Customer Reviews for

The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World: Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom

Average Rating 4
( 136 )
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5 Star

(61)

4 Star

(30)

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(23)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Good Book!!

As soon as I heard the title, The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World: Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and American Kingdom, I knew I would love the book written by Susan Veness and I was not disappointed.

The book is broken up...
As soon as I heard the title, The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World: Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and American Kingdom, I knew I would love the book written by Susan Veness and I was not disappointed.

The book is broken up into four sections which focus on the separate parks in Walt Disney World. Within each section, it is broken into smaller sections within the park. Rather than tips for a good trip, the book focuses on small, unknown facts and hidden sights that guests may never have noticed. As I read through the book, I learned things I had never noticed before during my 10 + trips to Walt Disney World in Florida.

This book was interesting to me, since I have enjoyed trips to Disney World in the past. Some of the things I found most interesting were that the water in the Lagoon at Epcot is made of water from other countries and the fact that buildings were all made to be under 200 feet high so no beacons would be required for planes. I think this book would make a great gift for a first-time visitor to Disney World or someone who doesn't think they will enjoy their trip because they have "seen it all before." I know I really enjoyed reading it, and I will be looking at Walt Disney World more closely the next time I visit.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

posted by mo13MM on April 18, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

not a fan.

I enjoy books about Disney and normally don't judge them harshly.

But people should be warned about this one. In just the first couple dozen pages, there are numerous items that are out of date. It's kind of sad that families will go searching for the old-fashioned ...
I enjoy books about Disney and normally don't judge them harshly.

But people should be warned about this one. In just the first couple dozen pages, there are numerous items that are out of date. It's kind of sad that families will go searching for the old-fashioned phone in the General Store, will go to awaken Tinker Bell in the Fantasyland shop, will go to see Tink in the keyhole of the sewing table there, the wooden leg on the lost and found shelf at the Frontierland station -- when all of these features have been removed over a year ago. In addition to being outdated, the information is sometimes just wrong. For instance, it isn't true that "WDW imagineers could not dig a basement in Orlando as they did at Disneyland in California ..." There are no utilidors in Disneyland. (Walt was frustrated to see a cowboy walking through Tomorrowland on his way to work in Frontierland in Disneyland -- since there was no other way to cross the park. And the idea for the WDW ultidors was born!)

If I can spot things that are wrong, I wonder what a real Disney expert would find. The editing was skethcy, too. For instance, the red and green faces of Cinderella's evil stepsisters are "belying" their anger and jealousy. "Belying" means hiding or contracting. What the author meant was "revealing."

Unfortunately, this book is a regurgitation of all the "WDW Secrets" lists on the Internet. Some of the items on those list aren't legitimate. For instance, the three-circled cut-out shapes in the stone wall that curves along the walkways to the front of the castle - at no time of day do they cast a Mickey-shaped shadow on the ground. I read about this online a couple of years ago and went on many occasions to the castle to see the shadows. I kept coming back to check. I asked castmembers. It doesn't happen.

posted by reesesc1802 on July 14, 2011

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    not a fan.

    I enjoy books about Disney and normally don't judge them harshly.

    But people should be warned about this one. In just the first couple dozen pages, there are numerous items that are out of date. It's kind of sad that families will go searching for the old-fashioned phone in the General Store, will go to awaken Tinker Bell in the Fantasyland shop, will go to see Tink in the keyhole of the sewing table there, the wooden leg on the lost and found shelf at the Frontierland station -- when all of these features have been removed over a year ago. In addition to being outdated, the information is sometimes just wrong. For instance, it isn't true that "WDW imagineers could not dig a basement in Orlando as they did at Disneyland in California ..." There are no utilidors in Disneyland. (Walt was frustrated to see a cowboy walking through Tomorrowland on his way to work in Frontierland in Disneyland -- since there was no other way to cross the park. And the idea for the WDW ultidors was born!)

    If I can spot things that are wrong, I wonder what a real Disney expert would find. The editing was skethcy, too. For instance, the red and green faces of Cinderella's evil stepsisters are "belying" their anger and jealousy. "Belying" means hiding or contracting. What the author meant was "revealing."

    Unfortunately, this book is a regurgitation of all the "WDW Secrets" lists on the Internet. Some of the items on those list aren't legitimate. For instance, the three-circled cut-out shapes in the stone wall that curves along the walkways to the front of the castle - at no time of day do they cast a Mickey-shaped shadow on the ground. I read about this online a couple of years ago and went on many occasions to the castle to see the shadows. I kept coming back to check. I asked castmembers. It doesn't happen.

