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The Charles Schulz Museum celebrates the 40th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Roger Colton returns from Santa Rosa with a tale about an event that honored this much beloved TV special



Christmas time is here

Happiness and cheer

Fun for all that children call

Their favorite time of the year

Snowflakes in the air

Carols everywhere

Olden times and ancient rhymes

Of love and dreams to share

Sleigh bells in the air

Beauty everywhere

Yuletide by the fireside

And joyful memories there

Christmas time is here

We’ll be drawing near

Oh, that we could always see

Such spirit through the year

Oh, that we could always see

Such spirit through the year…

Forty years ago, Lee Mendelson wrote those words on the back on an envelope. Something quick to add a touch to a nice piece of music Vince Guaraldi had written.

Today, it is hard to imagine this simple sentiment not being a part of this holiday season. All because of a little animated television show that the world has come to love and cherish, called “A Charlie Brown Christmas“.

This past weekend, the Charles Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California hosted a retrospective for that little television show. Among the guests sharing their memories were Lee Mendelson (the show’s producer), Peter Robbins (the voice of Charlie Brown for the first five Peanuts animated specials), David Guaraldi (son of composer and jazz legend Vince Guaraldi), and many of the members of the children’s choir that brought those words above into the hearts of millions of people.

The Lobby of the Museum, with the little tree.

Lee Mendelson was the first guest speaker of the event. As well as relating the tale of how the show came to be, he shared some stories of how Charles Schulz was to work with on the Peanuts specials. One in particular was during an early conference on “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with animator Bill Melendez and “Sparky” (Charles Schulz nickname, taken from Barney Google’s horse, Sparkplug). Lee mentioned that the show was going to need a laugh track to help keep it moving along. Quietly, Charles Schulz stood up, walked out of the room and closed the door behind him. Lee, rather shocked, asked Bill what that was all about. Bill replied, “I guess that means we’re not having a laugh track!”

One concern that came along early in the development of the show was that of the true meaning of Christmas. Even in those pre-Politically Correct days, religion was something that you didn’t see or hear on prime time television. When Bill Melendez asked Charles Schulz about the reading of the Bible passage by Linus, he was told, “If we don’t do this, who else will?”

Lee also related how “Sparky” loved to play jokes on him. Even going so far as to put him into the comic strips on occasion. In one where Snoopy is the World Famous Check Out Clerk at the grocery store, he asks Mrs. Mendelson if her husband has found work yet. In one Sunday strip, the gang is playing croquet and Charlie Brown’s ball has been knocked clear across town. So he calls Lucy and asks her to call him at a telephone number when it is his turn in the game. And yes, that phone number was Lee’s home number. So on that Sunday morning when the strip appeared, he got plenty of phone calls. One of them was answered by his then six year-old daughter. She was asked if Charlie Brown was there and replied, “No, this is Lucy”. All she heard was a click as the caller hung up the phone.

Another great story was how Charles Schulz hated telephone answering machines. At the time, Lee had an hour tape in his machine. One day he noticed he had a message and went to check it. Yes, it was from “Sparky”. Reading Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”; a book referenced on a number of occasions in the strips. This went on for Forty-Two minutes! At the end, all he heard was Schulz giggling and then hanging up.

The trio of Mendelson, Melendez and Schulz combined for over 70 animated projects, the last of which is being finished now, entitled, “He’s A Bully, Charlie Brown”. It features a game of Marbles. And according to the way “Sparky” had written the story, Charlie Brown actually wins that game. No one believes him, of course. Lucy even goes so far as to say the game was fixed! Look for that to air some time in the coming year.

Peter Robbins shared some of his memories from working on the first five Peanuts specials. As a child actor, he worked on a number of television shows, but this one has become his favorite. He told of how it was hard to be so depressed as he loved Christmas time. Working with Bill Melendez as a coach being fed the lines from the script, he got the timing down for the voice, even to the point of taking on some of Bill’s Hispanic phrasing for some of the words!

