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Theme Parks & Themed Entertainment


Ah… another week and another column from Roger. Apologies as the promised topic is set back a few weeks, but it will be a bit more in depth when it finally appears. Fandom’s that crossover in the night or something like that. In its place, another all over the map, and even some minor Cranky Pants moments.



Well, looks like we renewed our Disneyland Premium Annual Passports just in the nick of time. Seems that, surprise! Last Sunday, the suits at TDA figured they could sneak out a price increase all around for guests.

Now I’m not insensitive to the foibles of business and that from time to time, an increase in admissions may be the right thing to do. But in the middle of spring break and with lots of construction ongoing, you can be easily forgiven for asking, “What in heck are they thinking?”

Seems that there are those genius Accountanteers who feel that too many of us may be leaving the parks with funds unspent. So this is their easiest or least resistant method of extorting, eh, streamlining that extra moolah from our pockets. Never mind the poor folks who staff the ticket booths and the grief they will get for the next six months over it. Why they’re damn lucky to have jobs! They should pay Disney for the privilege of taking that abuse from those unhappy “Guests”.

It seems odd that these financial weasels didn’t decide to go for the gusto and eliminate the Southern California resident passes altogether. Those cheap passes are the baby-sitting answer for the bored teenagers of the southland. Drop ’em off in the morning and be back in the evening to collect. Works like a charm, right? Doing away with this demographic group would have several positives results for other “Guests”, in this writer’s humble opinion. Fewer angsty, chain-smoking Goth wanna-be’s dragging their butts about the parks and less whining about how much they hate the place, and why isn’t the food cheaper here, and on and on and on… It shouldn’t take an MBA with a PDA doing surveys to see that local residents spend less per visit than the folks who live farther from the parks and hence don’t enjoy the Mickey & Friends parking structure to the point where they know the Cast Members who work the rows and trams on a first name basis.

Watching how prices for AP’s have gone up over the years is definitely amusing. I do not mind spending more, but sure hope there is something offered in return. Instead, we will likely see discounts and or benefits refined to the point of extinction, if some of the cubicle vermin have their ways with the program. Got to say, the genie was out of the bottle long before they started work on “Aladdin” in Burbank. There’s not much chance of going back to the way things were before a one-price for all activities. And if you’re willing to place a wager about prices going down for admissions, I think I can find someone in Vegas to give you long odds on it ever happening. In other words, save those pennies to get through the gate for the next trip.

Over the years, I’ve always looked at an AP as the equivalent of a multi-day pass. Now, the Premium AP (at $279.00) is equal to about five and one half daily admissions to one of the two parks. So far, I’ve already covered a day and a half. That leaves four more days to enjoy to feel that it’s amortized.

All righty then. Enough of the AP rant, okay? Time to change from the Cranky Pants.

Quietly sneaking in under the radar, in the news earlier this week was the decision of the judge in the lawsuit over the rights to the profits from Disney’s “Winnie-The-Pooh” empire. This link from the SF Chronicle sums up the story pretty well.

“Superior Court Judge Charles W. McCoy Jr. ruled Monday that the owner of those rights unlawfully obtained confidential documents from Disney offices and trash.

McCoy dismissed the suit with prejudice, meaning Pooh rights owner Stephen Slesinger Inc. cannot sue again on the claim.”

Of course now there will be never ending appeals (after thirteen plus years so far) unless the two sides quietly reach a settlement. But it is a definite victory for Disney as they stood to pay out one heck of a lot from the sales of all that popular “Pooh” merchandise from t-shirts to plush to DVD’s, etcetera…

So, the next time you buy something at Wal-Mart with a “Pooh” connection, rest assured it’s doing its bit for that mythical thirty percent return Mikey, eh, Michael Eisner promised in Philadelphia.

(And I thought it ironic how the alleged W.C. Fields epitaph didn’t come out during all that. “All things considered. I’d rather be in Philadelphia.” But why stop there? Here’s another one of note: “Never mind what I told you–you do as I tell you.”)

