Disney Who’s Who: An A to Z of Animated Films

Disney Who’s Who: An A to Z of Animated Films Book Preview

Disney sent a review copy of the revised and updated Disney Who’s Who: An A to Z of Animated Films. This 432-page book is a glossary of characters broken down by animated film. It looked like a perfect Disney book to do a preview and share with everyone.

Is this a book for kids or will all Disney fans want it on their shelves?

From 101 Dalmatians to Zootopia! Disney Who’s Who Video:

What do you think about this latest book featuring the characters from Disney’s classic and modern animated films?


FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the company for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Disney Mountains Book Video Review

Disney Mountains Video Book Review

Love the Disney Mountains?

Does the idea of tackling Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Splash Mountain make you strap on your Disney lederhosen for a fun day at the parks?

What about Matterhorn Mountain? Or Mount Mayday or Mount Gushmore? Have you ever experienced Mount Prometheus? And don’t forget about Grizzly Peak orExpedition Everest.

And if you want learn everything there is about the Disney Mountains from all of the Disney Parks worldwide…where you look?

Check out my Video Review of The Disney Mountains by Jason Surrell

What’s Your Favorite Disney Mountain?


FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Disney Monorail Book Preview!

The Disney Monorail: Imagineering a Highway in the Sky Video Book Preview!

¡Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas!

Love Disney monorails? Then you need to check out this book preview of The Disney Monorail: Imagineering a Highway in the Sky by Jeff Kurtti, Vanessa Hunt, and Paul Wolski. The review copy just showed up and I set up the video camera to give my fellow ImagiNERDs a first look at this highly-anticipated new Disney book.

Is this going to be the ImagiNERDing Book of the Year?

Check Out My Video Preview of the New Book About Disney Monorails

Make sure to check out these other books by Disney historian, scholar, and all-around great guy: Jeff Kurtti.

Vanessa Hunt has contributed to the Disney Parks literature, as well!

Are you going to pick up the new Disney Monorail book?


FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the company for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Walt Disney and Trains

Walt Disney and Trains

Do you love Disney trains? Want to learn everything there is to know about Walt Disney and his fascination with railroads? How did Walt’s love of railroads influence Disneyland?

Check out Walt Disney’s Railroad Story: The Small-Scale Fascination That Led to a Full-Scale Kingdom by Michael Broggie to get a fascinating look into Walt’s life and his love of trains.

Walt Disney’s Railroad Story by Michael Broggie Book Review

It’s still hard to imagine Walt’s first trip around Disneyland on his Disneyland Railroad. It must have been an amazing event to be part of. And Michael Broggie was there to tell the story.

Have you ever had the chance to visit Walt’s Barn in Griffith Park?

Check out these posts on the Walt Disney World Railroad.

What’s your favorite Disney train?


FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Disney Maps: a Magical Atlas of the Movies We Know and Love

Disney Maps: a Magical Atlas of the Movies We Know and Love

The new Disney book release Disney Maps: a Magical Atlas of the Movies We Know and Love celebrates the Disney and Pixar animated feature films that we know and love, hence the title.

Is this book that features maps of the primary locations from the animated feature films worth adding to your collection?

There are 24 different films covered in this book. The films span the entire history of the Disney Company from its first animated feature film to the most recent blockbusters.

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,
  • Pinocchio,
  • Bambi,
  • Alice in Wonderland,
  • Peter Pan,
  • One Hundred and One Dalmatians,
  • TheJungle Book,
  • The Little Mermaid,
  • Beauty and the Beast,
  • Aladdin,
  • The Lion King,
  • Toy Story,
  • A Bug’s Life,
  • Finding Nemo,
  • The Incredibles,
  • Cars,
  • Ratatouille,
  • Up,
  • Brave,
  • Monsters University,
  • Frozen,
  • Inside Out,
  • Moana, and
  • Coco.

Obviously, they couldn’t cover every film ever released, but they do offer the most popular ones. Interestingly enough, but there aren’t any page numbers, but it won’t be difficult to navigate this title, at all.

Who is Disney Maps: a Magical Atlas of the Movies We Know and Love For?

Fans oft animated films that are included will enjoy the title. It really feels like the book is meant for the tween and younger set to enjoy with siblings or parents. It’s also a great title for anyone that wants to let their imagination explore the realms of classic and modern Disney and Pixar films.

What do you think about this new Disney book release?

Looking for the book on Disney Park maps?

Or a video on different park maps of the Magic Kingdom?


FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the company for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Disney: The First 100 Years Book Review

Disney: The First 100 Years by Dave Smith

Interested in learning about the life of Walt Disney and the history of The Disney Company? Dave Smith’s book is a great introduction to the first 100 years (starting in 1901) of Walt and the Disney Company. The book covers his life, animation, live-action films, theme parks and o many other projects.

Disney: The First 100 Years Video Review

Looking for other books about Walt Disney?


FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Energy Efficient Fairway Villas!

Introduction of the energy efficient Fairway Villas of Lake Buena Vista!

