Twelve New Books for
Disney Park Fans

A year-end roundup of
books published in 2023
New Books for Disney Park Fans

Yesterland’s book roundup is an annual tradition. Here’s the 2023 edition. Once again, the focus is on Disney 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, with the oldest first.

Sadly, unlike all the other book roundups I’ve published over the years, there are no new books by Jim Korkis, the respected Disney historian who died this year.

These twelve books look interesting to me, but they’re not books I’ve read yet (although I’m reading one now).

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, December 29, 2023

  101 Magical Recipes from the Delicious Disney Vault

The Official Disney Parks Cookbook:

101 Magical Recipes from the Delicious Disney Vault

by Pam Brandon & the Disney Chefs

Disney Editions

Publication Date:
February 7, 2023

There are two cookbooks on the list this year. The first includes food and beverages from all Disney theme parks. The second, later in this list, is specific to Disneyland Park in California. Both books are by Pam Brandon, author of 20 Disney cookbooks. According to Disney Editions:

“For more than twenty-five years, Pam Brandon has worked closely with the Disney chefs to thoughtfully take the best dishes from Disney theme parks and resorts and serve up official recipes that are just right for prepping on a smaller scale in home kitchens and tested by real home chefs. Now comfy classics, festival favorites, and international cuisines are whisked together and presented in this bright collection from the Delicious Disney recipe vault.”

Do you want to know how to make the Grey Stuff from Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom Park? This book tells you how.

  The Story of Disney: 100 Years of Wonder

The Story of Disney:

100 Years of Wonder

by John Baxter & Bruce C. Steele

Disney Editions

Publication Date:
March 7, 2023

This is the official companion to a touring exhibition, Disney 100: The Exhibition, currently at the Exhibition Hub Art Center in Chicago. The official description of the book is glowing, but says almost nothing about its content:

“The Walt Disney Company honors its 100th anniversary in 2023. As part of the festivities, this must-have coffee table book showcases the company’s history and rich legacy—past, present, and future—through vibrant voices and rare Disney concept art and photographs.

“On October 16, 1923, Walt Disney and his brother Roy founded what we now know to be The Walt Disney Company. Walt’s passion and vision continues to inspire creative development across the company. As a result, Disney characters—and their stories—have touched the lives of generations of fans. They encourage a belief that dreams really can come true.”

The book is undoubtedly gorgeous and a great souvenir of the company’s 100th anniversary.

  The Official Walt Disney Quote Book

The Official Walt Disney Quote Book


by Walter E. Disney & the Staff of the Walt Disney Archives

Disney Editions Deluxe

Publication Date:
March 7, 2023

This book was also on my 2022 list as an early 2023 release. I noted that Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, and Walt Disney might be the three most quoted Americans. Perhaps you have at least one of the Walt Disney quotation books by Dave Smith—Walt Disney: Famous Quotes (1994) or Quotable Walt Disney (2001). Or maybe you have Jim Korkis’ Walt’s Words: Quotations of Walt Disney with Sources (2016). Now there’s a new book for 100th anniversary of the company that Walt and his brother Roy founded in 1923.

From the blurb for The Official Walt Disney Quote Book:

“This collection of quotations from the co-founder of The Walt Disney Company ranges from the well-known to the obscure, but all are assured to entertain, enlighten, and inspire. His words have been gleaned from publications, productions, and interviews over the breadth of his amazing career. Some are simple nuggets of homespun wisdom, while others are statements of knowledge gained while he crafted the enchanting films, televisions shows, and unparalleled experiences that are so beloved by audiences the world over.”

  Awesome Facts for Disney Fans - The Unofficial Collection: The Encyclopedia of Secret Knowledge about the Factory of Dreams

Awesome Facts for Disney Fans - The Unofficial Collection:

The Encyclopedia of Secret Knowledge about the Factory of Dreams

by Lisa Marie Bopp


Publication Date:
August 7, 2023

There’s a Disney theme park castle (complete with fireworks) on the front cover, but the book is not just about the parks. The publisher promises “over 400 facts about the world of Disney,” with “interesting facts about history, movies, characters, and parks.”