It was considered a big risk to use children for the voices in the show. At that time, the practice was to use adult voice talents because they were used to the pace of recording for such a show. They could handle the many retakes better, so it was thought. But the use of realistic voices was one of the successes of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and all of the Peanuts specials. Lee related how they have always looked for voices similar to those used in the first show as people have come to know them so well over the years.

The same held true for the voices used to sing the Christmas songs for the show. A children’s choir from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, under the direction of Barry Minnah, in San Rafael, California was where those singers were from. In 1964, Vince Guaraldi was composing a jazz mass for performance at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and this choir was to be a part of that mass. About a year later, 12 children volunteered to help with a “little choir project”, that led them to a Fantasy Records studio on Treat Street in San Francisco. Several people remembered how much of a big thing it was to travel to San Francisco on a bus for those sessions and that they were allowed to stay up late on school nights. The retrospective was something of reunion for them with some members traveling from as far as way as Washington and Michigan. One of them even had a photostat (remember this was 1965, before Xerox and photo copies) of one of his paychecks from one of the recording sessions. They each were paid all of five dollars for a session.

David Guaraldi (left), the members of the St. Paul’s choir
and Lee Mendelson (kneeling).

The members of the Choir in attendance for the event were:

David Willat, Dan Bernhard, Marcia Goodrich, Nancy Goodrich, Steve Kendall, Ted King, Debbie Presco, Mark Jordan, Cam Cedarblade and Kristin Minnah (daughter of Director Barry Minnah)

Lee Mendelson shared that this day was the first time he had ever met any of the choir as the completed tapes had just been delivered to him for the show. For forty years, he had been under the mistaken impression that the songs were sung by his son Glenn’s sixth grade class. He was glad to be able to finally know who these people were and could now give them the credit they so richly deserved for all those years.


The afternoon continued with showings of “A Charlie Brown Christmas“, “The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas” (one of the special features found on the DVD of 2003’s “I Want A Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown“) and a choral performance of Christmas favorite songs.

The Santa Rosa High School Chamber Singers performed
“Christmas Time Is Here” and other holiday favorites.

After the retrospective in the Museum’s auditorium, many of the guests were available for further questions as well as autographs. It was also the perfect time to explore the Museum, something I had not done before. After hearing Lee tell about the fiftieth special and the marbles, it was interesting to see a wooden box of marbles among the items on display of Charles Schulz office upstairs. Another exhibit that brought me a number of great laughs was the Ode to Schroeder. It brought back great memories of reading those strips as well as my own days of piano lessons. A nice complimentary item on display upstairs is the toy piano played by Schroeder for the music in “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.

If you haven’t been to the Charles Schulz Museum before, you need to make the trip. Considering just how much the work of this man has become a part of our culture, this museum is a wonderful chance to learn more about him. And it doesn’t hurt that there is all of the wonderful artwork to see at the same time. This link has directions to the Museum and other information.

And don’t forget to check in next door at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena a.k.a. Snoopy’s Home Ice as well as Snoopy’s Gallery and Gift Shop. Plenty of things to tempt even the mildest of Peanuts fans there.

Speaking of other things to tempt you, a newly remastered superdisc version of the soundtrack for “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has arrived. A must for the audiophile or even just a fan of the great music of Vince Guaraldi. Check it out!

Finally, let me wish all of you the happiest of Christmases. Here’s hoping that you get to share the season with those who bring joy into your lives, no matter how far away they may be.

A special thanks to “sjlocke” for the generous donation to upgrade  our EZBoards and remove the pop-up’s. These boards are enjoyed by  many of you, and we all appreciate the support.

This year, the Christmas holiday is a difficult time for many people across the country. If you can find a way, do what you can to share with those in need. A donation to a charity in your community (such as your local food bank) will go a very long way right now. Everything from the United Way to the Salvation Army to Toys for Tots and more will appreciate your help.

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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