Mickey’s Discontinued, But He’s Still My Pal

18 Oct

Yes indeed, the news recently hit the Interwebs that Pal Mickey is being discontinued.

And I gotta say, as much as I enjoy my own little personal tour guide to Walt Disney World, it’s real clear to me that Disney never figured out how to make the most of Pal Mickey. I bought mine expecting interesting trivia and the occasional useful park touring tip…and instead, ended up feeling like I had a needy three-year old vibrating at my hip, wanting to tell me the same old joke again, and again, and again. Lisa and I tried to interview him on Episode #2 of Those Darn Cats (MP3), with predictable results. He also didn’t fare particularly well in comparison with a plastic cup from Club Cool.

But strangely, despite his clear failings I’ve found myself rather attached to Pal Mickey. I’ve been a fan of stuffed animals since I was a kid, and despite never being a huge Barbie fan there’s something fun about dressing Mickey up for the Pirate and Princess Party, or making him a duck costume for a DisBoards meet aboard a duck boat, or just making him a simple t-shirt with the logo of my local roller derby league.

Will I continue bringing Pal Mickey to the parks? Well, maybe not all the time. But he’s shown up so many times on Broke Hoedown that I feel almost duty-bound to bring him to MouseFest this December, and make up a batch of Those Darn Cats t-shirts for him and his little friends.

And I do hope that Disney eventually comes up with a genuine virtual tour guide, like Pal Mickey should have been from the start. They were testing a Nintendo DS-based guide a while back, so I suppose we’ll eventually hear more on that front.

3 Responses to “Mickey’s Discontinued, But He’s Still My Pal”

  1. Jon October 18, 2008 at 2:16 pm #

    When I heard the news about Pal Mickey a few weeks ago, I immediately thought of you. You’ve been the biggest Pal Mickey fan on the net. I’m surprised since I’ve seen all the new outfits being released for the doll recently.

    One of the biggest pitfalls for Pal Mickey was that he was always too simple for my liking. Mobile technology is still a developing area. It would have been nice to have Pal Mickey sync with a computer to allow you to interact with him online (ala Webkins) or at least give him an interface that would help control all that knowledge. I know Disney design the doll for kids, but the concept of having a location-aware tool in Disney World was, and still is, a great idea.

    In lieu of another plush doll, I really think Disney needs to develop a mobile web site that allows people do get that same kind of location-based information, wait times for attractions, dinner reservations, and more practical information for people on the move.

    Pal Mickey, we hardly knew ye.

  2. Jennifer October 19, 2008 at 10:06 am #

    Jon, I totally agree about the need for a mobile Disney web site that enables real transactions. I especially want to be able to make (or cancel) ADRs, which I find myself doing from the Parks pretty regularly.

    Also dynamically updated wait times would be fabulous…and it seems that they’ve already got that electronically somewhere in the system for at least one park, Epcot. I find it interesting that the tip boards at MK and DHS are updated manually. (I hope they’re not just manually plugging in the numbers at the Future World tip board too…but it’s certainly possible.)

    Somebody remind me, when did the 21st century begin? 😉

  3. figment1988 December 2, 2008 at 9:46 pm #

    it’s a bummer that they canned pal mickey. i still have the recent version (which unfortunately is the final version of PM), and i still take him to the parks. and even though he doesn’t work at “those other” theme parks, i even took him to both Universal parks, and even joined me @ Halloween Horror Nights

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