2019 Top Disney and Amusement Park Books!

2019 Top Disney and Amusement Park Books!

Looking for a great Disney book recommendation? Check out my video to see what my favorite Disney and amusement park books were for 2019.

There were so many published in 2019, but this is the first year that so many books blew my mind!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more videos on Disney history, Universal Studios, theme park books and more!

As I mentioned in the video, I read 23 books related to Disney and themed entertainment in 2019. I’ve listed my seven favorite and one that garnered a special mention.

What do you think about these recommenced reads?


Have you read any of them? There are books on Disney theme parks, the history of amusement parks, Disney animation, Walt and Roy Disney, the Disney Studios, Marc Davis and more!

Check out my other book reviews!


FTC Disclosure: In some cases, a copy might have been 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!

Meet the Disney Brothers by Aaron H. Goldberg

Meet the Disney Brothers by Aaron H. Goldberg, a book review

Are you looking for a great biography of Walt and Roy Disney?

Aaron Goldberg, author of The Disney Story and The Wonders of Walt Disney World, just published a new biography, called Meet the Disney Brothers, focusing on the relationship between the Disney brothers. Aaron sent me a review copy and I was surprised and excited to see that Aaron wrote the book for a younger audience. I field a lot of questions about biographies about Walt and I recommend the Bob Thomas and Michael Barrier books. Bob Thomas also wrote a wonderful biography of Roy Disney. Beyond that, there aren’t many books that offer a straightforward look at either Disney brother, let alone their relationship.

Meet the Disney Brothers

The book is a slim work, coming in at 89 pages, including a bibliography. It is a children’s biography, but adults that want a quick and authoritative look at Walt and Roy will enjoy the book. There are twelve chapters and a few extras that make the balance of the title.

Table of contents for Meet the Disney Brothers by Aaron H. Goldberg

As expected, Aaron hits the highlights of Walt’s life as Walt works through hardships and setbacks to create one of the most revered entertainment companies in the world. Throughout the biography, Aaron explores the relationship between Walt and Roy through their interactions and projects. Aaron takes care to not focus on myths and urban legends; he pulls information from authoritative sources.

This title is a great read for young students that want to learn more about Walt Disney. OR for adults that are looking for a quick refresher on the subject.

I would be remiss if I forgot to mention the contributions of illustrator extraordinaire, Rob Yeo. Rob is a Disney fan who has created artwork for other Disney-related titles (like the Wonders of Walt Disney World) and he brings a special spin to each work. With Meet the Disney Brothers, Rob designed the cover and the multitude of illustrations throughout the book. Like thumbnail sketches, Rob’s illustrations are like Disney story board artists signatures drawings. Bringing the story of Walt and Roy to life are over 80 small sketches.

An illustration by Rob Yeo of Walt Disney sitting on the bench watching his daughters ride the merry-go-round at Griffith Park

Should I Buy this Book about Walt and Roy?

If you’re a fan of Walt Disney and want to learn more about his life without reading a 400 page book, then, yes. Aaron offers a quick read that hits all of the highlights of the Disney brothers in an accessible format. I highly recommend this book for younger fans that are enamored with the park and want to learn more about the guys in the statues at the Magic Kingdom. This is a great book for public libraries and school media centers.

So, grab a copy and learn more about the trials and tribulations of the Disney brothers!


Special thanks to Wes B.,  Aaron R. and Nicole S. for supporting me on Patreon.

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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!

Wonders of Walt Disney World Book Review

The Wonders of Walt Disney World: Your Guidebook to Uncovering Secrets, Stories & Magic by Aaron H. Goldberg

I’ve always wanted a guidebook to Walt Disney World that went beyond the average travel book. You know, one that also delves into the history and details of the parks and resorts. With The Wonders of Walt Disney World: Your Guidebook to Uncovering Secrets, Stories & Magic by Aaron H. Goldberg, we finally have a book that ties so much together in a simple layout that is chock-full of tips, secrets and advice for everyone.

You can go from zero to nerd in 350 pages.

The Wonders of Walt Disney World Video Review

 

The Wonders of Walt Disney World Review

The book is for first-time travelers to Walt Disney World, seasoned veterans and everyone in-between. Heck, even I learned a few things from Aaron that I haven’t heard before.

The Wonders of Walt Disney World features a sublime cover design by Rob Yeo.

