Yesterland

Fourteen Sixteen
New Books for
Disney Park Fans


For your 2018 wish list
Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

I published an earlier version of this list of books on November 16, 2018. At that time there were 14 books. Now there are 16. The two newest are at the top.

Fans of Disney Imagineering, Disney history, and Walt Disney are a lucky bunch. Every year, there’s a new crop of books for us.

Most of these books won’t be on a shelf at your local bookstore. You’re unlikely to see their authors as guests on TV talk shows. So, in what has become an annual tradition, here’s a roundup of books that Yesterland readers might enjoy, listed in the order of their publication dates.

The emphasis is on the parks—their secrets and history, the creative process at WDI, and “behind the scenes” insight—but not guides for tourists. Other Disney subjects include Mary Poppins and Mickey Mouse.

Eleven of the 16 books in this roundup are from a single publisher—Theme Park Press, which specializes in books about Disney. Seven are from just two authors whose six-letter surnames begin with K: Jim Korkis and Jeff Kurtti.

To be honest, I have not read any of these books. (I’m still catching up on books from last year.) So the descriptions are just my observations about the subjects. These are not book reviews.

To learn more about each book, click on its Amazon link. Read the publisher’s description and reader reviews. If you decide to buy, choose between the printed book and the Kindle edition.

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 I benefit financially if you buy any of these books (and any other items at Amazon) using these links.

Werner Weiss, Curator of Yesterland, December 15, 2018
based on a list originally published November 16, 2018



  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

Inventing Disneyland:

The Unauthorized Story of the Team That Made Walt Disney’s Dream Come True

by Alastair Dallas

Publisher: Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
Dec. 3, 2018

 

Although Disneyland sprang from the vision of Walt Disney, it took a team to invent it and make it happen.

Alastair Dallas knows Disneyland and its history. Among his many accomplishments, he worked as an architect for WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering). He interviewed key inventors of Disneyland, including Bill Martin and C. V. Wood, Jr.

“Meet the cadre of six men who imagined and described the specifics of Walt Disney’s vision for a new kind of family entertainment park—the men of WED Enterprises, who began the process of inventing Disneyland.”


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

More Skipper Stories:

True Tales from Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise

by David John Marley

Publisher: Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
Dec. 7, 2018

 

Former skipper and now history professor David John Marley returns with a second book about Disneyland’s World Famous Jungle Cruise. According to the publisher, “dozens of skippers, from the 1950s to the present, share harrowing, humorous, sometimes even horrific tales of their pun-fraught voyages and their behind-the-scenes hellraising.”

Sounds like a lot of fun!

In case you want to start with the first book, take a look at Skipper Stories: True Tales from Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise (published 2016).


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

A Historical Tour of Walt Disney World

Volume III

by Andrew Kiste

Publisher: Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
Jan. 12, 2018

 

In the third volume of this series, author Andrew Kiste once again connects Walt Disney World to American history. The Imagineers packed the parks and resorts with historical and cultural references—and Kiste knows what they are.

The back cover makes a good point: Like “hidden Mickeys,” this “hidden America” is overlooked by most guests.


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

An Unofficial History

by Chuck Schmidt

Publisher: Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
Jan. 22, 2018

Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the newest major park at Walt Disney World, is now more than 20 years old. In his fourth book for Theme Park Press, journalist Chuck Schmidt tells the history of the park, spanning from its inception to its newest land, Pandora. Schmidt interviewed Imagineers and specialists who tackled the challenges of creating what is arguably Disney’s most unusual theme park.


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

LIFE Inside the Disney Parks:

The Happiest Places on Earth

by The Editors of LIFE

Publisher: LIFE

Publication Date:
Mar. 30, 2018

 

From 1936 to 1972, LIFE was a widely-read weekly magazine known for its superb photography. When the weekly ceased publication, LIFE didn’t disappear. It returned as a long series of “specials” and even as a monthly from 1978 to 2000. Earlier this year, the red logo appeared on a “special” about Disneyland and the parks that followed.

There was another LIFE “special” this year that Disney fans might want: LIFE Mickey Mouse at 90: LIFE Celebrates an American Icon, published August 17, 2018.


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

Travels with Walt Disney:

A Photographic Voyage Around the World

by Jeff Kurtti

Publisher: Disney Editions

Publication Date:
Apr. 3, 2018

 

This 2018 book was also part of Yesterland’s 2017 book roundup because Amazon was already taking preorders. I wish I could say I preordered and read it, but it’s still just on my wish list.

According to the publisher, “Throughout his life, Walt was a frequent and enthusiastic tourist, visiting destinations around the United States of America and across the globe.”

The author is Jeff Kurtti, so I’m sure this book is wonderful. And there are photos from the Disney Archives.

“In Travels with Walt Disney: A Photographic Voyage Around the World, seldom-seen and never-before-published photographs are showcased along with eyewitness recollections and enlightening anecdotes, arranged into a one-of-a-kind travel journal as if Walt himself might have documented these exciting excursions in one special place to keep the memories alive and to share with readers.”


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

The Imagineering Process:

Using the Disney Theme Park Design Process to Bring Your Creative Ideas to Life

by Louis J. Prosperi

Publisher: Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
May 5, 2018

 

Even those who are not ardent Disney theme park fans know that those who create Disney’s parks and attractions are called Imagineers and that they do something called Imagineering.

