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  • Debating different Disneyland books

    I got a Borders giftcard for Christmas, and I wanted to treat myself to another book on Disneyland. (Right now all I really have are most of David Koenig's books, and Kevin Yee's 101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland.) I'm tired of waiting for Jeff Kurtti's "Legends of Imagineering" and I want to buy something now! I've read reviews on here about Kurtti's "Art of Disneyland" book, which looks fabulous. I'm also interested in John Tench's "Designing Disney: Imagineering and the Art of the Show"
    and "Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look At Making the Magic Real"
    Any other recommendations would also be greatly appreciated. I was at the park in October, and I won't be back until likely Spring of 2008, and I need my fix!

    Also: is "Disneyland: Now, Then, and Forever" still available at the park or is ebay my only option?

  • #2
    Re: Debating different Disneyland books

    I've got "The Art of Disneyland", "Disneyland Then Now and Forever", and "Imagineering, a behind the dreams look at making the magic real". I love all three, wouldn't part with any of them, and they're all capable of bringing Disneyland right into my home. If I had to rank them I'd go Art of Disneyland - Imagineering - Then Now and Forever. I'd also recommend "Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom" and "Imagineering Field Guide to Epcot". Although these cover WDW, not Disneyland, they are both excellent. They're in a much smaller format though, so the pictures are smaller.

    I think "The Art of Disneyland" would be best if you are most interested in reproductions of concept artwork. The "Imagineering" book has the most actual photos of elements from the park and "Then Now and Forever" does the best job of capturing the history of rides and attractions.

    You really can't go wrong with any of them.

    Oh, and I think I remember seeing the "Then Now and Forever" book still available at Pooh Corner in Critter Country during my last trip, but that was in November, so I don't know if it's still there or not.


    • #3
      Re: Debating different Disneyland books

      I think this is one of the best on the market:

      It's pretty wordy, but that's why I like it! It seems to give real weight to Disney theme park desgin, elevating the work the Imagineers do to something more than just "designing stuff for an amusement park." It also has a lot of concept art preproduced in its pages.


      • #4
        Re: Debating different Disneyland books

        Get The Art of Disneyland book for sure. It's absolutely fantastic!

        I don't know how much you like Pirates of the Caribbean (attraction and movies), but I got Jason Surrell's Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies. As it turns out, there's only one little chapter about the first movie (and a preview to the second)...90% of the book is about the attractions, so it scopes all of the versions in the different parks.


        • #5
          Re: Debating different Disneyland books

          I'm partial to Jason Surrell's books - The Haunted Mansion from the Magic Kingdom to the Movies and Pirates of the Caribbean. I found them both to be very interesting.


          • #6
            Re: Debating different Disneyland books

            They both look like great books. Maybe you can get them both but used?
            "Pain is temporary, Film is Forever..."



            • #7
              Re: Debating different Disneyland books

              Are you into Disneyland history, Park design, Walt Disney history? If we know the focus of your Disney interest it would be easier to suggest a book that you will enjoy.

              My personal favorites are:

              Disneyland history:
              The Nickel Tour by Bruce Gordon and David Mumford
              Disneyland, The Inside Story by Randy White
              Welcome Aboard The Disneyland Railroad by MiceChat's own Steve DeGaetano

              Walt Disney:
              The Walt Disney Story by Diane Disney Miller (really an autobiography. A signed copy of this was available last year at Disneyana)
              WaltDisney: An American Original by Bob Thomas
              The Walt Disney Railroad Story by Michael Broggie

              Imagineering: A Behind The Dreams Look At Making The Magic, by The Imagineers
              Designing Disney by John Hench

              All of these books are great reads for their particular discipline. Good luck!
              Charlie :wave:
              MiceChat User #1037


              • #8
                Re: Debating different Disneyland books

                I actually do have the Jason Surrell book on POTC, I just forgot to mention it. I don't have the Haunted Mansion one yet because I've only ever been to the park in September or October, so I have yet to actually see the non-Nightmare HM. (Sad, I know.) I'm probably most interested in the history of the park/attractions - I like reading guidebooks to the park (Unofficial Guide, Fodor's, etc) just because it makes me think about my trips there and planning out what I want to do next time.


