Designing Disney’s Theme Parks Book Review

Designing Disney’s Theme Parks Book Review

Designing Disney’s Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance was first published in 1997 and was edited by Karal Ann Marling. The book is a collection of essays, including a longer one by Ms. Marling, that takes us in-depth with the processes, thoughts, and philosophies of designing Disney themed spaces. There are 224 pages and the book weighs in at almost 3.5 pounds. It’s a large-format book, which means the concept art and photos are reproduced in a fairly large size.

Disney Disney’s Theme Parks Video Review

Do you own a copy of the book? Did you ever get to the the art exhibit?

The exhibit that spawned the book is one that I wish I’d bee able to visit, especially in the late 1990s. As I mentioned in the video, this book was published near the end of the Disney Decade, when Michael Eisner was touting the modern architecture that the Disney Company was proliferating. Eisner was working with the biggest and most acclaimed architects of the day, whenever it was for resorts, corporate buildings, or planned communities. This was all oa time before the advent of blogging and vloggers, so there were very few places to get information about Disney theme parks. (Seriously, how did you ever find out bout the latest cupcake without vlogging?!?!?!) Designing Disney’s Theme Park was also one of the first forays into the scholarship of Disney. Another great title to check out is Stephen Fjellman’s Vinyl Leaves, one of the very best sociological treatises on Disney World and a walk-through of every queued attraction at WDW around 1990. Trust me, you want both of these books!

Additional authors: Neil Harris; Erika Doss; Yi-Fu Tuan; and Greil Marcus.

Looking for other books about Walt Disney World? Check out my list of WDW books!


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 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 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!

Epcot Space Pavilion Part Two: The Speculator

Epcot Space Pavilion Part Two: The Speculator

In a previous video, I looked at a proposed concept for a redo of the Horizons pavilion. This 1996 concept would have kept the original Horizons building intact and kept most of the interior attraction layout…and added a second attraction with it’s own pre-show: The Speculator.

The Speculator?

Exactly.

This concept for a Space Pavilion would have straddled pre- and post-millennium Epcot with an attraction that, well, had the best of both worlds. The first segment, which would have retained a major portion of the original attraction layout showed us how we saw space throughout our history. It would have been a bit slower, like World of Motion and Spaceship Earth, as it explained how we came to understand outer space. The second half of the attraction took us into another pre-show and debuted a fairly new style of vehicle that would have been a cross between Soarin’ and Flight of Passage. Sort of…

Catch up with Part One of the video here.

Epcot Space Pavilion Concept Video Part Two

So, what do you think about The Speculator and the message provided by the second half of the attraction?


Looking for the ultimate EPCOT Center book?

Epcot Space Pavilion Concept from 1996: Part One

Epcot Space Pavilion Concept from 1996: Part One

Back in the mid-1990s, Disney was looking to redo the Horizons Pavilion. G.E. decided not to renew their corporate sponsorship back in 1993. This left the pavilion without the deep corporate pockets to spring for a refurbishment. The original EPCOT Center sponsorship contracts were for ten years and only Exxon signed up for affectional terms with the Universe of Energy. Horizons officially closed December of 1994, but was brought back online a year later since the World of Motion and the Universe of Energy both went down for refurbishment (and more, in the case of the World of Motion).

One idea kicked around since the beginning planning stages for EPCOT Center has been a Space Pavilion. The lack of a sponsor and an unattainable scale kept this pavilion firmly grounded. I ran across an amazing 26-page document from 1996 that offered a vision for a Space Pavilion that re-used most of the Horizons building and ride system. And offered a tantalizing new ride system called The Speculator. So why didn’t we see a Space Pavilion until 2003 with the opening of Mission: Space (still one of my least favorite attractions)?

Space Pavilion Concept Video Part One

Part two of the video will take us to the Digital Imaging Center of the Space Pavilion and we’ll take a ride on the attraction’s new experience: The Speculator.

What Do You Think About This Concept for the Space Pavilion at Epcot?


Looking for the ultimate EPCOT Center book?

Vintage Disney World Brochure

Vintage Disney World Brochure

A great way to check out the Walt Disney World of the past is through the ephemera (usually defined as brochures and pamphlets) that was produced and distributed. The items were not meant as keepsakes, hence their ephemeral nature, but as a means of advertising. For historians, ephemera is a great way to check prices and changes with the resort over the years.

In 1971, Disney released two brochures about the opening of Walt Disney World.One is considered the pre-opening version and is marked with Opens October 1971 on the cover. The one released after opening is missing the opening date text but includes information on packages and prices. But they both offer some incredible insight into the fledgling Vacation Kingdom of the World.

Vintage Disney World Opening Brochure

What Do You Think About This opening Disney Brochure?


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!

1983 Disney World Pictorial Souvenir Book

1983 Disney World Pictorial Souvenir Book

What better way to while away the moments than leafing thought the pages of a vintage Walt Disney World Souvenir Guidebook?

