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Jay’s Balance

Andrea Monti gives his view of the changing of the guard this week.



Well, talk about a week that left all us Disney dweebs standing off guard!

All this Pressler/ Rasulo mumbo jumbo kind of left all us Disney watchdogs with a bitter taste in our mouths!!!

Why? Well my friends as someone once said, “talk about me well, talk about me bad…but PLEASE TALK ABOUT ME!!!” and this was exactly what all Disney fans did with Paul! But the way Paul actually left, after years of people praying for that moment to come, kind of left everyone astounded!

See kids, everything you read lately about Paul makes you think Pressler was some sort of anti-Walt, sitting behind his desk, in a comfy office probably hiding behind one of those giant dwarfs at the Team Disney building in Burbank with this giant map of all Disney themeparks and attractions and casually placed a pencil and drew an X on what he (randomly) would decided to close next…or maybe even better…this image of Paul, dressed in his best waiter attire, bringing hot coffee to Eisner and saying “yes my liege even today I closed an astronomically expensive themed ride and placed a top drawer sit down facility in its place”.

What is even worse is that Jay Rasulo is now seen as the “knight in shining armour” coming back from the French crusades after having domesticated this huge legendary dragon and who now has been appointed by the king himself to lead all the other knights into another battle…. talk about facing your new job relaxed and without pressure!

Well my friends lets start with a basic fact: BALANCE IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS!!!!

It’s a millenary rule as old as the wheel!!! Come on look at the facts; Eisner lost his pixie dust when he had no one to rely on as counter balance…. without Wells the guy had no one to trust who he knew would counter balance each and every decision! It is a well known fact that Michael often toured the parks with a squad of execs and sometimes ordered huge costly additions which, in a matter of minutes (behind his back, but Michael knew this), Frank would stop that executives and say “no wait, he actually meant this…” and provided a logical equilibrium to Mikey’s decisions!

Walt himself was not immune from this “balance = success equation”!

Yes, yes, we all know Walt was a genius, and a crazy lunatic on some things….but do you really think the guy would have been more than a half rated cartoonist (I already see you screaming for this expression…but stay with me) without his brother Roy?

Roy was the only one who could stand and reply to Walt! Roy himself would have probably been a provincial bank executive without his brother…as Walt eloquently put it in mid 50’s interview: “Roy and I have a guardian angel, only that I don’t know if it’s Roy’s and he doesn’t’ know if it’s mine…”!!!

When Eisner lost Wells the company started its decline, it had lost its balance, it was only creativity without realism behind it, When Roy lost Walt it left the older Disney dealing with the opening of Walt Disney World knowing he didn’t have the necessary creativity to step into Walt’s shows, therefore Roy relied (and consider that none of “Roy’s boy’s” had ever stepped into WED before Walt’s death) on Sklar, Walker and all those “Walt men” he didn’t like but realised he had to trust to step into Walt’s (BIGGGGG) shoe’s.

Pressler was not the Anti-Walt he was simply a great executive (and being a half decent Manager myself I honestly envy the man’s Marketing capabilities) who tilted the balance of things more towards cost cutting then raising the over all value! Rasulo on the other hand is not the holder of the Disney crest, but for sure he can have a go at holding the shield with one hand and the sword in the other!

Having seen James Rasulo in action, having met him, and having assisted to his commotion (visible on that red carpet) the night of the inauguration of the Walt Disney Studios Park I honestly think Jay is the right man to tilt the balance to the other side!

Rasulo’s first comments are in fact on the opposite side of the barricade from what most considered “Paul’s thought”: “I’m certainly not going to be able to turn around a fundamental world trend. Maybe we tilted the balance a little bit toward seeking efficiencies and cost reductions.”

Jay is a nurtured and trained Disney executive, but on the contrary to most other execs he has been with the company 17 years, mostly in strategic affairs! See kids, this guy was not sent to Paris by coincidence, Michael knew Jay had the skills to do the most difficult thing for any Disney theme park President: REPOSITION IT!

Jay was sent to Marne la Vallee not only to fix the financial situation, build up the residential/commercial “Vall’ D’Europe” area, and open up the second gate, but also to make all Europeans -and the whole world- understand that Euro Disney now was Disneyland Resort Paris, a different experience, a much more European environment, that (unlike most Europeans think) the park was not anymore on the verge of bankruptcy…and that Europe was a very important market for the Walt Disney Company!

