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Bibliography: Books: Disney Theme Parks

This bibliography covers books which may be useful in researching theme parks, amusement parks, and related subjects. Some of these books are available from the publisher or your favorite bookstore, while others are out of print but may still possibly be obtained through a used book dealer or from your library (in stock or through interlibrary loan). When possible a link has been provided to Amazon.com where you may check availability and order the book directly. Books about the Disney company and about Walt Disney are in the Disney Corporate/Biography section.

Beard, Richard R.
Walt Disney's EPCOT: creating the new world of tomorrow. NY: Abrams. 1982. 240p. Numerous Color Photos and fold-out artwork. Beautiful art book covering the creation of the Epcot theme park, filled with concept art, construction photos, and future plans (some of which were never realized).
Out of print. Search for a used copy at Powells.com.

Beard, Richard R.
Walt Disney's EPCOT Center: creating the new world of tomorrow. NY: Abrams. 1982. 128p. Abridged version of the above book, this was a "Special Edition" sold in the park. Lacks most of the artwork and special features of the first edition.
Out of print. Search for a used copy at Powells.com.

Brandon, Pam and Revenson, Jody
The Happiest Celebration on Earth: Walt Disney World Pictorial Memory Book. Lake Buena Vista, FL: Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. 2005. 96p. Color Photos. Bright, color photos of attractions in Walt Disney World's four theme parks, accompanied by explanatory text. Also a few pages of photos from elsewhere in Walt Disney World. Softcover.
Available for sale at the Walt Disney World resort.

Bright, Randy
Disneyland: the Inside Story. NY: Abrams. 1987. 240p. B&W and Color Photos. Well illustrated, authorized history of California's Disneyland.
Out of print.

Colour Library Books, Ltd. (no author credited)
Disneyland. NY: Crescent Books. 1990. 64p. Many Color Photos. Glossy photographic souvenir book of the California park.
Out of print.

Colour Library Books, Ltd. (no author credited)
Walt Disney World and Epcot Center. NY: Crescent Books. 1990. 64p. Many Color Photos. Glossy photographic souvenir book of the Florida resort.
Out of print.

Dunlop, Beth
Building a Dream: The art of Disney architecture. NY: Abrams. 1996. 208p. Color Photos. Dunlop, architecture critic for the Miami Herald seems much more interested in Disney's office buildings and hotels than in the theme parks, no doubt because she salivates on hearing the famous architects names.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Fjellman, Stephen M.
Vinyl Leaves: Walt Disney World and America. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. 1992. xvii,492p. Analysis of Walt Disney World from an Anthropological prospective with emphasis on cultural commodification.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Foglesong, Richard E.
Married To The Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2001. xvi, 251p. A history of Walt Disney World from an Urban Planning approach, primarily concerned with the planning and governmental aspects of the resort and its relations with Florida, Orlando, and Orange and Osceola Counties.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Frantz, Douglas and Collins, Catherine.
Celebration, U.S.A.: Living in Disney's Brave New Town. NY: Holt. 1999. 342p. Some B&W Photos. Account of the journalist's life in Disney's town.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Gordon, Bruce and Mumford, David
Disneyland: The Nickel Tour. Santa Clarita, CA. 2000 (2nd Edition). 392p. Many Color Photos. A beautiful history of Disneyland as told through images on the park's postcards. Includes the Roger Le Roque & Nick Farago Checklist (of postcards).
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Hiaasen, Carl.
Team Rodent: how Disney devours the world. NY: Ballantine. 1998. 83p. Miami Herald columnist Hiaasen is none too fond of Walt Disney World. This short screed explains why.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

"The Imagineers"
Walt Disney Imagineering: a Behind the Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real. NY: Hyperion. 1996. 192p. Many Color and B&W Photos. A beautiful book liberally illustrated with behind the scenes photos, concept art, plans, and more demonstrating how Disney's Imagineers go about creating those classic attractions.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Koenig, David.
Mouse Tails: A behind-the-ears look at Disneyland. Irvine, CA: Bonaventure Press. 1994. 239p. A few B&W Photos and diagrams. Tales of what it's like to work at Disneyland, backstage stories, and a rundown of the happiest accidents and lawsuits on earth.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Koenig, David.
More Mouse Tails: A closer peek backstage at Disneyland. Irvine, CA: Bonaventure Press. 1999. 237p. A few B&W Photos and diagrams. More tales from inside the berm.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Kurtti, Jeff
Since the World Began: Walt Disney World the First 25 Years. NY: Hyperion. 1996. 192p. Color Photos. Official history of Walt Disney World resort -- lots of photographs with an emphasis on new and future projects.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Lainsbury, Andrew.
Once Upon an American Dream: the story of Euro Disneyland. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 2000. xi, 292p. The troubled history of Disneyland Paris, from idea to ultimate success.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Lefkon, Wendy (Editor)
One Day At Disney. NY: Hyperion. 1999. 192p. Color Photos. When it's Midnight at Disneyland in Anaheim, it's 3 am at Walt Disney World, 9 am at Disneyland Paris, and 5 pm at Tokyo Disneyland. This is a collection of photographs taken around the clock at all four parks, arranged in chronological order, showing what happens when the parks are closed as well as their open hours.
Out of Print.

