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Theme Parks & Themed Entertainment

Ruminations – A Cornucopia of Items

It’s a bonanza of miscellaneous topics as Roger returns with this week’s Ruminations.



Oh, where to start this week? How about, here! Michael Fry and T Lewis are always good for a laugh with “Over The Hedge”…

Is it just me or have Vanilla and Lemon Diet Coke headed off to join New Coke in the great retail beyond? They don’t seem to be obvious on the shelf out here in the Bay Area. All I can find is Lime Diet Coke. Anyone care to remember back when your diet choices from Coca Cola were limited to either Tab or Fresca?

Where did it all go?

While I haven’t had the chance to see it for myself yet, the buzz I’ve been hearing about the new Trader Vic’s in San Francisco isn’t complimentary. I did enjoy a good dinner (ummm, Hawaiian Pork Chop with Maui Onions) at the Emeryville location a few weeks ago. And the original hand-made Mai Tai was as good as ever.

Michel and I spent the night at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in San Francisco a few weeks ago. Wow! Let me say that again. Wow! From the moment we arrived until the moment we left, it was impressive. As their web pages proudly announce, this “is the only hotel in North America to capture Mobil Travel Guide’s Five Stars and AAA’s Five Diamonds for the hotel, as well as its renowned Dining Room.” Our room was on the northeast corner of the hotel on California Street with a view of the Bay and Chinatown. At one point, Michele asked what a particular noise was. Without missing a beat, I replied, “Cable Cars”. Not something most people hear every day.   

As difficult to leave as it was on a bright and sunny Sunday morning, we went off and enjoyed a nice drive around San Francisco in our new 2002 Mercury Sable. A visit to Seacliff and the ancestral home led down to China Beach for a spectacular view of the Golden Gate, bridge and all. Another place we need to visit for an epicurean adventure is the newly restored Cliff House. Past visits included a memorable wedding and reception as well as visits with good friends from out of town. Ocean Beach was full of folks out and about enjoying the sun, and a mild breeze while the Bay Area enjoyed a bit of seasonably unusual warm weather. This last week found me wishing for a bit of that as the rain returned to the winter pattern.

Cruiser inspects the new beast in the family.

Boy, things sure are busy at the Oakland Paramount! Along with the Movie Classics (which is doing an interesting mini-festival of how a picture gets remade over the decades), there is something for everyone. Bill Cosby, Journey, the Pat Metheny Group, Bob Dylan, Alicia Keyes and Elvis Costello? Talk about your culture clash…

Well, some fans of Star Trek: Enterprise won’t give up on the show, even if UPN, Viacom and Paramount have. Check out this ad they ran on February 15th in the Los Angeles Times. As much as they hope it will continue on elsewhere, Scott Bakula pretty well described the final resolution for the show in a chat on on Friday, February 11 th.

Well, I’m disappointed, and everyone involved with the show is disappointed. Obviously we’re all very emotionally attached to the show and we’re all having a great time making the show. So you would like that kind of a situation to continue.

Unfortunately we don’t fit into UPN’s business plan and really haven’t for the last two and a half years. So that’s a situation that’s out of our control and ultimately has no reflection on our show or the quality of our show. Or the commitment of all of our fans.

It’s hard not to take it personally, but in the end we got one more season than UPN wanted to give us, thanks to Garry Hart [President, Paramount Television Production], so we feel lucky about that.”

Just ask David Letterman how flexible his buddy Les Moonves is. And it’s worth noting this isn’t the first time Les has done in a Scott Bakula show. Anyone remember a show called “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”? That was a mid-season casualty on CBS in 1996.

Nice to see Central Park getting the “Christo” touch for a few weeks. Something about orange… We got ours out here in both northern and southern California. I missed the running fence, but did see the umbrellas on the Grapevine before their unfortunate end. Thanks to Jerry Beck and his Cartoon Brew crew for reminding me of the Charles Schulz Peanuts strip with Snoopy from 1978. A good one to bookmark, the Brew. And the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa remains one of those places I really need to visit. Maybe some place to take the new beast, or the “Silver Payment” for a road trip one afternoon.