Jay is also the man credited for having pretty much returned the Disneyland Park to its 1992 beauty! During his 2-year tenure as CEO of the company he refurbished practically every spot of the park, and added theming elements to the Walt Disney studios (which had been designed prior to his appointment as CEO! He was also the executive who decided to buy a set of Country bears from Disneyland’s closed show…no matter where to place them; Jay knew Europeans had to one day see these Marc Davis creatures in action…even in a distant future (and yes the bears will one day pop up in DLRP)!

Of course all this had to come at a cost! You cannot budget the refurbishments of 65% of a theme park and get a brand new E-Ticket at the same time (even Tokyo is only now addressing the Fantasyland and Tomorrowland theming re-dos planned since years ago). Therefore WDS attraction where cancelled (the sound lab housed between Cinemagique and the TV tour and another animation building) for the mean time in order to add theming elements, the Partners statue was delivered to the studios and the carpets where moved from their planned Adventureland location.

See what I’m getting to here gang? Jay is one of those men who sees well beyond the short term results, he knows sacrifices have to be made in order to obtain results in difficult times, he knows (as we Italians like to put it) “your wife drunk and the bottle full”! (Ed note: I’m packing my bags for Italy NOW)

So what to expect from this newly appointed “Disney hero”?

Tough question gang, and for sure I don’t have any mental powers to read his mind or the future! But as a Disney watcher and a manager I can place a fairly educated guess…. he won’t act without looking at what results will come down the line from his decisions!

Jay is the right man to steer the ship, and the term ship is not chosen by coincidence! Jay has been called upon not only to continue the growth of DLRP, regain confidence in WDW bookings and save DCA…he is also called upon to be the driving force of the future Disney theme parks expansion…way beyond Hong Kong and Shanghai!

As Jim (Hill) eloquently put it on Monday, the WDC is looking at popping HKDL type parks in South America, Australia and Russia…possibly between 2010 and 2020, as well as turning its already existing theme parks into the “Imagineering think tank” which can allow for low cost expansion wherever a Disneyland is needed!

What does this mean for us lovers of existing parks? Well, an educated guess, knowing Jay (a bit), and having some fairly reliable information makes me think Jay will use the existing parks as the first copies and then have to play nice in the others by coping already existing-or well tried- rides!

These reported “Disneyland lites” will feature rides, shows and/or technology already in place in other parks…which for us visitors to existing parks might not actually turn out as a bad thing! In the end Disney will build new rides and try new technology where its financial results are sure…like in Orlando and Anaheim…and therefore will have to try new solutions and provide us with new experiences in order to “feed” the franchised parks!

After all this is the exact same business model which brought Tokyo Disney to it’s huge success…that park saw its first “newly developed” technical ride in the form of Pooh’s hunny hunt” 18 years after its opening, and TDS itself was built mostly to hold already existing rides and shows (think Journey, Indy, 20K, the Disney sea symphony as a copy of Fantasmic in some way or even the Waterfront area as a place holder for the TOT)!

Jay is the right man to do al this, balancing his love for Disney with huge business capabilities, he surely knows how to stand on his feet, and in some occasions I’m sure he will even be able to face Eisner’s decisions and reply as needed!

I don’t see an easy rode ahead for him, streamlines, sacrifices and mistakes will be made on the road, as well as rumours of “Rasulo as successor to Eisner” and Disney watchdog criticisms will certainly appear with the first decisions, but I honestly wish you could have all seen Jay standing on that red carpet on the night of March 15th…I swear I saw a tear role down his cheek…. and there is no better man than one which can cry because of his heart’s warmth!

See you in the parks…I know that those fireworks will shine brighter from today!

Andrea Monti

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The Evolution and History of Mickey’s ToonTown



Disneyland in Anaheim, California, holds a special place in the hearts of Disney fans worldwide, I mean heck, it’s where the magic began after all.  Over the years it’s become a place that people visit in search of memorable experiences. One fan favorite area of the park is Mickey’s Toontown, a unique land that lets guests step right into the colorful, “Toony” world of Disney animation. With the recent reimagining of the land and the introduction of Micky and Minnies Runaway Railway, have you ever wondered how this land came to be?

