Disney Fan’s Most Valued Books

Last week I wrote about three new Disney World books and then asked what other books you considered the most valued in your collection. The result is a list of about 15 books that make up a great core of learning for Disney fans. I’m not claiming it’s exhaustive, but you can’t go wrong if you get your hands on any of these books. Some have to be hunted down on eBay and some are still available for purchase, I’ve indicated that where appropriate.

The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life by Steven Watts, one of the most respected biographies of Walt Disney and how he influenced American culture.

Building a Company: Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empires by Bob Thomas, a biography of Roy O. Disney that did more to explain the relationship between Walt and Roy than any thing else I’ve read.

Disneyland: Inside Story by Randy Bright, out of print, which makes it a hard to find collectible. (eBay)

Disneyland the Nickel Tour: A Postcard Journey Through a Half Century of the Happiest Place on Earth by Bruce Gordon and David Mumford, the history of Disneyland as told through Postcards. Much better than it sounds. Out of print, which makes it a hard to find collectible. (eBay)

Window on Main Street: 35 Years of Creating Happiness at Disneyland Parkby Van Arsdale France. A history of Disneyland’s early days and important people from the man who trained them all. (eBay)

Vinyl Leaves: Walt Disney World And America (Institutional Structures of Feeling) by Stephen Fjellman, an anthropologists examination of how Walt Disney World fits into American culture.

Walt Disney’s EPCOT Center: Creating the new world of tomorrow by Richard Beard. The seminal look at the construction of EPCOT Center. (eBay)

Disney’s America On Parade a souvenir from 1975.

Designing Disney’s Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance by Karal Ann Marling. A collection of academic studies.

The ILLUSION OF LIFE: DISNEY ANIMATION by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson, a look at how the magic is made from two of the best animators. There are a few different versions out there.

The Art of Walt Disney: From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms by Christopher Finch. A terrific companion piece to The Illusion of Life for those of us who aren’t animators.

The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company by David Price, a look at what makes Pixar so successful.

The Art of Tangled, and other art of books

The Imagineering Workout written by the Imagineers it incudes a variety of workouts for your imagination.

Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making More Magic Real written by Imagineers it provides the closest look at what they do.

Also mentioned were: Encyclopedia of Walt Disney’s Animated Characters, Mousejunkies!: Tips, Tales, and Tricks for a Disney World Fix: All You Need to Know for a Perfect Vacation (Travelers’ Tales), and The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World: Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.

As I said, this is not an exhaustive list. Please add any I’m missing to the comments.

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19 thoughts on “Disney Fan’s Most Valued Books


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