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  1. #1

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    June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    There's a new book out with the long title, The Disneyland Encyclopedia: The Unofficial, Unauthorized, and Unprecedented History of Every Land, Attraction, Restaurant, Shop, and Event in the Original Magic Kingdom.


    Please discuss the review, the book, and related subjects here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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    Re: June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    Thanks for the heads-up, Werner. I purchased the book based upon your thorough review.

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    Thumbs up Re: June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    I'm ejoying the book very much. Having the map to refer to helps track what used to be where, especially on Main Street where eateries & stores change locations & names. It's a great addition to my Disneyland library.

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    Re: June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    It's only 13.57 on Amazon, so I will probably order it today. Thanks for the review. I wish it had full color photographs though. Isn't Kevin Yee also working on a Disneyland encyclopedia?

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    Re: June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    Yes, I believe Kevin is working on something similar.

    I know nothing of Kevin's book, but my guess is that it will be better and more complete. Still, any book on DL is a good thing, if you ask me.

    I'm particularly looking forward to seeing how accurate "The Disneyland Encyclopedia" is with regard to a particular attraction I'm fond of.

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    Re: June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    My copy came in the mail yesterday. And I also did the same thing - I started looking up obscure attractions to see if they were included. So far, no listing for:

    Cascade Peak
    Snow Hill

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    Re: June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by GhostHost2 View Post
    Isn't Kevin Yee also working on a Disneyland encyclopedia?
    Yes. Kevin Yee and Jason Schultz have an ambitious project underway. They're building an extensive knowledge database which will lead to a "magnum opus about Disneyland." They intend to publish in 2010.

    Here's Kevin's announcement of this project on April 3, 2008: http://micechat.com/miceage/kevinyee/ky040308c.htm
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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    Re: June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by mouseman60 View Post
    My copy came in the mail yesterday. And I also did the same thing - I started looking up obscure attractions to see if they were included. So far, no listing for:

    Cascade Peak
    Snow Hill
    I would not have expected Cascade Peak or Snow Hill in The Disneyland Encyclopedia. Cascade Peak and Snow Hill don't qualify as a land, attraction, restaurant, shop, or event.

    Cascade Peak was one of many features of Nature's Wonderland. I suppose it's different from such features as Beaver Valley and the Living Desert in that Cascade Peak survived the removal of the Mine Train and Pack Mules attractions. Also, it provided scenery for the Mark Twain and other vessels on the Rivers of America.

    Snow Hill was a mound of dirt that held the central support tower for the Skyway ride. It wasn't even labeled on most old park maps. The Matterhorn rose at the site of Snow Hill.
    Last edited by Werner Weiss; 06-12-2008 at 03:47 PM.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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    Re: June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    I don't wish to take anything away from Werner Weiss's review, it sounds like an awesome book, but if Kevin Yee is working on another book I'll have to wait for that one instead. He does an outstanding job writing these Disneyland books and he has the knowledge and the passion to really make them shine.

    I guess if it's coming out in 2010 I'll just have to get this book to tide me over though. I've already got a pile of books I want to read, but with college every single month of the year it makes it hard to keep up with non-school reading. Don't get me wrong, I love reading college books and increasing my knowledge that way, but there are times when I just want to read something on my own time and for my own reasons.

    So much to read and so little time to read it. Thankfully there's nothing good on TV, I can live without that so-called "reality" crap they call entertainment nowadays.

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    Re: June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by Athlonacon View Post
    I don't wish to take anything away from Werner Weiss's review, it sounds like an awesome book, but if Kevin Yee is working on another book I'll have to wait for that one instead.
    I appreciate the vote of confidence.

    Jason hopes to catalog everything about every day. Imagine a tome that knows the operating hours for every day at Disneyland over its entire history. The day when shops changed names. The managers involved (if we can fine-tune the info that much, that is).

    Needless to say, we'd have entries in our encyclopedia (which is only part of the multi-thousand-page work) for every element, not just ride names. Cascade Peak would be there. Why not Order of the Red Handkerchief or the names of the two Mission to the Moon theaters? How about a listing of the boat names on Storybook, Pirates, or Jungle Cruise?
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

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    Re: June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    I appreciate the vote of confidence.

    Jason hopes to catalog everything about every day. Imagine a tome that knows the operating hours for every day at Disneyland over its entire history. The day when shops changed names. The managers involved (if we can fine-tune the info that much, that is).

