Annette was Walt Disney's major contribution to The Mickey Mouse Club. At the age of twelve, she performed the lead role in Swan Lake at the Burbank Starlight Bowl (Burbank, California). Little did Annette know Disney was sitting in the audience, scouting children for his new television show. The next day, her dance school received a call from the Disney Studio asking to see the little girl who played the Swan Queen and Annette was on her way to becoming the 24th Mouseketeer. Miss Funicello was the only Mouseketeer handpicked by Walt Disney to audition for The Mickey Mouse Club. Producers Bill Walsh and Hal Adelquist and host Jimmie Dodd had already looked at nearly three thousand children and selected twenty-three. Annette was hired mainly due to the boss' suggestion, as her talent potential was not considered that overwhelming.