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2011

    Lacking "magic"

    I was expecting more "magic" from this book. I was disappointed when I finished. I guess I was hoping for a little more depth. Eventually the book started to repeat itself as it moved from park to park - "Make sure you look for..." (the same bunch of things you looked for in the other parks). Overall, I'd say not worth the money. There are better WDW books available.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2011

    The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World

    Hi- I just got a new book from booksneeze- "The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World" by Susan Veness. Before I start talking though, I need to say that I got this book for free from the Booksneeze program. Okay? Okay. Now, let me tell you that I am a complete and utter Disney-o-phile. I was raised going to Walt Disney World in Florida and I have Mickey pumping through my veins. Figuratively speaking. Anywho, when I saw this book for "sale" (i.e, for free on Booksneeze), I had a bit of a spaz attack. I got it and began reading, and reading, and reading. The idea for this book is a very good one, but poorly executed. A lot of the "secrets" are outdated, commonly known, or just plain untrue. This is not a Christian book either- while it has no outright "Anti-Christian" message, it contained trace amounts of secularity- it mentions evolution a few times (such as when talking about dinosaurs in the Animal Kingdom park) and emphasizes the "prayer flags" that dot the Asia part of Animal Kingdom- flags that the Buddhist faith uses to get prayers to the heavens. Also, in different country pavilions in EPCOT, there are numerous references to other religions (such as Islam in Morocco, Buddhism in Japan, etc.) that the author glorifies. Yet any reference to Christianity the author almost demeans. Also, the author seemed EXTREMELY fond of the phrase "symbolically"- the word appeared on nearly every other page. It seriously started getting on my nerves. I would not suggest this book to anyone who does not know Disney very well- if you knew Disney things well, you might be able to work around the incorrect facets to find the few-and-far-between gems that might be true (such as backstories to rides and whatnot- the backstories for the different rides are one of the few things that the author got right.) Anywho, I am glad that I got this book, because it got me excited for future Disney trips and whatnot. But overall, I'd give this book only a two out of five stars.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2011

    Good Book!!

    As soon as I heard the title, The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World: Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and American Kingdom, I knew I would love the book written by Susan Veness and I was not disappointed.

    The book is broken up into four sections which focus on the separate parks in Walt Disney World. Within each section, it is broken into smaller sections within the park. Rather than tips for a good trip, the book focuses on small, unknown facts and hidden sights that guests may never have noticed. As I read through the book, I learned things I had never noticed before during my 10 + trips to Walt Disney World in Florida.

    This book was interesting to me, since I have enjoyed trips to Disney World in the past. Some of the things I found most interesting were that the water in the Lagoon at Epcot is made of water from other countries and the fact that buildings were all made to be under 200 feet high so no beacons would be required for planes. I think this book would make a great gift for a first-time visitor to Disney World or someone who doesn't think they will enjoy their trip because they have "seen it all before." I know I really enjoyed reading it, and I will be looking at Walt Disney World more closely the next time I visit.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book for Disney lovers!

    We love Disney World and cannot get enough of it. This book points out things we would have never noticed before or taken the time to appreciate. We're going back soon and making a note to stop and take in some of the hidden gems when we come across them in the parks. The book makes you look at Disney in a different perspective and gives us just one more reason to appreciate Walt's dedication to Disney World, to entertainment.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World

    What a great book! Having been to DisneyWorld 10 times, I thought I knew almost all of the world. How wrong I was! This book told me things I never would have imagined. Not to spoil it, but things like little hidden clues about the imagineers, or what certain designs mean. Things in each ride that give you a little more insight without going on a tour.
    My kids are grown now, but the next time I make a trip to DisneyWorld, I will have some notes along with me and enjoy the "real" magic and not just the rides.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2011

    Great book! A must read!

    This little gem of a book is a must read for any Disney fan, especially if you are heading to the parks. Although some of the tips and secrets mentioned are well known and not really 'hidden,' they are still worth noting. The book is not a complete spoiler either. Some secrets are revealed, but others are referenced and then you have a chance to find the solution in the parks. If you can't wait for the parks then Appendix B contains the answers. The Imagineers' work on attraction and land theming is a major focus of the hidden secrets. However, if you are looking for Hidden Mickeys this is not the book for you. Very few are mentioned. This lovely, fast read enhances the magic of Walt Disney World!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    Discover the hidden magic!

