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Kevin's Books

Kevin Yee is the author/co-author of many books on Disney theme parks, including:

· The Unofficial Walt Disney World ‘Earbook 2010 is a photo-rich volume of 70 pages that park fans will find especially useful if they want to know what’s changed at WDW since their last visit.

History was on my mind as I composed this book. As you might expect, there is a section on additions, another on removals, and a third on events. But I wanted to make sure to include some prices from January 2010 in the book, the better to capture in future years (and future generations?) exactly what it costs to buy admission, parking, a night at each level of hotel, or such food items as a turkey leg. I also wanted to provide a bit more specificity to the unfolding of events, so the various additions and removals, as well as smaller alterations and debuts, are laid out in a timeline broken down month-by-month.

In short, the book is designed to appeal to those folks who are similarly history-minded, as well as those who are hungry to know what changed at Disney World since their last visit. Or perhaps it’s a worthwhile keepsake for anyone who DID visit in 2010—it captures what was new, after all.

  

· Jason’s Disneyland Almanac (co-written with Jason Schultz) is nothing short of a complete history of Disneyland from 1955 to 2010. I’ll let the official description do the talking:

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time? We have, too. You're on your own for acquiring the time travel device, but this book will help you choose the best days to visit Disneyland. With Park hours for 19,484 of the 20,257 days covered here, plus weather for each day, Disneyland attendance from July 17, 1955 through December 31, 1966, openings, closings, debuts, endings, events, and famous visitors, Jason's Disneyland Almanac provides detail on every day in Disneyland's history through the end of 2010.

From the low attendance during Walt Disney's life of 389 visitors on the rainy January 20, 1962 to the Walt-era high of 60,917 on July 4, 1964, the Almanac is the first compilation to begin to reveal the daily history of Disneyland's 55 years (and counting). More than the sum of its parts, the Almanac puts the important events in Disneyland's history in context-whether that circumstance is a lonely, rainy February day or an event in the crowded heat of a peak-season summer day.

Disneyland's history is punctuated by high points like the June 14, 1959 opening of the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Submarine Voyage, and Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System, but more Guests are familiar with the Monday (and later Tuesday) off-season closures that continued from fall 1955 through February 6, 1985. Although it began as a thought exercise in whether it would be possible to know Disneyland in its daily complexity, the present Almanac shows the rich possibilities such an opportunity presents.

For most visitors, this compilation will capture the basics of Disneyland on their first visit: the Park hours and the weather. But we hope that it will also show that one day at Disneyland is not interchangeable with any other; each day is in some way unique and different from every other.


Now you can look up any date in Disneyland history!

In short, every noteworthy event that occurred is captured here. When a ride opens or ceases operation, the event is noted on the date in question. That’s true also of shops, restaurants, and major entertainment. We chronicle the important visitors. And, amazingly, we have the weather for each day in park history: high temps, low temps, and recorded precipitation. We even know the park hours for a vast majority of the dates. 

We added a short paragraph or two that introduces each year in the history of the park, usually highlighting just one aspect of what changed that year. We then did the same thing for the decades, to provide a different layer of overview.

I’m happy to report that there is not only a comprehensive index, there are two of them. One is for just people, and the other for places and things, so it should be simple to find the information you need at a moment’s notice. The other highly useful reference table in the back of the back is an alphabetical listing of the attractions at the Disneyland Resort that shows on that page their opening and closing (if applicable) dates.

The finished product is 334 pages long, softcover, and in an 8x10 format. Even at such length and physical size, we had to keep the font small to make it all fit! It really is the ultimate reference for Disneyland, and the definitive source for information about the park’s first 55 years.

· Walt Disney World Hidden History: Remnants of Former Attractions and Other Tributes is all about those little things in the parks that have significance to insiders and long-timers, but are never explained or highlighted. When a ride closes, sometimes pieces or props from that ride are folded into the replacement attraction (think of the World of Motion car seen in the queue of Test Track). Other times, designers intentionally craft a tribute to the previous ride—an example of that might be the carving of a submarine in the cement tree created for Pooh’s Playful Spot where the 20,000 Leagues subs used to be.

The other kind of homage in the parks concerns not rides, but individuals. The designers, artists, engineers, executives, and people important to Disney’s history often provide the inspiration for names and titles used at the attractions. Sadly, these are almost always unheralded. All of these remnants and tributes are normally left for the truly obsessed to spot piecemeal. They are usually not even discussed in the official Disney books and tours. This book sets out to change that, and catalog all such remnants and tributes in one spot.

The final result is 225 pages of hyper-detailed historical factoids. Broadly speaking this is a “trivia” book, but remember that it’s a particular kind of trivia. You’ve known before that the Walt Disney World theme parks wove a thick tapestry of details and backstory into a seamless (and peerless) experience. But armed with the specifics of homages and tributes, you’ll become aware that the parks are even more alive, and layered with meaning, that you could have ever imagined.

  

· Your Day at the Magic Kingdom is a full-color, hardcover interactive children's book, where readers decide which attraction to ride next (and thus which page to turn to) - but watch out for some unexpected surprises!

· Mouse Trap: Memoir of a Disneyland Cast Member provides the first authentic glimpse of what itís like to work at Disneyland. Read one Cast Member's stories of backstage areas, fights, fires, private parties, orientation, cast events, cast romance, pranks, stupid guest tricks, mishaps, accidents, helping to create the Haunted Mansion Holiday, and working on September 11, 2001. But this is no mere listing of things that go wrong at Disneyland. For the first time, readers can experience what it's like to be caught up in the magic of working in Walt Disney's park. It's not an experience one soon forgets, and readers will find themselves inevitably drawn in as well.

  

· Tokyo Disney Made Easy is a travel guide to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySeas, written to make the entire trip stress-free for non-speakers of Japanese. This book provides explanations of likely situations. You'll learn where to go, what to say, and what to expect during every part of the trip, including the airport, transportation to the resort, hotels, and of course the parks themselves. Language and cultural differences no longer form an insurmountable hurdle. Visit the world's most exciting Disney parks in comfort and ease, confident you'll know what to do at each step.

· 101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland is a list-oriented book that covers ground left intentionally unexposed in the trivia book (below), namely the tributes and homages around Disneyland, especially to past rides and attractions. Disneyland's rich history is kept alive today in little touches that are all but invisible, and this book shines a light on those tributes for all to enjoy.

· Magic Quizdom offers an exhaustive trivia quiz on Disneyland park, with expansive paragraph-length answers that flesh out the fuller story on this place rich with details. To view a description and sample of Magic Quizdom, click here.

Kevin Yee may be e-mailed at [email protected] - Please keep in mind he may not be able to respond to each note personally.

© 2008/2011 Kevin Yee
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