Episodes

December 14, 2017

Episode 142: History of the SpectroMagic Parade, part 1

Jim gives the history of the SpectroMagic parade by starting out with an explanation of *why* Disney needed a nighttime parade to begin with, and what they tried to begin with.

November 30, 2017

(Updated) Episode 141: How Disney's Theme Park Music Affects You (with Gregory Camp)

We talk with musicologist (and Disney parks fan) Dr. Gregory Camp about how Disney chooses music to convey mood and theme inside its theme parks. We've added music to the re-release of this episode, so you can hear what we're talking about.

November 20, 2017

Episode 140: DisneyDish Live Event! "What's This? with Jim Hill"

In this live event at Walt Disney World, Len shows Jim a set of around 60 slides culled from the Disney archives, and asks Jim to explain what's being shown.

November 07, 2017

Episode 139: Disney's TV Influences in Theme Parks

Jim starts to answer a listener question about how Disney's TV shows end up in the theme parks.

October 25, 2017

Sneak Peek of Jim's new podcast Marvel Us / Episode 1: Spidey's Long Road Back Home

In the first installment of a brand-new series of podcasts, Jim Hill and Aaron Adams use "Spider-Man Homecoming" as an excuse to look back at the past 15 years worth of Spidey movies. They also talk about the "Venom" project that Sony just put into production earlier this week.

October 19, 2017

Episode 138 - The Mineral King Project, Part 2

Jim finishes the history of the Mineral King project, which fell apart for a number of reasons.

September 28, 2017

Episode 137 - Mickey's Toontown in Disneyland, Part 2

Jim continues talking about how Toontown was formed, including what happened after it just opened.

September 14, 2017

Episode 136 - Mickey's Toontown in Disneyland

Jim starts telling us the story of how Mickey's Toontown came to Disneyland. It all started - and who'd believe this? - when Disney found itself in need of a quick attraction to boost short-term attendance numbers. And by "short term" we all know it was 20 years. Here's how it got started.

August 31, 2017

Episode 135 - The History of Fantasmic, Part 3 of 3

Jim finishes the history of Fantasmic at Disneyland. After the initial success of the show, Disney faced challenges in updating it and in rolling it out to Walt Disney World. Jim tells those stories, as well as what we can expect from the next version of the show.

August 14, 2017

Episode 134 - Remembering Marty Sklar

Jim and Len look back at the career of Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar, who passed away on July 27. Marty started his career editing the Disneyland newspaper in 1955, working directly with Walt. Over the years he was responsible for crafting the scripts, messaging, and themes of some of Disney's best attractions, from the 1964 World's Fair, to Epcot and beyond.

July 31, 2017

Episode 133 - The History of Fantasmic! Part 2

Would you believe that Maleficent's flames involve non-dairy coffee creamer? In this episode, Jim and Len continue the history of Fantasmic, talking about how Disney Imagineers came up with some of the show's iconic effects and scenes. Jim also explains the pressure that Disney was under as the show's debut got closer and closer.

July 15, 2017

Episode 132 - What DID and DID NOT Get Announced at D23

Jim is back from D23 where he interviewed lots of people attached to lots of projects, some of which got announced and some that didn't. Jim tells why the things that didn't get talked about, didn't get talked about.

July 15, 2017

Episode 131 - The History of Fantasmic!

With the impending re-opening of Disneyland's Fantasmic!, Jim walks us through the history of the attraction.

June 30, 2017

Episode 130 - The History of Pixar in Disney's Theme Parks

Jim walks through the history of Pixar's involvement in Disney's theme parks, from inspiring films, to parades, and rides.

June 16, 2017

Episode 129 - History of Character Greetings plus NintendoLand and Star Wars Hotel News

Jim also updates us on the Star Wars hotel idea that's being considered for Disney's Hollywood Studios.

May 31, 2017

Episode 128 - Is "Tapu Tapu" Samoan for "Opening Day Disaster?" and Guardians of the Galaxy opens at DCA.

Jim attends the opening day ceremonies at Universal's Volcano Bay water park, then flies across the country for the debut of Guardians of the Galaxy at DCA.

May 25, 2017

Bonus Episode - Pandora Food and Merchandise, plus WDW News

Jim and Len walk through the food and merchandise to tell you what's interesting and what's tasty.

May 15, 2017

Episode 127 - We review Pandora - The World of Avatar

It's been almost 6 years in the making, but Disney's Animal Kingdom has finally opened Pandora - The World of Avatar, based on James Cameron's film franchise. Jim and Len walk through the land and rides to tell you how it turned out.

April 30, 2017

Episode 126 - When Harrods Almost Came to Disney (Chronological Disney)

Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Disney wanted to build malls as part of its Downtown Disney strategies. In order to get elite, anchor stores like Harrods into Florida, Disney supposedly offered them a two-for-one deal that involved Florida and ...

April 13, 2017

Episode 125 - The Master Plan for Disney Seas California (Disneyland's Unbuilt Second Gate mini-series)

Jim talks about how Imagineer Kim Murphy's aquarium-centered career at SeaWorld and Epcot's The Seas leads to the ideas for another of Disney's nautical-themed second gates for California - Disney Seas.

April 03, 2017

Episode 124 - When Disneyland's Second Gate was a Boat (Chronological Disneyland Series)

Jim tells the story of how back in the early 1990's, when Disneyland was looking to expand, it considered the Queen Mary in Long Beach Harbor as part of its expansion plans.

March 18, 2017

Episode 123 - Disney World stories we'll tell in the 2018 Unofficial Guide

Every spring, Jim and Len get together to talk about the mini-stories that go into the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. It's how the podcast got started, in fact. This show is our actual conversation about what's going in to the 2018 edition.

March 02, 2017

Episode 122 - The First Second Gate (Chronological Disneyland)

Back in 1990, Disneyland was ready to invest in a second theme park in Anaheim. It wasn't the first time, though, that the Disney corportation looked to expand its footprint in California. In fact, Walt had an ambitious plan way back in 1962. Here's that story.

February 19, 2017

Episode 121 - Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs News and Disney buys Disneyland Paris

Jim and Len recorded this show a couple of days before the Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs news hit last week. Also Jim talks about why Disney just bought the other half of Disneyland Paris.