Disney Mountains by Jason Surrell

Written by George Taylor. Posted in Disney, Features, The Disney Review

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Published on September 29, 2013 at 2:48 am with 3 Comments

Wearing your lederhosen? We’re going to do some Disney Mountain climbing this week!


The Disney Mountains: Imagineering at Its Peak was published in September 2007 and has 128 pages. Jason Surrell might be a familiar name to most cadets. He also wrote the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean books—the ones that have the subtitle From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies! (They’re pretty amazing and the de facto histories of those attractions.) He’s an Imagineer based in Florida and is considered one of the rising stars of the new generation of Imagineers.

This book is one of my favorites. I know, I say that often, but it’s true! Basically, Jason looks at all of the Disney mountains, their history, how they transformed Disney parks and theme parks worldwide and their litany within the company.


The first mountain is Matterhorn Mountain at Disneyland. Jason spends a lot of time on this section and with good reason. The Matterhorn was the first in so many areas. We learn about the initial spark for the mountain, how it was built and the changes throughout the years. Through each chapter we’re introduced to the Disney legends and Imagineers that made these mountains real. There’s concept art, drawings and stellar paintings—my favorites are the ones from the different Splash Mountains all over the world. Jason interviewed a lot of Imagineers and the stories shared are wonderful. There’s not another resource that looks at the Disney mountains in such an in depth manner.

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So, here’s the list of the mountains covered: Matterhorn, Space, Big Thunder, Typhoon Lagoon (Mount Mayday) and Blizzard Beach (Mount Gushmore), Splash, Grizzly Peak, Mount Prometheus and Expedition Everest. There’s even a few pages dedicated to Candy Mountain, which has recently been shown at Disney California Adventure.

It’s a great title and one that I’d like to see Disney (or another publisher) do more of. Jason is a natural storyteller and highlights a lot of the anecdotes from the Imagineers that show how special the Disney mountains are. That’s what makes this book so entertaining. Not only are you learning Disney history, but you’re enjoying yourself, too! Just like listening to Communicore Weekly.

This is a definite must have and should be part of every cadet’s library.

Do you own this book? Which Disney mountain is your favorite?





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Here us talk about it in this special announcement episode on our iTunes feed!

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By Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor

The Disney Review is written and edited by Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor

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About George Taylor

George has been obsessed with Disney theme parks since the first time he saw a photo of the Haunted Mansion in the early 70s. He started writing about Disney in 2007 and has amassed one of the world's largest Disney-related libraries.

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  • DisWedWay

    Interesting that Disney Legend Tony Baxter is responsible for creating the most Disney Mountain Icons and spin off mountains, and only right he should have the final words in the book. Maybe someone well send me a copy for Christmas this year.

  • bummerkit

    I would love to read this, but $100 is a bit steep.

  • QPerth

    wow. That price has surely gone up since I ordered and bought that book a few years ago!

    Is it worth $100? Probably not, and one would hope that with the new Mountain Range from Cars Land at DCA, perhaps an updated version would be printed in the future.

    My favourite Disney Mountain is Mount Prometheus at Tokyo DisneySea. And sadly, for some unfathomable reason, this literally breathtaking, huge and unique mountain, which does far more than any of the other Disney Mountains only barely gets a 3 page mention and a few pictures. It’s an erupting Volcano, it is the parks central icon and can be pretty much seen from any of the Ports of Call (lands), it houses the incredible Journey to the Center of the Earth attraction AND an entire “land”, that of Mysterious Island, underneath is the awesome 2000 Leagues Under the Sea, the unique store, and shops, and the incredible Fortress Explorations that is on it’s side. A 3 page mention? Very disappointing.

    Other than that, the book is great, with lots of wonderful artwork.