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
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 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

13 out of 15 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.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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.

    8 out of 9 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.

    3 out of 7 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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