The first example in the publisher’s publicity for the book is that “the iconic voice of Mickey Mouse was initially brought to life by none other than the founder himself, Walt Disney.” That’s something that even casual Disney fans already know, which makes me wonder how “awesome” the facts in this book really are. Still, it gets good reviews on Amazon, and it’s currently the #1 best seller in the Movie Encyclopedias category on Amazon.

  Disneyland on the Mountain: Walt, the Environmentalists, and the Ski Resort That Never Was

Disneyland on the Mountain:

Walt, the Environmentalists, and the Ski Resort That Never Was

by Greg Glasgow & Kathryn Mayer

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Publication Date:
September 13, 2023

At the time Walt Disney died in 1966, he had three innovative projects in planning stages. One was a vistor destination and futuristic city in Central Florida. Another was CalArts, an arts college. The third was Mineral King, a village in the Sierra Nevadas of California. Only the first two became realities (although without Walt’s vision of a city).

I wrote a Yesterland article about Walt Disney’s Mineral King, but I only scratched the surface. Somebody would need to write a book to tell the entire fascinating story. Now journalists Greg Glasgow and Kathryn Mayer have done just that.

Despite the catchy name of the book—Disneyland on the Mountain—Mineral King was not going to be a theme park. It was going to be an all-year mountain resort, drawing skiers in the winter and outdoor enthusiasts all year.

This is one I definitely plan to read.

  Disney Legends: Makers of Magic, Volume 1

Disney Legends:

Makers of Magic, Volume 1

by Jamie Hecker

KMF Media

Publication Date:
September 21, 2023

The Disney Legends Awards program, honoring “those who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy,” began in 1987. Actor Fred McMurray was the first Disney Legend. Since then, the number of honorees has grown to 304. Their contributions have been as animators, actors, Imagineers, voice artists, musicians, merchandisers, and other various disciplines.

Jamie Hecker, the author of Walt Goes to Washington: Finding Disney in DC (2021), profiles 43 Disney Legends in the first volume of Disney Legends: Makers of the Magic.

I’m now reading the book, generously sent to me by the author. Hecker is a good writer who has researched his subjects well. Some Legends are profiled in their own subchapters, while others are combined with others in their field. I’m gaining additional appreciation for the accomplishments of these Legends.

I’m looking forward to the next volume.


People Behind the Disney Parks:

Stories of Those Honored with a Window on Main Street, U.S.A.

by Chuck Snyder

Disney Editions Deluxe

Publication Date:
September 26, 2023

Most Disney fans know that the names and businesses artfully painted on the windows of Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom Park represent real people who made significant contributions to the parks through their creativity and skills. There have been earlier books about the windows, but never a book on this scale. Here’s how the book’s description from Disney Editions begins:

“Through rare Disney theme park concept art and photographs, this must-have collector’s book showcases more than 280 biographies and features more than 50 pages on the evolution and behind-the-scenes of the Main Street, U.S.A. areas across the globe, up to and including the fairytale castles at the end of each street.”

Sounds great! I’ve run out of room for Disney art books, so I probably won’t buy this one—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

  A Walking Tour of the Magic

A Walking Tour of the Magic


by Joe Gallagher

Magic Timeline Maps

Publication Date:
October 1, 2023

This book seems to be a perfect match for criteria of this Yesterland list. From the publisher:

A Walking Tour of The Magic Kingdom takes you on a journey through all six lands of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Florida + provides 50 years of facts + has a 150-question Slightly Impossible Quiz. It was created to serve as both a coffee table book and a guide to the Magic Kingdom over the years. You can enjoy the photographs, illustrations, and historical facts from the comfort of your home or bring it with you to use as a guide when you walk through the Magic Kingdom on your next visit!”

The sample pages at Amazon look great. Take a look.

