Yesterland

Sixteen Eighteen
New Books for
Disney Park Fans


For your 2021 wish list
New Books for Disney Park Fans

Earlier this month, I published the first version of this 2021 “roundup” of books that Yesterland readers might enjoy. I’ve added two more books.

This is an annual tradition here. The emphasis is always on theme parks—their secrets and history, the process of creating them, and “behind the scenes” insight. The books are listed in the order of their publication dates.

These are books that seem interesting to me, not books I’ve already read. The books this year are particularly promising. I’d like to read all of them eventually.`

To learn more about each book, click on its Amazon link. Read the publisher’s description and reader reviews. Most of the books in this list are also available for Kindle.

Just a reminder… “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.” That means, “As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” I benefit financially if you buy any of these books (and any other items at Amazon) after entering Amazon through these links.

Werner Weiss, Curator of Yesterland, November 29, 2021
based on a list originally published November 5, 2021



  Buying Disney’s World: The Story of How Florida Swampland Became Walt Disney World

Buying Disney’s World:

The Story of How Florida Swampland Became Walt Disney World

by Aaron H. Goldberg

Publisher:
Quaker Scribe

Publication Date:
Feb. 13, 2021

Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook

Disney fans know the basic story… In 1964 and 1965, several unknown companies acquired over 27,000 acres of swampland, forest, and cattle country southwest of the sleepy city of Orlando, Florida. It turned out that Walt Disney was behind the scheme.

There’a bigger story of how Walt’s team pulled off the “nearly perfect plan to keep Disney’s identity a secret from the public by utilizing aliases, shell corporations, and meandering travel itineraries.”

Sound intersting? Aaron Goldberg, author of several other books about Disney, has a new book for you. He even describes how “a parcel of land within Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort was acquired during a high-stakes poker game.”


  The Cost of the Kingdom: A Memoir by the Chief Estimator for EPCOT and Disneyland Paris Show and Ride

The Cost of the Kingdom:

A Memoir by the Chief Estimator for EPCOT and Disneyland Paris Show and Ride

by Carl L. Jablonski CPE

Publisher:
Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
Mar. 1, 2021

Kindle and Paperback

There have been many books about Disney parks by Imagineers and other creative types. Now there’s a book by a cost control specialist with more than 40 years of experience in estimating and budgeting for major entertainment companies, especially Disney.

If you think about it, that’s a fresh perspective on EPCOT Center and other parks.

To make things more interesting, Carl Joblonski’s education was not in finance or accounting. He holds a master’s degree in Scenic Design and Theatrical Lighting and a bachelor’s degree in Technical Theatre.


  The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
 

The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

by Amy Ratcliffe

Publisher:
Abrams

Publication Date:
Apr. 27, 2021

Hardcover

At Disney parks in California and Florida, “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” takes guests to Black Spire Outpost on the remote Outer Rim planet Batuu. The new lands opened in 2019, but this book was not published until 2021.

This is an Abrams art book, so it should be spectacular. “Featuring hundreds of full-color concept artworks, sketches, blueprints, photographs, and more, the book will reveal Walt Disney Imagineering’s creative process.”

Seems like a “must-have” book for those who are intrigued by the Imagineering process—and for Star Wars fans (can’t forget about Star Wars fans).


  Hidden Treasures of Walt Disney World Resort Hotels: Histories, Mysteries & Theming

Hidden Treasures of Walt Disney World Resort Hotels:

Histories, Mysteries & Theming

by Jim Korkis

Publisher:
Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
Apr. 27, 2021

Kindle and Paperback

I’m so honored! This book by Disney historian Jim Korkis includes a dedication printed after the title page:

Dedicated to my friend and fellow Disney Historian Werner Weiss, a frequent traveler who over the years has shared with me more stories about different hotels where he stayed as well as insights into WDW resort hotels than I ever thought I wanted to know.

It made me more observant and critical of WDW resort hotels and for that I thank him with this dedication.

Much has been written about Disney’s theme parks and their attractions, but comparatively little about the history, storytelling, and immersive experiences of WDW’s resort hotels. Jim Korkis has fixed that.


  Kungaloosh! The Mythic Jungles of Walt Disney World

Kungaloosh!