Disney News for Spring 1978 shares an article about new energy efficient town home villas in Lake Buena Vista. With the energy crisis of the 1970s, companies were turning towards energy efficient buildings and other means of conserving electricity.

As part of the mission of Walt Disney World and EPCOT Center, Disney was looking at ways of bringing new technologies to the forefront of the Vacation Kingdom of the World. It also gave executives an easier time when being hounded by the press, the public and the cast  members on the future of Walt’s vision for EPCOT Center.

Let’s take a look at how Disney promoted the new Fairway Villas!

Lake Buena Vista Introduces The Energy Savers

Walt Disney World is saving energy while they create a unique, new type of accommodation for vacationers in Florida.

Sixty four Fairway Villas are being built along the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course in Walt Disney World’s Resort Community, each with a predicted energy savings of up to 50 per cent compared to similar structures without the power-saving features.

Several of the power-pinching design features depend not on expensive machines, but on well- studied positioning of buildings and energy-conscious application of construction methods and materials. And, say the designers from WED Enterprises (the Disney architectural, master planning and “imagineering” firm), all of these energy saving features—ranging from site selection to the unconventional heating and cooling system—can be incorporated into the construction of new single family homes.

Another concept incorporated in the Fairways Villas is unique room flexibility. Each tri-level living unit has a living room and kitchen area which may be connected to one, two or three bedrooms just by opening or closing certain sections. With these modifications, a single building can accommodate a large or small family or even a business meeting.

Building sites for the clusters of homes were selected to take maximum advantage of existing shade trees. The Villas are also oriented to give less window exposure toward the south and west, providing shade for the larger glass areas during the hottest part of the day.

Exaggerated roof overhangs will reduce the amount of heat absorbed through the walls by shading large exterior wall areas. Clerestory areas with five-foot-long overhangs will provide natural light to the living, kitchen and mezzanine areas without increasing the interior temperature.

The heating and cooling system for the Villas is a highly efficient air-to-air heat pump. In addition, hot water is provided by heat recovered from the condenser when the air conditioning is in operation—about eight months of the year.

Provisions have also been made in both the heating/cooling system and the building orientation for the future addition of a solar energy system which would employ liquid- type, roof-mounted solar collectors.

High efficiency lighting fixtures in the Villas give adequate lighting at minimum energy cost and heat gain. All interior lighting will be done with fluorescent fixtures employing an electrically efficient frequency converter. Fixtures designed for domestic use, indirect lighting methods, and reflectors will be used to accent and develop relaxing living areas.

The Fairway Villas have also been designed to take advantage of the forces of nature for cooling at certain times. When air conditioner use is marginal, a chimney draft, which augments the ventilation effect of open windows, will create a constant cross-circulation of cool air.

In planning all of these energy-saving features, the WED designers didn’t forget about the good looks of the buildings. The exteriors are finished in attractive, natural cedar siding that will blend into the wooded surroundings. The roofs are covered with cedar shingles.

Inside, heavy beams across the ceilings again show off the beauty and texture of natural wood, while an open mezzanine gives a spacious but cozy feeling to the living area.
All of the Villas will be fully furnished in a luxurious, comfortable style practical for families or business groups.

The new resort lodgings are being built in accordance with the goals of the Disney EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) plan to demonstrate practical ideas and systems for better living.

In all, there will be 24 two- story buildings with 64 Villas and 128 bedrooms. The first six buildings are nearly finished, with the entire project scheduled for completion
in late summer.

Vacationing in one of Walt Disney World’s new Fairway Villas will be like experiencing a preview of the future, when saving energy will become a way of life.

Special thanks to RetroWDW for use of the vintage photos of the Lake Buena Vista Fairway Villas.

Did You Ever Get to Stay in the Fairway Villas?


Lake Buena Vista Community, The Original EPCOT Center Video

Looking for a great book on the first few years of the Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World? Check out the Story of Walt Disney World: Commemorative Edition.

FTC Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Video Book Review

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Cartoons by David Bossert Book Review

Are you a fan of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit?

If so, then check out my review of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Cartoons by David Bossert. This book follows David Bossert’s search for the 13 lost Oswald cartoons. Did he find them all?

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Video

Do You Have a Lost Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Cartoon?


FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

HersheyPark by Charles J Jacques Book Review

HersheyPark: The Sweetness of Success by Charles J. Jacques Book Review

HersheyPark: The Sweetness of Success was published in 1997 by noted amusement park historian Charles J. Jacques. The 221 page book covers the history of the famed park built by M.S. Hershey from its inception to the mid-1990s. Fans of HersheyPark will love this book as Jacques created a work that offers a unique perspective on how this park grew from a company picnic ground to one of the premier parks in the world.

Jacques begins the tale with Milton Snavely Hershey (referred to as M.S. Hershey in the book), a figure that dominated the confection industry and helped define standards for amusement parks (rather unintentionally). Most Disney fans will easily spot the resemblance between M.S. Hershey and Walt Disney. Both ascribed to create a legacy beyond themselves. Hershey focused on the community that he had built for his employees and the ensuing community park that evolved into HersheyPark. Disney, always forward thinking, worked on his designs for planned community centered around the Florida property, as well as innovations in entertainment.

