Author Ridgway spent four decades pushing Disney on millions of consumers worldwide, and this collection of "war stories" from the front lines of perhaps the biggest marketing success in history brims with insider info, but without once betraying the Disney name. It's to Ridgway's credit that his fondness for his subject-he writes kindly of almost everyone he met and worked with-doesn't detract from the integrity or appeal of the material. Occasionally, Ridgway's admiration for Walt Disney dips into adoration, but it's a sentiment that feels genuine-even if it is echoed throughout the company as detailed here, despite its size, its power and (largely unmentioned) accounts to the contrary. Fascinating asides delve into the personalities that fueled Disney's dream, as well as the newspeople and celebrities involved in Ridgway's PR efforts. Among numerous charmers, Ridgway's best story chronicles the intense, hilarious effort to train 50 newborn ducklings to "follow" the Donald Duck character in a 50th Birthday Parade. Other tales include the orchestration of parades and VIP galas; the impetus, construction and opening of attractions at both parks (including Ridgway's accidental early outing of the "Florida project"); and the arrival of Michael Eisner and Frank Wells. Entertaining throughout, Ridgway's prose is fluid and gentle, reflecting that sense of wholesome delight common to Disney creations, making this a rare behind-the-Mouse-ears exposé that's a real crowd-pleaser.
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"Charlie made a lot of Disney history. He recounts much of it in his book,…his words [are] well-chosen.”--Bob McLain, Disney Dispatch, May 17, 2011
“Wow does he have stories to share…I felt like I knew Walt personally and was sitting down reminiscing with Charlie.”--Jessica Clawson, Walt Writers.com, July 8, 2011
Great perspective from the guy who knows. Loved it! Thanks, Charlie!Published 24 days ago by Ancient Mariner
I've held off for a long time reading this book, mostly because I wasn't impressed with Charles Ridgeway's promotion of this book on Disney fan podcasts years ago. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Ray
For a girl who's loved Disney all her life this book carries me back over so many decades and relives the memories of those Disney parks in vivid color! Read morePublished 15 months ago by Terry and Nancy Schott
It is clear this book was written by someone who is used to doing only short-form writing. The book was wandering, like talking to your grandfather about his life. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Unwilling to Share
Charles Ridgway tells the tales of what it was like to work for Disney during the early days of Disneyland and into the building of Walt Disney World. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Brian Merrill
I loved this story it is the past present and future of Disney rolled into one by someone in the knowPublished 22 months ago by Cindy Rellie
Very simple writing and a few times where he would repeat himself, but great stories nonetheless. Some good background information on stories that many people may know already, but... Read morePublished on July 11, 2013 by Brent Bones
Spinning Disney's World is an amazing insight to the life of a press agent for Disney. Ridgway brings to life so much of the magic behind the doors at Disney and leaves you not... Read morePublished on July 27, 2012 by DCP CP 12