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  1. #1

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    Talking What are some good books about Disneyland?

    I finally ordered Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland. I have wanted this book for so long and I'm really excited! What are some other Books about Disneyland behind the scenes? Suggestions for books about DCA are great too.

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    Re: What are some good books about Disneyland?

    Oh man! I got this one, guys! Okay, for behind the scenes stuff, I recommend the two "Imagineering: A Behind-the-Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real" books. They're big, full of pictures, and go into a surprising amount of detail. They're what really kicked off my love of what it is Disney does. And there's always the Imagineering Field Guide books. Seems like there's one for each park. Oh! and The Disney Mountains: Imagineering at Its Peak! Disneyland: Then, Now, and Forever is a great look at the park over the years, with what attractions replaced what, attractions long gone, and other tidbits of information. Okay, I can go on, but I'll let you soak that all in for now.

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    Re: What are some good books about Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pizzapants View Post
    Oh man! I got this one, guys! Okay, for behind the scenes stuff, I recommend the two "Imagineering: A Behind-the-Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real" books. They're big, full of pictures, and go into a surprising amount of detail. They're what really kicked off my love of what it is Disney does. And there's always the Imagineering Field Guide books. Seems like there's one for each park. Oh! and The Disney Mountains: Imagineering at Its Peak! Disneyland: Then, Now, and Forever is a great look at the park over the years, with what attractions replaced what, attractions long gone, and other tidbits of information. Okay, I can go on, but I'll let you soak that all in for now.
    Thank you so much! Those sound great.

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    Re: What are some good books about Disneyland?

    If you look on the front page, you will see that Disney Legend Bob Gurr started writing for MiceChat. If it has wheels at Disneyland, Bob probably designed it, everything from Autopia to the Doom Buggies at Haunted Mansion to the Monorail. He did a book last year called "Design: Just for Fun" which is a very entertaining first hand person account of creating Disneyland.

    "In Service to the Mouse" was another one I read from another Disney Legend, Jack Lindquist. Jack was an advertising exec that started with Disney when the park first opened and was with the company for 30 years or more. He was the first "President of Disneyland" and he had plenty of good stories to tell also.

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    Re: What are some good books about Disneyland?

    I'm personally fond of The Unofficial Disneyland Encyclopedia. It's an A-Z coverage of every ride, attraction, shop and restaurant since opening day. I've worn mine out. There was an updated version released some time last year as well.

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    Re: What are some good books about Disneyland?

    Disneyland: Now, Then, and Forever is what jump-started my love for books about the Disney parks. It's chock full of colorful pictures and offers a pretty nice look at how the park began, how it has evolved, a quick look at some never-built attractions, different events and celebrations through the years, etc. It's not the best book on Disneyland, it's pretty fluffy and doesn't offer the same level of depth that you will find in other books about the park, but it's a really fun read and makes a really good starter book.

    Disneyland: The First Thirty Years (from which I know is nearly identical to similarly titled Disneyland: The First Thirty Five Years) is actually one of my personal favorites on my Disney shelf. It's much like an earlier version of the one above, but in my opinion, I liked the organization better, thought that the commentary that it featured was more eloquent and engaging than that of Disneyland: Now, Then, and Forever, found that it had a little more depth, and thought that it was overall a better read. The collection of pictures that it features is wonderful and the book offers a great window to the Disneyland of days gone by. I've heard very positive things about Disneyland: The First Quarter Century as well, but I don't know how similar it is to this title. Maybe someone who owns both copies can chime in here.

    Jason Surrell’s books, Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies and The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies are really enjoyable if you're interested in those attractions. They each consist of three sections: the beginning explains the conception and development and how the original plans and ideas for the attraction evolved into what it is today. The middle describes the attraction scene by scene, discussing the details and the effects used and explaining how versions vary through different parks. The last section is about how the attraction was adapted into a movie (I skipped this section in the Haunted Mansion book, but I did read the Pirates of the Caribbean segment and thought it was interesting). I have not read his one on the mountains.

    Designing Disney by John Hench is a really interesting book that dives into the design of the park. He discusses various elements of design in the park (color, form, etc.), what these elements of design do (what feelings they convey, how they work inside the park, etc.), stories of the designs of Disney, and the Guest's relationship with and perception of these elements of design. This is another one of my favorites on the shelf that draws me in every time I open its pages.

    Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real is a pretty fun book filled with lots of colorful pictures, concept art, stories, quotes, Imagineering principles, and explanations/descriptions of various principles and disciplines involved with WDI. It can get cheesy and fluffy in parts, but enjoyable nonetheless. And with all the artwork on each of the large pages, it's a real treat for the eyes.

    The Disneyland Encyclopedia: The Unofficial, Unauthorized, and Unprecedented History of Every Land, Attraction, Restaurant, Shop, and Major Event in the Original Magic Kingdom by Chris Strodder (yeah, I know, the title’s a mouthful) is a great collection of, as the name implies, pretty much everything that has had a place in the Disneyland Resort. Since it is indeed an encyclopedia in encyclopedia form (entries are organized alphabetically), some might find it hard to read from cover to cover like you would a typical book, but it’s great to pick up and thumb through a few pages or to use as a resource when you want to know something about a certain attraction, show, shop, etc. that was in the park at one time.

