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Spinning Disney's World: Memories of a Magic Kingdom Press Agent Hardcover – January 15, 2007
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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.
"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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Top customer reviews
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So many books written by past employees offer personal reflections of the same general things and stories about the parks and Walt himself. Charlie Ridgway gives us a whole new set of stories to learn about! Sure his style is wandering and takes you all over the world and through the years in an almost haphazard way, but it is like the way one tours a Disney park... wandering from one attraction, fascination, show, land to another. You are in GOOD storytelling hands with THIS tour guide however. Everything is fresh and seen through the eyes of wonder as Charlie describes his personal joy and love of assignment on every page. Even though written several years ago, this collection of recollections remains as relevant and fascinating as ever.
Thanks for a trip around the worlds Charlie. I'll never forget them!
For one thing, most of the really interesting stories have been told before, so there were no real surprises. For instance most people know about the issues with the opening day of Disneyland. Many of the other stories were just not interesting.
What we treated to was an inventory of the all the celebrities (and non-celebrities) that made their way through the park. Several times throughout the book the same information was presented. I actually thought the book might have been more enjoyable had it been 30% shorter.
Most disappointing was the length at which the Disney corporation "wined and dined" sponsors, politicians, the media, and entertainers. One wonders if Disney World would be more affordable to the average American if the company would spend less of its resources entertaining "special" guests. I always felt "special" while at Walt Disney World. It appears that some are more "special" than others.