The Mythic Jungles of Walt Disney World

by Jim Korkis

Publisher:
Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
Apr. 27, 2021

Kindle and Paperback

This year’s second book by Jim Korkis—or “Jungle Jim Korkis” as the cover calls him—explores the many jungle adventures of Walt Disney World, past and present.

From Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom to Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; from Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian of Indiana Jones at the Studios park; let Jim be your fearless guide, sharing a wealth of details.

Based on the book’s title, you might expect the late, great Adventurers Club and the mythology of Pleasure Island to be featured prominently. You would be right. Half of the book is The Complete Adventurers Club Guidebook. This is your chance to return to the club that’s sorely missed by so many, where you’re likely to discover new things you missed when the club was around.


  Worlds Within the World: The Story of the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels 1971-2021

Worlds Within the World:

The Story of the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels 1971-2021

by Brian R. Rucker Ph.D.

Publisher:
Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
May 28, 2021

Paperback

Until now, the only books that have discussed the resort hotels of Walt Disney World in any depth were travel guidebooks. That’s fine for people trying to decide where to stay, but that’s usually not what Yesterland readers are seeking.

This year, in addition to the resort hotel book by Jim Korkis, there’s another. Marking the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, Brian Rucker explores each of the resorts and their histories, including ones that never opened or have been changed significantly.


  Extra-Ordinary Everyday Magic: An Artist's Journey to Imagineering... and Beyond!

Extra-Ordinary Everyday Magic:

An Artist’s Journey to Imagineering... and Beyond!

by Timmy Britt (Author), Katherine Bell (Author)

Publisher:
(independent)

Publication Date:
Jun. 30, 2021

Paperback

It’s safe to say many people—perhaps even you—have dreamed of being a Disney artist or Imagineer. On his fifth birthday, Timmy Britt saw Roy Disney dedicate Walt Disney World. The child knew what he wanted to do.

The description at Amazon includes this: “Join Timmy Britt in this inspirational, true, and magical story as he journeys from the streets of Philadelphia to Disney animation, Imagineering… and beyond! And along the way, discover for yourself how you can make your own dreams come true… if you only dream, believe, and dare!”


  The Jungle Cruise: The Wild History of Walt's Favorite Ride

The Jungle Cruise:

The Wild History of Walt’s Favorite Ride

by David John Marley

Publisher:
Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
Jul. 5, 2021

Paperback

Although this book includes the history of the Jungle Cruise attractions at four Disney theme parks, its focus is what happened after the Imagineers left and the skippers took over.

According to the description, “This is the first history of a Disney park attraction told from the point of view of the men and women who worked there.”


  A Portrait of Walt Disney World: 50 Years of The Most Magical Place on Earth

A Portrait of Walt Disney World:

50 Years of The Most Magical Place on Earth

by Kevin M. Kern & Tim O’Day & Steven Vagnini

Publisher:
Disney Editions Deluxe

Publication Date:
Sep. 28, 2021

Hardcover

Arguably, this is the most “must-have” book in this roundup.

If you have other books from Disney Editions Deluxe, you know that the paper, print quality, and layouts are gorgeous. With access to all the resources of The Walt Disney Company and the Walt Disney Archives, the art and photos are unmatched. For this book, Disney assembled a team of three highly qualified writers. Reviews have been extremely positive.

Most of us were unable to attend the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World on October 1, 2021. Now, most of us are unable to get our hands on this official book, even though it was released September 28. Some pre-order buyers were lucky enough to receive a copy, but global shipping issues have prevented most copies from reaching those who want one.

If Amazon is accepting orders, you might want to order now, “get in line,” and wait patiently. You won’t be charged until it’s shipped to you—which might not be until 2022. Also, Amazon sometimes sells this book through third-party sellers, but you’ll still need to wait.


  The Independent Walt Disney World Encyclopedia Vol 1: Magic Kingdom

The Independent Walt Disney World Encyclopedia

Vol 1: Magic Kingdom

by Kevin Yee and George Taylor

Publisher:
Five-Legged Goat Press

Publication Date:
Sep. 28, 2021

Kindle and Paperback

This is the first volume of what will be The Independent Walt Disney World Encyclopedia. Presumably, it will be joined in future years by volumes about the other parks and the non-park areas of WDW.