There is a fascinating backstory of how Mickey’s Toontown came into existence. It’s a tale of strategic vision, the influence of Disney executives, and a commitment to meeting the needs of Disney’s valued guests.

The Beginning: Mickey’s Birthdayland

The story of Mickey’s Toontown starts with Mickey’s Birthdayland at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Opened in 1988 to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 60th birthday, this temporary attraction was met with such overwhelming popularity that it inspired Disney executives to think bigger. The idea was to create a permanent, immersive land where guests could step into the animated world of Mickey Mouse and his friends.

In the early ’90s, Disneyland was in need of a refresh. Michael Eisner, the visionary leader of The Walt Disney Company at the time, had an audacious idea: create a brand-new land in Disneyland that would celebrate Disney characters in a whole new way. This was the birth of Mickey’s Toontown.

Initially, Disney’s creative minds toyed with various concepts, including the idea of crafting a 100-Acre Woods or a land inspired by the Muppets. However, the turning point came when they considered the success of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” This film’s popularity and the desire to capitalize on contemporary trends set the stage for Toontown’s creation.

From Concept to Reality: The Birth of Toontown

In 1993, Mickey’s Toontown opened its gates at Disneyland, marking the first time in Disney Park history where guests could experience a fully realized, three-dimensional world of animation. This new land was not just a collection of attractions but a living, breathing community where Disney characters “lived,” worked, and played.

Building Challenges: Innovative Solutions

The design of Mickey’s Toontown broke new ground in theme park aesthetics. Imagineers were tasked with bringing the two-dimensional world of cartoons into a three-dimensional space. This led to the creation of over 2000 custom-built props and structures that embodied the ‘squash and stretch’ principle of animation, giving Toontown its distinctiveness.

And then there was also the challenge of hiding the Team Disney Anaheim building, which bore a striking resemblance to a giant hotdog. The Imagineers had to think creatively, using balloon tests and imaginative landscaping to seamlessly integrate Toontown into the larger park.

Key Attractions: Bringing Animation to Life

Mickey’s Toontown featured several groundbreaking attractions. “Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin,” inspired by the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” became a staple of Toontown, offering an innovative ride experience. Gadget’s Go-Coaster, though initially conceived as a Rescue Rangers-themed ride, became a hit with younger visitors, proving that innovative design could create memorable experiences for all ages.

Another crown jewel of Toontown is Mickey’s House, a walkthrough attraction that allowed guests to explore the home of Mickey Mouse himself. This attraction was more than just a house; it was a carefully crafted piece of Disney lore. The house was designed in the American Craftsman style, reflecting the era when Mickey would have theoretically purchased his first home in Hollywood. The attention to detail was meticulous, with over 2000 hand-crafted, custom-built props, ensuring that every corner of the house was brimming with character and charm. Interestingly, the design of Mickey’s House was inspired by a real home in Wichita Falls, making it a unique blend of real-world inspiration and Disney magic.

Mickey’s House also showcased Disney’s commitment to creating interactive and engaging experiences. Guests could make themselves at home, sitting in Mickey’s chair, listening to the radio, and exploring the many mementos and references to Mickey’s animated adventures throughout the years. This approach to attraction design – where storytelling and interactivity merged seamlessly – was a defining characteristic of ToonTown’s success.

Executive Decisions: Shaping ToonTown’s Unique Attractions

The development of Mickey’s Toontown wasn’t just about creative imagination; it was significantly influenced by strategic decisions from Disney executives. One notable input came from Jeffrey Katzenberg, who suggested incorporating a Rescue Rangers-themed ride. This idea was a reflection of the broader Disney strategy to integrate popular contemporary characters and themes into the park, ensuring that the attractions remained relevant and engaging for visitors.

In addition to Katzenberg’s influence, Frank Wells, the then-President of The Walt Disney Company, played a key role in the strategic launch of Toontown’s attractions. His decision to delay the opening of “Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin” until a year after Toontown’s debut was a calculated move. It was designed to maintain public interest in the park by offering new experiences over time, thereby giving guests more reasons to return to Disneyland.

These executive decisions highlight the careful planning and foresight that went into making Toontown a dynamic and continuously appealing part of Disneyland. By integrating current trends and strategically planning the rollout of attractions, Disney executives ensured that Toontown would not only capture the hearts of visitors upon its opening but would continue to draw them back for new experiences in the years to follow.

