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The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney's Dream Paperback – November 26, 2013
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--Rachel Young, Pasadena Now
"The book [The Disneyland Story] relies heavily on quotations, which adds to its credibility and readability. Many of the quotations, but not all of them, include endnote numbers. So the book has an answer for you if you wonder, Where and when did that person say or write that?"
--Werner Weiss, Yesterland.com
"...Gennawey's book is "unofficial" in its content (but it's not a travel guide). There's nothing [that] should embarrass anyone, but it includes people and stories that you would not read about in Disney publications. For example, C.V. Wood, Disneyland's first general manager, has been all but erased from official Disney history. There are great descriptions of attractions that were announced but never built. And the story of how the land was chosen and acquired for Disneyland has never been published in this detail."
--Werner Weiss, Yesterland.com
"Don't let the title "unofficial" deter you in the least. This work exceeds anything Disney has ever formally put out. For that matter, in its total form it may exceed everything Disney has put out. There's just so much."
--J. Jeff Kober, DisneyatWork.com
"The great thing about this book [The Disneyland Story] is the mix of technical details about things like specs on the locomotive engines, Autopia cars, and Monorail designs, blended with anecdotal stories and quotes from many different sources, so there is something for everyone here. The book is peppered with "tips" and trivia along the way as well."
--Susie Prendergast, The Mouse Castle
"The book [The Disneyland Story] is incredibly exhaustive and takes us through Disneyland's history through the growth of the beloved park. It's laid out in large blocks of years that showcase the development of the park through major attractions and shows. What's fascinating is that Sam was able to delve into the political machinations with the city councils of Burbank and Anaheim to show how Walt's ideas were stymied as well as passed unanimously. The larger civic and community roles that Disneyland has played are usually not recounted, which makes this book so valuable. Kudos to Sam for including an almost rapacious bibliography and for having the decency to cite his references. Not many authors do that. This one is a must have for Disneyland fans!"
--George Taylor, MiceChat.com
From the Back Cover
For Disney fans everywhere, here's the inside scoop of Walt Disney's greatest creation. The Disneyland Story skillfully recounts how the world's first theme park was conceived, nurtured, and grew into a source of joy and inspiration for visitors.
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Top Customer Reviews
That's why the story deserved better packaging. It should have been released as a standard-sized work of non-fiction by Keen Communications. But for some reason, it was packaged in "The Unofficial Guide" format (roughly similar to a Fodor travel guidebook). But this is not a travel guide, it's a history. You shouldn't be carrying this pocket-sized book along with you to Anaheim, expecting it to serve as a guide to the park, because it isn't.
The cramped formatting of Sam Gennawey's well-done work into a soft-covered, mini-sized volume means that the book is quite text-heavy and printed in smaller-than-usual font, making it harder to read for the average eye. Exhaustive lists of footnotes road-block the transitions from chapter to chapter, which themselves are introduced in unappealing gray tones.
Amazingly, the few photographs of all of the marvelous attractions at Disneyland are presented in black-and-white thumbnail half-tones, all jammed together at the front of the book, with nary another photograph to break up the ensuing 400 pages of text. Come on! NBC and the network's "Wonderful World of Disney" pioneered television's transition to color in the mid-1960s, yet this exceptional history of the Disneyland story is a dreary black-and-white slog through randomly selected and poorly presented historical photographs.
In short, this is a great story, poorly packaged. It takes us for a thrilling ride, yet by the end, we wind up wanting our money back.
It's marred only by it's format- due to the book size, it can't have all the wonderful color pictures you would like to see. So, if you can find a copy, get "Disneyland, the Nickel Tour" (which has not much text, but great pictures) and read The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney's Dream" while paging thru The Nickel Tour to see what Sam Gennaway is talking about.
This book even had stuff I didn't know! Very readable, and a MUST for any Disney history buff or fan of the park.
J. Jeff Kober
All that changed when I met Sam Gennawey. Initially amused by his love for all things Disney, I took a leap of faith and began to read his blog posts and his first book, Walt and the Promise of Progress City. I hoped to experience, as so many people did, the magic. I was not to be disappointed. Through Sam Gennawey’s eyes—and his unimpeachable research—I discovered the essence of the Disneyland magic: its elegance and beauty as a space perfectly designed for enjoyment. The Disneyland Story adds another delicious layer. Sam Gennawey’s enthusiasm for Disney and Disneyland could so easily give birth to a candy-coated biography; but Sam has a larger gift to share: the full picture of Walt Disney’s bigger-than-life, often difficult, always brilliant creative genius. This is not just a book for Disneyphiles; The Disneyland Story is an important work for anyone interested in American history, creativity, design, leadership—and, yes, magic.