Book Review at Yesterland: The Disneyland Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition, by Chris Strodder Yesterland

Book Review
 

The
Disneyland
Encyclopedia

Updated
Third
Edition

The Unofficial, Unauthorized, and Unprecedented History of Every Land, Attraction, Restaurant, Shop, and Major Event
in the Original
Magic Kingdom

Author:
Chris Strodder

Illustrated Maps:
Tristan Tang

 
Reviewed by
Werner Weiss
April 7, 2017

Book Review at Yesterland: The Disneyland Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition, by Chris Strodder

Santa Monica Press, 2017

528 pages

Trade Paper

6" x 9"

ISBN
9781595800909

It’s been almost five years since the release of The Disneyland Encyclopedia, Second Edition (reviewed here).

So now there’s the Third Edition.

The book has grown by 24 pages and more than 50 encyclopedia entries—to 528 pages and more than 600 entries. Not only has author Chris Strodder added new Disneyland elements from recent years, he also revised many existing entries, added more than 300 new black-and-white photos, and inserted “Mouscellany” boxes with fun facts throughout the book.

Once again the front cover makes the audacious promise, “Every land, attraction, restaurant, shop, and major event in the original Magic Kingdom.” And, once again, it’s true. The inclusion of attractions, restaurants, and shops from 1955 to the present day is impressively comprehensive. The qualifier “major” allows some wiggle room regarding events.

The Disneyland Encyclopedia by Chris Strodder, 1st Edition and 2nd Edition

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2012

Original (2008) and second (2012) editions of The Disneyland Encyclopedia

There’s actually more inside the book than what the cover promises. Among other things, there are attractions that were never built, films about Disneyland, music acts at the park, essays about such subjects as attendance and posters, and biographies of key people over the years.

The cover does not mention shows or parades. Although the book does not ignore them entirely, they’re not part of its main focus.

Mickey and the Magical Map, a multi-million-dollar production playing to large audiences since May 25, 2013, gets only a one-sentence mention in the entry for “Fantasyland Theatre, aka Videopolis.” But Dalmatian Celebration, about the promotion for the live-action movie One Hundred and One Dalmatians during the 1996 holiday season, gets more than half of a page. The former is a show; the latter was an event.

Of course, it’s the author’s prerogative to prioritize what the book includes. Even with 528 pages, there are limits.

Photo from The Disneyland Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition, by Chris Strodder

Photo by Chris Strodder, 2014

Terrific photo of Matterhorn Mountain

Sometimes one entry covers multiple versions of the same place.

The longest entry name is, “Troubadour Tavern, aka Yumz, aka Louie’s, aka Meeko’s, aka Fantasyland Theatre Snacks, aka Troubadour Treats, aka Enchanted Cottage Sweets & Treats.” Combining all these versions of the same food counter in a single entry allows Strodder to avoid needless repetition and to tell a better story.

Fortunately, there’s an index. If you look for Yumz in the index, you’ll find, “see Troubadour Tavern.”

Strodder had to deal with the challenge of multiple names associated with the same topic. A sponsor could be an integral part of a name until that sponsorship ended. As tie-ins to Disney characters and movies increased and changed, names could reflect that. And, in its earlier years, Disneyland’s nomenclature could be rather fluid, depending on the individual responsible for a map, souvenir guide, or ticket book.

Photo from The Disneyland Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition, by Chris Strodder

Photo by Chris Strodder, 2015

Mark VII Monorail above a remnant of the Motorboat Cruise waterway

For example, if you look under M, you’ll find, “Monorail, aka Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System, aka Disneyland Monorail.” Although unnecessary, Strodder could also have added “Monorail Trains” (as listed on the back of the 1960 Disneyland souvenir book) and “Disneyland Alweg Monorail System” (without the hyphen, as listed in Disneyland Guidebooks for many years). The Monorail entry is more than three pages, with the history of the innovative transportation system, two Mouscellany boxes, and three photos.

If you look under T hoping to find Tomorrowland Terrace, you’ll be unsuccessful. It was Coca-Cola Tomorrowland Terrace when it opened in July 1967, but had several name changes, including Club Buzz (June 2001 to September 2006) and its current name Galactic Grill (since November 2015). Once again, the index is useful. Tomorrowland Terrace indicates, “see Galactic Grill.” The encyclopedia entry is “Galactic Grill, aka Tomorrowland Terrace.” Club Buzz also has its own, separate entry.

Photo from The Disneyland Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition, by Chris Strodder

Photo by Chris Strodder, 2015

Italian marble Snow White at her Wishing Well and Grotto

In short, even if an attraction, restaurant, or shop seems to be missing, a quick look in the index will almost certainly show it’s included after all.

This volume is not just a reference book. Sure, there are details such as dates, and you can use the book to look up facts. But Strodder is a good writer who clearly wants to give his readers fun and interesting articles about a place he knows well. The length of each entry varies from a single paragraph to ten pages, depending on the subject matter. Maps in the front of the book allow you to see where each attraction, restaurant, and shop was located.

The Disneyland Encyclopedia is a time machine taking you on a trip through Disneyland history since 1955. And because of its encyclopedia format, you can read it in any order you want.


About the Author: Chris Strodder (provided by Santa Monica Press)

This third edition of The Disneyland® Encyclopedia is Chris Strodder’s tenth book. Among his other works are The Disneyland Book of Lists (2015), the children’s book A Sky for Henry, an adventure story for young adults called Lockerboy, the comic novel The Wish Book, the Stories Light and Dark collection of short fiction, a pop culture compendium entitled The Encyclopedia of Sixties Cool, and Swingin’ Chicks of the ‘60s, a popular nonfiction volume of profiles that garnered international attention, as well as coverage in dozens of magazines ranging from the National Enquirer to Playboy, and exposure on national TV and radio shows.

Strodder’s writing has also appeared in Los Angeles magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, The Huffington Post, USA Today, California magazine, Movieline magazine, and others. The Disneyland Encyclopedia was named a “Best Reference Book” by Library Journal. An avid Disneyland visitor and collector since 1966, Strodder lives by the beautiful Pacific Ocean in Pismo Beach, California.


Where to Buy the Book

The Disneyland Encyclopedia, Updated Third Edition, by Chris Strodder is available from Amazon. The official U.S. release date is April 11, 2017, just a few days after the publication of this review. You can order now for the paperback book and the Kindle edition.

Also consider The Disneyland Book of Lists by Chris Strodder. The Yesterland review of it is here. Buy both, and you’ll get free shipping (total must exceed $25), even if you don’t have Amazon Prime.

You can also order this book from Santa Monica Press at 1-800-784-9553. Or visit and support your local bookstore (any bookstore can order this book from its preferred distributor or wholesaler).

The Disneyland
Encyclopedia

Paperback
book

The Disneyland Encyclopedia
Kindle
eBook

The Disneyland
Book of Lists

Paperback
book

The Disneyland
Book of Lists

Kindle
eBook


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© 2017 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated April 7, 2017.

Images of front and back cover of The Disneyland Encyclopedia, Updated Third Edition, by Chris Strodder: Courtesy of Santa Monica Press.
 
Disclosure per FTC guidelines: Santa Monica Press sent a review copy of The Disneyland Encyclopedia, Updated Third Edition, to Werner Weiss for review. Mr. Weiss does not receive any financial consideration from Santa Monica Press or the author of the book.
 
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