Global Influence: Toontown’s Worldwide Appeal

The concept of Mickey’s Toontown resonated so strongly that it was replicated at Tokyo Disneyland and influenced elements in Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland. Each park’s version of Toontown maintained the core essence of the original while adapting to its cultural and logistical environment.

Evolution and Reimagining: Toontown Today

As we approach the present day, Mickey’s Toontown has recently undergone a significant reimagining to welcome “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway” in 2023. This refurbishment aimed to enhance the land’s interactivity and appeal to a new generation of Disney fans, all while retaining the charm that has made ToonTown a beloved destination for nearly three decades.

Dive Deeper into ToonTown’s Story

Want to know more about Mickey’s Toontown and hear some fascinating behind-the-scenes stories, then check out the latest episode of Disney Unpacked on Patreon @JimHillMedia. In this episode, the main Imagineer who worked on the Toontown project shares lots of interesting stories and details that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s full of great information and fun facts, so be sure to give it a listen!

Jim Hill

Jim Hill is an entertainment writer who has specialized in covering The Walt Disney Company for nearly 40 years now. Over that time, he has interviewed hundreds of animators, actors, and Imagineers -- many of whom have shared behind-the-scenes stories with Mr. Hill about how the Mouse House really works. In addition to the 4000+ articles Jim has written for the Web, he also co-hosts a trio of popular podcasts: “Disney Dish with Len Testa,” “Fine Tooning with Drew Taylor” and “Marvel US Disney with Aaron Adams.” Mr. Hill makes his home in Southern New Hampshire with his lovely wife Nancy and two obnoxious cats, Ginger & Betty.

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Unpacking the History of the Pixar Place Hotel



Pixar Place Hotel, the newly unveiled 15-story tower at the Disneyland Resort, has been making waves in the Disney community. With its unique Pixar-themed design, it promises to be a favorite among visitors.

However, before we delve into this exciting addition to the Disneyland Resort, let’s take a look at the fascinating history of this remarkable hotel.

The Emergence of the Disneyland Hotel

To truly appreciate the story of the Pixar Place Hotel, we must turn back the clock to the early days of Disneyland. While Walt Disney had the visionary ideas and funding to create the iconic theme park, he faced a challenge when it came to providing accommodations for the park’s visitors. This is where his friend Jack Wrather enters the picture.

Jack Wrather, a fellow pioneer in the television industry, stepped in to assist Walt Disney in realizing his dream. Thanks to the success of the “Lassie” TV show produced by Wrather’s company, he had the financial means to build a hotel right across from Disneyland.

The result was the Disneyland Hotel, which opened its doors in October 1955. Interestingly, the early incarnation of this hotel had more of a motel feel than a hotel, with two-story buildings reminiscent of the roadside motels popular during the 1950s. The initial Disneyland Hotel consisted of modest structures that catered to visitors looking for affordable lodging close to the park. While the rooms were basic, it marked the beginning of something extraordinary.

The Evolution: From Emerald of Anaheim to Paradise Pier

As Disneyland’s popularity continued to soar, so did the demand for expansion and improved accommodations. In 1962, the addition of an 11-story tower transformed the Disneyland Hotel, marking a significant transition from a motel to a full-fledged hotel.

The addition of the 11-story tower elevated the Disneyland Hotel into a more prominent presence on the Anaheim skyline. At the time, it was the tallest structure in all of Orange County. The hotel’s prime location across from Disneyland made it an ideal choice for visitors. With the introduction of the monorail linking the park and the hotel, accessibility became even more convenient. Unique features like the Japanese-themed reflecting pools added to the hotel’s charm, reflecting a cultural influence that extended beyond Disney’s borders.

Japanese Tourism and Its Impact

During the 1960s and 1970s, Disneyland was attracting visitors from all corners of the world, including Japan. A significant number of Japanese tourists flocked to Anaheim to experience Walt Disney’s creation. To cater to this growing market, it wasn’t just the Disneyland Hotel that aimed to capture the attention of Japanese tourists. The Japanese Village in Buena Park, inspired by a similar attraction in Nara, Japan, was another significant spot.

These attractions sought to provide a taste of Japanese culture and hospitality, showcasing elements like tea ceremonies and beautiful ponds with rare carp and black swans. However, the Japanese Village closed its doors in 1975, likely due to the highly competitive nature of the Southern California tourist market.

