Very often when you think of Walt Disney World a very special mouse will come to mind. After all, Walt Disney did say “it all started with a mouse”. There are many interesting things about Mickey Mouse that you may or may not know, so here are some fun facts about the loveable Mickey Mouse.
1. First Appearance
Any guess what Mickey’s first public appearance was? In 1928 he started stealing everyone’s hearts in “Steamboat Willie”. He has kept going strong since then. “Steamboat Willie” lasts a little less than eight minutes. It also includes Minnie Mouse. Mickey and Minnie did appear in “Plane Crazy” before “Steamboat Willie”, but that was a test screening. If you’ve never seen “Steamboat Willie”, it is currently available on Disney+.
“Steamboat Willie” was one of the first cartoons to have sound, and Mickey Mouse was the first cartoon character to ever speak. At wasn’t in the short that he said his first words. It was in 1929, and his first words were “hot dogs”. He’s been talking much more ever since.
Since we just mentioned Mickey’s first speaking role we need to say who first voiced Mickey, and it was the wonderful Walt Disney himself. He truly gave Mickey that fun personality that brings a smile to your face. Several other voice actors have since brought Mickey to life. They include Jimmy MacDonald, Clarence Nash, Wayne Allwine, and Les Perkins. The current voice of Mickey Mouse is provided by Bret Iwan. One interesting side note; Wayne Allwine, who voiced Mickey from 1977 until his death in 2009, was married in real life to Russi Taylor, who was the voice of Minnie Mouse.
4. Hollywood Walk of Fame
On November 18th, 1978, Mickey Mouse was the very first cartoon character to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Who thought that a cartoon character could make such a huge impact? Mickey’s was the 1,700 star on the famous walk.
5. Original Name
Mickey Mouse wasn’t always Mickey. His original name was Mortimer Mouse. Walt’s wife, Lillian Disney, didn’t feel like Mortimer was a good fit for his personality, so she suggested Mickey. He definitely looks like a Mickey, the name has a great ring to it. It is also much easier to sing.
6. Different Names
Here we know him as Mickey Mouse, but did you know he has different names all over the world? In Sweden, he’s Musse Pigg, in China, he’s Mi Lao, and in Indonesia, he is known as Miki Tikus. If you’re in Italy, instead of Mickey Mouse they call him Topolino. That is the inspiration for Topolino’s Terrace restaurant at Disney’s Riviera Resort, it is named after him.
When you look at Mickey’s hands you can’t help but notice his white gloves. His gloves are white for a reason. Walt Disney needed to have his hands stand out, or else they would blend in with the rest of his body. In the early days of animation they had to do things a little differently than they do now.
8. Disney Cruise Line
In the early days Mickey was drawn in black and white, but he is now known for his red shorts and yellow shoes. If you take a voyage on Disney Cruise Line, you might notice that the lifeboats match these colors. That is not a coincidence. Disney worked closely with the authorities to come up with a color that resembles Mickey’s clothes, while still meeting nautical guidelines. After the colors were approved for Disney Cruise Line, some other cruise lines adopted the color for their lifeboats as well.
All the Mickeys that you’ll meet at the Disney parks have to have the classic Mickey signature down perfectly. Imagine having to get that down with those white gloves on, that can’t be easy. Fortunately, Mickey’s signature is not too complicated, making it easy to replicate.
10. Hidden Mickeys
One fun thing to do when visiting a Disney Park is to look for Hidden Mickeys. These are shapes of the world’s most famous mouse that are everywhere! Some Hidden Mickeys are obvious, while others are hard to find. Ask a Cast Member about Hidden Mickeys and he or she will be able to get you started. The ride at Walt Disney World that has the most Hidden Mickeys is Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s the first ride at any Disney Park that is based on the famous couple, and there are so many Hidden Mickeys that you will never be able to find them all. Be warned, if you start looking for Hidden Mickeys while at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, you’ll still be looking for them once you return home.
11. Mickey For President
This may sound crazy, but it’s true. Mickey Mouse is the most common write in for president. Yes, you read that correctly, Mickey Mouse always receives votes to become the President of the United States. We don’t know who his vice president would be, although our choice would be Goofy.