Oh, those wacky Grammys! The SF Chronicle got it right when they said “Bad fashion, bad music, tributes to dead people. Ray Charles was lucky to miss it”. Nice to see these categories, however:

Musical Show Album: “Wicked.”

Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: ” Garden State,” Various Artists.

Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” Howard Shore, composer.

Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: “Into the West,” Annie Lennox, Howard Shore and Fran Walsh, songwriters, track from “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

On the subject of music, how about another find from the Cartoon Brew pages? “Janet Klein and her Parlor Boys” offer selections from the 1910’s, 20’s and 30’s along with some wonderful art in the style and spirit of the same period. Check out a few MP3 previews on the mail order page!

As if I don’t have enough reasons to make a trip back to Oahu, there’s a new book on the Oahu Railway and Land Company. “Next Stop Honolulu” fills in more of the gaps with all kinds wonderful information. It’s kind of a continuing chapter in the transportation history of the island after the authors previous work “Streetcar Days in Honolulu” – now available for only $10! Also on the horizon is the second volume of Hawaiian Railway Album with more views of the Oahu Railway. I’m gonna need more than a couple of days to explore using all of this reference material on my next visit to Honolulu…

Disney Home Video is releasing a few titles on DVD that definitely take me back to the Saturday matinees from the Seventies. Look for “The Barefoot Executive“, “The Million Dollar Duck“, “The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffith” and *** Van *** in “Lt. Robin Crusoe U.S.N.” to appear in stores on April 12 th. The last one was a particular favorite of mine that I haven’t seen in probably twenty five years. No clues yet as to what we can expect later this year to continue the extremely popular Walt Disney Treasures series…

Set sail for a little bit of nostalgia?

Last Sunday was a fun day here in Livermore as Cindy Russell had her Valentine’s Day event at Where The Magic Begins. The featured guests were Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor – the voices of Mickey and Minnie. While I arrived later in the afternoon, it seems that there were a lot of happy folks all day long. Kudo’s to Wayne and Russi for meeting all of their fans, and for being, well… just so plain nice! There were plenty of items autographed and lots of fun for everyone. And lots of Mouse voices making people happy, too!

Wayne and Russi signing for a trio of their fans…

After the successful day’s festivities there was time to enjoy a quiet dinner.
From left to right: Russi Taylor, Rick Russell, Wayne Allwine and Cindy Russell.

Checking the social calendar, it seems I’ll be departing Anaheim the day before Jim comes to town for the next round of Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure tours. If you haven’t taken one of these adventures in sunburn with Jim, I heartily recommend making your reservation! The folks who have enjoyed these can relate their own tales, but let me assure you that you won’t regret taking the plunge and experience one for yourself. And it’s nice to meet some of the folks who drop in now and then on our message boards!

Speaking of the message boards… It’s that time again. We need to ante up and pay for another six months from EZBoard. Our Gold membership expires on March 15.

It’s all of $44.00 to cover the cost of hosting them for that amount of time. You can make a donation or take advantage of one of the many offers to help offset the cost. Your generosity will help keep them free of advertisements. With over 200 folks registered for the boards, even a small amount can add up. Do what you can, and know it is appreciated. But also know that if we don’t raise the bucks, the advertisements will. In the words of Robert Heinlein, “TANSTAAFL” (which translates to “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch)!

That’s all for this week from me. Now it’s off to go be abused by the cat…

Next up? A good question! Only the deadline knows for sure, so stay tuned until then!

Your continuing support of the Red Cross and other Tsunami Relief organizations does make the difference. Just because the story is gone from the headlines doesn’t mean the need has ceased. Perhaps it is more important now than ever to do what you can.

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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