Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

OK, So Not Everything Walt Disney Touched Turned to Gold…

Presenting the debacle known as the Mickey Mouse Club Circus...

by
Chris Queen

Bio

June 21, 2013 - 1:00 pm
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page
Mickey Mouse Club Circus

The short life of the Mickey Mouse Club Circus is forever captured on an old ViewMaster disk. Here Jimmie Dodd and some of the Mousketeers wave in the Grand Opening Parade.

Disney fans tend to equate the name Walt Disney with excellence. The company has experienced unprecedented levels of innovation and success over the last 90 years, from cartoons to live-action films and television to theme parks. However, occasionally, even Disney projects backfire. Some films were outright bombs, while others simply did not go according to plan. One event from the early days of Disneyland proves that not everything Walt Disney touched turned to gold — despite his and the company’s best intentions.

Bob Thomas sets up the story of the Mickey Mouse Club Circus (or Disneyland Circus, as it was alternately known) in his biography of Roy Disney, Building A Company: Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empire:

Roy’s check writing would never be over. Walt was constantly “plussing” Disneyland, making improvements and additions, all of them with a price tag. When attendance fell during the first winter, Walt decided he wanted a circus. He had been fascinated with circuses since his boyhood in Kansas City. Now he could run a circus all his own.

As with any Disney project, Walt and the Imagineers meticulously planned out every detail:

When The Mickey Mouse Club wrapped up filming of the first season, the Mouseketeers remaining with the show were sent to perform in 2 huge circus tents (costing $48,000) on the fringe of Fantasyland (approximately where the Matterhorn currently exists). Bruce Bushman, Dick Irvine, and George Whitney were the lead Imagineers on this project, creating storyboards for the show and overseeing the design of signage and midway booths. Antique circus wagons were located and restored: 9 from the Bradley and Kaye Amusement Park in Los Angeles and another 5 were found in Venice, California. A 1907 20-whistle steam calliope (built for the Mugivan and Bowers show) was also purchased and tested right on the Disney Studio lot in Burbank.

Bob Thomas continues the story, along with the first hint of trouble:

Walt had gathered some good circus acts and impressive animals and had enlisted his vastly popular Mousketeers of The Mickey Mouse Club to be acrobats and other performers. The Mouseketeers were no problem; the mothers were, constantly complaining about how their children were treated and seeking better roles for them.

Walt quelled many of those complaints by inviting the Mousketeers’ mothers to perform in the circus alongside their kids.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (2)
All Comments   (2)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
as Anita responded I am impressed that a mom able to get paid $8873 in a few weeks on the internet. did you see this site link w­w­w.M­a­x­4­7.c­o­m
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Disney actually had a lot of "failures" or things that just plain bombed. But he was astute enough not to double down on the failures. A lot of people would have just thrown more money at something to make it work. He would abandon his failures altogether.

For instance, he really wanted to do one of the L. Frank Baum stories (Wizard of OZ) but when he introduced it on the Mickey Mouse show he hated it so much he just dropped it.

Disney making The great and powerful Oz was their way paying homage to Walt Disney and they had the technology to do it in the way he had wanted it done.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All