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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Minnie Moo And Clarabelle Cow At Walt Disney World

Minnie Moo was an adorable cow that used to live at Walt Disney World in Florida. Couldn't you just eat her up with fries and a milkshake?

In 1988, Disney celebrated Mickey Mouse's 60th Birthday in a big way.

In addition to selling special merchandise featuring old friends like Clarabelle Cow, Walt Disney World opened a new land to host Mickey's party.

Mickey's Birthdayland brought the town of Duckburg to life, and was the place to visit Grandma Duck's Farm, Mickey's House, catch a live show, and meet the Mouse.

McDonald's had a Mickey's Birthdayland Happy Meal. I wonder why they didn't make a Clarabelle toy. Curious. Anyway, these toys were also available for years at The Disney Store.

These days, actress April Winchell provides the voice for Clarabelle Cow, and she is also the voice of the cows in the California Cheese ads on TV and on the radio (for which she has also been a writer).

April Winchell was also the voice of Mrs. Herman and infant Baby Herman in the 1988 movie, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." Roger used to appear regularly at Walt Disney World.

The animals that lived at Grandma Duck's Farm enjoyed thousands of people a day petting them in the blazing Florida sun. Hey, it was a better life than any other farm animal would ever get.

Donald Duck milks Minnie Moo while Clarabelle Cow daydreams about something.

Minnie Moo made her debut at Walt Disney World in 1990, about the time that Mickey's Birthdayland became Mickey's Starland.

Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar rarely ever appeared as plush toys, but in the beanie craze of the early 2000's, all sorts of Disney characters became bean bag toys.

Clarabelle Cow made her debut way back in 1928. When I was a little kid, I always thought her name was Clara Cowbell for some reason. Maybe because her boyfriend is Horace Horsecollar and not "Horace Horse."

When Splash Mountain was under construction, the train ran from Main Street to Mickey's Starland backwards. Or maybe it was the other way around?

Clarabelle Cow has been spotted in recent years on Main Street, which is kind of a big deal. Clarabelle had spent decades feeling too bashful to appear in public.

Maybe it was because most people didn't know who she was. As a kid, I only knew her as a background character. Clarabelle is more visible these days, and appears on the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse TV show. I really like the voice April Winchell has given her.

Clarabelle loved the Jungle Cruise because she had a crush on one of the Wildebeest there.

Clarabelle did not care that the Wildebeest was a robot. After all, Clarabelle has a mechanical bull set up in her house.

Fantasyland is a favorite spot for Clarabelle, because she likes to pretend to be a princess.

Mickey's donkey never returned Clarabelle's phone calls, living up to his species' other name.

Clarabelle udderly loves getting cow-tipsy on Fantasyland attractions.

The Mad Cow Tea Party is Clarabelle's favorite Fantasyland experience.

Though she is not in the show, Clarabelle enjoys the "Mickey's Philharmagic"3D attraction in Fantasyland and its interactive effects.

Clarabelle auditioned for Philharmagic, but nobody liked her idea of her interactive effect of squirting milk at the audience. Before you freak out, know that it would have been milk coming out of her nose.

After a busy day at the Magic Kingdom, Clarabelle is ready to hit the beach.

No visit to the beach is complete until you see a cow in a snug swimsuit.

At Walt Disney World, Clarabelle goes surfing at Typhoon Lagoon.

Typhoon Lagoon opened in 1989, and was such a hit that another storm related water park called Blizzard Beach opened in 1995.

Clarabelle is no stranger to storms.

Clarabelle starred in the tornado cartoon "The Band Concert" in 1935. Well, "starred" is misleading. She was in the background.

During the beanie craze of the early 2000s, you could also find bean bag characters from The Band Concert.

The Band Concert is now the theme of an attraction at the California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

Silly Symphony Swings opened in 2010 at California Adventure's Paradise Pier.

Silly Symphony Swings originally operated as The Orange Stinger when California Adventure opened in 2001.

Cow Bells ring, are you listening?

During the cold winter months, Clarabelle earns extra money for presents by selling ice milk to busy shoppers.

It's time to go to Downtown Disney and get a jump on the holiday rush.

Horace enjoys getting shoes as gifts from Clarabelle, but he does not care for hearing that version of the song "Sleigh Ride" that uses the whip crack and horse whinny over and over again.

Clarabelle is actually a well known character outside of the United States.

Many obscure Disney characters are very popular in Japan.

In 2004, Clarabelle starred in The Three Musketeers with Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Pete.

Clarabelle was a villain in this story, but in the end she became a hero (and a love interest for Goofy).

I'd like to see Clarabelle paired up with the villain Taurus Bulba from the 1991 Darkwing Duck origin story, "Darkly Dawns the Duck."

