A Sailor Mickey balloon will make his maiden voyage high above the streets of New York City as he represents Disney Cruise Line in the 83rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Millions of Parade goers and television viewers will see the Sailor Mickey helium balloon make its Parade debut, which also marks the first time Disney Cruise Line has been represented in the Parade.

It takes about 14,000 cubic feet of helium to inflate Sailor Mickey – dressed in his signature red shorts and yellow shoes, nautical blazer, sailor’s cap and perched atop a larger-than-life ship’s anchor. When inflated, the balloon stands approximately six stories tall. The Sailor Mickey balloon will be a part of the Macy’s Parade through 2011.

Sailor Mickey will also be Macy’s official holiday ambassador this year. Available exclusively as a collectible talking plush at all Macy’s stores across the U.S. and online at macys.com, Sailor Mickey will be on sale beginning Nov. 8 and through the holiday season.

The Sailor Mickey balloon and plush are being introduced as Disney Cruise Line prepares for the highly-anticipated launch of its Disney Dream cruise ship.

The Disney Dream is the first of two newly designed Disney Cruise Line ships that will join the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, providing families with more options to sail with Disney Cruise Line and explore more places around the world. Guests can book sailings aboard the Disney Dream beginning Nov. 9, 2009.

The Disney Dream captures the spirit of innovation, magical family entertainment and incredible experiences already found on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, but with several new and exciting enhancements sure to delight guests – including the first-ever shipboard water coaster.

“Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with family and friends is an American tradition,” said Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz. “We are thrilled to have the Sailor Mickey character join this iconic event and share our excitement about Disney Cruise Line and the new Disney Dream cruise ship joining our fleet in 2011.”

“Mickey Mouse has always been a cherished character in Macy’s Parade history,” said Robin Hall, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “From the very first Mickey Balloon that Walt Disney himself helped design to our brand new giant Sailor Mickey setting sail this Thanksgiving, Mickey Mouse is truly a Macy’s Parade star. To top it all off, Sailor Mickey will be Macy’s official holiday ambassador this year, with an exclusive special-edition plush of the navigator on sale at Macy’s that is sure to be a hit with our customers from coast-to-coast.”

The 83rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade steps off on Thursday, Nov. 26. Sailor Mickey Balloon

Fun Facts
• Mickey Mouse was last seen in the Macy's Parade in 2000 as Bandleader Mickey.
• The Sailor Mickey balloon is approximately 61 feet high, 33 feet wide and 48 feet long. That’s more than six stories tall!
• It takes about 14,000 cubic feet of helium to fill the Sailor Mickey balloon.
• It will take about two hours to fully inflate and secure him under a Macy's balloon net.
• The Sailor Mickey balloon has 52 handling lines and will be guided by a team of 70 volunteers.
• The parade route is approximately two-and-a-half miles long.