Long Lost Friends For Real

I have an idea for the Limited Time Magic promotion. It has been met with mixed reviews this year. Some of them, quite honestly, have been duds. One of the more successful ones has been the “Long Lost Friends” weeks. So successful, in fact, they’ve done it more than once. This one promotion might be strong enough to stick around once Limited Time Magic runs its course.

As part of ever present desire to pretend to be an imagineer, I’d like to share an idea to plus this promotion. Many of the characters that we meet throughout the year (whether or not it’s part of Limited Time Magic) are frozen in time. What I mean by that is Snow White today is the same Snow White we’ve always met … and she should be. But there are some characters that have evolved over time and I think it could be a rare and unique opportunity to step back in time and meet some characters as they once were.

Imagine, for instance, having the chance to meet Steamboat Willy Mickey! I mean seriously, that would be awesome! The Disney Parks have given us the chance to meet Mickeys from long ago, such as Fantasia Mickey, but that’s just costuming. What I’m talking about here is a structurally and artistically different representation of Mickey. Steamboat Willy is a different Mickey than we see today.

Steamboat Willy

Now I realize how important story and continuity are to the Parks, especially when it comes to meeting the characters. It might cause a few problems for a child meet Steamboat Willy Mickey and then step outside to see modern day Mickey 5 minutes later somewhere else in the park. So in order not rip the fabric of the space-time continuum, I propose a meet-and-greet venue specific to this type of event.

The Tinker Bell meet-and-greet was an area designed to give you the impression you were being shrunk down to the size of a fairy. Similar to this approach, imagine going into a space that is themed to some type of time machine (perhaps an opportunity to revive the Timekeeper?). We step back in time to emerge into an animator’s studio in 1928. Or perhaps we are shrunk down and we exist on or in the animator’s medium. Is everything two-dimensional? Is it designed with a black and white color palette? The characters, cast members and the entire environment could be black and white.

This is where we would have a chance to meet one of the first Mickeys and perhaps even Oswald the Lucky Rabbit!  From here, maybe, we advance to another room and meet pie-eyed Mickey! Talk about long lost friends! Now we’re talking long lost friends. Again, we’re getting the chance to meet an artistically different representation of our favorite mouse.

Mickey Mouse

Mickey, and other characters, have evolved over time. These versions provide numerous merchandising opportunities throughout the parks. Taking it one step further by giving the fans a chance to meet these characters from long ago would be fun (not to mention it inevitably opens the door to me spending more of my money). Now how could Disney argue with that?!

Which (real) long lost friends would you like to see? Let me know in the comments.

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