But what does that mean?

Author Lou Prosperi describes how Disney uses the Imagineering Process, and how readers can use the same methodology in their own lives—even if their lives don’t involve creating theme parks.


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

More Secret Stories of Disneyland:

More Trivia Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes Paperback

by Jim Korkis

Publisher: Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
June 20, 2018

 

This roundup has three “Secret Stories” books by Disney historian Jim Korkis. It’s a popular series. Each book consists of many dozens of bite-sized chapters packed with history, back stories, and “secrets.”

This is the second volume about Disneyland. The first was excellent—even for a reader who already knows a lot about Disneyland.


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

Elbow Grease and Pixie Dust:

Memories of Disneyland Maintenance

by Rand Boyd

Publisher: Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
June 20, 2018

 

There are the Disney folks in Burbank who make the billion-dollar decisions. And there are the Disney folks in Glendale who create the attractions that delight park guests. And then there are the Disney folks at the parks who keep everything running.

Working for Maintenance Services at Disneyland, Rand Boyd’s job took him “to every nook and cranny of the park, at all hours of the day and night,” because “the magic doesn’t maintain itself.”


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

EXTRA Secret Stories of Walt Disney World:

Extra Things You Never Knew You Never Knew

by Jim Korkis

Publisher: Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
June 23, 2018

 

A few years ago, I wrote the foreword to MORE Secret Stories of Walt Disney World: More Things You Never Knew You Never Knew, Jim’s second volume of “Secret Stories” about the Florida parks. Allow me to quote two paragraphs from my foreword:

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.

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.

This is the third book in the series. I have no doubt that it’s just as good.


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

Walt Disney’s Disneyland

by Chris Nichols

Publisher: Taschen

Publication Date:
Sep. 12, 2018

 

This visual history of Disneyland from art book publisher Taschen “draws on Disney’s vast historical collections, private archives, and the golden age of photojournalism to provide unique access to the concept, development, launch, and enjoyment of this sun-drenched oasis of fun and fantasy.”

It’s the most expensive book in this roundup, but seems to belong on the coffee tables of Disney park fans.


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion

50th Anniversary Edition

by Jeff Baham

Publisher: Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
Sep. 14, 2018

 

Disney historians tend to be generalists who care about all things Disney, although perhaps with a greater emphasis on one area, such as animation, theme parks, or Walt Disney. Jeff Baham, the owner of DoomBuggies.com, is a specialist. He might know more about the Haunted Mansion than anyone else on the face of the Earth.

The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion was originally published in 2014, updated in 2016 as the Second Edition, and again this year as the 50th Anniversary—of the ride, not the book—Edition.

Although the book’s Amazon page still shows a publication date of December 12, 2016, it’s actually for the new 50th Anniversary Edition.


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

Secret Stories of Mickey Mouse:

Untold Tales of Walt’s Mouse

by Jim Korkis

Publisher: Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
Sep. 18, 2018

 

You already know about Jim Korkis’ “Secret Stories” series about the parks.

Now Mickey Mouse—who celebrated his 90th birthday on November 18, 2018—gets the “Secret Stories” treatment, with more than 100 short chapters about notable and unknown events from those 90 years.


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

From All of Us to All of You

The Disney Christmas Card

by Jeff Kurtti

Publisher: Disney Editions

Publication Date:
Oct. 2, 2018

 

This art book promises visual images from eight decades, including the Christmas cards that Walt Disney sent—designed by such Disney Studio artists as Bob Moore, Mary Blair, and John Hench—along with seasonal art supporting Disney movies, television shows, and parks. Jeff Kurtti is the author, so the accompanying text is undoubtedly much better than it needs to be.

It’s from Disney Editions, with a track record of high-quality publishing.


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

The Vault of Walt Volume 7: Christmas Edition:

Yuletide Tales of Walt Disney, Disney Theme Parks, Cartoons & More

by Jim Korkis

Publisher: Theme Park Press

Publication Date:
Nov 5, 2018

 

Just in time for Christmas, Jim Korkis has yet another book. This one is the seventh in his The Vault of Walt series. Similar to other books in the series, the book has 28 chapters organized into four parts: Walt Disney Stories, Animation and Television Stories, Disney Park Stories, and Mouse-ce-llaneous Stories.

Only this time they all deal with Christmas in some way. I’ve read many of the other books in the series, so I’m happy to recommend this one.


  Sixteen New Books for Disney Park Fans

Practically Poppins in Every Way:

A Magical Carpetbag of Countless Wonders

by Jeff Kurtti

Publisher: Disney Editions

Publication Date:
Nov. 6, 2018

 

Just a month after the publication of From All of Us to All of You, Disney Editions published another art book by Jeff Kurtti. The title is clever and long: Practically Poppins in Every Way: A Magical Carpetbag of Countless Wonders.

With the highly anticipated release of Mary Poppins Returns in U.S. theaters set for December 19, 2018, it’s not surprising that there would be a book. But it’s not just about the new movie. It’s a story that begins with the original books by P.L. Travers which Walt Disney made into a brillant movie in 1964. There’s also the Broadway musical and even a glance at Saving Mr. Banks (2013). With artwork and photographs from the Walt Disney Archives and other Disney sources, it’s a book that only Disney could publish.


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

 

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Updated December 15, 2018.