, best of all, will provide you with a little Disney Magic for the times you are wishing you were back at Walt Disney World by telling jokes and playing games with you once you get home. Currently, my Pal Mickey sits on my desk at work and I do give him a little squeeze every now and then.
Read about the original version of Pal Mickey HERE.