Disneyland Celebrates 50th Anniversary of 'The Mickey Mouse Club'
Disneyland Celebrates 50th Anniversary
of 'The Mickey Mouse Club'
Original Mouseketeers to Unveil theDisneyland, "The Mickey Mouse Club" and the Mouseketeers -- three American pop culture icons -- share their 50th anniversaries in 2005 and 10 of the original Mouseketeers are returning "home" to Disneyland on Monday, October 3, to celebrate their golden milestone where they first made their initial public appearance. In salute to one of the most popular children's television shows of all-time, the Mouseketeers will return "home" to Disneyland for a 9 a.m. reunion saluting the debut of the classic 1950s television series.
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The special salute honoring the original cast of Mouseketeers and "The Mickey Mouse Club" is just one of many memorable moments taking place during the 18-month Disneyland "Happiest Homecoming on Earth" 50th anniversary celebration as it kicks into high gear and continues throughout 2006. Additional upcoming milestones and celebrations include "Golden" holidays at Disneyland, the January opening of the all-new attraction "Monsters, Inc. -- Mike & Sulley to the Rescue" at Disney's California Adventure and the 40th anniversary of "it's a small world."
In a nostalgic ceremony in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Mouseketeers will reflect on 50 years of "Mouske-Memories" in story and song before unveiling the world's largest pair of "Mouseketeer Ears," comprised of nearly 1,000 "Honorary" Mouseketeers filling the expansive forecourt of the castle. Seen from above, and to the strains of the familiar "Mickey Mouse Club Alma Mater," the iconic black ears with the "Mickey Mouse Club" logo will magically come alive and be transformed to mark the milestone occasion.
"We are very proud to honor the Mouseketeers for their contributions to Disneyland and to children's television," said Matt Ouimet, president of Disneyland Resort. "The Mousketeer hats that 'The Mickey Mouse Club' made so popular 50 years ago continue to be popular with Disneyland Guests today."
"The Mickey Mouse Club" made its national television premiere on Monday, October 3, 1955, on the ABC television network. The Mouseketeers were a talented cast of youngsters who starred in the popular variety series that included cartoons, music and live-action adventures.
The show began with the famous "Mickey Mouse Club March" (a tune still familiar with today's generation) and ended with another popular song, "The Mickey Mouse Club Alma Mater," which expressed a heartfelt goodbye with the famous: "M - I - C -- See ya real soon -- K - E - Y -- Why? Because we like you! M - O - U - S - E."
The Mouseketeers were first introduced to the public during the live broadcast of the Disneyland opening day festivities, televised nationwide on Sunday, July 17, 1955. They were featured in the inaugural Main Street parade and were showcased with their very own musical production number. All 24 initial Mouseketeers performed the "Talent Round-Up" song at the Mickey Mouse Club Theater in Fantasyland, culminating in the soon-to-become familiar "Mouseketeer Roll Call." Over the course of a four-year run (1955-1959), 39 original Mouseketeers appeared on the show.
For many years, The Mickey Mouse Club Theater at Disneyland was the official home of the Mouseketeers. Opening on August 27, 1955, the theater featured a program of Disney cartoon shorts and 3D films.
On November 24, 1955, Disneyland premiered the elaborate "Mickey Mouse Club Circus," starring many of the Mouseketeers as stunt riders and trapeze artists, plus head Mouseketeers Jimmie Dodd and Roy Williams. From 1963-64 the Main Street Opera House at Disneyland became the "Mickey Mouse Club Headquarters" where children could sign-up and get their own official membership cards in the club.
Throughout the years the original Mouseketeers have returned to Disneyland numerous times, including reunions in 1980, 1990, 1995 and most recently at the actual 50th anniversary of Disneyland on July 17, 2005.
"The Mickey Mouse Club" featured numerous Mouseketeers that would go on to successful entertainment careers including Annette Funicello ("Babes in Toyland," "The Shaggy Dog," numerous "Beach Party" films with Frankie Avalon), Bobby Burgess ("The Lawrence Welk Show"), Tommy Kirk ("Old Yeller," "Swiss Family Robinson"), Cubby O'Brien (professional drummer for numerous Broadway shows and headliners) and Tommy Cole (Emmy Award winning make-up artist).
The show was revived in 1977 as "The New Mickey Mouse Club" with a whole new cast of Mouseketeers including Lisa Whelchel who later starred in the hit TV series "The Facts of Life." From 1989-1994, the "MMC" was broadcast on The Disney Channel and launched the careers of such successful performers as Christina Aguilera, J.C. Chasez, Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.
More information about the "Happiest Homecoming on Earth" and vacations at Disneyland Resort is available at www.disneyland.com, by calling (877) 700-DISNEY, or by visiting local travel agents.