Top 5 Disney Books

I had a great question on Twitter from @heathhunziker about the Top 5 Disney Books that I would recommend to any Disney fan. The question made me think about my absolute favorite books and it was a very difficult decision. Let me know what your favorite Disney book is in the comments!

My Top Five Favorite Disney Books

5. It’s Kind of a Cute Story by Rolly Crump as told to Jeff Heimbuch


Yeah, I know: I’m biased. Jeff is my best friend and we do a weekly podcast together. Still, It’s Kind of a Cute Story is the way a memoir should be presented, especially a memoir of an artist who’s visual style changed the face of themed entertainment and has influenced generations of artists and imagineers. 

The artwork is presented stunningly and Bamboo Forest Publishing should be commended for doing everything possible to keep Rolly’s art in the foreground. Jeff took hundreds of hours of interviews and conversations and created a compelling and through-provoking title. I wish more artists associated with Disney had the ability to tell their story without interference (or without being white-washed).


4. Gardens of the Walt Disney World Resort


This book is a hidden gem that many people never find out about. It was published in 1988, just a few years before the major changes that we would see as part of the Disney Decade. To me, the book is amazing because it’s a photographic journey with over 200 images of Walt Disney World before digital cameras. The photos are gorgeous and it’s a Walt Disney World that we can no longer visit.

You will spend hours just perusing the images. You can thank me later.


3. The Art of Walt Disney World Resort by Bruce Gordon and Jeff Kurtti


Jeff Kurtti is one of my favorite Disney-related authors. His history of Walt Disney World, Since the World Began, is an essential title. The Art of Walt Disney World Resort that he wrote with Bruce Gordon is spectacular. Jeff and Bruce assembled concept art spanning the 40 years of Walt Disney World that is truly impressive. May images were seen publicly for the first time in this book. The concept artwork is as varied as the many different imagineers and artists that worked on the Vacation Kingdom of the World.


2. Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality by Alain Littaye and Dider Ghez


This book is one of the most expensive that you’ll find. It’s also a book that I wish I had for each one of the Disney parks. (Richard Beard’s Walt Disney’s EPCOT Center is a great book, too.) Alain and Didier take us inside the park to look at it in such incredible detail, including sharing art from Imagineering. It’s hard to explain how gorgeous the book is, until you hold a copy in your hands. The aerial photos are magical and each land is looked at in vivid detail. Mice Chat offered a reprint of this book a few years ago and you still might be able to find a copy for less than $300.00 that way.

Seriously, this book is that good.


1. Disneyland, The Nickel Tour: A Postcard Journey Through a Half Century of the Happiest Place on Earth by Bruce Gordon and David Mumford.


This book is amazing on so many levels. First of all, it’s one of the best histories of the first fifty years of Disneyland. Second, it has so many unbelievable postcards. Third, Bruce and David were incredible.

Sadly, both authors passed away, so we won’t see another edition of this book. The Nickel Tour tells the history of Disneyland through postcards (and very smart and humorous text) without losing sight that it’s all still about Disneyland. The insight and knowledge that Bruce and David shared was unparalleled at the time; you won’t find another book with as much wit or charm. It is really expensive, but worth every penny.

Also, the postcards are incredible. In some cases, you will never see a few of these postcards in person.


What are your top five Disney books?



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