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New Disney Unpacked Video: Crush’s Coaster

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Last month I posted on the launch of a new video series called Disney Unpacked, a video podcast with my Disney Dish podcast co-host Jim Hill, and retired Disney Imagineer Jim Shull.  Our first video was on the history of how Jim Shull helped bring the characters and story of Aladdin into Disney’s parks.

For Episode 2 of Disney Unpacked, Jim, Jim, and I have an incredible story to share with you. We’re diving deep into the fascinating story behind one of Disneyland Paris’s most beloved attractions – “Crush’s Coaster.” (Full episode on Patreon here; condensed version on YouTube here.)

A sketch of Crush from Turtle Talk

Setting the Stage

Picture this: a time when Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris found itself facing a unique challenge. They had a park to fill with attractions, and they needed something big, something that would not only draw in visitors but also leave them with unforgettable memories. The Tower of Terror was in the works, but it wouldn’t be ready in time to meet the park’s demands.

A Coaster Dream

On their wish list, Disney had a vision for a family-friendly coaster that would perfectly complement the existing Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. But it wasn’t just about adding any ride; they wanted something fresh, something that would stand out, and something tied to a beloved Disney story. So, where do you turn when you need to turn the tides in your favor? Enter our hero, Jim Shull, ready to take center stage.

Former Disney Imagineer Jim Shull getting a suntan
Former Disney Imagineer Jim Shull getting a suntan

Meet Jim Shull

Jim Shull, the unsung hero of Disney’s coaster world, stepped up to the plate and played a pivotal role in bringing “Crush’s Coaster” to life. His contributions didn’t just make it a reality; they transformed it into an instant hit, with crowds flocking to experience its exclusive thrills.

Behind-the-Scenes Challenges

But the story doesn’t end there. In this episode of Disney Unpacked, we’ll uncover the behind-the-scenes challenges faced by Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris as they embarked on their mission to increase ride capacity, ultimately leading to the birth of “Crush’s Coaster.”

The Perfect Theme

We’ll also delve into why “Finding Nemo” was the perfect choice for the theme of this aquatic adventure and how it ties into the beloved Pixar film. You’ll get the inside scoop on how the Imagineering team pitched the idea directly to Andrew Stanton, the director of “Finding Nemo,” and discover his role in bringing the ride to life.

We’re pretty sure that the image Jim supplied here is not of Andrew Stanton.

Creating an Immersive Story

And what’s a Disney attraction without an immersive story? We’ll reveal the ingenious design techniques used to weave a captivating narrative into a high-speed roller coaster, making it an experience that engages all your senses.

Transcending Language Barriers

Finally, we’ll explore why the ride was named “Crush’s Coaster” and how this choice reflects Disney’s commitment to creating attractions that resonate with visitors from around the world, regardless of their language.

Chinese text that tells riders they need to be sober to ride.
Chinese text that tells riders they need to be sober to ride.

Where to Watch

But here’s the best part – you don’t have to wait long to dive into this exciting episode. It’s already live, and you can catch the full 40-minute adventure over on our Patreon page. And for those of you who prefer your Disney info quick and snappy, we’ve got a shorter version waiting for you on YouTube.

So, grab your virtual snorkels and get ready to plunge into the depths of “Crush’s Coaster” with Disney Unpacked!

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Len Testa

Len Testa is the co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and has contributed to the Disneyland and Las Vegas Unofficial Guides. Most of his time is spent trying to keep up with the team. Len's email address is You can also follow him on Twitter: @lentesta.

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