                • #9
                  Re: Debating different Disneyland books

                  Any book that has been mentioned seems good.
                  Buying used books to get two for the same price as one is the better of the deals for me.

                  This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.


                  • #10
                    Re: Debating different Disneyland books

                    "The Nickel Tour" is by far, one of the best pictorial and descriptive books. Getting in Second edition is recommended because the "First Editions" are highly expensive, including the used copies. I have most of these, but this book is hard to come by.
                    1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


                    • #11
                      Re: Debating different Disneyland books

                      I LOVE the two Disney Treasures books. Really fun. But here is a more detailed list of The Disney Books you must read

                      Disney A to Z: The Updated Official Encyclopedia (Disney a to Z)
                      Inside the Dream: The Personal Story of Walt Disney
                      Disney: The First 100 Years
                      The Disney Treasures
                      Disney: The Ultimate Visual Guide
                      by Alain Littaye
                      Designing Disney: Imagineering and the Art of the Show

                      and more: The Disney Books you must read
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                      • #12
                        Re: Debating different Disneyland books

                        Originally posted by TicTocDragon View Post
                        "The Nickel Tour" is by far, one of the best pictorial and descriptive books. Getting in Second edition is recommended because the "First Editions" are highly expensive, including the used copies. I have most of these, but this book is hard to come by.
                        By far the best "Disney" book I've read so far. Excellent stories, great pictures and some info I've never heard before. Every Disney fan should own a copy!


                        • #13
                          Re: Debating different Disneyland books

                          Actually, I second (or third or fourth) "The Nickel Tour." Simply a wonderful book!


                          • #14
                            Re: Debating different Disneyland books

                            I too would give a big vote for "The Nickel Tour." You can spend hours engrossed in it.

                            All the books listed are great choices - they are all part of my library!

                            If you love trains then Steve's book is a must have! Can't recommend that book enough to Disney fans.
                            The Mur
                            Two different worlds.....we live in two different worlds


                            • #15
                              Re: Debating different Disneyland books

                              To borrow my ramblings from another thread:

                              I have a number of Disneyland books, some of which are out of print, others are not directly related to the history, but are still worth exploring. Allow me to list them here (not so) briefly.

                              Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look At Making the Magic Real
                              While I don't actually own this one, I have it out on permanent loan from the library I work in. It is an essential volume full of sketches, concept art and many attractions that never came to be from around the world. The only problem is that is was obviously written under tight scrutiny by Mr. Michael Eisner, as they are constantly praising him throughout the book. Otherwise, it is a thorough examination of how the Imagineering department came to be, and what makes them tick at the various parks around the work.

                              Around the World with Disney (Disney Editions - May 2006): Previously available as a Theme Park exclusive, this attractive hardcover volume does just what the title promised - takes you around the world with Disney. With the exception of the Hong Kong park, all of the theme parks are represented: Disneyland, Walt Disney World Florida, Tokyo and Paris. By no means a perfect book - it spends some 12 pages on the Carousels of the parks, while it only spends 8 on the unique and variety Haunted Mansions, Pirates of the Caribbean and Tower of Terror combined - it reads more like an in-park souvenir guide than a serious comparison of the parks. If you are content to simply look at pictures of the theme parks, and given how far I am from a Disneyland pictures will have to suffice for now, this is a beautifully presented pictorial of the Disney parks that is easy to recommend as a gift or a coffee table book. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a more in-depth overview of the park, you may have to look elsewhere.

                              This next review I've taken from my older summary of the books of 2005 for Ultimate Disney:

                              Disneyland: Then, Now and Forever
                              Disney Editions, May 2005, SRP: $24.95

