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Since the World Began: Walt Disney World - The First 25 Years Hardcover – October 1, 1996

48 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Editions; First Edition edition (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786862483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786862481
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.8 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 11, 1997
Format: Paperback
Like many people, I am absorbed by things Disney, especially the parks. "Since The World Began" satisfies that need wonderfully, but adds much more - how many of us know about the special zoning and self-government that makes the Disney property in Florida unique? That Disney World had the first operating 911 emergency system? That a vast network of self-operating gates and levees keep the water table intact? The infrastructure of this massive community is a testament to the most forward-thinking engineering in - no pun intended - the world. From the multi-layered transportations systems to the enormous "basement" of The Magic Kingdom, Jeff Kurtti's book tells not only of rides and cartoon characters, but of the fascinating behind-the-scenes efforts to create a truly new world.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By H. A. Dunfey on April 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
This so far is the best book on Disney I have found. It's simple, if you are a fan of Disney you will love this book, you'll have a tough time setting it down. The photos are great, and the text is informative, interesting, and detailed. The author is a BIG fan of Disney, and worked there too, so it's coming from someone who knows Disney.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a very good book on Walt Disney World. It is far superior to the 20th Anniversary Book "Walt Disney World 20 Magical Years". Although, many of the pictures are the same, there are alot more in Since the World Began.
In addition, this book provides much more information on the creation of the park. Still the best book on the creation of the Disney theme parks is "Disneyland: Inside Story" by Randy Bright. Since this is out of print, Walt Disney World 20 Magical Years is a good choice.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 1997
Format: Paperback
If you have been saving your pennies for a trip to Disney World during their 15-month-long 25th Anniversary Celebration, here's a reason for you to withdraw $14.95 from the trip fund. A new book is about to hit bookshelves, and it is something every lover of Disney World will want to own. <P> "Since the World Began; Walt Disney World; The First 25 Years," a large paperback book from Hyperion Publishing, is a colorful and interesting guide to Disney World's history, its present, and its future. <P> This 186-page book has something for everyone. The Disney World novice planning his or her first visit will find helpful information about the parks and onsite lodging. The book will mean even more, however, to those of you who have visited the resort frequently, for this exhaustive resource leaves no stone unturned in its examination of the popular tourist destination. The author, Jeff Kurtti, has compiled hundreds of photos, facts, and stories relating to Disney World's de
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37 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Author Bill Peschel on March 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Walt Disney lives.
No, I'm not talking about the urban legend about him being cryogenically sealed and stashed below the Pirates of the Caribbean exhibition. Nor is this some soft New Ageism about spirits inhabiting the celestial plane.
He's alive down on a plot of land outside of Orlando, Florida, a boom city that was a dumpy little crossroad when Walt began buying what became a 30,000-acre spread there is the late 1960s.
Walt's gone, but his vision and energy lives on, and once you start dipping into "Since the World Began," you'll see that the scope of his vision is nothing short of awesome.
There are many faces of Disney, the producer of family-friendly and highly profitable movies, the creator of family-friendly theme parks, but also a visionary who thought that, as one associate put it, "bad information was responsible for all the evil in the world." Who tried to change people's attitudes within the confines of an amusement park, the man whose idealism spawned the Epcot center, and under Michael Eisner, the Disney Institute, where education and learning are on a par with entertainment.
What the book won't tell you -- this is published by Hyperion, Disney's publishing arm, and written by Jeff Kurtti, a longtime Disney employee -- is just what hell Walt went through to realize his vision. You won't hear of Disney's fundamentalist upbringing, his retreat into fantasy to escape a brutal father and life in poverty, his endless hard work to make animated movies, his multiple nervous breakdowns. His brother Roy is idealized as the business brain behind Walt's success, but you won't hear that Roy constantly opposed Disney's ideas as a waste of money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John in Orlando on September 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This year, Walt Disney World turns forty. It's a shame that this, the most recent, most thorough official history of the Vacation Kingdom, is itself fifteen years old. Jeff Kurtti has said in interviews that Disney has no plans to commission an updated edition of this book (though he would be interested in doing one), which is unfortunate as Since the World Began is one of the essential volumes for the Disney historian, professional or amateur.

Despite the fact that it is an official, authorized production, Since the World Began only occasionally bears the hallmark santized, sterilized quality that often marks such works. Instead, what one finds within the pages of the book are genuine insights into the history, design, and philosophy of Walt Disney World and how these mesh with the larger concerns of the Walt Disney Company. Kurtti's observations on this latter question are among the book's most interesting features.

Since the World Began is illustrated throughout with beautiful color photographs and concept artworks. Full-page sidebars cover the water parks, the resorts, and specific themes in Disney World history, including the parks' environmental commitments (the reading here is surprisingly undated for a fifteen-year-old study).

Kurtti doesn't provide much insight into the individual players in the creation of WDW; his Imagineering Legends is a better source if one's interests are in the personalities and gifts of individual imagineers. This is, nonetheless, an essential overview of the early history of the world's most popular tourist destination.
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