From the Author
- Disney Legend Marty Sklar
"[Sam has] captured much of the attitude and events of the times, and hit on much of Walt's drive and inspiration. [His] research into materials and people who were important in one way or another is exemplary. The notes from Buzz Price, John Hench and Marvin Davis, for example... the apparent influence of Victor Gruen's theories...a relationship that developed with James Rouse - all insightful. It is clear, well researched and useful and thoughtful to anyone studying urban planning."
- Lee Cockerell, Retired & Inspired WDW Executive VP
"I thought I knew a lot about Walt Disney World and especially EPCOT until I read Walt and the Promise of Progress City. This book really details how Walt Disney thought, which I found fascinating. I will now view Walt Disney World in a whole new way."
One of the more interesting aspects of "The Promise of Progress City' is how Sam connects the dots. So to Gennawey's way of thinking, it's a fairly logical series of events that leads from Disney driving the design of his new animation studio in Burbank to him then coming up with a site plan for Disneyland. Then - using the urban sprawl that happened in & around Anaheim in the late 1950s / early 1960s as his inciting event - Walt begins exploring the idea of building a city of the future in Central Florida.
- George Taylor, Imaginerding
After Sam explains all of the projects that led Walt to want to create a Utopian city, he takes us on a visit to the EPCOT Center of 1982 that could have been. Sam takes us place-by-place through what an average visitor would experience at EPCOT Center. We start wit the jetport and end with the industrial park; in between, Sam covers the governance, living in EPCOT, shopping, entertainment and transportation. It is an amazing journey where you realize, that for every dream Walt had for his new town, at least half of them came to fruition in the first ten years at Walt Disney World.
- Ryan Wilson, Main Street Gazette
My inability to put a book down is the highest praise that I can heap on a book. In the case of Walt and the Promise of Progress City, I woke up on a vacation at 4:30 in the morning to continue reading and finished the entire 366 page volume before the end of the first week I had it. Sam has something special here, a rare educational text that embodies the spirit of Walt and carries with it the stories that well-versed armchair historians clamor for. This is, without a doubt, one of the best books I've read in the past couple of years. I cannot wait to see what Sam comes up with next.
From the Back Cover
Sam's writing is terrific; he truly enriches the discussion. Not only may you learn something new about the chosen subject, he'll likely open up another perspective on it for you too.
Al Lutz Founder/MiceAge
A tour de force. this is a must-read for any urban planner wanting to understand city-building and how people use urban space. sam gennawey provides a rare glimpse into the creative "backstage" of how walt disney planned his theme parks and the experimental prototype community of tomorrow. the irony is that the future 21st century 'economy of ideas' is finding a happier home on walt's human-scale main street than in an epcot community, an irony walt would have loved.
Marsha V. Rood, FAICP; Principal, URBAN Reinventions
Gennawey not only provides his readers with a deeper understanding of Walt's vision for Progress City, he offers insight into the world of urban design as it relates to theme park design. This book serves as an ideal example of how we can apply a wide variety of principles to help us appreciate Disney's dream of a utopian city.
David Zanolla, Department of Communications, Western Illinois University
More About the Author
Sam Gennawey is the author of The Disneyland Story: An Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney's Dream, Walt and the Promise of Progress City, a contributor to Planning Los Angeles and other books as well as a columnist for the popular MiceChat website. His unique point of view built on his passion for history, his professional training as an urban planner, and his obsession with theme parks has brought speaking invitations from Walt Disney Imagineering, the Walt Disney Family Museum, Disney Creative, the American Planning Association, the California Preservation Foundation, the California League of Cities, and many Disneyana clubs, libraries and podcasts. He is currently a Senior Associate at the planning firm of KPA.