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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Spinning Disney's World: Memories of a Magic Kingdom Press Agent Hardcover – January 15, 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"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
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: The Intrepid Traveler; 1 edition (January 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887140670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887140676
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #522,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dan Fendel on May 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I met Charlie Ridgeway a few times when I was a travel writer, and he was the most genial host with genuine understanding of the writer's needs of any "press flack" I ever met. This book explains the reasons why and gives the outsider, whether a pro in PR or media or merely a fan of things Disney, a fascinating look into how and why the Mouse became what it is today. This is the kind of stuff PR people never learn, and old-time reporters are mostly not around to share anymore. Vitally important education for professionals in the media and public relations/press relations, a great read for all.
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Format: Hardcover
Charles Ridgway was Disney's public face to the world for almost forty years. In an easy style, he takes us through some of the behind the scenes stories and anecdotes that are of interest to Disney students.
Ridgway is a Disney fan which results in the book lacking any real meat. Gentle memoirs written in a gentle style do not make compulsive reading. The book is imbued with the Disney spirit where everyone loves everyone else and everyone lives happily ever after. Ridgway seems to have only met wonderful people who create wonderful experiences in his lifetime. Thus the book lacks OOMPH and bit.
The author though does have a nice pleasant writing style who takes us through many enjoyable anecdotes and adventures as to how he helped create noise and media excitement around a wonderful brand.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As always we read just about anything from anyone who ever worked at Disney, in an effort to further our ongoing education about the theme park design process. Even a janitor might provide insight as to the almost mystical inner workings of the Disney corporation. However, Mr. Ridgway never really grabbed us. His writing style is pleasantly folksy, like hearing a story from a good neighbor... but he really never reveals anything of consequence that you cannot find out in any of the multitude of other books on The Disney Brothers, or their company. We suspect that if he really wanted too, he could reveal much more than he is willing to tell. Understandable, as he paints himself as a devoted employee. Personally I would like to spend a day with Mr. Ridgway, just picking his brain... but his book isn't really going to "let you in on anything". We hope he has some success because he is a likable fellow, but if you're really after information that you cannot get from other Disney "Tell all" books... you will not discover much in Mr. Ridgway's book. The title attracted us with promises, which never seemed to materialize.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. Ridgeway told the exact same two or three stories on every show. I've now read the book, and while this book is an enjoyable read, it lacks substance or any compelling reason for a Disney fan to read it. Ridgeway tells a series of partial anecdotes without really making them interesting and drops names of every famous person he's run into. While an enjoyable read, Jack Lindquist's and Marty Sklar's books are far more interesting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. This behind the scenes tour is not a tell-all, but an honest account of what it is like to work for the most magical company in the world, during the years when magic was happening every day, as new parks were built, new attractions were designed and rolled out, even working with Walt Disney himself. Engaging and insightful, a tale any Disney addict would enjoy.
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Format: Hardcover
Has there ever been an organization that had as many books written about it as Disney? From its movies, television and Broadway shows to its fabulous theme parks, even on to its corporate strategies; there are enough books to garner its own section of most bookstores. But still, most fans will scour the pages of any new tome in hopes of uncovering a small gem or two of knowledge. When a new book comes along that is penned by a true Disney legend, it is sure to be a treat.

Charlie Ridgeway began his Disney career as a press agent in 1955. He has attended openings of all the theme parks from the original Disneyland to the most recent park in Hong Kong. His fifty year association with Disney has resulted in a vast offering of experiences, and each one evolves into a story or two. So, it's easy to pick up Charlie's new book "Spinning Disney's World", and find yourself taken in.

Charlie devotes his time to stories focused on situations and stories directly related to his duties as press agent; whether it be guiding ducks down Main Street USA or posing Walt behind the wheel of a fire truck. So many of Charlie's "Adventures" are as globe-trotting as a James Bond novel but he remains as humble and accessible as possible. The book is a must for anyone interested in a career in public relations, especially when penned by the man who pretty much created Disney public relations from scratch. But more than likely, it is going to be read be fans (and detractors) of Disney.

At its heart, the book is a reminiscent journey through fifty years of a man s career - a career that he loved. At times, his memory hops around a bit, so the book can meander. But if you're willing to go along with Charlie, you're sure to have a good time.
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