Christmas at Walt Disney World: An Unofficial Pictorial of the Christmas Season Through the Years at the Parks and Resorts by Denise Preskitt. 2011. 96 pp.
Readers of the Geek-End Updates should be familar with Denise Preskitt, but under a different name. She has appeared frequently for her posts at MouseSteps. Denise offers fantastic, multi-page posts that focus on a resort or area of a theme park. Basically, she walks around and takes hundreds of pictures. Then she posts them. Sounds simple, right? Well, she has been doing it since 2007 and it is an amazing look at Walt Disney World. Denise sent me a review copy of her new book about how the resort celebrates the holidays.
My first impression was that the book was going to be a fairly quick read since it was just shy of 100 pages. Denise worked closely with Jeff Lange and Kevin Yee to select the appropriate photos from her archive of more than 500,000 pictures. There are over 200 photos featured and with 3-5 pictures per page, there is plenty to look at.
My only two complaints about the book are that I want more photos and I want them to be bigger! I questioned Denise about this and she assured me that the next set of books would be a larger format and have more photos. Christmas at Walt Disney World is more like a fond look back at holiday experiences and what to expect if you are going to Walt Disney World in the 2011 holiday season.
Denise looks at each theme park and the major resorts. There are some real hidden gems in the book--not only does Denise look at current Christmas displays, but she takes us back to earlier years. Remember the Lights of Winter? What about the model train at the Disney-MGM Studios that referenced the Glendale Studios? There is something for everyone in this book, whether you are a relatively infrequent visitor or a hardcore Disney enthusiast. I learned a few things from Denise's book.
This is a perfect title for anyone that loves the holidays at Walt Disney World. It is also a great book to give to people who are getting ready to travel during the holiday season--sort of like a primer. When I was reading the book, I imagined the joy a young child would get from pawing through the book on a regular basis; daydreaming about the last trip to Walt Disney World and planning the next trip.
Overall, this is a fantastic first book, especially one that features so many photographs. I was concerned with the quality of the printing at first, but it quickly becomes less of an issue as you go through the book. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted much larger photos and that is an issue of which the author is aware. Denise has captured and presented so many details that it is hard to imagine what she left out.
With a retail price of $22.95, you might be wondering why you should purchase this book. Well, Denise has been a big part of the Disney community for more than a decade and this is a great way to support a new author. You can find plenty of holiday photos online, but this is the chance to own a hard copy of the book and peruse it any time you want to!
Who doesn't want lots of photos of the Lights of Winter, anyway?