Disney has finally revealed what the next annual passholder magnet will be and, as we predicted, it will feature Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Annual passholders will be able to pick up this complimentary (free!) magnet at EPCOT anytime between September 20 and October 23 (while supplies last, of course). You'll need a valid admission and reservation for EPCOT on the same date, or you can visit the part anytime after 2 p.m. wiithout a reservation. There's a limit of one magnet per passholder.
Oswald appearance on the magnet is part of Disney100, which celebrates the rich 100-year history of the company and stories it has told.
Oswald has an incredible history with the company and a fascinating backstory. The character was created in 1927 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks for Universal Pictures, starring in several animated short films released in theaters between 1927 and 1938. He was featured in over a hundred cartoons.
With Universal technically in control of the rights to the character, Disney sought to create another iconic cartoon character -- and thus Mickey Mouse was born.
But The Walt Disney Company didn't totally give up on the character. In February 2006 -- in perhaps the wildest business arrangement of all time -- Disney CEO Bob Iger initiated a trade with NBCUniversal to acquire the rights to Oswald and the 27 shorts that Walt Disney had worked on in exchange for sportscaster Al Michaels from Disney's ABC and ESPN. Yes, Disney actually traded a real-life human being for a cartoon character.
Although Mickey Mouse remains the face of Disney, Oswald has become much more prominent throughout the parks. He's starred in the Epic Mickey video games and more merchandise is starting to pop up with the lucky rabbit on it.
With Disney100 in full swing, there's perhaps no better character to signify Disney's rich history than Oswald. He's perfect for the next annual passholder magnet. I'm also happy that the pick-up location returns to EPCOT, after Disney opted to have passholders pick up previously released magnets from Animal Kingdom.
With the new magnet available at EPCOT, you can go for the free gift and stay for the food and drinks as the International Food & Wine Festival is currently in full swing.