front cover: MORE Secret Stories of Walt Disney World Yesterland

 
Book Excerpt:
the Forward
to the book

 
MORE
Secret
Stories
of Walt
Disney
World

 
More Things You Never Knew You Never Knew
 

A book by
Jim Korkis

Foreword by
Werner Weiss

back cover: MORE Secret Stories of Walt Disney World

Publisher:
Theme Park Press

Publication Date: Sept. 7, 2016

Paperback

Size:
6" x 9"

204 pages

ISBN:
978-1683900221

Disney historian Jim Korkis invited me to write the foreword for his newest volume, a follow-up to his well-received 2015 book, Secret Stories of Walt Disney World. It was a pleasure to accept the honor.

Today’s Yesterland article has my foreword, a glimpse at the opening paragraphs of just two of the more than six dozen chapters, and a short biography of Jim from the publisher.

Werner Weiss, Curator of Yesterland, September 16, 2016


Foreword by Werner Weiss

February 8, 2008, was one of those perfect days at Walt Disney World. The temperature was around 80 degrees, with a breeze keeping things comfortable. But what really made it perfect was walking around World Showcase Lagoon at Epcot with Jim Korkis.

At that time, Jim worked at the Epcot Learning Center, an educational resource for Disney cast members. Jim and I had been reading each other’s online articles for quite some time and had occasionally traded emails, but we had never met in person. Although our time was limited to Jim’s lunch period, we made the whole loop of the lagoon, stopping at the old Yakitori House for lunch and at the American Adventure lobby to listen to the Voices of Liberty.

As we passed the countries of World Showcase, Jim pointed out details that lend authenticity to each of the pavilions, even though guests seldom know their significance. He mentioned plans proposed for the areas that were never built. Jim wasn’t reciting trivia or statistics. He offered genuine insight that would increase a guest’s appreciation of the park.

When I read the first volume of Secret Stories of Walt Disney World, I was reminded of that day at Epcot with Jim. Once again, Jim made Walt Disney World a more interesting place.

Jim has spent a lifetime collecting historical details about Disney parks, Disney animation, Disney live action, Disney merchandise, Disney publications, the talented people who created them, and the life of the genius who started it all, Walt Disney.

He has absorbed this information from many sources, including directly from the people responsible. Perhaps Jim doesn’t know everything about Disney, but that’s not from lack of trying. There might not be anyone who knows more about such a wide variety of Disney topics.

Jim is generous with his knowledge. His articles and books are a reflection of who he is. As a columnist, author of books, and speaker, Jim shares stories about all things Disney with appreciative audiences.

It’s not just the quantity of Jim’s knowledge; it’s also the quality. Jim knows the difference between real back stories and the myths that only seem real. Jim knows the historical context that gives meaning to how things are today. And Jim knows the stories beyond the carefully crafted corporate Disney versions.

Since we first met at Epcot, Jim and I have walked around other parts of Walt Disney World. Somehow, we haven’t yet made it to Disney’s Animal Kingdom together. (Hey Jim, when can we change that?)

As you read this book, think of it as walking all over Walt Disney World with Jim. You’ll find yourself in corners you never knew about. Sometimes, you’ll travel back in time. You’ll meet some of the people who created the “World.” You’ll experience places that never escaped from the planning process. And you’ll see familiar spots in a new way.

In this book, Jim gives you succinct, fun-to-read, two-page articles. There are far more secrets than you would get from a week of walking around with Jim. And you don’t even have to bring an umbrella in case it’s not such a perfect Florida day.


A Glimpse Inside (and a couple of photos because Yesterland has photos)

MORE Secret Stories of Walt Disney World

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2016

An example from the section, “Things That Never Were”

MORE Secret Stories of Walt Disney World

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2016

The stage set of the Happiness Hotel—still there in 2016

MORE Secret Stories of Walt Disney World

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2016

Very recent history, in addition to history from decades ago

MORE Secret Stories of Walt Disney World

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2015

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at Disney Springs


About the Author (from Theme Park Press)

Jim Korkis is an internationally respected Disney historian who has written hundreds of articles about all things Disney for over three decades. He is also an award-winning teacher, a professional actor and magician, and the author of several books.

Korkis grew up in Glendale, California, right next to Burbank, the home of the Disney studios. As a teenager, Korkis got a chance to meet the Disney animators and Imagineers who lived nearby, and began writing about them for local newspapers.

In 1995, he relocated to Orlando, Florida, where he portrayed the character Prospector Pat in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom, and Merlin the Magician for the Sword in the Stone ceremony in Fantasyland.

In 1996, Korkis became a full-time animation instructor at the Disney Institute teaching all of their animation classes, as well as those on animation history and improvisational acting techniques. As the Disney Institute re-organized, Jim joined Disney Adult Discoveries, the group that researched, wrote, and facilitated backstage tours and programs for Disney guests and Disneyana conventions.

Eventually, Korkis moved to Epcot as a Coordinator for the College and International Programs, and then as a Coordinator for the Epcot Disney Learning Center. He researched, wrote, and facilitated over two hundred different presentations on Disney history for Cast Members and for such Disney corporate clients as Feld Entertainment, Kodak, Blue Cross, Toys “R” Us, and Military Sales.

Korkis has also been the off-camera announcer for the syndicated television series Secrets of the Animal Kingdom; has written articles for several Disney publications, including Disney Adventures, Disney Files (Disney Vacation Club), Sketches, and Disney Insider; and has worked on many different special projects for The Walt Disney Company.

In 2004, Disney awarded Jim Korkis its prestigious Partners in Excellence award.


Where to Buy the Book

MORE Secret Stories of Walt Disney World and the original Secret Stories of Walt Disney World are available from Amazon (paperback and Kindle). To order from Amazon, please use the links below.

MORE
Secret Stories
of WDW
(Volume 2)

Paperback
book

MORE
Secret Stories
of WDW
(Volume 2)

Kindle
eBook

 
Secret Stories
of WDW
(Volume 1)

Paperback
book

 
Secret Stories
of WDW
(Volume 1)

Kindle
eBook


 

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© 2016 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated October 21, 2016.

Disclosure per FTC guidelines: Werner Weiss received a single copy of MORE Secret Stories of Walt Disney World from the publisher. Mr. Weiss does not receive any financial consideration from Jim Korkis or Theme Park 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.