Taurus Bulba was voiced by the great Tim Curry (of The Rocky Horror Picture Show fame). He was wonderful at making life difficult for Darkwing Duck (the versatile Jim Cummings).

I am proposing a new show called "Disney's Cash Cows." Clarabelle could be a famous Bollywood actress living on a ranch and dating business tycoon Taurus Bulba.

The Cash Cows cast would include Taurus Bulba's shady associates, including Clovis (Marcia Wallace), Hammerhead Hannigan (Hal Rayle) and Hoof and Mouth (Eddie Deezen).

Think of it as a spoof of those "Real Housewives of ..." reality shows but with a criminal element. And cows. Cartoon cows. And a Bollywood musical number in every episode.

In 1996, Mickey's Starland at Walt Disney World became Mickey's Toontown Fair.

Most of the Duckburg building facades were removed and Mickey's House was remodeled, transforming Mickey from City Mouse to Country Mouse.

Visitors to Mickey's Toontown Fair could tour Minnie's new House and splash around outside Donald Duck's Boat.

There's nothing quite like a Clarabelle Cow Pie. Tasty!

The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm roller coaster opened at the site of Grandma Duck's Farm.

The Barn remained, but Minnie Moo and her animal friends moooved elsewhere on Walt Disney World property.

Eventually, Scrooge McDuck and Donald Duck had to hit the road, too. Mickey's House, Minnie's House, Donald's Boat and the Duckburg elements of Birthdayland, Starland and Toontown Fair were removed so the new Storybook Circus could roll into town and stay in 2012.

An upgraded version of the popular Dumbo, The Flying Elephant attraction moved right next to Goofy's Barnstormer, which lost the barn altogether. Storybook Circus features all sorts of Disney characters, including the Three Little Pigs. Check out this vintage train reproduction, which shows early versions of Clarabelle, Horace, Mickey and the gang traveling in their Circus Train in style.

Clarabelle wants people to know that she is not a refreshment location, so if you meet her at a park, don't ask her for milk refills for your souvenir mug.


  1. One of the most disappointing things when I went to Disney Land was the lack of classic character stuff. I was only able to find some Disney coffee tins with Clarabelle and Horace. As for classic Donald and Dippy, I at least found some mugs. Still, seeing all this stuff makes me wish I could have visited there at an earlier time. sigh...

  2. Oh the childhood memories. Thanks!

  3. Hey DinosaurPrince! On my last visit to Disneyland in 2008, the big marketing push was for those live action teen Disney Channel shows. I saved some money on that trip. I like those coffee tins with Clarabelle and Horace---they do a good job of keeping those characters in the public eye (I think they've been selling those for years!).

    You are welcome,Sea Attract! Partly because of the nostalgia factor, I think Disney would make a fortune selling Minnie Moo plush toys.

  4. So where is Minnie Moo today? I think DL's Big Thunder Ranch had a "Mickey Moo" cow for a while back in the eighties.

    Horace and Clarabelle not only walk around Tokyo DL, but they are used in their parades too!

  5. Hey TokyoMagic! I think Minnie Moo spent her final days at Fort Wilderness. She was probably the luckiest cow ever!

    I know Clarabelle has been at Disneyland since the early 1990s (in "Mickey's Nutcracker" stage show and the "World According to Goofy" Parade). I think Horace appeared at Tokyo Disneyland first, then made his way to California and Florida. It's nice to see the older characters represented in the parks!

  6. Now they need an Oswald The Lucky Rabbit character walking around!!!

    Oh, I forgot that Clara Cluck was featured in some of the Tokyo DL parades too!

  7. TokyoMagic!: I know there was an Oswald parade float at Tokyo Disneyland for an Easter Parade. I can see Oswald appearing in the parks to promote the Epic Mickey games.

    I do remember that Clara Cluck was in Walt Disney World's 4th of July Parade when it was on TV back in the Eighties. Talk about an obscure character!

  8. Wow....I want to see that! I haven't been there for Easter yet! They didn't start celebrating Easter at Tokyo DL until 2010 (I think).

  9. Hey TokyoMagic! Yeah, I think Oswald just recently showed up in that Easter Parade float in Tokyo Disneyland.

    I do know that Oswald has been appearing on merchandise in Japan even before Disney got him back from Universal!

  10. Minnie Moo actually came off my great aunt and uncles farm in Edgerton, Mn. I remember seeing her when I was a kid and before Disney purchased her from them. They sent a big ol semi and trailer from Orlando to there farm and picked her up. To this day, I'm told my great uncle has never disclosed how much or what in exchange he got for her. I'm sure they were very well taken care of.

  11. Thank you for writing, troy kline! Very cool! I have a feeling that Minnie Moo may have been one of the most expensive cows ever.