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Emily Merkley

Community Fights to Prevent Disney Park Developmenton Historic Ground in Link TV’s Television Premiere of WHEN MICKEY CAME TO TOWN Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

A Film About How a Group of Virginians Stood Up To America’s Favorite Mouse

When Mickey Came To Town Press Image
Photo by Ken Garrett


Airs Thurs., Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Link TV (DirecTV 375 and DISH 9410) 
Also available for streaming on LinkTV.org

Against overwhelming odds, a local Virginia community challenges one of America’s most beloved icons to save a historic battleground in the television broadcast debut of the 30-minute documentary special WHEN MICKEY CAME TO TOWN.  In the 1990s, The Walt Disney Company unveiled plans for a new theme park in Haymarket, Virginia, near some of the most significant battlefields of the Civil War. Originally, state government officials hailed the plan as a boon to the state of Virginia. Soon, however, local residents, regional environmentalists and national Civil War historians came to realize that the promise of new jobs and the shine of the Disney brand were masking the many ways in which a multi-billion dollar development on historic ground on the edge of the Washington D.C. metropolitan region was a bad idea.

Against an initial 75 percent public approval rating, a small team of residents and advocates joined forces to mount a campaign to convince Disney and the State of Virginia that these rural and sacred lands were not the appropriate sites for an American history-themed Disney park. In less than a year, in the face of mounting opposition, Disney withdrew its plans to build “Disney's America” which would have leveled hundreds of acres of forest and farmland throughout Virginia's northern Piedmont.

WHEN MICKEY CAME TO TOWN is produced and directed by Sam Sheline.  Executive Producers are Chris Palmer and Kristin Pauly. The film won two awards at American University's Visions Media Festival in May including Best Editing and Outstanding Thesis Film.

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