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The Dark Side Of Disney

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by , 06-02-2012 at 10:14 PM
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At seems like almost every week, I sit down to start reading a new book about Disney. Whether it’s a biography, behind the scenes tell-all, or just a general history book, there is no shortage of books on the topic.

But every so often, you come across a book that is a little bit different than the rest…a little bit off, if you will. Something that really grabs you by the shoulders, shakes you a bit, and yells “Hey, look at me!” Well, today I’m here to talk about The Dark Side Of Disney, by Leonard Kinsey, the latest book to do that to me.

The Dark Side Of Disney is NOT your typical travel guide. In fact, I would dare say it’s not even for the faint of heart. While most guides point you in the right direction for great dining deals, fantastic tips for the Parks, and general Disney knowledge, this one leads you straight off the beaten path & into forbidden territory.

The Dark Side Of Disney takes a look at things that not everyone thinks about while they are vacationing at the happiest place on Earth. How to score cheap tickets, what the best way to get into the Utilidors are , and where are the best spots to have some “private time” in the Parks are just a small sampling of some of the tips this book has to offer.

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By now, I’m sure a lot of you are going “Wait, are you serious!? Is book this for real?,” and rightfully so.

But the real question that remains is this: is the book any good?

Why, yes. Yes it is.

Before people get up in arms about it, hear me out. When I first heard about the book, I couldn’t believe it myself. How could such a bizarre book like this even be allowed to exist? Whoever wrote a book like this HAD to hate Disney, right? Sure, I’m not the most straight laced guy, but even I wasn’t sure if I was going to like The Dark Side Of Disney. However, I dove head first into reading it. And what did I find?

Well, for starters, I was pleasantly surprised. I was laughing out loud on almost every page. I was enjoying the tongue in cheek look at the OTHER side of Disney, the one most of us are so sure didn’t exist. Leonard Kinsey wrote the perfect alternative guide to visiting Walt Disney World.

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I chatted a bit with Leonard recently, and was even more surprised to learn just how much he DOES love Disney. It was that love that lead him to write this book to begin with. Having grown up visiting Walt Disney World many times over the years, Leonard eventually started to get bored with a “normal” day at the Parks, and started looking a little beyond that to keep every trip fresh and new.
So why did he write the book to begin with?

“I started writing tip sheets for friends and co-workers who were planning Disney vacations and the sheets kept growing and growing,” he recently told me. “Everybody would follow the tips and come back from an excellent WDW vacation saying, ‘You should be a travel agent!’ or ‘You should write a book!’”

“So I decided I'd take everyone's advice and write something about Disney. I didn't want it to be another generic travel guide, though, because the ones already out there really didn't reflect the way I viewed the parks. They left out a lot of the stuff that I was interested in, and they all seemed whitewashed.”

Leonard took some cues from other ‘off the beaten path’ Disney explorers while writing the book as well: “I have to say I was also inspired by Hoot and Chief (of Mesa Verde Times), Shane Perez, and Chris Mitchell (author of Cast Member Confidential), because they all wrote about non-pixie-dust Dis-related subjects and people seemed to love it. So that gave me some confidence that this would be a book worth writing.”

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A book worth writing and a book worth reading for us as well! But again, I must stress that this book is NOT FOR EVERYONE! If you are easily offended and hold Disney on a pedestal, chances are you will not enjoy this book. You might even be insulted by it. But if you read it from a non-judgmental point of view, I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy it, and laugh along with it.

Does that mean you or I should go out and try some of these things? Absolutely not. Heck, I know for a FACT I’m not going to try them. Leonard himself even stresses sometimes that you shouldn’t attempt some of the tips. But I did walk away from the book with some new found knowledge that will definitely come in handy on my next trip, and I’m quite sure you will too.

“I mainly want people to know that there's something for everyone at Walt Disney World,” Leonard told me. “I'm hoping that people will read this book and will actually look forward to getting dragged to the parks by their family or significant others, instead of dreading it.”

To purchase a copy of the book, and to keep up with his blog (which is updated many new tips weekly), be sure to check out [URL="http://www.darksideofdisney.com"]www.darksideofdisney.com[/URL]

Have you read the book? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!

