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  • [Question] book on WDW resort architecture

    Howdy.

    Does anyone know of a good book that specifically looks at the design and architecture of the WDW hotels? I'm not concerned with park information, as that stuff has largely been done to death, but if there's park stuff in a book that has a lot of resort info, that'd be fine.

    I'm not all that interested in the parks, post-Eisner apocalypse, but I like to go walkies around the resorts and I'm quite interested in their theming.

    For example, my mind was blown when a friend linked me to the inspiration for the Grand Floridian.

    I had no idea.

    Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: book on WDW resort architecture

    Designing Disney's Parks is one:
    Amazon.com: Designing Disney's Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance (9782080136398): Karal Ann Marling: Books


    Building a Dream is one:
    Amazon.com: Building a Dream: The Art of Disney Architecture (9780810931428): Beth Dunlop: Books

    They are out of print, but these 2 are specifically geared towards architecture. The price especially of the Designing Disney seems high, so maybe ebay has it?
    It's a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah...Tip for Today!









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    • #3
      Re: book on WDW resort architecture

      The first doesn't appear to have anything about the hotels, although it's difficult to tell.

      The second looks like it might, but since it seems to consider the Swan and Dolphin worthy of attention, I'm guessing it might not be the kind of thing I'm looking for.

      A friend asked if such a book a existed and without thinking I said it surely must, but when I got down to looking, there seems to be less there than I expected.

      I got a book about EPCOT a while ago that seemed to be less of a book and more of a doctoral thesis. It was pretty dry, but it had a lot more information than the average puff piece about "Imagineering".

      I wonder if there's any reasonable way to search for scholarly papers.

      I suppose a decent web site would do. I am being lazy here, because I haven't done a thorough search for one, but if anyone knows of a good one off the top of their heads, I'd be very grateful if you could drop a link.

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      • #4
        Re: book on WDW resort architecture

        Originally posted by Captain Schnemo View Post

        The second looks like it might, but since it seems to consider the Swan and Dolphin worthy of attention, I'm guessing it might not be the kind of thing I'm looking for.
        Heh. I read that one (borrowed from the library) and, yes, it contains a lot of gushing about Micheal Graves being a "great architect," and as you clearly find the Swan and Dolphin to be as hideous as I do, you might find the book's praising tone for certain examples of postmodern architecture a little hard to swallow.
        Still, if you can find a copy at your library, or a beat-up used copy for a cheaper price, I'd say it's still worth a skim, just for interest's sake.

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        • #5
          Re: book on WDW resort architecture

          Schnemo! Welcome to MiceChat... long time no see!

          The two books mentioned earlier were the only two I could think of... but they are quite light on resort content. Amazing there's not something more out there, considering the breadth and depth of architecture involved. Maybe the critics don't take it seriously, but there are some amazing things going on at the resorts, from both an architectural and urban planning standpoint.

          Does Foxxfur have anything more about them on her blog? I seem to remember her writing something about the Poly not too long ago.

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          • #6
            Re: book on WDW resort architecture

            Originally posted by DrMemory View Post
            Heh. I read that one (borrowed from the library) and, yes, it contains a lot of gushing about Micheal Graves being a "great architect," and as you clearly find the Swan and Dolphin to be as hideous as I do, you might find the book's praising tone for certain examples of postmodern architecture a little hard to swallow.
            Still, if you can find a copy at your library, or a beat-up used copy for a cheaper price, I'd say it's still worth a skim, just for interest's sake.
            Thanks, I will give it a look. I think it's telling that most people can't remember which is the Swan and which is the Dolphin, unless they can actually see the bird or fish statues.

            Yes, beautiful structures that evoke the mood and feeling of...umm...I dunno, an old HP laser printer?

            Originally posted by Virtual Toad
            Schnemo! Welcome to MiceChat... long time no see!
            Hey, good to see you. I ***/u/me there is no progress with the actual Virtual Toad?

            I go in cycles with the Disney obsession, and I needed a break from the old haunt, for various reasons.

            Amazing there's not something more out there, considering the breadth and depth of architecture involved.
            Absolutely. I was doing a resort tour (scored a map from each one, just to feed my obsessive-compulsive disorder) with a friend last year. We were at a bus stop in Old Key West, and he started asking what exactly made something "Key West style". He had his iPhone (essentially magical technology, which I would love to shove in the face of all the EPCOT haters who say that the future is here and technology isn't changing that much any more) and Googled up details about porches and sloping roofs.

            Maybe the critics don't take it seriously, but there are some amazing things going on at the resorts, from both an architectural and urban planning standpoint.
            Absolutely. Even Coronado Springs is interesting if you pay attention to what's going on as you move from section to section. He was also impressed with the choice of foliage, although it was more obvious than usual since much of it had just been wiped out by bitter cold. (There were icicles on the fountain in the Jazz section of ASM.)

            Does Foxxfur have anything more about them on her blog? I seem to remember her writing something about the Poly not too long ago.
            Thanks, good idea. If you're looking for More Information Than You Require, that's always a good place to start.

            At the Poly, there's an article on the wall in 'Ohana that describes how they put a lot of effort into making certain things authentic. When we discussed it later, I mentioned that when I was a kid, I had no concept of Pacific islands or kitsch tiki culture, I just knew I loved the place.

            I imagine most park guests operate on this level. I always disliked the Grand Floridian and referred to it as a "giant barn", but even though I still don't like the aesthetic, I have more respect for it knowing that they spent a lot of time and effort trying to create a very specific look and feel.

            Many Disney fans act as though these structures and attractions have dropped whole from the sky, and some even get angry when you try to get them to think about why things are the way they are (particularly when there are changes that clearly violate the original intent).

            Hmm, OK, I'm rambling.

            If I find any good stuff, I will report back. I suppose there might be footnotes on wikipedia articles that could lead to goodness.

            If anyone else finds anything, please share. Thanks!

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