Malmberg, Melody
The Making of Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. NY: Hyperion. 1998. 192p. Color Photos. Well illustrated look at the design and construction of Walt Disney World's fourth park.
Out of Print.

Marling, Karal Ann (Editor)
Designing Disney's Theme Parks: the architecture of reassurance. NY: Flammarion. 1997. 223p. Color Photos and Artwork. Companion volume to the traveling exhibition of Imagineering art (of which it contains many examples), this book is more than just a catalog -- includes several insightful essays on theme park design and Disney criticism.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Markey, Kevin
Around the World With Disney. NY: Disney Editions. 2005. 176p. Numerous color photographs. Photo volume in honor of Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebrates all of Disney's theme parks. The juxtaposition of photos of similar attractions in different parks allows some comparison of similarities and differences.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Masters, Kim.
The Keys to the Kingdom: how Michael Eisner lost his grip.. NY: Morrow. 2000. 469p. B&W Photos. Unauthorized biography that follows the rise and tribulations of Eisner at Disney, including the death of Frank Wells, the hiring and firing of Michael Ovitz, and the bitter court battle with Jeffrey Katzenberg. Paperback title: The Keys to the Kingdom: The Rise of Michael Eisner and the Fall of Everybody Else.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Miller, D.M.
What Would Walt Do? An insider's story about the design and construction of Walt Disney World. Lincoln, NE: Writers Club Press. 2001. ix, 113p. The subtitle is somewhat misleading: the author never met Walt, and had little to do with the actual design of Walt Disney World. The book is primarily anecdotes from the author's experiences in quality control as an employee of one of the many contractors involved in the construction of Walt Disney World in the early 1970's.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Project on Disney.
Inside the Mouse: work and play at Disney World. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 1995. 250p. B&W Photos. Often superficial, yet self important, critique of Walt Disney World that mixes muddled Marxist cultural commentary with interviews with disgruntled workers and urban legends about the park, written by people who just don't see what people like about the place. Illustrated with numerous photos of tired, frowning tourists.
Check availability at Amazon.com.

Raz, Aviad E.
Riding the Black Ship: Japan and Tokyo Disneyland. (Harvard East Asian Monographs, 173). Cambridge: Harvard. 1999. vii, 240p. A few B&W photos and drawings. A cultural reading and ethnographic analysis of the place of Tokyo Disneyland in Japanese culture.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Ross, Andrew
The Celebration Chronicles. NY: Ballantine. 1999. xi, 340p. Some B&W Photos. Scholarly chronicle of Ross' year of living in Disney's model Florida town, Celebration.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Sklar, Martin A.
Walt Disney's Disneyland. Walt Disney Productions. 1964. 68p. Color Photos. Photo souvenir book about the park.
Out of print. Search for a used copy at Powells.com.

Walt Disney Company, (Various Composers)
A Souvenir Disney Songbook: favorite Songs From Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard. (Undated). 96p. Color Photos. 25 songs (both lyrics and music) from Disney parks. Includes favorites like "It's a Small World," "Golden Dream," and "Yo Ho (A Pirates Life For Me)" as well as a few Epcot songs like "Energy (You Make The World Go Round)" that are best forgotten.
Check availability at Amazon.com, or Amazon UK.

Zehnder, Leonard E.
Florida's Disney World: Promises and Problems. Tallahassee, FL: Peninsular. 1975. v,360p. Some B&W Photos. A history of Walt Disney World that draws heavily on and quotes often from reports and news articles of the times.
Out of print.

See Also:

Bibliography: Disney Corporate
Links: Amusement Park History
Links: USA Theme Parks, Waterparks, & Zoos

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