A Disney character created before Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Rabbit will make his first meet-and-greet appearance at any Disney theme park in the world when the villain-turned-pal debuts at Disneyland.
Pete will make photo op appearances along with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto when Mickey’s Toontown reopens on Sunday, March 19 after a yearlong renovation of the kid-centric land at the Anaheim theme park.
The gruff, cat-like anthropomorphic cartoon character was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks in 1925 — three years before Mickey Mouse appeared on the scene in 1928 and two years before Oswald the Rabbit in 1927.
The former arch-nemesis to Mickey and later Donald, Pete has seen his demeanor softened and appearance changed over the decades by Disney artists.
Known through the years as Peg Leg Pete, Black Pete and Bad Pete, the rival-turned-pal now tries his best to be thankful, warm and welcoming alongside his newfound friends on the “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” TV show available on the Disney+ streaming service.
But that wasn’t always the case. Pete was often pulling off elaborate schemes and using underhanded tactics to win people over while portrayed in positions of power.
The clever, cunning and competitive Pete will make meet-and-greet appearances in Toontown when he’s not causing mischief around the cartoon neighborhood. Pete will often be paired with Goofy — since the duo share a rich cinematic history and many common interests like sports, fishing and cars.
Pete made his first appearance in the “Alice Comedies” created by the Disney studios in 1925 before showing up in “Steamboat Willie” alongside Mickey Mouse in 1928. Pete had a peg leg in some early cartoons, but Disney animators dispensed with it in later appearances because it was too hard to handle from a storytelling standpoint, according to the official Disney D23 fan club .
Disney animators returned to depicting Peg Leg Pete as a no-good, one-legged rival in the most recent Mickey Mouse shorts that were used as inspiration for the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride. In 2018’s “ A Pete Scorned ,” Pete falls into a deep depression when he fears Mickey dislikes another rival more than him.
Another classic Disney character will also join the Toontown meet-and-greet line-up: Clarabelle Cow, who made her Mickey Mouse cartoon debut in 1929. The Clarabelle Cow character has made previous Disneyland appearances through the years, often alongside longtime boyfriend Horace Horsecollar.