George: Alex Miller has released a book called Florida Theme Parks: a Guide, detailing 20 different Florida theme parks, amusement parks and family fun centers. It’s a very interesting title simply for the fact that it covers a massive number of themed and amusement outlets throughout Florida. Alex doesn’t just focus on the Orlando area, but spreads his reach throughout the environs of Florida, looking at relatively newer parks and some of the most influential in the world.
Jeff: Most people think of Florida as the stomping ground for Disney and Universal theme parks, but Alex’s book does an excellent job of reminding us all of all the different places you can visit when you’re in Florida. Whether you are close to Walt Disney World or on the opposite end of the state, Alex gives a really nice guide to what else you can find out there.
George: Each park or fun center is given 2-3 pages and includes several gorgeous photographs. Alex doesn’t include the typical photo of the park icon, but tries to offer a more unique look at the park. He also includes relevant information about visiting and historical information when relevant. I’m glad to see someone approach a guide like this with a reverence for the history of themed entertainment spaces in Florida. It’s not just a litany of parks with a few morsels about touring; when appropriate, Alex looks at how the park or area fits into the history of theme and amusement parks in Florida. Plus, he includes a really neat two-page timeline outlining the history of Florida theme parks.
Jeff: I think that’s exactly why I enjoy this book: it’s not a tourist trap guide. It’s a slightly in-depth look at some of these amazing places you probably didn’t even know existed. It’s apparent that Alex did his research and visited each of these places to dug up this information (and what a tough job, visiting theme parks!). He really does make me want to visit some of these parks, even if I previously had no desire to or did not even know they existed. George’s comment about the photos are spot on. They don’t just look at the same stuff everyone else does; they look at the things you may not even give a second glance, offering you a fuller view of the park itself.
George: It was great to read a small blurb about Silver Springs and to have the park discussed on current and (very) historical importance. I’ve always wondered about the glass-bottomed boats and now I smell a Communicore Weekly field trip! Alex also shares information about some of the rides from Miracle Strip at Pier Park that were brought in from the original park and have lasted more than half a century. Overall, I think this guide to Florida Theme Parks is going to be a great resource for Floridians and people looking to break past that Disney/Universal mode of touring. It’s inspiring to see the coverage and gives you a great checklist, so to speak, of other Florida destinations to discover and enjoy.
Jeff: I also have to give props to Caroline Miller, who did the photography and layout of the book. She did a great job and it really adds to the enjoyment of the book. It’s pleasing to the eye and easy to read.
George: It’s agreed that we both really liked this book; not only for the information presented but also for the style and the layout. We read a lot of theme park-related books and this one fills a niche very nicely. It’s a great mix of current information and historic details that is going to enchant the novice and propel the more experienced researcher into other works. It’s safe to say that we both give the book two thumbs up.
Is this one you’re going to add to your collection? Do you have a favorite non-Disney/non-Universal theme or amusement park?
We have announced our very special, Cadet-only trip: The CommuniTour! It will take place April 27th-May 2nd 2014!
That’s right, you have the opportunity to spend a week with your favorite Communicore Overlords by going on this special Adventures By Disney: Backstage Magic! See the wonderful sights of Southern California, including Disneyland, California Adventure, Imagineering, The Jim Henson Company, and much, much, more!
Here us talk about it in this special announcement episode on our iTunes feed!
Space is very limited, so be sure sign up today! For more information and the full itinerary, head over to
By Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor
The Disney Review is written and edited by Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor
Other places you can find George and Jeff:
- The 626 (Jeff)
- ImagiNERDing (George)
- From the Mouth of the Mouse (Jeff)
- Communicore Weekly The Greatest Online Show ™ (Jeff and George)
You can also see us EVERY week on Communicore Weekly on the MiceChat Youtube Channel.