Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World.

I'm a Disney nerd. I know I've mentioned that before.

I love the classic animated Disney movies and songs and the 60s/70s live action films and nearly everything connected to Disney (except the current Disney Channel stuff). My family has been to Disney World twice, and it's one of my most favorite places. I obsessively researched and planned our trips, and I loved doing that. So when I got this book, I was super excited about reading it.

Anyone who's ever been to one of the Disney parks knows the incredible detail that went into creating them. They aren't your typical "amusement parks." It's like being in a whole separate world, and nothing is overlooked. Some of the details you can see yourself, quite obviously. But others are "hidden," and you have to know where to look. That's where this book comes in.

The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World, by Susan Veness, is a guide for recognizing some of the hidden details of the four major parks in Disney World. While the book is ideal for those planning a trip to WDW soon, I enjoyed just reading it through and reminiscing over our vacations there. :) It triggered memories of the parks that I thought I had forgotten.

The book is divided into four major sections, one for each of the parks: the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. At the beginning of each section is a labeled map with all of the major attractions marked. The author then goes into detail of the different areas and attractions for each park. At the end is a brief overview of the park: when it opened and what years different attractions were opened, renovated, closed, etc.

I really enjoyed reading through this book. Like I said, I'm not planning a trip to WDW anytime soon (unfortunately), but if I were, I would definitely use this book in my planning so I could take note of what hidden details I'd want to look for. I loved reading about the history of the parks and I actually learned a lot of things. For example, I already knew that the huge "Tree of Life," the icon of Animal Kingdom, isn't a real tree, of course. It's made out of plaster and other materials. But I didn't know that expansion joints connect each branch to the trunk, so the branches can actually sway in the wind like a real tree. How cool is that?

The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World gave me a whole new respect for the creativity of the Imagineers behind the whole Disney scene, from the original members who worked with Walt Disney himself to the newer creators. Now I'm really motivated to go read some more about Disney history- it's really fascinating.

Of course, with the way things change at the Disney parks, some of the facts in this book will be outdated soon. Some of them probably already are. As long as it's updated with the changes, there should be no problem. Also, while the cover of the book is really cute, the inside is not especially visually appealing. Everything is black and white, and there's not one single photograph. I think pictures would really liven up things. When you start reading through this book, it's interesting, but if someone picked it up in a bookstore and scanned through, it would appear dull compared to the other bright, shiny guidebooks out there.

So if you're going on a vacation to Disney World in Florida anytime soon, read this book! It'll help you get more out of your trip. And even if you're not going there soon, The Hidden Magic of WDW is still worth reading, especially if you're a Disney nerd like myself. :)

Until next time, 

{I received this book for free from Booksneeze. I'm obligated only to write an honest review, not a positive one.}

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