Family Entertainment On The Midway With The Mickey Mouse Circus
One of the most popular shows on the midway was the “Mickey Mouse Circus”. The name was shamelessly ‘borrowed ‘ from the well known cartoon character of the day and exploited for it’s popularity. The Mickey Mouse Circus was a big hit because it catered to the whole family and you could stay inside as long as you wanted. Everybody liked to see the little mice frolic and play in the wood shavings and sawdust on their tiny mouse toys.
Behind the tented banner of Mickey Mouse was a huge than a glassed in table top enclosure two or three dozen field mice playing (As mice tend to do) among wood shavings and sawdust on miniature toys such as tiny see-saws, merry go rounds and Ferris Wheels and running in and out of various pieces of pipe. There were windup toys and cars and the mice would jump in and take a ride. The mice had their own personal playground. The kids were entertained the entire time.
Enterprising operators regularly baited cage traps in the meadows on the lots to collect “new performers” for their Mickey Mouse Circus.
The public loved it, especially the children, and some families would often spend a half hour or more inside the show watching the small creatures frolic. There were a still a couple of these shows in operation right up to the late 1960’s and they remained a popular attraction at big fairs.
These days the Disney studios would be aggressive in legal action against using their trademarked name, if the P E T A people didn’t come after you first for mistreating the tiny rodents.
On this particular day in the 1930’s if you were visiting the Craft’s 20 Big Shows midway during the matinee you could go into this show for a nickel.