Disney Dish Podcast

Disney Dish Live with Jim Hill and Len Testa November 10-13

by on July 6, 2017

Disney Dish Live – November 10-13

What is the Disney Dish Podcast and Disney Dish Live? We like to think joining TouringPlans is like going to Disney College. We give you the information you should know to have a great trip, including when and where to stay, what to eat and what to pass on, and how to organize your day to do what you want with less standing in line. But when you’re ready to take that knowledge to the next level, we produce the Disney Dish podcast. If TouringPlans is the “what” of your trip, Disney Dish is the “why.” Whether he’s going over recent news about Disney parks (and Universal) or talking about park history, Jim Hill (kept mostly on topic by Len Testa) knows his stuff.

Would you like to meet the hosts and hear a podcast being recorded? Hang out at the bar, and walk around the parks with them? Ask questions or suggest topics for a new show? Then join us and our travel partner, Storybook Destinations, at Coronado Springs for Disney Dish Live November 10-13, 2017.

Schedule and details are at StorybookDestinations.com/DisneyDish.

SATURDAY SIX: Six of Disney’s (Not So) Secret Plans for the Next 5 Years

by on August 16, 2014

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six of Disney’s (Not So) Secret Plans for the Next 5 Years. This past week The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish with Jim Hill podcast went over a lot of exciting possibilities for Walt Disney World’s near future.  The show was the talk of the theme park world, and while it was loaded with a metric ton of information, scintillating rumors, and insider scoops, we’re going to count down the six biggest takeaways of this audio starting with…

# 6 – The Sorcerer’s Hat ain’t going anywhere…


Haters gonna hate. (photo by Matt Cleary and Brandon Glover)


The era of nightmares doesn’t seem to be coming to an end anytime soon over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Jim Hill says that despite the fact that many guests see the giant Sorcerer’s hat sitting in the middle of the park as the biggest eyesore since Cinderella Castle was turned into a giant pink birthday cake, it serves an important purpose to the park. More to the point, the stage below the ugly hat plays a vital roll in allowing DHS to hold various live shows and draw the crowds away from popular attractions such as Tower of Terror and Toy Story Midway Mania.

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Touring Plans Podcast Network: What You May Have Missed Last Week

by on July 22, 2013

NetworkLogoSmallAs you may know by now, we have a series of wonderful podcast partners that we have organized into a lovely network, which is found over at podcast.touringplans.com, where you can direct download or listen on-site to any of our awesome partners. The feed is also on iTunes, Stitcher, Blubrry, and Windows Marketplace. and searching for TouringPlans.com Podcast Network will get you to it. Remember to subscribe so you get all of the amazing content as soon as it’s posted!

Here is what went on last week, just in case you missed any of the great content:

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New Unofficial Guide Disney Dish Podcast: History of WDW’s Moderate Resorts

by on June 17, 2013

Did you know that Dixie Landings was originally going to be built next to Downtown Disney? The idea was that Fulton’s Crab House would be one of the icons (as well as a snazzy restaurant) marking the entrance to this resort from DTD. Hear the whole story as Jim walks us through the history of Disney’s hotel development starting from Disneyland and going up through the Eisner era.

Here’s the link to listen in iTunesHere’s the direct MP3 file.

Please rate us on iTunes and let us know what you’d like to hear next.

New Unofficial Guide Disney Dish Podcast: Pirates of the Caribbean

by on June 4, 2013

Jim walks us through the history of Pirates of the Caribbean, first as the 1968 release Blackbeard’s Ghost (with Peter Ustinov), then as an attraction at Disneyland. Jim points out that even in the 1960’s, the attraction was borrowing scenes from the movie. Fast forward to the Pirates franchise movie franchise today, and you see a cycle where the movie borrows from the rides, then the rides borrow from the movie, and the cycle repeats with every sequel.

Here’s the link to listen in iTunesHere’s the direct MP3 file. The YouTube version is below:

Please rate us on iTunes and let us know what you’d like to hear next.