So, Aaron offers a guidebook that covers every attraction, restaurant and shop in all of Walt Disney World. Nothing new, except how he treats the subject. Aaron has a great style that is easy to read and he seasons the text with tidbits like hidden Mickeys and hidden details. It’s obvious that Aaron has a real love for the resort and wants to make sure that you enjoy your visit. The end of each chapter, or park, basically, is a re-print of Trip Advisor reviews and ratings. At first, this through me off, but I realized that this was a pretty great service to provide the readers, because the Trip Advisor reviews offer more depth and commentary. It’s a quick way to look at attractions and restaurants, at-a-glance, and decide on what to do.

There are photos and maps in The Wonders of Walt Disney World that help tell the story. I’m sure that Aaron would be the last person to call himself a professional cartographer, but the simple layouts will help you navigate the parks and environs. And it’s cool to see the details and secrets mentioned before your visit.

There is a separate section for the resorts and restaurants (located outside the parks, as well as a section on Disney Springs. Aaron offers tips on these as well as any backstory or secrets. (You know about John Lennon and the Polynesian, right?) Again, the Trip Advisor ratings are a nice addition.

I ran across a few issues with the typesetting and nomenclature that I spoke to Aaron about. To his chagrin, he used editors that weren’t as familiar with Disney. He mentioned that trying to find and correct when the editors fixed something that wasn’t incorrect was a big task.

So, the coolest thing about the book is the amount of research Aaron has done and he has the citations and bibliography to prove it! I loved running across the little citation numbers and then flipping to the back to see where the information came from. This is so important and adds so much value to the book for future historians. Also, he got Rob Yeo to design the cover and it’s perfect!

With The Wonders of Walt Disney World, Aaron has been able to combine the best of a travel book, a history book and Internet ratings to offer a title that offers something for every one.

I wish I’d written this book. Seriously.

Title: The Wonders of Walt Disney World: Your Guidebook to Uncovering Secrets, Stories & Magic
Author: Aaron H. Goldberg
ISBN: 978-0692968956
Release Date: January 23, 2018

Are you going to buy The Wonders of Walt Disney World?


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FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the author 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!

2016 Best Disney Books from ImagiNERDing

2016 Best Disney Books from ImagiNERDing (Including the 2016 ImagiNERDing Book of the Year!)

Check out my 2016 Best Disney Books of the year! Every year, I take a look at all of the Disney-related books that have been published during the calendar year and that I’ve reviewed. I’ve reviewed 56 books in 2016, including many that were released over the previous years (so, many of those don’t count for this award). The best Disney books run the gamut from animation to theme parks to history and from large and small publishers. The books are presented in no particular order!



2016 Best Disney Books: Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies: a Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series by Russell Merritt and JB Kaufman

The first section of the book is a, history of the Silly Symphonies animated shorts. About 30 pages are dedicated to looking at the cultural effect of the animated shorts as well as how they evolved as the needs of the Disney Studios changed. We’re introduced to a lot of key players who would go on to leave a lasting mark on animation forever. The section dealing with the shorts is incredibly comprehensive—even the price of the negative was included. Merritt and Kaufman provide all of the basic information that you’d expect, usually over a page and a half per animated short. There’s a lot included and the information on the Silly Symphonies truly makes this book an essential purchase and a one-of-a-kind research tool.

2016 Best Disney Books: The Disney Story: Chronicling The Man, The Mouse & The Parks by Aaron H. Goldberg

The Disney Story: Chronicling the Man, the Mouse & the Parks by Aaron H. Goldberg is a book that takes us on a journey through the high marks of Disney history through the eyes of the media. This is a fantastic title for anyone who wants a good overview of Walt and his entertainment empire. The Disney Story isn’t just a book for people who are new to Disney history, but for anyone who is interested in learning more, especially in a non-confrontational and non-academic tone. (Seriously, some Disney history books can be a little overwhelming for the lay person.) Goldberg has also presented the book in two fairly unique ways: he has reprinted articles from media outlets verbatim and he is offering the Disney Story website as a larger repository of articles. Goldberg includes original scans of the articles for further reading at the website.

2016 Best Disney Books: Drinking at Disney: A Tipsy Travel Guide to Walt Disney World’s Bars, Lounges & Glow Cubes by Drunky and Rhiannon

Drinking at Disney? Someone has finally published the book that everyone has been thinking about writing forever! We’re talking about Drinking at Disney by Drunky (seriously, that’s his name) and Rhiannon. It’s a guidebook from Bamboo Forest Publishing that covers every single drinking location at Walt Disney World. It includes full bar menus as well as tips and tricks for your visit. The reason to grab this new book is simply to have an amazing resource for enjoying libations at Walt Disney World. And it’s an astounding reference guide. It’s funny, charming, slightly sadistic and quite sardonic.