    Most people just thing Walt Disney World is just a theme park to visit on vacation. For people like me, it's much more. It's a place loaded with fun, memories, and a mountain of fun details that are often overlooked. That is where "The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World" comes into play. This book contains over 600 tidbits of fun facts that most people overlook while touring the parks at the Walt Disney World resort. Some things are now common knowledge like the Utilidors that run under the Magic Kingdom. Other things are easily missed, like the entire length of main Street at the Magic Kingdom is bordered by red pavement as if the red carpet has been rolled out for you. You can also learn where you can see Ratatouille, the rat, peeking out from among some grapes as well as the magical rose in a glass bell jar from Beauty and the Beast. Hidden items in the book are organized by park and then by land or pavilion for easy location during your visit. The book is an easy read and, although I received a paper copy of the book from the publisher for review, I have also purchased the e-book version for easy use during our next trip. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2012

    Disney

    I am only 11 years old and i have been to disney about 17 times. My family loves disney. My dad gets a disney guide book thing every year and we try to go to disney at least once a year. I saw this book on my nook and touched it. I read the review when it first came up. The thing i got most excited aboit was when it said 2 versions of the great movie ride. When my family goes me and my dad go om the great movie ride. My dad said that when you go you might not get a gangster as the bad guy . He said people might get a cowboy. It hasnt jappened to us yet .

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    I love Disney books!!

    I love going to Disney World because im young.I think for any age Disney will be a BLAST!! Anyways I love Disney so I love this book!

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Already Known Magic of Walt Disney World

    An okay first effort from the author, although everything she has written has been covered by other (and better) books about the World. I did not read it while in park as it is supposed to, but having been there many times it wasn't really necessary and I think it might be even more confusing to read in the parks since some rides get their own bolded section and then the next thing you know she'll be discussing an entirely different ride/restaurant/shop and then you'll be back to the original one. Needless to say, this book could've used some edits for organization as well as errors in the information presented. Maybe next time around she'll research a bit more and have a better editor.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    LOVED IT

    I got this book in paperback and i have no idea how many times ive read it!!!! I recently went to WDW over Thanksgiving and i brought this book with and kept it in my backpack all week! I brought it every where and it was a GREAT guide. I looked at all the secrets and even went on the Haunted Mansion (which i was afraid to:)) to look at the hidden objects. I really liked the wedding scene with the bride (which i forget how to spell her name) and the new hitch hiking ghosts scene. I had read this book at school all November and felt like a pro when i got to WDW:) If i go this year or any other year im definatly bringing this book again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Birthday book

    My mom bought me this book in paper back for my birthday it looks good ( i'll be 11 Febuary 4th :) )

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012

    Jenna loves this book

    I have benn to disney world 7 times before and some stuff in this book i have never noticed. Im going again this month and bringing this to help me! :)

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    I loved it!

    I have been to disney twenty times and i didnt know half of these secrets! I loved it!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2011

    Hidden Magic of WDW

    It's been nearly a full 18 years since I last laid eyes on Disney World. While I've always wanted to head back there, other travel pursuits called first.

    I found this book an unexpected delight. I knew it would be interesting - hence the reason why I chose to pick it up in the first place - but reading it made me desperate to go back and look for some of these things. On each of my childhood visits to the park, I had no idea that the vast majority of these things existed. Some I'd since heard about through hearsay and various places on the Internet, but others I had not. It's clear to me that the author did her research well.

    One of the best things about the book is the author's careful notes about how Disney World has changed over time. As a bit of a history buff, I love to hear about "the way things were" so this was very interesting to me and helped me paint a picture of the way the park has changed since I last saw it.

    Definitely want to head back to the park and pay more attention to detail now!

    Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher through the Booksneeze bloggers' review program. I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

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  • Posted August 30, 2011

    Interesting

    A lot of imaginatiin and hard wirk was certainly put into all of the theme parks! This book reveals some amazing hidden gems. I have been several times but now I think my next visit will be so much more enriched because of this book.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good Book!

    Whether you are a newbie to Walt Disney World or you are an old pro, I would recommend this book to you. I found this book to be a great, educational, fun adult read. Very interesting. Although some info is already out of date, I still feel this book is worth the price. You'll read this book again and again...

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  • Posted June 11, 2011

    Loved+it%21

    Very+informative+and+kept+me+wanting+more.+It+really+aided+in+getting+my+family+and+myself+excited+for+our+upcoming+Disney+trick.+This+book+ensures+I%27ll+get+the+most+magic+out+of+my+trip+as+possible.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World

    This is a very informative book.. It seems like Susan took the time to write out every detail. Every sight, smell, sound. Things you would never even think of while riding rides or walking down the street. I have never been to Walt Disney World, but I don't even pay that much attention to my local theme park. This would be a good souvenir for a first timer or even a WDW veteran. With this book you could get a whole new perspective from Disney World. We plan on taking a trip next year, so I'm brushing up on all my Disney facts.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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