front cover: The Disneyland Book of Lists Yesterland

Book Review 
 

 
The
Disneyland
Book
of Lists

 
Unofficial, Unauthorized, and Unprecedented
 

Author:
Chris Strodder

 
Reviewed by
Werner Weiss
April 17, 2015

back cover: The Disneyland Book of Lists

Publisher:
Santa Monica Press

Publication Date:
April 14, 2015

Paperback

Size:
6" x 9"

360 pages

ISBN:
978-1595800817

There are lots of lists these days…

We’ve all seen “click bait” lists on websites, tempting us with something like this: “You’ll be utterly amazed by these 25 unbelievable facts that you definitely don’t know; number 18 will make your jaw drop to the floor.” If we take the bait for such a list, we’re usually disappointed.

There are also lists that are well-researched and thoughtfully organized by a subject matter expert. Lists can provide a fun and succinct way to present related facts, opinions, and trivia. Lists can bring together seemingly unrelated items.

You’ll find the latter in the The Disneyland Book of Lists by Chris Strodder, author of The Disneyland Encyclopedia (Yesterland book review here). This volume of lists promises “a new way to explore over 60 years of Disneyland history”—and it delivers on that promise.

If this subject interests you and you take the bait, you will not be disappointed.

Strodder clearly loves Disneyland and popular culture. His 247 lists about Disneyland are original and often witty.

“I hope you’ll see in the book that I’ve tried to add something new to the conversation about Disneyland history, not just rehashes of old recycled information,” explained Strodder to me. “For just one example of what I was trying to introduce that’s new: the list about fictionalized Disneylands in popular culture presents books, shows, and movies that have scenes set in a fictional park that was clearly modeled on Disneyland (using Disneyland’s distinctive elements, but not the Disneyland name). It took a long long time to find all these. To me, stuff like this is fascinating and shows how influential Disneyland has been.”

Allow me to present the rest of this book review as a series of lists.

The Disneyland Book of Lists

Photo by Werner Weiss

How the lists in this book are grouped (chapter names)

  1. Waltland – The Man and His Park
  2. History – Here You Leave Today and Enter the World of Yesterday
  3. Geography – Around the Park in 29 Lists
  4. Attractions – Rides, Glides, Zoom, and Flumes
  5. Disneyland by Design – Imagination Brought to Life
  6. Shops and Restaurants – You Can Buy! You Can Buy! You Can Buy!
  7. Attendance, Tickets, and Operations – The Business of Fun
  8. The Guest List – Disneyland is Your Land
  9. Mediapedia – Disneyland in Popular Culture
  10. Imagineers, Cast Members, and Performers – Making a Dream a Reality
  11. Live Shows, Exhibits, and Special Events – A New Concept in Entertainment
  12. Mouscellaneous – Assorted Tails
The Disneyland Book of Lists

Photo by Chris Strodder

“Inside the pages of this fun- and fact-filled book,” on back cover:

  • 13 of Walt Disney’s Disneyland Favorites
  • 33 Remaining Signs and Structures from Disneyland’s Past
  • 13 Heart-Thumping Moments in Disneyland’s Attractions
  • 47 Disneyland Parades
  • 18 Secrets in the Haunted Mansion
  • 30 Classic Jokes from the Jungle Cruise
  • 80 Celebrity Visitors Between 1955 and the 1980s
  • 26 Special Events at Disneyland You May Not Have Heard Of
  • 13 Movies Inspired by Disneyland’s Attractions
  • 15 Urban Legends About Disneyland
  • 69 Famous People Who Worked or Performed at Disneyland
  • 13 World Records Set at Disneyland
The Disneyland Book of Lists

Photo by Chris Strodder

Two places where the name Werner Weiss appears in the book

  1. Page 326, in a list of “A Dozen Experts on Disneyland,” where each of us was invited to answer the same five questions.
  2. Page 346, in “A List of people for Whom the Author is Thankful,” where Strodder thanks everyone who contributed to the above list (along with other acknowledgments). Beyond answering five questions, I had no role in the creation of the book.

