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Christmas gifts for theme park fans: 'Buzz' Price's memoir about the founders of the theme park industry

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Published: November 17, 2009 at 3:54 PM

If someone you know has any interest in the topic of how the world's top theme parks came to be, you've got to get them this book - Walt's Revolution!: By the Numbers by Harrison "Buzz" Price. I was given a copy of this book last year by Buzz's friend Bob Rogers, and couldn't put it down once I started.

Walt's Revolution!: By the Numbers I wrote a bit about this book earlier this month in a post about Walt Disney's Mineral King ski resort, which the company abandoned after Walt's death. Price was the consultant who helped select the site for Mineral King, as well as for Disneyland, Walt Disney World and many other popular theme parks.

Yeah, I'm a stats geek in addition to being a theme park fan. So I found fascinating Buzz's look into the numbers behind the decisions to build and expand theme parks. Although there's a fair amount of data in the book, at its heart, it is a personal story, with dozens of vignettes about working with Walt, as well as with SeaWorld's George Millay, Six Flags' Angus Wynne and Universal's Lew Wasserman.

The book's not easy to find - generally unavailable in bookstore. But it is on Amazon from several resellers. I can't recommend it enough.

On a related note, tomorrow I will be at the IAAPA [International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions] Expo in Las Vegas. (Industry insiders, if you're there and see me, please say hi!) During the day, I'm planning on attending what sounds like a dream panel with Bob and Buzz, as well as Disney's Marty Sklar and Richard Sherman. I'll post updates throughout the day to Theme Park Insider's Twitter feed, then post a write-up here on the Blog Flume.

So please follow TPI on Twitter if you haven't already and keep reading the Flume for more features from the show.

Update: Wow, we seem to have pretty much cleared out Amazon's stock of the book, as no new copies appear available under $100. But some used copies remain available, so keep checking the link above. Oh, and here's the link to that IAAPA panel with Price, Marty Sklar, Richard Sherman and other Disney legends.

Readers' Opinions

From TH Creative on November 18, 2009 at 5:18 AM
This is a GREAT book. It's a challenging read as it is more of a text book than a history -- filled with anecdotes. And it's title belies the content as it covers a variety of theme park operators (not just Disney).

When we post at TPI we all (myself included) get bombastic and cavalier when we discuss how a theme park company invests its money. Here the author introduces the processes that are used to evaluate the prospects and success of an attraction.

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