When you think about a Disney park, whether its Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris or the original Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, there’s probably only one character that immediately springs to mind: Mickey Mouse. While the various princesses and other characters based on the Disney company’s massive library of animated films all have a special place at Disney parks (some more so than others), Mickey Mouse is undeniably the Disney parks MVP, and is the only character that can be met in every single park all around the globe.
However, if you are a Mickey Mouse fan, there are some changes coming for this character that you should know about, including a brand new look for an international version of this classic character that could be coming to US parks in the very near future.
1. Shanghai Disneyland gets a re-designed Mickey Mouse
Though official media and concept art released thus far by Shanghai Disneyland has featured a very familiar-looking mouse, recent images that have surfaced online of official media events for Shanghai Disneyland that show a completely redesigned Minnie and Mickey Mouse. Though no official images of these fresh-faced characters have been made public quite yet, you can see some of the changes for yourself below:
As you can see, the biggest change is the character's eyes, which are now a little taller and thinner, with more of an oval shape to them. In addition, Minnie’s makeup is a little more subdued, and the shadows around Mickey's eyes are also less pronounced. Beyond just the eyes though, the face shape has also been changed in subtle ways, with better articulated cheeks and a wider smile. You can see more images of these updated characters at the Radio Disney Club fansite (which is in French, but has some great images nonetheless).
Though these changes seem slight, the “new” version of Mickey actually looks a lot like the modern Mickey that many kids encounter on the Disney Junior staple Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. This might not be an accident, as Mickey isn’t starring in much himself these days, and a whole generation of children have been introduced to Mickey this way (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has actually been on TV for nearly than a decade now!), making this “new” face, actually a much more familiar one for young Disney fans.
While there has been no confirmation that these new faces will eventually make their way to Disney parks in the US, such a conclusion seems inevitable, especially considering Disney is obviously investing in these new designs for Shanghai, and could just refresh the Walt Disney World character designs while they're at it. This seems even more likely when you consider that the current Mickey character design has been in use for over a decade, and it may be time for a bit of a change. However, if you are a Mickey and Minnie fan, its not just a new look that you might need to get used to in the near future…