Tavares, Florida: Magical Mickey, Skull of MonsterThe "Lake County Monster" was a large local alligator; its skull alone is bigger than most dogs. Mickey Mouse from Fantasia is seven feet tall, a unique, non-official rendering in metal.
- 317 W. Main St., Tavares, FL
- In the Lake County Historical Museum, which is on the first floor of the old Lake County courthouse. Downtown, on the south side of W. Main St., just east of S. Sinclair Ave.
- M-F 8:30-5 (Call to verify)
Visitor Tips and News About Magical Mickey, Skull of Monster
A seven-foot tall metal sculpture of Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer's Apprentice in "Fantasia" stands at the center of the Lake County Historical Museum. According to curator Lavonda Morris, it's the work of Chicago artist Bob Grenier Sr., who made it in 1986 for his son, Bob Grenier Jr., who was then an employee of Disney and now is president of the Lake County Historical Society. "I told Bob, 'Wouldn't it be wonderful to get that thing out of your garage and into the museum?'" said Lavonda. "It's quite an awesome thing."
When plugged in, light shines out of Mickey's paws. "Disney wanted it," said Lavonda, but Bob said no.
The historical connection, said Lavonda, is that Walt Disney's parents were the first couple to apply for a marriage license in Lake County.
Another worthy artifact in the museum is the toothy skull of the Lake County Monster, a legendary local alligator that was over 13 feet long when it was finally harpooned and then shot in the back of the head. The skull, said Lavonda, was loaned to the museum around 2002, then donated outright in 2011. "The owners said they'd caught one just as big, if not bigger."[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 08/28/2012]