  The Disney Book New Edition: A Celebration of the World of Disney: Centenary Edition

The Disney Book New Edition:

A Celebration of the World of Disney: Centenary Edition

by Jim Fanning & Tracey Miller-Zarneke


Publication Date:
October 10, 2023

Most of us who like Disney theme parks also enjoy Disney and Pixar movies and the worlds their characters inhabit. This book promises to celebrate all things Disney. It’s an update to Disney historian Jim Fanning’s 2015 book, The Disney Book: A Celebration of the World of Disney. From Disney Editions’s description:

“Now including more than 50 new pages and updated with ten more years of magic for Disney’s special 100th anniversary, The Disney Book: New Edition features groundbreaking and record-breaking creations—including Encanto, Moana, and Turning Red—and explores theme parks, experiences, memorabilia, and more.

“Marvel at beautiful art and artefacts from The Walt Disney Company’s vast historical collections, and discover live-action and animated movie-making, enchanting parks, and fascinating collectibles. Follow Disney’s history using the timeline, and delve into the incredible archives.”

  The House of the Future: Walt Disney, MIT, and Monsanto's Vision of Tomorrow

The House of the Future:

Walt Disney, MIT, and Monsanto’s Vision of Tomorrow

by David A Bossert

The Old Mill Press

Publication Date:
October 17, 2023

Just now, while thinking of what to write about David Bossert’s new book, I wondered why I had not yet ordered it—so I stopped writing for a minute and placed my order on Amazon. I should have it in two days. I’m really looking forward to it.

Disneyland’s Monsanto House of the Future, a free walkthrough attraction, opened in June 1957 and closed permanently in December 1967. Despite updates, it went from futuristic to dated in just ten years. Now it’s arguably that most missed Disneyland landmark. If only it hadn’t been demolished!

Unless you’re of Social Security age, you’re too young to remember the house where “the floors on which you are walking, the gently sloping walls around you, and even the ceilings are made of plastics.”

Now, thanks to this The House of the Future book, we can all visit the iconic walkthrough marvel and learn the story behind it.`

  Delicious Disney: Disneyland: Recipes & Stories from The Happiest Place on Earth

Delicious Disney: Disneyland:

Recipes & Stories from The Happiest Place on Earth

by Pam Brandon & the Disney Chefs

Disney Editions

Publication Date:
November 7, 2023

We’ve now reached the second cookbook by Pam Brandon in this list. Would you like to re-create Disneyland-style Monte Cristo Sandwich or Mickey Mouse Beignets at home? This book promises to tell you how.

Actually, if you’re just interested in Mickey Mouse Beignets, you only need to click on the Amazon link and scroll down. The book’s two-page spread about this deep-fried pastry is reproduced there. Of course, there’s more in the book:

“Bite-sized, behind-the-scenes anecdotes from Marcy Carriker Smothers and the Staff of the Walt Disney Archives weave around sixty diverse recipes from the Disney Chefs, making it fit for both Disney park fans and home chefs of varying skill levels.”

Based on how nicely the Mickey Mouse Beignets recipe is presented, this should a splendid cookbook.

  Presenting Disneyland: Forgotten Photographs From Opening Day

Presenting Disneyland:

Forgotten Photographs From Opening Day

by Aaron H Goldberg

Quaker Scribe

Publication Date:
November 24, 2023

A few days ago, Yesterland photographer Chris Bales sent email to me:

“You may already be aware of it, but I found a book you might enjoy on Amazon that has a lot of Yesterland-type photos: Presenting Disneyland: Forgotten Photos from Opening Day by Aaron H. Goldberg. While I would say that a good percentage of the photos aren’t actually from opening day (usually he states below it when it’s not from the opening, but not always), it’s a great collection of early shots of the park. It also has a lot of interesting clips from newspaper stories, Disneyland press releases, etc. that fill out the pages.”

The never-before-seen color photos are by a Disney studio employee who was an invited guest of Disneyland on July 17, 1955.

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


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Updated December 29, 2023