The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney's Dream


From the publisher of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland comes The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney's Dream, the story of how Walt Disney’s greatest creation was conceived, nurtured, and how it grew into a source of joy and inspiration for generations of visitors. Despite his successors' battles with the whims of history and their own doubts and egos, Walt’s vision maintained momentum, thrived, and taught ...
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The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney's Dream

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From the publisher of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland comes The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney's Dream, the story of how Walt Disney’s greatest creation was conceived, nurtured, and how it grew into a source of joy and inspiration for generations of visitors. Despite his successors' battles with the whims of history and their own doubts and egos, Walt’s vision maintained momentum, thrived, and taught future generations how to do it Walt Disney's way.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"With hand scribblings from Walt Disney and original drawings of the theme park, Gennawey lays out a comprehensive description of the life and history of Disneyland."
—Rachel Young, Passadena Now

"The book [The Disneyland Story] relies heavily on quotations, which adds to its credibility and readability. Many of the quotations, but not all of them, include endnote numbers. So the book has an answer for you if you wonder, Where and when did that person say or write that?"
&#8212Werner Weiss, —

"...Gennawey’s book is “unofficial” in its content (but it’s not a travel guide). There’s nothing [that] should embarrass anyone, but it includes people and stories that you would not read about in Disney publications. For example, C.V. Wood, Disneyland’s first general manager, has been all but erased from official Disney history. There are great descriptions of attractions that were announced but never built. And the story of how the land was chosen and acquired for Disneyland has never been published in this detail."
—Werner Weiss,

"Don’t let the title “unofficial” deter you in the least. This work exceeds anything Disney has ever formally put out. For that matter, in its total form it may exceed everything Disney has put out. There’s just so much."
—J. Jeff Kober,

"The great thing about this book [The Disneyland Story] is the mix of technical details about things like specs on the locomotive engines, Autopia cars, and Monorail designs, blended with anecdotal stories and quotes from many different sources, so there is something for everyone here. The book is peppered with “tips” and trivia along the way as well."
—Susie Prendergast, The Mouse Castle

"The book [The Disneyland Story] is incredibly exhaustive and takes us through Disneyland’s history through the growth of the beloved park. It’s laid out in large blocks of years that showcase the development of the park through major attractions and shows. What’s fascinating is that Sam was able to delve into the political machinations with the city councils of Burbank and Anaheim to show how Walt’s ideas were stymied as well as passed unanimously. The larger civic and community roles that Disneyland has played are usually not recounted, which makes this book so valuable. Kudos to Sam for including an almost rapacious bibliography and for having the decency to cite his references. Not many authors do that. This one is a must have for Disneyland fans!"
—George Taylor,

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781628090123
  • Publisher: Unofficial Guides
  • Publication date: 11/26/2013
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 171,413
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Sam Gennawey is the author of Walt and the Promise of Progress City, a contributor to Planning Los Angeles and other books, as well as a columnist for the popular MiceChat website. His unique point of view built on his passion for history, his professional training as an urban planner, and his obsession with theme parks has brought speaking invitations from Walt Disney Imagineering, the Walt Disney Family Museum, Disney Creative, the American Planning Association, the California Preservation Foundation, the California League of Cities, and many Disneyana clubs, libraries, and podcasts. He is currently a Senior Associate at the planning firm of Katherine Padilla and Associates.

Jeff Kurtti is author of more than 30 books, a writer-director-producer of award-winning documentaries, and a respected public speaker, host, and moderator. Kurtti is an expert on pop culture and entertainment. He is a consultant to clients in the motion picture, theater, museum/exhibit and themed-entertainment industries. He was creative director, content consultant, and media producer for the cornerstone exhibit of The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco that opened in 2009. In 2012, he served as a content consultant and media producer for the touring exhibit The Dream of Walt Disney on behalf of Disney Japan. He lives in Langley, WA.

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Table of Contents


FOREWORD by Jeff Kurtti


CHAPTER 1: One Little Spark
One of These Days
A Birthday Christmas Present
Ideas Excite Me
It Does Me Good
Ever Been to Knott’s?
Walt Disney’s America
Cannibal Island
Tell A Story Visually
It’s About the Park
Bankers Don’t Have Imagination
Can Do!
Twenty Feet of Earth
Sneeze Twice

CHAPTER 2: Stumbling Forward: 1955
An Establishing Shot
Scene One: Main Street U.S.A.
• Town Square
• Main Street Corridor
• The Plaza Hub
Main Street Transportation
Archetypal Truth
All Aboard!
• You’d Sell That Tree?
• Ingenuity of the Pioneers
• Queen of the River
• They Will Appreciate It
• Not Needed But Necessary
• All Jumpers
• Drama, Humor, and Beauty
• Science-Factual
• Only Two Cars Running
• Whale of a Tail
Opening Day: The Public is My Subsidy

CHAPTER 3: Learning: 1955
Year One
World’s Largest Striped Circus Tent
Get a Bit Lost
New Worlds of Enchantment
Stalactite and Stalagmite Caverns

Hand On 1956 - 1958
Something We Don't Have
A Good System
Bloodmere Manor
There was Something Missing
An Innovator and a Thinker
Two Heads For One of Yours
Wild Turkeys
Another Big Boat
Down the Rabbit Hole
40 Hour Watch
Build This!
And That Was That

CHAPTER 5: Walt’s Disneyland 1959 - 1966
The Committee Car
Give ‘em a Real Show
Highway In The Sky
Poetic License
A Mechanical Genius
A Favorite Subject of Mine
Undamped Divergent Oscillation
Sizzling Teriyaki Steak
The Bird Show
We’re Selling Happiness
Other World Illusion
Humor Doesn’t Hurt Anybody
This Stuff is Really Weird
Set On The Shelf
We're Just Gettin' Started
Lincoln’s Own Pen
Too Many Good Ideas
A Little Boat Ride
Disney Realism
A Time Tunnel
A Happy Accident

CHAPTER 6: Momentum
It’s Like a Cocktail Party
Dead Men Tell No Tales
His Private Dining Room
A World on the Move
Back On Visual
Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow
The Pattern of Leaves
People of Equal Clout
Great Caesar's Ghost

Chapter 7: Carrying On: 1970 - 1984
Repeat Customers
Bears Who Could Laugh
Bronzed Baby Shoes
Jason Chandler
A Receptacle of Experience
A Milestone in Americana
The Love Bug
Simpler Pleasures
Race Through Space
Do It With Integrity
Enjoyment of Quieter Attractions
What Have We Done?
Fear and Conquest
Kind Of Crazy and Eccentric
Keep Changing the Show

CHAPTER 8: NEW IDEAS 1985 - 1996
The First, The Fastest, and The Finest
We'll Build You a Theater
One Continuous Take
A Little Gallery
It’s Not Just Disneyland
The Longest, Steepest, Highest
The Disney Decade
Port Disney
The Seven Wonders of the World
40-foot Pink Elephants
A Christmas Present
Normal Seasonal Adjustments
A Complete Character Community
Highlighting Its Essence
Making Us Think Twice
The Jungle Cruise Trading Co.
An Accident Waiting to Happen
Invisible Technology
The Anaheim Problem

CHAPTER 9: The Resort 1996 and Onward
Play at the Edge
Erasing Leo Freedman
Welcome Center for California
The Lively Lass
Imagination and Beyond
Hip, Irreverent and Contemporary
More Productive Time
Speed Parking
The Second Gate
A Chance to be with Pooh
50 Years
Mental Real Estate




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