All photos were provided by Leonard Kinsey.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I received a review copy of this book from the author.
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[/FONT][/SIZE][HR][/HR][SIZE=2][FONT=verdana][B][I]by Jeff Heimbuch[/I][/B]

If you have a tip, questions, comments, or gripes, please feel free email me at [EMAIL="[email protected]"][email protected][/EMAIL] or leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you!

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Comments

  1. Dustysage's Avatar
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    It's a controversial book to be sure. But I've got to admit that I enjoyed it. A guilty pleasure?
  2. Bongo's Avatar
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    Well this should be an interesting book to read. Just hope I don't bump into anyone's privacy while exploring
  3. D23Divinity's Avatar
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    Wait, is that a cigarette? Yuck. Interesting read though!

    Edit in-- Wow. I was just reading the terms of use from the official Disneyland.com website that asks-

    "The following Rules of Conduct apply to the WDIG Sites. By using the WDIG Sites, you agree that you will not Distribute any Submission that: is illegal or encourages or advocates illegal activity or the discussion of illegal activities with the intent to commit them, including a Submission that is, or represents an attempt to engage in, child pornography, stalking, sexual assault, fraud, trafficking in obscene or stolen material, drug dealing and/or drug abuse, harassment, theft, or conspiracy to commit any criminal activity."

    It's too bad this website doesn't have the same policy. I understand it's completely within their own rights not to, but this is just the first thought I had while reading Disney's terms of usage just now.

    Updated 06-06-2012 at 02:55 AM by D23Divinity
  4. kindagoofy's Avatar
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    I bought the Kindle version. The parts about Horizons alone makes it worth the cost. In my opinion, what's more brazen than doing these things is publishing a book telling folks how you did these things. I would agree with Dustysage: a guilty pleasure for sure!
  5. JediPrincess's Avatar
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    I enjoyed the book. While I won't be attempting the tips in the book I thought that it was a funny and interesting read for sure! I don't think that anyone should get too offended by this book, some people act wild and crazy no matter what environment they are in. When you have that many people in one contained space, some people are bound to do the things that Leonard mentions.
  6. Wreckless Abrandon's Avatar
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    Considering the Utilidors look like a basement, I'm not exactly excited about this book. I'll pass. Going to a place where you're not supposed to in Disney? Not my cup of tea. If you get hurt doing something stupid, it's your own fault. Sneaking in alcohol, working the system? This stuff isn't entertaining to me for a Disney Park, so again, I'll pass.

    I just hope the "off color" language is used for emphasis, and not "just because."
  7. Dadoo's Avatar
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    First sentence in of the Introduction....Didn't get half way before I was TOTALLY turned off by the profanity (most likely inserted, "just because" and not for any REAL emphasis)! Guilty pleasure? Um NOPE! How about, "author decided to be as off-color as possible just to sell books"! The cover of the book says, "There is nothing of value to offer within these pages, but this half naked chick will make you buy it anyway." What a lame, cheap, ridiculous waste of the Library of Congress' cataloging numbers! Anyone who thinks this is enjoyable needs to have their brain checked! This is NOT what Walt would have EVER wanted published about his parks. Want to get kicked out of the park? Try following this goofball's "tips". So much for being "family friendly" on this site! AWFUL!
  8. JeffHeimbuch's Avatar
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    I know that people are going to be divided about this book, and that's fine. Just like I said in the review, it's not for everyone. But, there are some legitimately good, LEGAL tips in the book that people can take advantage of to better their vacations. There are also some great stories in it as well.

    Don't judge a book by its cover alone. It's too easy to do that nowadays.

    As for being a family friendly site, there is nothing in the review that is inappropriate. If you don't like the contents of the book, then just don't buy it!
  9. bamato's Avatar
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    I've read the book, and took it well for it's comedic aspects. I've got too much respect for other guests and Disney to do most things in the book, but it offered a peek into a world most of us will never see or dare step foot in.

    Guess I should have my brain checked then, huh?
  10. Jo4brains1's Avatar
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    I've read this book too. While I found the stories about guests doing things that are inappropriate funny (Like the one about the Haunted Mansion.) I wouldn't sacrifice my rights to go there, or worse, work there. I want to be a CM too badly to throw it away on one "escapade". But, I'll probably end up a CP at Vista Way anyway, so...