Disney produced a massive amount of guidebooks, souvenir guides and retrospective books about Disneyland, yet struggled to properly convey what the Vacation Kingdom of the World was really about. With publishing plenty of titles in the 1970s, they still focused on trying get the idea of Walt Disney World across. How do you promote 43 square miles? Especially during pre-internet times?

1983 Walt Disney World Pictorial Souvenir Video Review

Disney found themselves promoting two theme parks, three hotels, a campground, and various recreation activities in a 36-38 page book. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for details, but does show what Disney felt was important about the Central Florida resort.

I still think of how many kids bought these books at the Emporium on Main Street or at their hotels as their souvenir from the family vacation. And then they spent hours just being mesmerized by the photos and brief text. Just a way to relive a past vacation and dream of the next one.

Check out my post about the 1977 pictorial souvenir.

Do You Own This WDW Book?


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!

Walt Disney World a pictorial souvenir

Walt Disney World, a pictorial souvenir from 1977

Walt Disney World, a pictorial souvenir is a series of small-form guide books that Disney released during the 1970, 1980s and early 1990s. They were souvenir books geared towards having an inexpensive memento of your family vacation. They were also a quick way to share the concept for Walt Disney World with friends and family. The books covered the Magic Kingdom, the resort hotels, the dining, the shopping, and all of the recreation. All in about 36-38 pages.

Not really enough space to cover the Vacation Kingdom of the World. Or is it?

Check out my WDW Pictorial Souvenir Video

The books evolved over the years, with each version becoming a little glossier. The photos improved, as did the presentation. But the coverage shrank, as well. The first few years only covered the Magic Kingdom, the two resorts, Fort Wilderness, the Golf Resort (I’m not sure why the Golf Resort was separate), and the recreation. Disney added parks and resorts (like Epcot and Disney-MGM Studios) and the real estate of the book shrunk, as well.

A handful of pictorial souvenir guide books from the first three decades of Walt Disney World. They really like purple.

Do You Own any of the Disney World Pictorial Souvenir Books?


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!

Camping at Fort Wilderness in 1973!

Camping at Fort Wilderness in 1973!

A lot of people have experienced camping at Fort wilderness at Walt Disney World. But how many got to experience a Fort Wilderness trip in which you caught your own breakfast?

Our make-believe family looks like they are about to have the best Fort Wilderness vacation ever!

I read an article in a 1973 Walt Disney World Vacationland magazine about a seven-day camping trip at Fort Wilderness. What surprised me was what the family did! (Or didn’t do.)

There was no rushing to the Magic Kingdom every morning. There were no extended shopping visits. And there were no Fastpasses! Imagine spending days exploring Fort Wilderness as opposed to visiting the Magic Kingdom.

In their defense, this was a Magic Kingdom bereft of any E-Ticket attractions (although, the Jungle Cruise and the Haunted Mansion were there). It would be months before Pirates of the Caribbean opened and years before Space mountain and Big Thunder Mountain would debut.

Check out My 1973 Fort Wilderness Video

Camping at Fort Wilderness was a completely different experience than you can even find today. There was a little something for everyone, even if it was just lounging around in a hammock. After reading the article, it was obviously a PR piece, but the writer did a great job of conveying the multitude of activities surrounding horses, outdoor sports, canoeing, fishing, and hiking.

Speaking of Fort Wilderness, did you ever get to stay there in the 1970s and experience the Peddlar’s Truck?

Do you miss the Tri-Circle D Ranch at Fort Wilderness?


Looking for a great book on the first decade at Walt Disney World?

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!

The History of the Magic Kingdom in Maps

The History of the Magic Kingdom in Maps

The Magic Kingdom is nearing 50 years old. That’s a lot of history and a lot of developments and transitions. One way changes can be documented is through the different park maps that have been produced over the years. Now that we all use our smart phones to navigate the parks, I do wonder what the future of printed park maps will be. You do see less people using maps in the theme parks, which makes sense. But I still love them as collectible items.

The history of the evolution of the maps of the Magic Kingdom is an interesting tale. We would never really see a fold-out map, but different iterations of maps would be released through GAF, Kodak and Polaroid Guides. There were also maps in guide books and travel magazines. For the most part, I check out official maps produced by Disney. Some are iconic and others are very close in detail and layout. I offer over 20 different maps in the video.

Magic Kingdom Maps Video

Do you have a favorite Magic Kingdom map?

How Disney promoted the Magic Kingdom is a fascinating byproduct of reviewing these different maps. The color choices, layouts, and inclusion (and omission) of details strikes an interesting choice of what is important at the time. Also what Disney did to promote this new theme park venture.

Have You Ever Seen the GAF Photo Spots of the GAF Photo Trail?


Looking for an amazing book about Disney maps?

FTC Disclosure: In some cases, a copy might have been provided by the company for the purpose of this review (but not on this post). 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!