Monday, June 28, 2010

Disney Bookshelf: The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World Review

I finished The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World and had a lot of fun reading it. I know that when we go to Orlando in November, I will bring this book along, and even if I don't carry it around the parks, I'll probably skim over the section on whatever park we'll be visiting on the following day, maybe making some notes into my iPhone (yeah, I've joined the 21st century and got the new iPhone 4!) on things to look for the next day. My sons love this sort of interplay; they love looking for the myriad of hidden details to be found in all of the parks.

One of the things I love about the parks is the attention to detail, with an Imagineer's eye on accuracy, be it regional, historical, or technical. You go into Fantasyland and you know that its themes are sort of clumped together (the midieval fair and the German village) but seamlessly, and with an attempt to make things as real as possible in the theme park environment. Same with the countries in Epcot, or the streets in the Studios. They really do try.

This book points out many illustrations of their attempts to "keep it real". I really liked that. In my last post I was less than halfway through the book and I said that I knew a lot of things that Susan Veness pointed out, but the flipside of that, more evident as I read on, was that there was a LOT that I didn't know, too.

I was entertained by her descriptions of the various lands in the parks, and informed by her interludes with various Imagineers. The "timelines" presented at the end of each chapter on a particular park were also interesting. I didn't know much about when things changed in parks, and what was there before what's there now came into being.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves to visit the parks. It's a good before-bed book, because it is easy to put it down and come back to it later, and I think it will be a handy guide to have with when actually visiting. Meanwhile, it's nice to take the virtual trip through Walt Disney World that Veness provides.

*****

3 comments:

Angela Estes said...

I've been looking for a good Disney book to read. We've been to Disney 6 times in the last 4 years and I think I know a lot but I'm always looking for some new information. I love the history of the parks, attractions etc. I'm going to have to check this one out.

Scott said...

Thanks for reading! We've also been to Disney several times since 2004, 5 trips to WDW and 2 trips to DLR. And I'm the same way - I think I know a lot but Susan Veness had plenty of tidbits for me. Hope you like it. Amazon has it for something under 10 dollars...

Angela said...

I'm in the middle of reading the book now and it's a keeper I think. After I return it to the library I'm going to have to go out and buy it!