The All-American theme park Disneyland is testing waters with a new groundbreaking, meet-and-greet Mickey Mouse character that talks to visitors while posing for photos.
According to Walt Disney Imagineering officials, the talking Mickey Mouse has been greeting visitors during unannounced and intermittent "play tests" in his cartoon-style house in Toontown, reports the Los Angeles Times.
After nearly 55 years of mute costumed characters at the Anaheim theme park, it's jaw dropping and off-putting to see Mickey's eyes blink and mouth move as he greets visitors by name.
"Face characters," such as Sleeping Beauty and Jack Sparrow, whose faces are visible to visitors, typically speak and interact with them during photo sessions, while costumed characters, such as Donald Duck and Winnie the Pooh, whose faces are masked by sculpted heads, usually pantomime their actions as handlers speak on their behalf.
Imagineering officials said if the tests prove successful, the new talking meet-and-greet characters will probably not show up in Disney parks for another few years.
A cast of eye-blinking, mouth-moving characters, including Goofy and Minnie Mouse, made their appearance during the "Dream Along with Mickey" stage show at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Fla., according to the Inside the Magic fan site.