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Book Review: Walt’s Disneyland: A Walk in the Park with Walt Disney

Walt’s Disneyland: A Walk in the Park with Walt Disney by Marcy Carriker Smothers takes you on a tour of Disneyland during Walt’s time.  The narrative shares stories and information as you move around the park from land to land.   Marcy starts off with a very brief history of how the park came to be and then launches into a grand circle tour of the park during the 50s and 60s.  Adding to the experience are a large number of photos and quotes from Walt as well as those that worked with him.

Walt's Disneyland : A Walk in the Park with Walt DisneyChapters of the book:

  • Before Disneyland
  • Outside Disneyland
  • The Grand Entrance
  • Town Square
  • Main Street USA
  • The Hub
  • Adventureland
  • Frontierland
  • New Orleans Square
  • Fantasyland
  • Tomorrowland
  • The Grand Circle Tour
  • Last Day at Disneyland
  • Happily Ever After
  • At the end of the book is a section titled Dream Doers.  Here you will single paragraph biographies of many of the people quoted or referenced throughout the book provided by D23.

I had high expectations for this book as soon as I heard about it based on how much I liked Marcy’s previous book – “Eat Like Walt”.  Walt’s Disneyland met my expectations.   The highlight for me in this book are the number of two page spread and full single page historical photos of Walt in the park.   I found the narrative and choice of stories and quotes to be engaging and informative.  While many you have heard/read over the years seeing them put together like this was a great read.   Having the perspective/goal of seeing the park through Walt’s time was an interesting take and I enjoyed seeing how Walt and the park evolved over the 10+ years he was able to “play” there.

The choice of releasing this as a paper back in a mid size format vs a coffee table or other hardback format was interesting.  The size and feel of the publication can best be compared to a Birnbaum guide as it is approximately those proportions (‎ 7 x 0.5 x 10.13 inches) and soft cover.  One note is the text size is on the small size, especially the captions.

Walt’s Disneyland: A Walk in the Park with Walt Disney will make a solid addition to your library if you are a fan of Disneyland history or just curious to see Walt in his park.   Due to the format choice the book is less expensive than many other recent releases too.

I was sent a review copy, this book will be released on November 16, 2021.

For other 2021 Book Releases that may interest you check out our 2021 book listing

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