Mickey's original 1934 balloon in the workshop.


Mickey in 1982 battling high winds


Comparison of Mickey's 1934 (left) and 2009 (right) balloon versions.

Mickey Mouse is a funny animal cartoon character who is the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company. Created by Walt Disney and his cartoonist partner Ub Iwerks, he has become one of the most recognizable fictional characters in the world. An anthropomorphic mouse who typically wears outfits with a red, yellow and white color scheme, Mickey is depicted as a pleasant, cheerful everyman with a mischievous and adventurous side, who lives in his own universe with his girlfriend Minnie and various friends.

Mickey debuted in Steamboat Willie, one of the first cartoons with sound, in 1928. Mickey went on to star in over 100 short films, and various feature films such as Fantasia. He has also been featured in a newspaper comic strip, several comic book series, television series such as The Mickey Mouse Club, and video games; and has also been a mainstay meetable character at Disney's theme parks. In 1978, Mickey became the first cartoon character to be honored with a star on Hollywood's "Walk of Fame."

History with the Macy's Parade

In the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Mickey has appeared as a balloon in four versions. The first balloon appeared in 1934, making him the third pop-culture character to have a licensed balloon in the parade. To tie-in with Macy's, Walt Disney himself recommended the balloon have a star on his chest to represent the Macy's Logo. In 1936, the balloon got a minor paint job to have a bigger star on his chest. This balloon appeared until 1937.

A second balloon, which was slightly more colorful, was introduced in 1972. It was test flighted in 1971 and was originally supposed to debut that year to celebrate the opening of the Walt Disney World resort in Florida, but due to the weather all balloons had to be grounded, and so it debuted in 1972, alongside his pal Donald Duck which was to celebrate the first anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort in florida. 1935 and 1972 are the only years in the parades history where Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse both appeared in the parade together as balloons. The balloon continued to be used until after the 1982 parade.

After 18 years of absence, Mickey returned in 2000 with a "Bandleader" balloon, which led that year's balloon lineup. This balloon did not return after that year.

But a fourth balloon of Mickey was made, depicting him as a sailor; it debuted in 2009 to celebrate the announcement of the Disney Dream cruise ship (which was sent on its maiden voyage two years later), and was retired in 2012.

Additionally, Mickey's "meetable character" version from the Disney Parks has appeared in the parade on various occasions. The Mickey walk-around first appeared in the 1968 parade, to celebrate the character's 40th birthday. He later appeared from 1972 to 1980 on a "Castle" float honoring the then-new Walt Disney World, then in 1981 on a float promoting that park's "Tencennial" anniversary celebration. After 1982, the Mickey walk-around did not appear regularly in the Macy's parade, due to the Disney Parks having their own Christmas Day parade, which was first telecast in 1983 and is filmed exactly one month before Christmas; and also due to Disney's acquisition of ABC, whose affiliate WPVI has since featured Mickey on a "castle" float at its own Thanksgiving Day parade. However, he did return in 1984 on a float celebrating the 30th anniversary of Disneyland, then in 2005 on the special "50th Anniversary of Disney Parks Magic" float where he, a multitude of other Disney characters, and country singer LeAnn Rimes appeared to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Disney Parks.

  • The original Mickey balloon making its march.
  • The "Bandleader Mickey" balloon from 2000.
  • Mickey in walk-around form with LeAnn Rimes in 2005.


The New Mickey Mouse Club Theme (1975-1982)

Unknown (2000)

"Mickey Mouse March" arrangement (2009-2012)


  • Mickey Mouse (1934-1937)
  • Mickey Mouse (1972-1982)
  • Bandleader Mickey Mouse (2000)
  • Sailor Mickey Mouse (2009-2012)


  • Mickey's 40th Birthday (1968-1969)
  • Castle Float (1972-1980)
  • Walt Disney World Tencennial (1981-1982)
  • Disneyland's 30th Anniversary (1984-1985)
  • Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary of Disney Park Magic (2005)

External links

Mickey Mouse on the Disney Wiki


  • In 1975, Mickey's ears got ripped by a street light.
  • In 1978, Mickey's hand got deflated by a tree.
  • In 1982, Mickey was pushed around by strong winds, but he was not damaged.

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