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“Water to Paper, Paper to Sky – The Art of Tyrus Wong” exhibit opens at the Walt Disney Family Museum

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On the subject of Walt Disney, a somewhat common thread is
how well he placed people where their talents could do the best for a
particular project. Plenty of good tales over the years of how people realized
what they were best at after Walt “set them on the path”. In one case, the
person in question never met Walt Disney. Yet his work at the Studio on a
particular project has influenced generations of artists. And his time inside
the gates was surprisingly short.


Walt Disney Family Museum Director of Collections Michael
Labrie, curator of the
exhibition (left) and Tyrus Wong (right) enjoy an
amusing tale during the
press preview. Photo by Roger Colton

This artist? Tyrus Wong. The project was “Bambi
” and his
mark left upon the film is unquestionably one of the most legendary in the
history of the company. The Walt Disney Family Museum recently opened a new
exhibition, “Water to Paper, Paper to Sky – The Art of Tyrus Wong.” During a
preview event, I could not help but consider the irony of the location of the
exhibit in San Francisco. The story began in 1919, short miles away across the
Bay from the Presidio, as Wong and his father arrived from China at the Angel
Island Immigration Station.


San Francisco’s famed
Golden Gate as seen from China Beach. Photo by Roger Colton

During the introduction of the exhibit, Wong told of his
appreciation to his father. Leaving his mother and sister behind in China, they
came to California. His father had been here before as a merchant and was free
to travel. Tyrus as a new immigrant was not, due to the Chinese Exclusion Act
of 1882. He had to wait. Finally, he was able to leave and joined his father in
Sacramento. They traveled to Los Angeles, where his father operated a rooming
house for Chinese farmers.


A young Tyrus Wong,
before immigration to the United States.
Image courtesy of the
Walt Disney Family
Museum and Tyrus Wong

It was during these years that Tyrus displayed an interest
in drawing and painting. His father had him practice calligraphy by painting
with water on newspapers. Tyrus shared that during this time he also began
painting for money, 50 cents the usual price. The farmers, all men, would often
ask for the same thing, remembrances of home. It got so that he almost was able
to list what they would want; a woman feeding chickens seemed to be a favorite
request of many.

His interest in art led to a full scholarship from the Otis
Institute of Art
, where he was instructed in the western school of art. He
balanced that with his own appreciation of the Sung Dynasty art at the Los
Angeles Central Library. During the Depression, he was part of an Orientalist
group of artists which brought him exhibitions across the country including a
1932 showing at the Chicago Art Institute. Although his work was seen by many,
he struggled to survive.


Tyrus Wong shares
some tales from his days on the Disney “Bambi” production with a
television
crew during the press preview of the exhibition. Photo by Roger
Colton

In 1938, he joined the Disney Studio as an in-betweener,
drawing hundreds of sketches of Mickey Mouse. While a job, he found it boring
and repetitious. When “Bambi” began production, he submitted samples of art,
hoping to move to that team. Although small in scale, his art caught the eye of
Walt and greatly influenced the production. For example, when showing a forest
scene, it would not be necessary to create the image in detail. Rather key
elements would be highlighted, letting the mind’s eye fill in the details. Such
can be seen in this 1942 image below. The Chinese minimalist school of art
provided just the tone to bring this tale to life so vividly for audiences.

From the Disney Legend web page for Tyrus Wong :

When Walt Disney saw Ty’s
inspirational sketches, he was intrigued by their mysterious quality. The artist
later told animation historian John Canemaker for his book Before the Animation Begins
,”Walt
wanted something different for Bambi.” As Thomas and Johnston wrote, “In
contrast to the paintings that showed every detail of tiny flowers, broken
branches, and fallen logs, Ty had a different approach and certainly one that
had never been seen in an animated film before. He [Ty] explained, ‘Too much
detail-I tried to keep the thing very, very simple and create the atmosphere,
the feeling of the forest.'”