                              Disneyland celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2005, and you can bet that the merchandising machine is taking advantage of it. While we all wait for the visual wonders that the long-delayed Secrets, Stories & Magic of the Happiest Place on Earth DVD will hold, Disney Editions has brought a glorious 190-page celebration of the history of the California Resort. In much the same vein as the long out-of-print Disneyland: The First Quarter Century and Disneyland: The First Thirty Years, Imagineer Bruce Gordon and marketing executive/Disney expert Tim O'Day bring us a nostalgic look at the history of the original Disneyland Park, and its California Adventure extension. After brief introductions from actress Julie Andrews, who is the Honorary Homecoming Ambassador, and Michael Eisner, former CEO of the Walt Disney Company, we are given a wonderful visual and textual history of the park. Accompanying the informative text is an enormous collection of sketches, maps and early construction photos of many of the major attractions that now populate the park. In addition to those rides and attractions that still remain, we get an inside look at long-extinct attractions such as Submarine Voyage and Indian Village, which predates both Bear Country and Critter Country. Indeed, the best part of this book is the wealth of images of a Disneyland past, along with a section dedicated to unbuilt attractions, such as International Street and Liberty Street. Even the most dedicated Disneyland aficionado is bound to find something new or exciting about this book. This is about as close to a definitive Disneyland book that we are going to get for a long time. Disneyland: Then, Now and Forever is presently available through Disney Theme Parks and Downtown Disney only.

                              Art of Disneyland
                              (Disney Editions - September 2006)/140 pages/Jeff Kurti & Bruce Gordon

                              With Disneyland celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2005, Disney wasted no opportunity to publicize that milestone. With some excellent books being published over the last year - including the comprehensive park-exclusive Disneyland: Then, Now and Forever (reviewed above) - Disneyland fans have been spoiled for choice.

                              This latest entry, another one that was previously exclusively available in the theme parks but has now been released to the wider market, is one of the most beautiful yet. Rather than taking a nostalgic look at the different eras of the park, or even the technical aspects of the ride-making and Imagineering, this concentrates purely on the concept art that has either been used a model for beloved rides and attractions (or even the park itself), or has at the very least inspired the Imagineers to reach for the stars.

                              After a brief introduction from recently retired Imagineering legend Marty Sklar, the reader is taken through the park land by land with concept art; sketches and paintings of what would eventually become - and sometimes not become - fixtures of our favourite theme park. Covering everything from initial park concept art to Indiana Jones, artists include such big Disney names as Mary Blair, Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle, John Hench and Herbert Ryman and commentary is provided where appropriate. While there is some repeition with previous books on the marker - particularly the aforementioned Disneyland: Then, Now and Forever - and Disneyland buffs are sure to have seen much of this material before, the sheer volume of art and coffee table value alone is enough to keep most fans interested.

                              Secrets of Disney's Glorious Gardens (Disney Editions - June 2006): After many delays, this book finally arrives in glorious hardcover format. If you've ever been to a Disney park, you'll appreciate that a lot of effort has gone into making it bright and beautiful and green all the year 'round. This book is far more than just a collection of photos showcasing these gardens, although it does serve that function in part, but it is really more of a gardening guide for the reader. It isn't quite like your traditional garden book either, but it does provide handy hints as to how to make your own potting mix, when the right time to plant is and so forth.

                              After a brief introduction about the history of the parks, the book goes on to cover specific topics such as building an entry arbor; selecting the right plants for your region; planting a productive potting garden; and getting the right colour/border mixture. From there, a great section entitled 'Setting the Mood' examine the ways in which you can re-create the 'feel' of a Haunted Mansion through to Tomorrowland by choosing the right plants and arranging them. The 'International Flora' section concentrates largely on the World Showcase at the Walt Disney Resort in Florida, while the final section, enticingly titled 'Trade Secrets', examines how they make those topiary animals and floral portraits, such as the one at the Main Entrance of Disneyland. Maybe one day your garden will look as good as Disney's - of course, I'd be nice to have the land and money they have too.

                              Probably for serious Disney Park enthusiasts only, and those that have an eye for gardening. To be honest, I just enjoy looking at the pictures.

                              Other books I can recommend if you can track them down on ebay:

                              - Disneyland: The First Quarter Century*
                              - Disneyland: The First Thirty Years*
                              - Any of the souvenir books

                              *These are especially helpful at giving you an idea of the historical nature of the park, and these two have a large number of photos of 'Yesterland', as it were. The 30 year book is an almost exact replica of the previous book, so unless you are deadly serious about owning lots of Disney books, I wouldn't try and get both.
                              I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out. - Bill Hicks


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