Even with all the new and exciting content released in 2023 at Disney Parks, some fans still harbor a taste for the retro and nostalgic, and Mickey balloons are no exception! Luckily, it seems classic counterparts of this iconic symbol of a Disney Day have returned… if only briefly.
Disneyland sold its first Mickey Mouse-shaped balloons in 1955, but with a much more basic design than today’s elaborate and sometimes costly balloons. Typically, a Mickey Mouse balloon will set a Guest back anywhere from $13 to $17, depending on the Park they’re in and the type of style they desire.
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Not just Mickey Mouse, Disney Parks now have whole lines of character balloons based on specific franchises, such as the Disney Princesses, Pixar, and even Frozen (2013). Moreover, Disney often releases specialty designs for certain holidays or theme park anniversaries like the Walt Disney World 50th.
Today’s Mickey Balloons feature two balloons in one: a Mouse-shaped inner style in various colors with the Park logo printed on it and a clear or semi-clear and decorated outer shell. In fact, these tantalizing (but temporary) souvenirs last only about two weeks unpopped but are so popular that Disney and Disney fans alike even sell merchandise inspired by the balloons, including Mickey ears, jewelry, key chains, purses, and of course, Mickey Balloon Premium Popcorn Buckets!
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However, a certain fondness for the now retro-style look of the older balloons remains amongst Guests. Many visiting the Disneyland Resort recently were delighted to see them make a return appearance! Unfortunately, Guests could not actually carry these balloons around each Disney Park or take them home.
Why? Well, because they served a very important role as props for the Disneyland scenes of the hit television reboot, The Wonder Years, which was filming an episode at Disneyland Park. Saladin K. Patterson’s The Wonder Years is “an American coming-of-age comedy” which “follows 12-year-old Dean Williams (Elisha “EJ” Williams) growing up in 1968 Montgomery.”
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Showrunner Patterson claims the program is a parallel “reimagining… that also exists in the original Wonder Years universe,” and the lucky cast and crew got to bring their set to Disneyland to film a special theme park feature, complete with vintage props and all to really immerse viewers. Will you be watching when the episode premieres?