On november the 18th 1993, Disneyland lavishly inaugurated its newest addition. It was not an attraction, neither a restaurant or even a store but just a statue. Designed by former Imagineer Blaine Gibson, Partners was placed in the center of the hub where it still stands today.
The date was chosen to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Steamboat Willie, the first distributed Mickey Mouse short. Later on 2 other parks would receive it to mark a celebration. Walt Disney World got its Partners for its 1996 25th anniversary and Tokyo Disneyland for its 1998 15th. Though Orlando planted its partners in the center of its hub like Disneyland, Tokyo had it advande at the entrance of its hub.
There is a 4th version of the famous bronze couple but not in a Magic Kingdom.
Disneyland Paris opened one year before the event and therefore couldn’t have its Partners installed at opening, it actually never did. Only in 2002 when Disneyland Resort Paris’ second gate openned did it get its Partners at the entrance of Walt Disney Studios like DF recently explained in this brilliant article.
Hong Kong does’nt hold the Walt & Mickey homage in its Kingdom or Resort. It seems Asian people don’t feel so close to statue as we do. I’ll illustrate those words by the final picture were it is clear that in Tokyo, statues don’t hold the same reverence as in the west…
Funky Hawaiian Partners picture is from the enormous JT Cent website and its cover of Lilo & Stitch Big Panic ! Don’t miss its covering of major Tokyo Disneyland Resort events at his website : JTCent.com
Thanks to DF for inspiring the idea of this note ;)