Sunday, April 30, 2006

Meet Pal Mickey

This little fellow riding on a towel-animal is Pal Mickey! He's the newest Imagineering toy to hit Walt Disney World (and I'm quite sure you'll be seeing this little fellow in the other parks in short order.) Pal Mickey is a brilliant piece of technology masquerading as a toy. He is useful, fun, and interesting. Peppered throughout all the WDW parks are little RFID transmitters that Pal Mickey uses to know his location. When you carry him around in the parks, he always knows where he is and he uses that information to tell you all sorts of great stuff. Mickey will giggle and shake when he has something to say, and when you squeeze his hand or tummy, he'll tell you things like parade times, background trivia about attractions and locations, which attractions have short wait times, where the characters are appearing in the parks, and much more. He also likes to lead you in sing-a-longs, tell extremely corny jokes, and play games. He's really a lot of fun, and kept surprising us all the time. When you take him home, he loses his ability to tell you about the parks, but he can still tell jokes, sing songs and play games until you bring him back. I am SURE that they have big, big plans for the future of Pal Mickey.

Pal Mickey proved immediately useful. On the first night we arrived in Orlando, we popped into the Magic Kingdom after dinner and the fireworks to walk around and maybe ride something while everyone was leaving after the fireworks. We were walking past Splash Mountain, and I told Shannon that we should christen our experience with a ride on quite possibly my favorite disney attraction ever. At the time, she was a little nervous about big drops, and wanted to keep the first night as chill an experience as possible. So I respected that, and didn't push it any farther.... BUT PAL MICKEY DID! The first thing Pal Mickey said to us was 'Hey Gang, why don't we check out Splash Mountain?' So I explained to Shannon that we can't possibly argue with Pal Mickey, that Pal Mickey would certainly never encourage her to go on a ride that is SCARY... so she did, and is no longer afraid of Splash Mountain. She's also no longer afraid of larger and more terrifying roller coasters, but that's a blog entry for another day.

You really are a pal, Mickey.

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