New Disney Dish Podcast w/ Jim Hill: Tokyo Disneyland’s 30th Birthday

by on April 15, 2013

Join Jim and me as we discuss the history of Tokyo Disneyland, from its conception through opening day and its reception by the Japanese people.  While the Oriental Land Company had long wanted a Disneyland of its own, it wasn’t until the late 1970’s when Disney finally took the idea seriously. Hear what it was like to be in those negotiations and how future projects, such as Tokyo DisneySea, also happened. And Jim has a surprisingly not disturbing discussion on Tokyo secretaries.

Here’s the link to listen in iTunesHere’s the direct MP3 file.


New Disney Dish Podcast w/ Jim Hill: Epcot’s Habit Heroes and IBM Think!

by on March 19, 2013

Join Jim and me as we review the new Habit Heroes and IBM Think! attractions at Epcot’s Innoventions. Jim also talks about the challenges in maintaining the “future” part of Future World. Here’s the link to listen in iTunes. Here’s the direct MP3 file.

One of the ideas discussed for keeping Future World “future-y” is to invite college and university R&D labs to exhibit their ideas. In 2008, for example, the folks at MIT’s User Innovation Lab were working with 3-D printers – three or four years before they became relatively common. Showing ideas such as those, while still in their infant stages, would give Epcot an element of “here’s the future” it’s (mostly) lacking.

How would you suggest Epcot bring back its future-looking perspective?

New UG Podcast with Jim Hill: The Hall of Presidents

by on February 27, 2013

Episode 36 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish podcast is out. Recorded last week at the Magic Kingdom, Jim Hill and I cover the history of Disney’s Hall of Presidents. From early demos using the head of Confucius, to then state-of-the-art animatronics for Abe Lincoln, Jim tells the story of how Walt got the idea for a patriotic show, then iterated through its design to its current form.

Links: iTunesRSS / Direct MP3 download


New Unofficial Guide Podcast Episode: Disneyland’s Toontown, With Jim Hill

by on December 28, 2012

Episode 32 in the Unofficial Guide Disney Dish series is available. iTunes link / Direct MP3

In this show, Jim and I walk through Disneyland’s Toontown and discuss how it came to be built.  As soon as the early 1960’s, Disney realized that guests wanted to interact more with their favorite characters.  Things really took off in the early 1980’s, though, when inexpensive videotape recorders began to replace 8 mm film recorders for home movies, and families no longer had to worry about the cost of filming longer and longer interactions with the characters.

Toontown is also one of the rare Disney theme park features that moved west from Disney World, instead of the other way around.  Jim talks about how Mickey’s 60th birthday party finally kickstarted the development of Toontown, and how the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit gave Disneyland it’s own version of the land.

Please rate the podcast on iTunes and leave feedback on what episodes you’d like to see next!  Here’s a link to the RSS feed to subscribe.

Links to Recent Episodes

Disneyland’s Toontown, with Jim Hill (Episode 32) — iTunes / Direct MP3

A History of Walt Disney World’s Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights (Bonus Episode) — iTunes / Direct MP3

Disneyland’s Fantasyland, with Jim Hill (Episode 31) — iTunes / Direct MP3

Disneyland’s Critter Country, with Jim Hill (Episode 30) — iTunes / Direct MP3

Disneyland’s Frontierland, with Jim Hill (Episode 29) — iTunes / Direct MP3

Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, with Jim Hill (Episode 28) — iTunes / Direct MP3

Disneyland’s Adventureland, with Jim Hill (Episode 27) — iTunes / Direct MP3

Disneyland’s Main Street, with Jim Hill (Episode 26) — iTunes / Direct MP3

How Disneyland Really Got Built, with Jim Hill (Episode 25) — iTunes / Direct MP3

New Unofficial Guide Podcast: Guns, Alcohol and Money on Disneyland’s Main Street USA

by on November 25, 2012

Episode 26 of the Unofficial Guide’s podcast is out. Join Jim and me as we walk through what Disneyland’s Main Street USA was like when it opened, and what Walt had planned for that part of the park. Recorded live on Main Street in Disneyland.

iTunes link hereMP3 link hereRSS feed here. And here’s an iTunes link to Warren Zevon’s song “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” which inspired this podcast’s title. It’s funny. Buy it.

Don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes and let us know what other topics you’d like to see covered. We’re planning our early 2013 schedule soon. Thanks!