- File Size: 5828 KB
- Print Length: 248 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1683900138
- Publisher: Theme Park Press (July 6, 2016)
- Publication Date: July 6, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01I49BYT4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,377,523 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$19.95|
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Magic Kingdoms: A History of the Disney Theme Parks Kindle Edition
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|Length: 248 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Magic Kingdoms: A History of the Disney Theme Parks is an account beginning with Walt Disney's birth through the recent creation of Shanghai Disneyland. However, the account is varies in scope. The first 85% of the book is dedicated to Disneyland in California and the other five locations are relegated the very end. I realize that Disneyland is the first park and probably deserves more space, but from the title and description I was expecting at least some detailed information on the formation of parks in Florida, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai. I was also quite dismayed to read that the author has never visited Hong Kong or Shanghai; this information should have been included in the book's description as it does make her less qualified to write this work.
With all that aside, the book remains poorly written and hard to read. Most of the paragraphs are too long and could have used a lot of editing. There are many typos and some blatantly incorrect facts. For example, Barczewski states that Walt's visit to Tivoli Gardens in Belgium inspired him to create his own theme park. Tivoli Gardens is, without a doubt, the most famous theme park in Europe and perhaps one of the most famous in the world. However, Tivoli is located in Copenhagen, Denmark...not Belgium. This is a crucial fact and the mistake makes me doubt the author's attention to detail. The author's biography states that she has a Ph.D. from Yale; I'm unsure how someone with this amount of education could write so poorly and make such big mistakes.
Clemson University professor Stephanie Barczewski is a specialist in modern British history, with the writing chops to prove it (5 published books on the subject, one in the works, and the editor and co-author of a textbook). She's also a highly regarded faculty member at Clemson, with multiple awards.
That's all well and good, because when she steps into her role as an avid Disney theme park fan, she puts all those qualities to work to produce an outstanding narrative about the history of Disney's theme parks around the world. More than just a dry recitation of facts, Barczewski focuses on the engineering, cultural, and political challenges that Disney overcame on its way to building theme parks across the globe.
Almost half of the book is taken up with the story of Disneyland, and rightfully so - the lessons learned there provided fertile ground as Disney expanded first in the US, then to Japan, France, Hong Kong, and just recently, China. All are covered in just the right amount of detail for a book of this scope and size.
With an easy-to-follow writing style and a captivating voice, Disney fans of all intensities will find "Magic Kingdoms" a welcome addition to their library.
Now if I can just figure out how to audit Dr. Barczewski's class on the history of Disney parks!