Three ways to enjoy the book, whether in print or online

  1. Reading it cover-to-cover like a regular nonfiction book.
  2. Randomly opening the book and reading a few pages, never knowing if you’ll get a repeat or something new.
  3. Reading a few lists at a time in the bathroom, when this provides just the right amount of entertainment.
The Disneyland Book of Lists

Photo by Chris Strodder

A sample of one of the 247 lists in The Disneyland Book of Lists

When I first received the book, I randomly opened it to a list of 14 owls throughout Disneyland. If you’ve visited Disneyland several times, you’ve probably seen most of them without ever making the connection that Disneyland has so many owls in so many roles.

Chris Strodder allowed me to publish the list and provided color versions of the black-and-white photos that accompany this list in the book. Here’s that list:

A Mouse’s Natural Predator:
14 Owls Throughout Disneyland

Owls hunt mice, right? But in the park where Mickey and Minnie live, owls have stood in almost every land.

Critter Country

  1. In front of Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Owl’s house is mounted to a tree; Owl himself appears forty-five seconds into the attraction and again in the final party scene (“Owl” is also the name of one of the ride’s vehicles).
  2. The Owl character is one of the pins in the seven-piece Winnie the Pooh set sold at Pooh Corner.

The Disneyland Book of Lists

  1. Professor Barnaby Owl runs his Photographic Art Studio near Splash Mountain’s exit (above).
  2. Two owls stand inside Splash Mountain, one on the left of the second upwards hill and another above and to the left near the end.

Fantasyland

  1. In Alice in Wonderland, an owl watches Alice early in the attraction.
  2. A big owl is part of the display behind the Enchanted Chamber’s counter.

The Disneyland Book of Lists

  1. A golden-eyed owl observes from a post at Fantasy Faire (above).
  2. An owl holds the “Beware!” sign at the start of Snow White’s Scary Adventure. Owls also decorate the interiors and backs of the mine carts.

Frontierland

  1. Hooting owls are among the recorded bird sounds heard along the Big Thunder Trail.

The Disneyland Book of Lists

  1. An owl is perched in the main tree inside the Frontierland Shooting Exposition (above).

Hub

The Disneyland Book of Lists

  1. Two small owl statues stand in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle (one on either side of the main walkway) (above).

Main Street

  1. Displays during the Halloween season have featured owls—for instance, 2014 brought owls to a Disney Clothiers, Ltd. window and Disney Showcase wall displays.

Tomorrowland

  1. An owl named Ollie was one of the main characters in America Sings (1975–1988).

Town Square

  1. Beginning in 1973, an Audio-Animatronic owl narrated a pre-show presentation at the Walt Disney Story inside the Opera House.

About the Author

Chris Strodder is the author of The Disneyland Encyclopedia, which was named a “Best Reference Book” by Library Journal. His other works include the pop culture compendiums The Encyclopedia of Sixties Cool and Swingin’ Chicks of the ’60s. Strodder has also written the children’s book A Sky for Henry, the adventure story for young adults Lockerboy, the comic novel The Wish Book, the Stories Light and Dark collection of short fiction, and articles for various periodicals, including Los Angeles and California magazines. Strodder first visited Disneyland in 1966 and has been collecting Disneyland souvenirs and ephemera ever since. He lives in the green hills of Mill Valley, California.


Where to Buy the Book

The Disneyland Book of Lists is available from Amazon (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and other major outlets. To order from Amazon, please use the links below.

Also consider the updated second edition of The Disneyland Encyclopedia by Chris Strodder—“The Unofficial, Unauthorized, and Unprecedented History of Every Land, Attraction, Restaurant, Shop, and Event in the Original Magic Kingdom.”

The Disneyland
Book of Lists

Paperback
book

The Disneyland
Book of Lists

Kindle
eBook

The Disneyland
Encyclopedia

Paperback
book

The Disneyland
Encyclopedia

Kindle
eBook


 

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© 2015 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated December 11, 2015.

Disclosure per FTC guidelines: Werner Weiss received a review copy of The Disneyland Book of Lists. Mr. Weiss does not receive any financial consideration from Chris Strodder or Santa Monica Press. Yesterland is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.