    I haven't actually read Rolly Crump's It’s a Kind of a Cute Story yet, but I've heard nothing but positive reviews about it and would recommend at least checking it out and seeing if it's something that you would want to read. Here are some other Disneyland/Disney park related books that I have personally yet to read but might be worth checking out: The Poster Art of the Disney Parks, Walt Disney's Imagineering Legends and the Genesis of the Disney Theme Parks, and Designing Disney's Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance.

    The Art of Disneyland by Jeff Kurtti is one of my person favorites-- it's a beautiful book filled with amazing concept art that I haven’t seen anywhere else. It's normally considerably expensive to buy online via amazon or eBay, but I found a copy at my local library. I would suggest checking yours to see what Disney park related books they have.

    And, saving the best for last...

    The Nickel Tour by Bruce Gordon and David Mumford is often regarded as the best book ever written about the park, period. I've yet to get my hands on a copy, but I would highly suggest checking it out if you ever come across it. There are other members on this board that will vouch that it's a true treasure for any lover of Disneyland and the park's history.

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    Re: What are some good books about Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by gatheringrosebuds View Post
    The Nickel Tour by Bruce Gordon and David Mumford is often regarded as the best book ever written about the park, period. I've yet to get my hands on a copy, but I would highly suggest checking it out if you ever come across it. There are other members on this board that will vouch that it's a true treasure for any lover of Disneyland and the park's history.
    Indeed it is. Unfortunately it's very pricey now, as it's out of print and both authors have passed away. If you can get a copy for a decent price (i.e., around a $100 bucks) don't hesitate. Especially if you're interested in the history of the Park.

    Your list is very good, GRB. If you are interested in some of the deeper societal implications and design considerations of the Park, it's also hard to beat "Designing Disney's Theme Parks - The Architecture of Reassurance" edited by Karal Marling.

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    Re: What are some good books about Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by gatheringrosebuds View Post
    . . . The Nickel Tour by Bruce Gordon and David Mumford is often regarded as the best book ever written about the park, period. I've yet to get my hands on a copy, but I would highly suggest checking it out if you ever come across it. There are other members on this board that will vouch that it's a true treasure for any lover of Disneyland and the park's history.

    SydneyMouse, you got off to an excellent start with Mousetales. I agree with Gatheringrosebuds that you should also keep your eyes open for used copies of "The Nickel Tour." It's that good.

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    Re: What are some good books about Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Retrocool View Post
    Some related reading:

    Walt Disney: An American Original by Bob Thomas
    I read and reread Bob Thomas' biography of Walt Disney when I was in grade school,
    so keep it away from your kids or risk their worshipping Walt.

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    Re: What are some good books about Disneyland?

    Thanks everyone! All of those books sound great. I'm interested in reading The Nickel Tour and I really hope I can find a copy of it.

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    Re: What are some good books about Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by SydneyMouse View Post
    I finally ordered Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland. I have wanted this book for so long and I'm really excited! What are some other Books about Disneyland behind the scenes? Suggestions for books about DCA are great too.
    How about the Disneyland Encyclopedia, which they had just updated?

    You can also look at that new book on Disney attraction posters, for all the Disney parks, not just Disneyland.
    My top favorite Disneyland attractions:

    1. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    2. Pirates of the Caribbean
    3. Splash Mountain
    4. Mad Tea Party
    5. Peter Pan's Flight
    6. Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin

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    Re: What are some good books about Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    Indeed it is. Unfortunately it's very pricey now, as it's out of print and both authors have passed away. If you can get a copy for a decent price (i.e., around a $100 bucks) don't hesitate. Especially if you're interested in the history of the Park.

    Your list is very good, GRB. If you are interested in some of the deeper societal implications and design considerations of the Park, it's also hard to beat "Designing Disney's Theme Parks - The Architecture of Reassurance" edited by Karal Marling.
    ^ Yeah, I really gotta read that one. Unfortunately, it's also pretty expensive online (at least, for my budget), listed for a little over $100 for a copy. I'm trying to set aside money while keeping my eye out for reasonbly priced copies of The Nickel Tour, but Designing Disney's Theme Parks will probably be the next title I turned my attention to if and when I finally get my hands on a copy of The Nickel Tour.

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    Re: What are some good books about Disneyland?

    The books mentioned above are all great. I love the MouseTales and the Nickel Tour. In Service to the Mouse is on my want list. Also, Jim Korkis has a book out on the history of all fields of Disney called Vault of Walt that is also full of great stories. Since the Golden Horseshoe is back for a while, the story of Wally Boag is also very interesting reading. Mine came with a signed box of Boag-alloons!

    Hidden Mickey - Historical fiction about Walt that mixes action and mystery with time travel and fantasy! Tweens to adults will enjoy these novels. And now, three gamebooks to play in Disneyland, DCA and WDW Magic Kingdom!


    Check out my six action/adventure novels about Walt's lost diary and his epic quest. Visit my blog page!


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    Re: What are some good books about Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by HiddenMickeyBook View Post
    The books mentioned above are all great. I love the MouseTales and the Nickel Tour. In Service to the Mouse is on my want list. Also, Jim Korkis has a book out on the history of all fields of Disney called Vault of Walt that is also full of great stories. Since the Golden Horseshoe is back for a while, the story of Wally Boag is also very interesting reading. Mine came with a signed box of Boag-alloons!

    In Service to the Mouse is another one I want and Vault of Walt sounds great.
    Last edited by SydneyMouse; 01-12-2013 at 08:13 PM.

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