Well, dipping into the well of rumors, I’ve heard that the Disneyland Dinner Train concept is still alive and kicking. Seems that this came from outside Disney to TDA from a dinner train operator. There is even a plan to have cars purpose built by a company that does the same for major players in the tourism industry. No word about motive power for this fantasy train. As the locomotives of the fleet have their hands full with the current consists, it will be amusing to see where this ends up. Not to mention where such a train would be stored. Maybe they would revive the original railroad buildings and spur. Look for the boarded-over tunnel on the left side of the track between Frontierland and Toontown on your next ride. Lot’s of photos showing trains here once upon a time. Last time I looked the building was still there as well, but I don’t know what it’s being used for now.

Still, I think the whole concept is out of place for Disneyland. Disney World would be a much better place and the locomotive fleet there has bigger and better power to put to use for such a concept. Dinner trains need big capacity to serve as many diners as possible. If TDA does bite, I predict the operation would flop, and they would look to sell off the train set just to cut their losses, as quick as they could. Or like the Fort Wilderness Railroad, they might shove it out back somewhere under tarps until it’s all forgotten.

This isn’t the first dining experience that’s been dreamed up along the way. One plan had guests boarding the Mark Twain for dinner cruises. (Of course that would be difficult with Fantasmic show operations.) It’s been done elsewhere in a similar fashion. Glen Bell, the man behind Taco Bell, had his own theme park on the former Westside Lumber Company mill property in Tuolumne here in California’s Gold Country. The scheme there involved dinner boats (small motorized barges) that took passengers from a dock on a cruise around the former lumber mill pond. The boats docked again for each new course, and finally to put passengers ashore. It was a pleasant way to spend an evening. (The Westside & Cherry Valley lasted about 7 years in operation before closing in the mid eighties for a variety of reasons. Now it’s an Indian gaming location, and the railroad part of the place may come back to life.)

Still, one can only hope that saner thinking will prevail and this Dinner Train idea will just go away for good. Things can be interesting enough with parade route crossings and fireworks slowing and stopping trains during an evening. If Disney truly wants another upscale dining operation, by all means build one, but think fixed plant versus mobile. It’s just one heck of a lot easier on everyone concerned.

Spring training is coming to an end, and the Major League Baseball season is already underway as the Yankees and Devil Rays are playing in Japan. This year will be interesting as it’s the first year Disney does not have an interest in the Angels. Will Disney still be offering those value- priced tickets to games at nearby Edison Field? Guess we’ll have to wait and see. The Chronicle had a look at that baseball staple, the hot dog. One of my favorite sci-fi movie moments is from “2010” with John Lithgow and Roy Scheider discussing ball park hot dogs.

Heywood Floyd: I miss a hot dog.
Walter Curnow: Astrodome. Good hot dogs there.
Heywood Floyd: Astrodome? You can’t grow a good hot dog indoors. Yankee Stadium. September. The hot dogs have been broiling since opening day in April. Now that’s a hot dog.
Walter Curnow: The yellow mustard or the darker kind?
Heywood Floyd: The darker kind.
Walter Curnow: Very important.

I’m off on a trip this weekend to take in some baseball from a different perspective — Baltimore. It promises to be very interesting in more ways than I can think of, and you’ll read all about it right here next week. But ballpark food isn’t what it used to be, and that’s no joke. Where once a hot dog was about all you could expect, now it’s crab cakes and BBQ. The diet is gonna bend a bit this week…

I don’t know if Disney had any part in this, but here in San Francisco, about 2200 kids got a rare treat. “The Lion King” musical is in town and producer Carol Shorenstein Hays sprang for one heck of a great field trip for them. And the free (and the tax write-off for “supporting the schools”) publicity for the show doesn’t hurt either, with the cost of tickets valued somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000 plus free (as opposed to $4 each) water bottles for the wee folks. (And you thought water at Disneyland was expensive!)

So, don’t forget to turn those clocks ahead this weekend, and change those smoke detector batteries while you’re at it anyway. Remember, it’s a jungle out there. May the farce be with you…

Once more, Roger wants to shovel out a pitch for you all to support the Message Boards by either a donation or accepting one of the offers. EZBoard keeps the ads coming if we don’t. So with over 925 folks registered for them, it’s really won’t hurt all that much if a few folks drop a buck in the slot to keep them advertising free. Please?

Roger Colton

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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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