On January 31, 2002 Disney announced the creation of Mickey's PhilharMagic in a press release. The release stated:
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Disney magic meets Disney music in a new 3-D film spectacular debuting in 2003 at the Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World Resort.
"Mickey's PhilharMagic" will star Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other favorite Disney characters animated in a way they've never before been seen: grand, glorious, in-your-face three dimensions. "We're really excited about this new attraction," said Al Weiss, president of Walt Disney World Resort. "Guests love the Disney characters and films, and this gives them the chance to take a magical ride right into the world of Disney animation." The "Mickey's PhilharMagic" cast will include Mickey and Donald, as well as Ariel from "The Little Mermaid," Aladdin and Jasmine from "Aladdin" and Simba from "The Lion King." Set in the PhilharMagic Concert Hall, which replaces "Legend of the Lion King" in Fantasyland, the eye-popping 3-D experience will unfold on one of the largest screens ever created for a 3-D film, a 150-foot-wide canvas. Complete with in-theater effects, the attraction will immerse guests in the richly animated world of the Disney characters. The Walt Disney Company has experimented with animating the Disney characters in 3-D before, most notably in "Working for Peanuts," a 1953 Donald Duck/Chip 'n' Dale cartoon short, but never on a scale as grand as "Mickey's PhilharMagic." The attraction is being produced through the combined efforts of Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Feature Animation. "We're always exploring ways to take 3-D to the next level," said Tom Fitzgerald, executive vice president and senior creative executive at Walt Disney Imagineering. "From 'Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision 3D' to 'Honey, I Shrunk the Audience' to 'It's Tough to be a Bug!', we keep looking for new ways to allow guests to become a part of the action and story. Mickey's PhilharMagic will be the most animated, energetic and magical 3-D show we've ever created!"