It was only a matter of time: Talking Mickey Character Greet at MK!

Perhaps the least discussed mystery of modern Disney life has finally come to an end.
Why didn’t Mickey speak when we met him at the parks?
Well now folks, he does, just head over to the Town Square Theatre and find out for yourselves!  Or if you’d prefer, just watch Disney’s trailer for the revised character meet and greet at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!

For some time now, Disney have been developing the technology that can provide animated characters with very realistic interactive dialogue.  Epcot’s 10 year old Turtle Talk with Crush is a huge eye opener and became hugely popular with adults and kids alike that marvelled at seemingly spontaneous lip synching that made his live show one of the unmissable highlight of an Epcot trip.

This isn’t the first time that a main stream character has spoken in flesh or should we say ‘the fur’ however.  Donkey’s Photo Finish really did raise the bar around the same time if not slightly earlier than the Crush debut.  Donkey was however static, tethered to his stable door as a purely animatronic display.

The appearance of a talking Mickey Character Greet is a first however.  This is the first time that a fully independent talking character will meet guests.  It looks set to be a huge crowd pleaser, and will create a much needed concentration of guests away from the current hotspots over at New Fantasyland.

The delay in being able to introduce the new characters to the parks suggests that Disney’s imagineers have had some major hurdles to tackle.  The durability of the costumes under constant movement, the voice quality, battery technology and the creation of facial expressions without buzzing and whirring noises, all point to a tough challenge for the team.

Now that Mickey is able to greet guests verbally, the dialogue is currently limited to standard phrases but in the future, we can surely expect some amazing personal discussions taking place.  If that isn’t Magic enough, just wait until Disney integrates your Magicband into the greet process.
Imagine Mickey knowing your kid’s name?  Or which resort you are at?  Or perhaps which school you go to?  Magicbands are set to blow our minds!

Rolling the character speech technology out is going to be a priority for Disney.
Having two grades of Mickey inside Walt Disney World simply won’t do!
Being able to talk up close and personally inside the MK but not at the resort will most definitely confuse guests, and Disney work hard not to allow that to happen.
Our guess is that this will be rolled out very swiftly around the Disney parks, for Mickey and Minnie at least during 2014.
Beyond Mickey and Minnie, our favorite Disney pals will almost certainly follow up quickly over the coming years, if not sooner, as Disney pick up on a valuable asset that those other parks simply cannot compete with!

We might just get a chance to see a taste of Mickey’s Pals in action with this great new technology in the Spring of 2014.  After Christmas, the 3pm Celebrate A Dream Come True parade comes to an end and park guests will have to wait patiently until the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade rolls down Main St USA for the very first time in March 2014.
Disney have pushed the change to the parade as a major development with a completely new float vehicle system that requires some substantial changes to the back stage areas of the park in order to ‘fit them in’.

fla174646SMALL

Our guess is that our most favorite characters on the floats will also share Mickey’s new found technology.  Whatever Disney do over the coming years, they will be sure to work hard to distance themselves from the developments up at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure with an emphatic demonstration that Disney World is the best place to spend your time and money!