As you would expect from an encyclopedia, this book is a series of entries in alphabetical order, each with a description based on extensive research. You can get a preview of the format by clicking on the “Look Inside” link above the book cover at Amazon.

From the description at Amazon: “Read through more than 400 entries that catalog the Magic Kingdom’s history. You’ll find information on long-gone shops and restaurants like the Yankee Pedlar, Lancer’s Inn, Merlin’s Magic Shop, and Nemo’s Niche. Of course, you’ll also find complete listings for extinct attractions such as Mike Fink’s Keel Boats, the Plaza Swan Boats, the Safari Club, and sentimental favorites like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Not to mention the entire history of Mickey’s Birthdayland and the three lands that replaced it! Anything given an official name warrants an entry.”


  Disney World at 50: The Stories of How Walt’s Kingdom Became Magical in Orlando

Disney World
at 50:

The Stories of How Walt’s Kingdom Became Magical in Orlando

by Orlando Sentinel

Publisher:
Triumph Books

Publication Date:
Oct. 12, 2021.

Kindle and Hardcover

The Orlando Sentinel has been covering Walt Disney World since the newspaper successfully figured who was buying vast amounts of land near Orlando. Its front-page banner headline on Sunday, Oct. 24, 1965 was “We Say: ‘Mystery’ Industry Is Disney.”

For the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, the staff of the Orlando Sentinel combed through its archives to create a book that takes advantage of the newspaper’s own reporting and photography from 1965 to the present.

From the Amazon description: “Featuring historic coverage and over 100 photos from the Orlando Sentinel archives, the commemorative edition is a visually stunning chronicle of the place where dreams come true.”


  book title

Walt Goes to Washington:

Finding Disney in DC

by Jamie Hecker

Publisher:
Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
Oct. 19, 2021

Paperback

When Disney historians write about Walt Disney—the man and the company that bears his name—cities are often part of the story, including Burbank, Anaheim, Orlando, global cities with Disney parks, and even Kansas City where Walt had his first film studio. But Washington, D.C.?

There’s always a new angle. Jamie Hecker has written a book about Disney with a Washington, D.C. angle.

There’s a long list of topics at the Amazon description, too many to repeat here. Some are from during Walt Disney’s lifetime, including Supreme Court cases involving Walt Disney Productions and Walt’s testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Affairs in 1947. Other topics are from the period after Walt, including the never-built Disney’s America theme park in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.


  The Vault of Walt: Volume 10: Final Edition

The Vault of Walt:

Volume 10: Final Edition

by Jim Korkis

Publisher:
Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
Oct. 26, 2021

Kindle (soon) and Paperback

If you’ve been following Yesterland’s book reviews and annual book lists, you know that Disney historian Jim Korkis has written a series of popular Vault of Walt volumes since 2010.

Each volume consists of several dozen articles, organized in four categories: Walt Disney, Disney films, Disney theme parks, and oddball topics. Each article provides fascinating details from Jim’s extensive research (often involving difficult-to-obtain resources) and personal conversations with men and women who were there when it happened. Disney fans will find Jim’s stories entertaining and eye-opening.

Volume 10, subtitled Final Edition, is the end of the series. You might also want to look into any volumes that you missed.

Don’t worry. Jim is alive and well. He’s working on other books.


  Nothing Up My Sleeve but Pixie Dust: How Working at Disneyland’s Main Street Magic Shop Changed Everything

Nothing Up My Sleeve but Pixie Dust:

How Working at Disneyland’s Main Street Magic Shop Changed Everything

by Bruce Edwards

Publisher:
Lambert Hill

Publication Date:
Nov. 1, 2021

Kindle and Paperback

Bruce Edwards has been a composer, musician, radio jingle creator, animator, puppeteer, designer of animatronics, and author of young-adult fiction. This book isn’t about those things.

In 1977, Disneyland hired Bruce to work as a merchandise host on Main Street. After initially working at stores like the Tobacco Shop, Bruce was able to join the resident magicians who entertained guests with amazing close-up magic at the Main Street Magic Shop. Bruce has many stories. That’s what this book is about.

