Review: The Disneyland Story

Written by Werner Weiss. Posted in Disney History, Disneyland Resort, Features, Werner Weiss

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Published on November 14, 2013 at 11:24 pm with 6 Comments

The reality is that nobody has ever written such a book about Disneyland before Sam Gennawey. There have been other excellent books about the park, but they’ve all been picture books that have not sought to tell the whole “life story” of Disneyland.

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Werner is the curator of Yesterland.com, the ultimate collection of Disney theme park past attractions. You'll find his handiwork featured here every Friday.

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6 Comments

Comments for Review: The Disneyland Story are now closed.

  1. Sam is a great writer and I have enjoyed his books and MiceChat work for years. Will be adding the book to my collection.

  2. And…..ordered…. You haven’t lead me wrong yet!

  3. Got it a couple of days ago but haven’t had the chance to dive in. Looking forward to a nice long read.

  4. The reality is that nobody has ever written such a book about Disneyland before Sam Gennawey. There have been other excellent books about the park, but they’ve all been picture books that have not sought to tell the whole “life story” of Disneyland.

    What about Disneyland: Inside Story[/] by Randy Bright? That book did also detail the inception and history of Disneyland from the beginning through what was, at the time it was written, the present. It even featured biographically-minded chapter titles such as “The Infant Years” and “Growing Up.” It ran to a reasonably lengthy 240 pages and, while it did include pictures and illustrations, I’m not sure it would be fair to call it a “picture book.”

    I’m not knocking The Disneyland Story or implying that there isn’t room- plenty of room- for more histories of Disneyland (while we’re at it, why is there only one biography of Roy O Disney??) but I think to say that Sam’s book is the first and only one to attempt an authoritative history of Disneyland is inaccurate (in fact, a review published on this very site this year described D:IS as “the first official history of Disneyland and remains the most authoritative one available.”)

    • “Disneyland: Inside Story” by Randy Bright is a wonderful book. It’s coffee table art book from Abrams with great color photos, but I agree that it’s much more than picture book. It was published in 1987, which was more than a quarter century ago. So it’s missing a significant part of the story for today’s readers. And, unfortunately, it’s long been out of print.

      “Disneyland. the Nickel Tour” (1st and 2nd Edition) by Bruce Gordon and David Mumford is another wonderful book. It’s more like a collection of short articles accompanying postcards and other historical images than a traditional narrative, but it’s packed with great information. It’s long been out of print too.

      Sadly, the three authors above (who were Disney Imagineers) all died much too young.

      We Disney fans are also lucky to have official Disney books from Jeff Kurtti, Jason Surel, and Alex Wright, as well as independent books from authors who are best known for their online work. These books usually provide perspective on a single topic or have chapters that include some Disneyland history.

      All that being said, there has not been another book like Sam Gennawey’s new book.

  5. Thanks for your support Club 33. Randy’s book is brilliant but it ends in 1987. I would like to think a couple of things have happened since.

    Sam