“Walt’s Disneyland: A Walk in the Park with Walt Disney” takes readers on a personal guided tour of Disneyland through Walt’s eyes, heart, and words. In each chapter, Walt will take you to a different section of the park. You will read quotes from Walt and his close family and friends that experienced firsthand Walt’s enthusiasm for his park.
“Walt’s Disneyland: A Walk in the Park with Walt Disney” is written by Marcy Carriker Smothers. This immersive book is 192 pages and will be released on November 16th, 2021. Marcy also authored Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food, and she co-authored “Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World: Recipes & Stories from The Most Magical Place on Earth”, Just thinking of her other two books is making me hungry. Marcy definitely puts in the time to do a lot of research for her book projects. Her endnotes from “Walt’s Disneyland” is thirteen pages long.
The chapter list for “Walt’s Disneyland” includes:
- Chapter One: Before Disneyland
- Chapter Two: Outside Disneyland
- Chapter Three: The Grand Entrance
- Chapter Four: Town Square
- Chapter Five: Main Street, U.S.A.
- Chapter Six: The Hub
- Chapter Seven: Adventureland
- Chapter Eight: Frontierland
- Chapter Nine: New Orleans Square
- Chapter Ten: Fantasyland
- Chapter Eleven: Tomorrowland
- Chapter Twelve: The Grand Circle Tour
- Chapter Thirteen: Last Day at Disneyland
- Chapter Fourteen: Happily Ever After
As you can see from the list above, Walt will take the reader all over Disneyland. I think we would all go to Guest Relations at City Hall and pay for a tour of Disneyland given by Walt himself if it were available. This book is the next best thing as there are no details spared to simulate that experience for you. I can definitely see park guests carrying this book around as they visit Disneyland.
All landmarks and attractions that existed in the different lands during Walt’s life are represented. The book is loaded with rare pictures of Walt Disney at Disneyland. It is fun seeing Walt ride the beloved attractions that he gave to the world. I consider myself to be a huge Walt Disney and Disney Parks fan, and there are a lot of pictures in this book from the Disney Archives that I had never seen before.
The book starts off with Walt’s meeting with Herb Ryman who illustrated the first proposal map of Disneyland in 1953. Without that map that Walt’s brother, Roy, brought with him to show to the bankers, Disneyland may never have been built. I found Walt’s description of Main Street U.S.A and his time living at his apartment above the Main Street Firehouse to be a really great read in the book. New Orleans Square is my favorite land in Disneyland. Walt did not get the opportunity to ride the Pirates of the Caribbean or Haunted Mansion attractions, but he was around for the opening of the land and helped to dream up ideas for my two favorite rides. Walt Disney’s last day at Disneyland was on October 14th, 1966. On that day, Walt’s Disneyland hosted the recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. That day is detailed in the book and includes a rare picture of Walt on that day as well as a Disneyland Salutes Medal of Honor Holders ticket and program. The book concludes with the sentiment felt at Disneyland on the day that Walt Disney passed away.
There are some extra bonus material at the end of the book. My favorite is a collection of quotes from various people on “Why Disneyland Will Never Work.” There is also a few pages of short biographies on “Dream Doers” that were all major contributors to Disneyland. “Disneylandmarks” is a short timeline that chronicles important dates in Disneyland History.
This book has definitely hyped me up for my next trip to Disneyland. I can’t wait to have a live experience of the nostalgia trip that I was taken down in this book. “Walt’s Disneyland: A Walk in the Park with Walt Disney” is a must-have for Disney Parks fans.
“And I kept insisting I wanted this amusement park. And everybody says, ‘[What’s] he want that…amusement park for?’ And I couldn’t think up a good reason except that, uh, I don’t know, I wanted it.” – Walt
A big thanks to our friends at Disney Publishing for sending me a copy of Walt’s Disneyland: A Walk in the Park with Walt Disney for this review.
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