To commemorate Mickey Mouse’s birthday today, Nov. 18, a special surprise was revealed at the Disneyland Resort – the restoration of the “Partners” statue in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle to its original grandeur.
The statue, created by Disney sculptor Blaine Gibson, features Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. The photo below on the left was taken at its original unveiling on Nov. 18, 1993, at the hub to commemorate Mickey’s 65th birthday.
As time passed, the bronze oxidized, and because of the applied patina, acrylic polymer and wax, the “Partners” statue required a more intensive restoration process than just cleaning or polishing. Over the span of four days, an artisan utilized a process using crushed walnut shells to gently strip the figure down to the bare bronze. After cleaning, various chemicals were applied and heated with a blowtorch to create a reaction and fuse with the bronze. The figure was then coated in a polymer to protect the patina, followed by a thin layer of wax.
Guests visiting Buena Vista Street as part of the extension of the Downtown Disney District will have a chance to see the “Storytellers” statue, which has also been restored.