Bruce kindly provided the Kindle edition of his book to me. I’ve only read a fraction of it, but it’s entertaining, well-written, and a fun Wayback Machine to Disneyland in the 1970s. I’m looking forward to reading all of it.


  The Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Quiz Master Challenge: 500 Verified Questions & Answers PLUS Historical Highlights, Fun Facts and More

NEWLY ADDED
 

The Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Quiz Master Challenge:

500 Verified Questions & Answers PLUS Historical Highlights, Fun Facts and More

by Jim Korkis

Publisher:
Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
Nov. 12, 2021

Kindle (soon) and Paperback

This book looks like fun. It’s a huge quiz about Walt Disney World from Jim Korkis, the Disney historian with three other books in this 2021 “roundup.” As a Disney fan, you’re likely to know some of the answers to some of the questions, while being stumped by others.

Jim is incredibly well qualified to create this book. In his long employment with Disney, Jim wrote many trivia quizzes and fun-fact media sheets. These had to be scrutinized and approved by various Disney departments, including the Disney Archives.

What’s particularly promising about this quiz book is that the answer section doesn’t simply list letters corresponding to correct multiple choice answers. There are usually several sentences explaining why one choice is correct and the others aren’t.


Claude Coats: Walt Disney's Imagineer: The Making of Disneyland From Toad Hall to the Haunted Mansion and Beyond
 

Claude Coats: Walt Disney’s Imagineer:

The Making of Disneyland From Toad Hall to the Haunted Mansion and Beyond

by David A. Bossert, Alan Coats, et al.

Publisher:
The Old Mill Press

Publication Date:
Nov. 16, 2021

Hardcover

In 1955, Walt Disney selected artist Claude Coats—who had already worked for Disney for 20 years by then—to help make Disneyland a reality. He would spend another 34 years with Disney developing beloved attractions.

Dave Bossert—whose own career in animation and theme parks is rather impressive—is the author of this highly promising book.

From the publisher’s website: ”This book explores Coats’ first fifteen years designing and building some of the most iconic and enduring attractions at Disneyland including Alice in Wonderland, The Submarine Voyage, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, and so many more. This 264-page book is profusely illustrated with many never-before-seen photographs and artworks.“


  Walt’s Disneyland: A Walk in the Park with Walt Disney

NEWLY ADDED
 

Walt’s Disneyland:

A Walk in the Park with Walt Disney

by Marcy Carriker Smothers

Publisher:
Disney Editions

Publication Date:
Nov. 16, 2021

Paperback

Walt Disney left us 55 years ago, so most Yesterland visitors are too young to have visited Disneyland when it was truly Walt’s park. Marcy Carriker Smothers, author of Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food, takes you back to the Disneyland of 1955 to 1966.

Here’s how Disney Editions describes the book: “This immersive guide allows guests to walk around Disneyland identifying the attractions and landmarks Walt championed, touching what he touched, and seeing his original Magic Kingdom through his eyes.”

Disney Editions doesn’t tell you that the book also contains rare photos of Walt at his park, Walt’s own words, and recollections from those who worked for him. I’ve only heard good things about this book.


We’ve now arrived at a book that will be published soon and can already be pre-ordered.


  Not Just a Walk in the Park: My Worldwide Disney Resorts Career

Not Just a Walk in the Park:

My Worldwide Disney Resorts Career

by James B. Cora
with Jeff Kurtti

Publisher:
Disney Editions

Publication Date:
Dec. 28, 2021

Hardcover

Jim Cora started as a part-time Disneyland attraction host in 1957. By the time he retired in 2001, he was the Disney executive responsible for developing Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea—setting the stage for the further growth of global Disney theme parks. He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2005.

He shares his experiences in a Disney Editions hardcover book.

From Amazon: “Part memoir, part cultural history, part documentary—and always fascinating, revealing, candid, and frequently humorous—Not Just a Walk in the Park: The Creation of Disney’s Global Resorts is the first-ever documentation of Disney’s rise as a worldwide powerhouse in destination recreation and cultural export; and the circumstances, events, and individuals who brought it all to life.”


Would you like to read about other books from recent years? Then check these Yesterland lists:

 

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Updated November 29, 2021