A classic image from
“Bambi” as conceptualized by Tyrus Wong. Image
courtesy of the
Walt Disney Family Museum and Tyrus Wong

Sadly, Tyrus
Wong was one of the casualties of the strike at the Disney Studio. With a
family to feed, he went to work at Warner Bros. Studios as a production
illustrator. He worked on a variety of films, including being loaned out to
Republic Pictures. While there, he worked on several John Wayne westerns – a
favorite film genre of his. Among the many films he provided concept art for
were “Rebel Without A Cause
,” “Calamity Jane
,”
Harper
,” “The Ice Palace
,” “The Wild Bunch
,” “Sands of Iwo Jima
,” “Auntie
Mame

,” “April in Paris
,” “Around the World in 80 Days
” and “PT 109
“. He worked
there for 26 years, “retiring” in 1968. (An interesting side note with another
Disney twist. Another artist at Warner Bros., Harper Goff designed the interior
saloon set used for “Calamity Jane”. That same set was recreated at Disneyland
as the interior of Golden Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland. Small world,
indeed…)


One of the conceptual drawings from “The Wild Bunch.” Image courtesy of the

Walt Disney Family Museum and Tyrus Wong

Tyrus Wong
also created art for the consumer. Everything from ceramics to textiles to
greeting cards over the years.  Art was
available at various high-end stores in the Los Angeles area.  His Christmas cards were a favorite of many.
Every year he would design 20 to 25 different images, spending his summers
listening to Christmas carols in sunny Southern California. Some of these
images are available on post cards, along with some from “Bambi” are available
in the gift shop at the Walt Disney Family Museum. Plans are to reissue some of
the Christmas cards later this year. Also available are scarves and a fine
exhibit catalog.


A fondly remembered Christmas card. Image courtesy of the
Walt Disney
Family Museum and Tyrus Wong

In “retirement”, Tyrus took to the skies with the creation
of many kites. Many of his designs are on display above the exhibition. Even at
the age of 102, Tryus still flies them every month on the beach at Santa
Monica. The Museum will be having several events featuring kites including the
opportunity to build and fly on the Main Post Parade Ground at the Presidio.


Tyrus and one of his kites on the beach. Image courtesy of
the
Walt Disney Family Museum and Tyrus Wong

This exhibition contains over 150 pieces of the artwork of
Tyrus Wong including paintings,
sculptures, works on paper, painted scarves, ceramics, kites, and more.
Organized by the Museum’s Director of Collections, Michael Labrie, it offers
visitors a fantastic glimpse into the work of this artist as well as telling of
how his work has inspired so many.


Tyrus with some of his many kites on display, a pair
of
seagulls in flight. Photo by Roger Colton

“Water to Paper, Paint to Sky – The Art of Tyrus Wong” will
be on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum until February 3rd, 2014. The
exhibition can be viewed in the special exhibition gallery located behind the
Museum. Separate admission fees are charged for both the standard Museum
gallery tour and the Tyrus Wong exhibition.


Banners for the exhibition along the walkway to the special
gallery.
Photo by Roger Colton


Image courtesy of the Walt Disney Family Museum and Tyrus Wong

The Walt Disney Family Museum is located in a historic
brick building. The 40,000 square foot Museum was imaginatively re-conceived to
house ten interactive galleries, featuring a glass-walled back exterior that
frames a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Museum tells the story
of the man behind the myth in Disney’s own voice and in contemporary exhibits
that feature state-of-the-art technologies, listening stations, more
than 200 video screens and a 14 foot model of Disneyland. Visitors can also
enjoy the Museum store, and the 114 seat, Fantasia-themed theater, which shows
Disney classics daily.

The museum is
open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays through Mondays. Closed on Tuesdays, and
January 1, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25.

Admission for
both the Museum and the Tyrus Wong exhibition can be purchased at the door, or
online.

The Walt Disney
Family Museum is located at 104 Montgomery Street on the Main Post of the
historic Presidio in San Francisco. For more information, visit www.waltdisney.org.

EDITOR’S NOTE: And if you’d like to read some more Roger Colton goodness, be sure and head over to The Blue Parrot, Mr. Colton’s personal blog.

Roger Colton

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History

The Evolution and History of Mickey’s ToonTown

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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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History

Unpacking the History of the Pixar Place Hotel

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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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History

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

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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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