The Emergence of the Emerald of Anaheim

With the surge in Japanese tourism, an opportunity arose—the construction of the Emerald of Anaheim, later known as the Disneyland Pacific Hotel. In May 1984, this 15-story hotel opened its doors.

What made the Emerald unique was its ownership. It was built not by The Walt Disney Company or the Oriental Land Company (which operated Tokyo Disneyland) but by the Tokyu Group. This group of Japanese businessmen already had a pair of hotels in Hawaii and saw potential in Anaheim’s proximity to Disneyland. Thus, they decided to embark on this new venture, specifically designed to cater to Japanese tourists looking to experience Southern California.

Financial Challenges and a Changing Landscape

The late 1980s brought about two significant financial crises in Japan—the crash of the NIKKEI stock market and the collapse of the Japanese real estate market. These crises had far-reaching effects, causing Japanese tourists to postpone or cancel their trips to the United States. As a result, reservations at the Emerald of Anaheim dwindled.

To adapt to these challenging times, the Tokyu Group merged the Emerald brand with its Pacific hotel chain, attempting to weather the storm. However, the financial turmoil took its toll on the Emerald, and changes were imminent.

The Transition to the Disneyland Pacific Hotel

In 1995, The Walt Disney Company took a significant step by purchasing the hotel formerly known as the Emerald of Anaheim for $35 million. This acquisition marked a change in the hotel’s fortunes. With Disney now in control, the hotel underwent a name change, becoming the Disneyland Pacific Hotel.

Transformation to Paradise Pier

The next phase of transformation occurred when Disney decided to rebrand the hotel as Paradise Pier Hotel. This decision aligned with Disney’s broader vision for the Disneyland Resort.

While the structural changes were limited, the hotel underwent a significant cosmetic makeover. Its exterior was painted to complement the color scheme of Paradise Pier, and wave-shaped crenellations adorned the rooftop, creating an illusion of seaside charm. This transformation was Disney’s attempt to seamlessly integrate the hotel into the Paradise Pier theme of Disney’s California Adventure Park.

Looking Beyond Paradise Pier: The Shift to Pixar Place

In 2018, Disneyland Resort rebranded Paradise Pier as Pixar Pier, a thematic area dedicated to celebrating the beloved characters and stories from Pixar Animation Studios. As a part of this transition, it became evident that the hotel formally known as the Disneyland Pacific Hotel could no longer maintain its Paradise Pier theme.

With Pixar Pier in full swing and two successful Pixar-themed hotels (Toy Story Hotels in Shanghai Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland), Disney decided to embark on a new venture—a hotel that would celebrate the vast world of Pixar. The result is Pixar Place Hotel, a 15-story tower that embraces the characters and stories from multiple Pixar movies and shorts. This fully Pixar-themed hotel is a first of its kind in the United States.

The Future of Pixar Place and Disneyland Resort

As we look ahead to the future, the Disneyland Resort continues to evolve. The recent news of a proposed $1.9 billion expansion as part of the Disneyland Forward project indicates that the area surrounding Pixar Place is expected to see further changes. Disneyland’s rich history and innovative spirit continue to shape its destiny.

In conclusion, the history of the Pixar Place Hotel is a testament to the ever-changing landscape of Disneyland Resort. From its humble beginnings as the Disneyland Hotel to its transformation into the fully Pixar-themed Pixar Place Hotel, this establishment has undergone several iterations. As Disneyland Resort continues to grow and adapt, we can only imagine what exciting developments lie ahead for this iconic destination.

If you want to hear more stories about the History of the Pixar Place hotel, check our special edition of Disney Unpacked over on YouTube.

Stay tuned for more updates and developments as we continue to explore the fascinating world of Disney, one story at a time.

Jim Hill

Jim Hill is an entertainment writer who has specialized in covering The Walt Disney Company for nearly 40 years now. Over that time, he has interviewed hundreds of animators, actors, and Imagineers -- many of whom have shared behind-the-scenes stories with Mr. Hill about how the Mouse House really works. In addition to the 4000+ articles Jim has written for the Web, he also co-hosts a trio of popular podcasts: “Disney Dish with Len Testa,” “Fine Tooning with Drew Taylor” and “Marvel US Disney with Aaron Adams.” Mr. Hill makes his home in Southern New Hampshire with his lovely wife Nancy and two obnoxious cats, Ginger & Betty.

