New Art Installation Celebrates Mickey Mouse and Pals in Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort

Valerie Lee

by , Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort

Whether you’re shopping or dining in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort, you might notice that Mickey Mouse and a few of his favorite pals have popped up along the way! 

To tell us all about it, we chatted with our Manager of Resort Enhancement, Phil Rahn, who shared more about the inspiration for this darling décor.

How did the idea for this overlay come to life? It’s so creative!

The Disneyland Resort Enhancement team was inspired by anamorphic art installations as seen in public spaces all over the world. This installation is about fun in the summer sun! Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse having a picnic in a park, Donald Duck chasing his hat in the summer breeze, Goofy slipping while eating his ice cream and some fun summer icons.  The artwork styling was pulled from the series, “A Mickey Mouse Cartoon.”

What went into deciding which characters to choose? And the poses they are in?

We decided to celebrate our “Fab 5” as the core characters for this overlay. Mickey Mouse had a big year with his birthday, so we thought it was appropriate to continue celebrating him and his friends. Their poses are inspired by their personalities. 

Is there a certain spot you recommend to stand, to get the best view of the art?

The installation is designed with the spirit of discovery in mind and is meant to be interactive.  When you approach the planters, you see elements of each character randomly placed about; but as you shift your perspective, you begin to see the image as a whole. We really want our guests to have fun in search of that discovery moment! For those who have a challenge finding that right perspective, we have “stand here” markers on the ground at each planter. The markers are Mickey Mouse’s shoe print.

How many types of plants are used to surround the art?

More than 40 different varieties! Each planter brings bright colors and textures to support the scene, such as strong reds and yellows for Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, sunflowers for Donald Duck, daisies for Daisy Duck and wild Gomphrena around Goofy. Pluto, Chip and Dale have Lions Tail for height and Carex grasses to play upon the idea of Pluto protecting his yard from the pesky mischief-makers, Chip ‘n Dale. A variety of topiaries were inspired by cartoons, distinctively-shaped in spirals, globes, cones, cubes and pyramids.

Can you tell us about the team who put this together?

More than 20 Horticulture and Resort Enhancement Cast Members play a part in the design, fabrication, installation and maintenance of the overlay.

The revival of leaf planters has changed the face of Horticulture and Resort Enhancement in the Downtown Disney District. It’s brought forward a whole new creative outlet for both of the teams and allowed us to collaborate in wonderful new ways!

Each season, the Downtown Disney District surprises and delights visitors with innovative, eye-catching visuals. Keep a look-out this fall, when even more surprises pop-up in the planters!


  • I saw these when we stated at the Grand Californian last month. I thought they were so creative and fun! They are really cute! Well done, Disney! Well done!!

  • Bravo to the Horticulture and Resort Enhancement Group members plus anyone else who dreamed up and put together these overlays…it is the most creative, fun and beautiful thing I’ve ever seen! Thank you for always keeping the magic.

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