I am always fielding questions about the best books to buy concerning the different Disney theme parks. When it comes to Disneyland, most of my recommendations are pretty nerdy and, sadly, out-of-print. The Nickel Tour, Disneyland the Inside Story and the Art of Disneyland are in my top five books of all time. When the second edition of the Disneyland Encyclopedia by Chris Strodder showed up at ImagiNERDing HQ, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Within the first few pages, I quickly realized that this book was going to become a fast favorite and an indispensable research tool. Even with the book in my collection for less than two weeks, I have reached for it multiple times to answer questions or start some research. What caught my attention immediately was Strodder’s easy and entertaining writing style. For the most part, you are not going to read an encyclopedia from cover-to-cover; with the Disneyland Encyclopedia, I read and savored each entry.
Yes, I read an encyclopedia all the way through.
The nitty gritty about the book:
- Over 500 entries;
- More than 350 photos (including some vintage);
- 11 illustrated maps;
- Appendix entry listing everything by land.
Any reference work about a pop culture icon will reflect the author. Chris is a die hard fan and spent years putting together this encyclopedia. I have seen a few complaints that Chris added entries that might seem kind of strange, but once you read the segment, you understand why he added it. There have also been questions about his nomenclature. After reading the book, I can tell you that Chris is extremely thorough; he collected and presented every variation of every name he ran across. When necessary, he lists where the different names were published. His attention to detail shows and it is very important in a work of this caliber.
This review might seem a little too glowing; other reviewers have taken issue with a few of Chris’ entries or his choices. But I challenge you to put a work together that encompasses so much of the vaunted theme park’s history. He might have missed a few things, but it is still a darn good reference work and one that I suggest wholeheartedly.
Chris also throws in some call-out boxes with different facts that just don’t quite fit as an entry. Some of the ride times, the lengths that various trains traveled and the attractions that debuted by decade. The call-outs add a lot to the title and they are like little hidden gems; stuff you always wondered about but didn’t know where to find the answer.
One fact I can’t stop repeating is that is an indispensable tool for the Disneyland fan and researcher. There are a number of highly recommended titles about Disneyland, but this is the first one that treats the subject in an encyclopedic format as opposed to a chronological format. Instead of looking at the park on a year-to-year basis, you can quickly find an entry and look at related words and topics.
Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book.
By George Taylor
The Disney Review is written and edited by Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor
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Tickets are now on sale for the
COMMUNICORE WEEKLY 38TH WEEKAVERSARY
EPCOT 30 YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION!
Come celebrate EPCOT’s 30th Anniversary in style with a live taping of MiceChat’s Communicore Weekly! Join co-hosts Jeff Heimbuch & George Taylor, along with MiceChat’s Dusty Sage, Kevin Yee, and the Communicore Weekly Orchestra, for a fun-filled night of fandom and frivolity as they tape a special hour long episode of the hit show, Communicore Weekly.
Join us on the evening of Saturday, September 29th 2912 in the Norway Pavilion Special Events Lounge in EPCOT’s World Showcase for this one of a kind event!
Your ticket includes:
- Admission into the live taping of CW in the Norway Pavilion of EPCOT (note: admission into the park is NOT included)!
- Meet special guest, Ron Schneider, the original Dreamfinder!
- Decadent dessert reception!
- Short scavenger hunt hosted by Kevin Yee before the show will be available to those who would like to participate (prizes will be awarded)!
- Prizes, giveaways and more!
- The chance to be a part of EPCOT and Communicore Weekly history!
- Endless Five Legged Goats and perhaps even a real life Bathroom Break!
- Exclusive late night ride after park closing on a selected EPCOT attraction to cap off the evening!