    Needless to say, we'd have entries in our encyclopedia (which is only part of the multi-thousand-page work) for every element, not just ride names. Cascade Peak would be there. Why not Order of the Red Handkerchief or the names of the two Mission to the Moon theaters? How about a listing of the boat names on Storybook, Pirates, or Jungle Cruise?
    That's intense.

    I can't wait to see the results of this massive endeavor! Good luck, Kevin!

    Photos, news, and commentary every week from Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom!

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    Re: June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by Werner Weiss View Post
    I would not have expected Cascade Peak or Snow Hill in The Disneyland Encyclopedia. Cascade Peak and Snow Hill don't qualify as a land, attraction, restaurant, shop, or event.

    Cascade Peak was one of many features of Nature's Wonderland. I suppose it's different from such features as Beaver Valley and the Living Desert in that Cascade Peak survived the removal of the Mine Train and Pack Mules attractions. Also, it provided scenery for the Mark Twain and other vessels on the Rivers of America.

    Snow Hill was a mound of dirt that held the central support tower for the Skyway ride. It wasn't even labeled on most old park maps. The Matterhorn rose at the site of Snow Hill.
    Well, I think this is where the problem(s) lay with this book. Strodder includes attractions that were never built (Candy Mountain, Reel-Ride, Edison Square, etc), so why wouldn't he include landmarks within Disneyland? The Petrified Tree is hardly an attraction and it gets a mention in the book. But, and I'm sure this has been brought up before, where do you draw the line? What should be included and what should be excluded. It's a very daunting task.

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    Re: June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by mouseman60 View Post
    But, and I'm sure this has been brought up before, where do you draw the line? What should be included and what should be excluded. It's a very daunting task.
    As the author, Chris Strodder made choices. He needed to keep the book at a reasonable size for a single volume, and he chose to limit the book to around 500 entries.

    He chose to include dozens of short biographies of entertainers and pioneering Imagineers. He chose sometimes to combine some attractions in a single entry that many of us would have expected in separate entries. And he severely limited what he wrote about parades, major shows, and geographic features of Disneyland.

    It could be argued that the Petrified Tree is an exhibit, and, as such, an attraction. I think the never-built attractions are an effort to add interesting content to the book; some of us are already aware of these, but it could be very interesting content for a reader who has not read other books that mention them.

    Ultimately, the book reflects Strodder's priorities and interests. And, ultimately, I think it's a good book.

    I'm also looking forward to the Compendium project by Kevin Yee and Jason Schultz. There's room for different perspectives, different approaches, and different levels of detail.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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    Re: June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    In looking through the book, I came across only a few errors.

    In the entry for the Viewliner, Chris mistakenly states that the old Viewliner station was moved after the attraction closed to become the Tomorowland Train Station. In fact, the Tormorrowland train station was built in April 1958--six months before the Viewliner ceased operation in September. This is an oft-repeated error on Disney fan sites, because Tomorrowland train station and the Viewliner station were nearly identical in details and construction. In fact, there are photos that show both the Viewliner station and Tomorrowland train station in the same view!**Kevin...Take note!

    The other error I found was under the entry for Bob Gurr, which states that Gurr designed DRR steam engine No. 4, the Ernest S. Marsh. In actuality, Ward Kimball came up with the look of the engine.

    One small issue I have is similar to what Werner described: The book refers to the trains as the "Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad, aka the Disneyland Railroad." Making the entry in this fashion suggests that the attraction is still the SF&D RR, when in fact, it's been known as the DRR far longer than it was the SF&D. (it was the SF&D for only 19 out of the past 53 years!).

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    Re: June 12, 2008: Book Review: The Disneyland Encyclopedia

    This book sounds fantastic. Kevin and Jason's Compendium sounds even better. I'm a sucker for historical detail. The more detailed, the better, I say.

    (I'd love to know things like ticket prices and maybe even showtimes, whenever possible. Menus for every single eatery would be awesome, as well as when menus changed.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    The book refers to the trains as the "Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad, aka the Disneyland Railroad." Making the entry in this fashion suggests that the attraction is still the SF&D RR, when in fact, it's been known as the DRR far longer than it was the SF&D. (it was the SF&D for only 19 out of the past 53 years!).
    Wow, I didn't realize the "Santa Fe" name had been removed that long ago. I like how "Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad" flows. That blend of real world and fantasy world together helped legitimize (to my kid's mind) the fantasy world of Disneyland.

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