2016 Best Disney Books: Maps of the Disney Parks: Charting 60 Years from California to Shanghai

The book is broken down into six major sections that closely follow the operating decades and major developments. The book is large and the publishers took great advantage of the physical size of the book when reproducing the maps. And, of course, that’s what people want to see. Many of the maps take up one entire page and a lot of the artwork actually covers two pages. Remember the Disneyland Fun Maps? You’ll find reproductions of many of them by Sam McKim and, most recently by, Nina Rae Vaughn. They also take a section of the map and blow it up on the following page to give you a better view of the art that went into the map. There’s a lot of concept art, which makes the book different from what most people expected.


2016 Best Disney Books: The ImagiNERDing Book of the Year!

The award for the 2016 ImagiNERDing Book of the Year goes to…

Drinking at Disney by Drunky and Rhiannon!

Congratulations to Bamboo Forest Publishing for creating an informative, funny and extremely entertaining guidebook to Walt Disney World.

What’s your thoughts on the 2016 Best Disney Books?


The Disney Story by Aaron Goldberg, a book review

The Disney Story by Aaron Goldberg, a book review

The Disney Story is one of those books that I’m so glad that someone wrote. An unbiased read on the Disney Company, the book is backed up by primary sources that’s great for all levels of Disney enthusiasts.

Have you ever wanted to take a look at the history of Walt Disney and the Disney Company without reading a handful of biographies and books on the studio, parks and films?

The Disney Story: Chronicling the Man, the Mouse & the Parks by Aaron H. Goldberg is a book that takes us on a journey through the high marks of Disney history. This is a fantastic title for anyone who wants a good overview of Walt and his entertainment empire. The Disney Story isn’t just a book for people who are new to Disney history, but for anyone who is interested in learning more, especially in a non-confrontational and non-academic tone. (Seriously, some Disney history books can be a little overwhelming for the lay person.)

Goldberg has a very relaxed writing style and has spent time exploring Disney history in order to offer us this condensed look. Again, this isn’t a bad thing at all; he’s offering away for Disney enthusiasts to gain a better understanding of their beloved company. Goldberg has also presented the book in two fairly unique ways: he has reprinted articles from media outlets verbatim and he is offering the Disney Story website as a larger repository of articles. Goldberg includes original scans of the articles for further reading at the website.

The Disney Story is a very unique way of recounting Disney history. It’s a reader, or sorts, that shows us how the media wrote about Disney at the time. Goldberg takes us decade through decade and highlights the major events (films, parks, attractions, personnel and breakthroughs). Goldberg covers the company, so the starting point is in 1928, with the first Mickey short and takes us to 2016 and the opening of Shanghai Disneyland. In between, Godlberg has selected many of the defining moments in the company’s history.

It’s more than just a recitation of Disney facts; Goldberg also adds his own analysis to the story, which is very welcome. There are also points in the history in which he looks back to help us understand a specific point. In one instance, the brief story of the Nine Old Men is recounted when the last of the famed animators, Ollie Johnston, passed away in 2008. The Disney Story really is a treasure, simply because of the collected articles. The associated website offers a look at the full-text and scans of the articles used for the book. Again, this gives us insight into how the media (mostly newspapers and magazines) reported on the company.

I stand firm that the way to become a Disney historian is to read. Not just reading blogs but actually looking at the source material. In most cases, you can rely on books since most people don’t have the skill-set to peruse digital archives. But still, you can lose yourself in the world of books about Disney, as long as you are critical of the author and the publisher. In this case, I have a lot of respect for Goldberg and what he’s trying to do. Unlike some historians who are glorified story tellers, Goldberg has researched his facts and backs them up.

If you’re looking for a great introduction to the history of Disney, then look no further than The Disney Story. Even well-read enthusiasts will enjoy Goldberg’s book, often being reminded of an important point in the company’s history.

Title: The Disney Story: Chronicling the Man, the Mouse and the Parks
Author: Aaron H. Goldberg
ISBN: 978-0692742815
Release Date: August 9, 2016

Have you read The Disney Story by Aaron Goldberg?