The Importance of HersheyPark

Fans of amusement parks and amusement park history understand that parks didn’t spring up overnight. The evolution of amusement parks can be traced back hundreds of years; we wouldn’t see the modern park until the early twentieth century. Disneyland set the standard for theme parks, but there had been thousands of amusement parks in the United States since the 1900s. During the golden age of amusement parks (the 1920s), there were more than 2000 parks and roller coasters across the country.

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Pennsylvania a few times to experience the parks that helped define the modern amusement park. Visiting the Keystone State offers a unique glimpse at the history of amusement parks. Knoebels is more of a classic trolley park that offers a view of a park from the early twentieth century.Kennywood (besides offering classic rides found nowhere else) is the next generation and has the feel of a 1950s pre-Disneyland amusement park. Finally, HersheyPark, with its rich history, is a thoroughly modern amusement park that offers thrills and family fun.

Why You Should Read This Book

Jacques really knows his stuff. He grew up in Pennsylvania visiting the local parks as a child and then returned with his children. Obviously, from this book and his book on Kennywood, Jacques spent a lot of time documenting the park with photos and by collecting ephemera. Any fans of HersheyPark are going to love the in-depth history while amusement park fans will want add this book to their collection as it is a wonderful example of a pertinent and engaging book.

Yes, the book ends at 1996, so we are missing 25 years of current history, but anyone familiar with HersheyPark from the 1980s or earlier will devour this book.

Within the 17 chapters, Jacques weaves a story of HersheyPark that shares the history of the park, the people, and the community. The park was always community-focused, and this is obvious based on the narrative of the first 50 years.

Inside HersheyPark: The Sweetness of Success

The book is replete with photos. Many are from the Hershey Community Archives and straddle the life of the park. The first few chapters focus on M.S. Hershey and his rise to fame. Jacques introduces the key players of the park and how it came to be.

Jacques traces the history of the park’s development through maps, newspaper articles, and interviews. He shares highs and the lows of the park, which were mirrored by M.S. Hershey’s success, as well. When the company was doing well and M.S. Hershey was flush with resources, he spent more on the park, usually in the forms of new attractions or landscaping. During the lean years, or when the Hershey Company was facing financial woes, the park suffered, as well.

When M.S. Hershey was alive, he usually funded park expansions with his own money.

He also covers the litany of performers and special events throughout the years. It’s rare to find a resource that delves so deeply into the culture and history of an amusement park. I commend Jacques for his attention to detail and ultra-nerdiness concerning the park’s history. The story he tells is more than just of an amusement park, but he includes the community, of which it’s hard to discern where one starts and ends.

Documenting the history of any place requires a firm grasp of the subject and the ability to properly frame the story. Jacques never buries us in an avalanche of facts and figures that don’t propel the reader and the story. Jacques is able to structure the story in regards to the timeline of the park so that you can follow and keep up with all of the changes.

Why This Book is Important

Jacques’ book is a rare look at the development of a community park as it evolved. HersheyPark grew into a trolley park then into an amusement park and, finally, into a world-class theme park. You get a solid overview of what the history of American amusement parks was.

If I had one wish for the book, it would be to have more space to breath. In other words: more pages in the book would have allowed Jacques to spend more time discussing the rides. He covers so much history that it can be overwhelming, but that’s good for a history book.

HersheyPark fans need to own this title. Amusement park fans will enjoy it, as well.

Have you visited HersheyPark? What’s your favorite ride?


Check out my video on the history of amusement parks



FTC Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Hats off to Disneyland Hats

Hats off to (Disneyland) Hats

Paying any modicum of attention to social media, and you would think that the ubiquitous Mickey and Minnie Mouse Ears headbands had only been invented recently.

Not so!

The invention of the Mickey Mouse ears is attributed to Mickey Mouse Club Big Mooseketeer Roy Williams who says he was influenced by a gag in the 1929 animated short Karnival Kid. In the short, Mickey tips his ears to Minnie, creating this wonderful sight gag.

Apparently, this gag was also performed by Oswald the Lucky Rabbit while the series was still being produced by Disney.

Oswald tips his ears to Ortensia in a storyboard for Sleigh Bells (1928)

I ran across a one-page piece for Disneyland hats in the Winter 1976 Disney News…years before Instagram-posing became the norm!

Wear a Disneyland hat
With a ribbon or a feather,
No matter the season,
No matter the weather.
All kinds to choose from,
All sizes and styles.
They’re wonderful hats: they
Bring on the smiles.

So once you’ve “ooh”ed the chapeaux
And “ahh”ed the frilly bonnets,
Have priced them in poems
And written cap sonnets,
There’s one thing to do
To honor them: that’s
Bow very low-and take your
Hats of to hats!

At the time, film and the process of developing photos was still an expensive process. A photo shoot lie the one in the one-page piece would have been done with a professional photographer and model. Still, it’s interesting to see that things haven’t changed!


Looking for a great book on the history of Disneyland?


FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!