01 February 2013


It seems like New Fantasyland has enamored all of us with features that were released over twenty years ago. This window, part of Sir Mickey’s exterior, proves that timeless tales can still capture our imaginations no matter when they were released. While the formula’s phrasing seems silly enough, it harkens back to the 1963 classic, The Sword in the Stone. But before we talk about the window, let’s track back some of this history of the film in the Magic Kingdom.

In 1972, Sir Mickey’s was known as Merlin’s Magic Shop and featured a wide assortment of magic tricks available for purchase. Sword in the Stone’s presence in the park then disappeared in 1986 when the shop became known as Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Mickey’s Christmas Carol sold Christmas baubles until 1996 when Sir Mickey’s moved in and has been a Fantasyland staple ever since. However, just because Merlin vacated this corner back in 1986 doesn’t mean he won’t return.

From 1986, it would take until 1994 for the world of Merlin and Wart to return to Fantasyland. The Sword in the Stone ceremony would be performed several times a day in the courtyard between the carrousel and Cinderella Castle where the Sword in the Stone could be found. During the show Merlin, portrayed by legends like Eric Pinder and Jim Korkis, would be in search of the Temporary Leader of the Realm. After a failed attempt to pull the sword from the stone by an adult, a child would be selected who could pull the sword up. The child ruler, who was taking the place of Arthur while he was on vacation, had taken so long to find that their reign was already over. The child was then given a certificate and a medallion to remember their abbreviated reign over the land. The show was discontinued in 2006, but the sword remains firmly impaled in the stone, for those that wish to give it their best pull. Kind of like this knucklehead…

Merlin once again returned to the realm, indeed the entire Magic Kingdom, in early 2012 with the introduction of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Certainly it would have been easy to use Sorcerer Mickey as the primary hero, just as it would have been simple to pick the Evil Queen or Maleficent as the big baddie over Hades, but Merlin has a proven history with magic in the Magic Kingdom. The portals used by Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom bring us back to our original window and Sir Mickey’s, as Merlin has set up his laboratory in his old haunt. The chalkboard with Merlin’s musical formula is, in fact, a portal that can be activated during Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom gameplay.

As for the formula itself, Higitus Figitus Migitus Mum Prestidigitonium, it is the open lyrics to Merlin’s song, Higitus Figitus. Higitus Figitus, along with the other original songs from The Sword in the Stone, were the first songs from the Sherman Brothers to be used in an animated feature from Disney. Just goes to show, there is magic in words, and Merlin does his best to spread a bit of both around Fantasyland and the Magic Kingdom.

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