Goodbye to my Mickey Mouse, Wayne Allwine

Travel Blog  •  Jenna Schnuer  •  05.22.09 | 11:31 AM ET

Photo by dawnzy58 via Flickr (Creative Commons)

For so many, the first true travel excitement comes compliments of Mickey Mouse and co.

A few years ago, I talked to my nieces on the phone just before their first trip to Disney World. The little one, just shy of four, didn’t usually have much patience for phone conversations. That day, she just kept talking and talking, offering excited (and rather detailed) explanations of all the things she wanted to see. Both girls were delighted when I told them about my own visits to Disney World as a kid. We all got kind of giddy thinking that, just maybe, there was some slight chance they would end up riding in the same It’s a Small World boat I sat in 30+ years ago.

And, of course, there was the thought of meeting him: Mickey Mouse. While both girls were already doing their best to pretend they were tweens (and could sing the entire High School Musical soundtrack by heart), Mickey remained the same big deal he was for me when I was a wee traveler.

Considering all that, I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me that I got a bit choked up when I read that Wayne Allwine has died. He was the official voice of Mickey for the last 32 years. He was my main Mickey. He was my nieces’ only Mickey. We may not be able to mimic his falsetto but we can all hear it in our heads. (You’re hearing it right now, right?) And even though the Mickey that walks around Disney World just smiles and waves, no high-pitched anything escaping the mask, Allwine’s voice takes over in the imaginations of all who meet him.

Jenna Schnuer

Freelancer Jenna Schnuer writes about travel, food, culture, books, and life's quirky bits (and bites) for publications including American Way, National Geographic Traveler, Southern Living, and many others. She also co-writes Flyover America, a site filled with quieter stories from around the U.S. Send Jenna an email or, if you're so inclined, follow her on Twitter.

1 Comment for Goodbye to my Mickey Mouse, Wayne Allwine

Kathryn 05.22.09 | 6:39 PM ET

My nephew had the same excitement and also thought it was cool that I road It’s a Small World boat about 30 years ago! He was confused about the house though and Mickey and Minnie’s outfits because he watches the new cartoon on TV with the baby versions. I guess they wear different clothes and their house isn’t in Disney World. Very confusing for a 4-year-old! Great article and nice tribute to Wayne Allwine.

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