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From Birthday Wishes to Toontown Dreams: How Toontown Came to Be



Mickey's Birthday Land

In the latest release of Episode 4 of Disney Unpacked, Len and I return, joined as always by Disney Imagineering legend, Jim Shull. This two-part episode covers all things Mickey’s Birthday Land and how it ultimately led to the inspiration behind Disneyland’s fan-favorite land, “Toontown”. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. It all starts in the early days at Disneyland.

Early Challenges in Meeting Mickey

Picture this: it’s the late 1970s and early 1980s, and you’re at Disneyland. You want to meet the one and only Mickey Mouse, but there’s no clear way to make it happen. You rely on Character Guides, those daily printed sheets that point you in Mickey’s general direction. But let’s be honest, it was like finding a needle in a haystack. Sometimes, you got lucky; other times, not so much.

Mickey’s Birthdayland: A Birthday Wish that Came True

Fast forward to the late 1980s. Disney World faced a big challenge. The Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park was under construction, with the company’s marketing machine in full swing, hyping up the opening of Walt Disney World’s third theme park, MGM Studios, in the Spring of 1989. This extensive marketing meant that many people were opting to postpone their family’s next trip to Walt Disney World until the following year. Walt Disney World needed something compelling to motivate guests to visit Florida in 1988, the year before Disney MGM Studios opened.

Enter stage left, Mickey’s Birthdayland. For the first time ever, an entire land was dedicated to a single character – and not just any character, but the mouse who started it all. Meeting Mickey was no longer a game of chance; it was practically guaranteed.

The Birth of Birthdayland: Creative Brilliance Meets Practicality

In this episode, we dissect the birth of Mickey’s Birthdayland, an initiative that went beyond celebrating a birthday. It was a calculated move, driven by guest feedback and a need to address issues dating back to 1971. Imagineers faced the monumental task of designing an experience that honored Mickey while efficiently managing the crowds. This required the perfect blend of creative flair and logistical prowess – a hallmark of Disney’s approach to theme park design.

Evolution: From Birthdayland to Toontown

The success of Mickey’s Birthdayland was a real game-changer, setting the stage for the birth of Toontown – an entire land that elevated character-centric areas to monumental new heights. Toontown wasn’t merely a spot to meet characters; it was an immersive experience that brought Disney animation to life. In the episode, we explore its innovative designs, playful architecture, and how every nook and cranny tells a story.

Impact on Disney Parks and Guests

Mickey’s Birthdayland and Toontown didn’t just reshape the physical landscape of Disney parks; they transformed the very essence of the guest experience. These lands introduced groundbreaking ways for visitors to connect with their beloved characters, making their Disney vacations even more unforgettable.

Beyond Attractions: A Cultural Influence

But the influence of these lands goes beyond mere attractions. Our episode delves into how Mickey’s Birthdayland and Toontown left an indelible mark on Disney’s culture, reflecting the company’s relentless dedication to innovation and guest satisfaction. It’s a journey into how a single idea can grow into a cherished cornerstone of the Disney Park experience.

Interested in learning about Jim Shull’s original idea for a Winnie the Pooh ride? Here’s concept art of the attraction proposed for the original Toontown in Disneyland. More on [Disney Unpacked].

Unwrapping the Full Story of Mickey’s Birthdayland

Our two-part episode of Disney Unpacked is available for your viewing pleasure on our Patreon page. And for those seeking a quicker Disney fix, we’ve got a condensed version waiting for you on our YouTube channel. Thank you for being a part of our Disney Unpacked community. Stay tuned for more episodes as we continue to “Unpack” the fascinating world of Disney, one story at a time.

Jim Hill

Jim Hill is an entertainment writer who has specialized in covering The Walt Disney Company for nearly 40 years now. Over that time, he has interviewed hundreds of animators, actors, and Imagineers -- many of whom have shared behind-the-scenes stories with Mr. Hill about how the Mouse House really works. In addition to the 4000+ articles Jim has written for the Web, he also co-hosts a trio of popular podcasts: “Disney Dish with Len Testa,” “Fine Tooning with Drew Taylor” and “Marvel US Disney with Aaron Adams.” Mr. Hill makes his home in Southern New Hampshire with his lovely wife Nancy and two obnoxious cats, Ginger & Betty.

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