Theme Park Insider

Book Review: Kevin Yee's 'Walt Disney World Hidden History'

October 5, 2014, 9:49 PM · Let's face it, unless you're going a local going to a Halloween event, October's not a huge month for theme park visits. Summer's over, and the holidays remain weeks away. But theme park fans won't little things like work and school commitments keep them from at least thinking about their favorite places. That's why this is a perfect time of year for a book like Kevin Yee's Walt Disney World Hidden History.

Walt Disney World Hidden History Second Edition by Kevin YeeThe second edition of Yee's collection of Disney theme park trivia adds 164 new entries, cramming 132 photo-filled pages with even more details about and the history behind the resort's attractions.

It's exactly the sort of stuff that can keep a theme park fan engaged between visits. Read through the nuggets that Yee has collected, and just imagine how you'll go looking for many of these details on your next trip. As Yee, a former Disneyland cast member, writes in the afterword,

The Disney attention to detail is legendary, and rightly so. Only by exposing the level to which these details are researched, sought after, refined, and finally implemented can we begin to understand the richness of the tapestry at a Disney theme park. The persuasive tricking of our senses, the completely believable immersion into fictitious realms, and the unconditional suspension of disbelief all owe their existence to such details that seem, at first glance, to be mere adornments, or perhaps indulgences by the artists.

Don't be fooled. It's the details at Disney that render the experience magical. To know the details is to examine the magician's trick hat — you will have a fuller understanding of what's going on and what to watch for, and it will only increase your enjoyment of the effect.

A few of my favorites items from the book:

At the end of the book, you'll also find a complete list of all current and past Walt Disney World attractions, and their years of operation, as well as a complete list of all individuals honored with windows on Main Street USA. Kevin was kind to send me a copy of the book for review, but you can pick up a paperback for $24.99 or an eBook version for $6.99.

What are you reading these days?

Replies (8)

October 6, 2014 at 8:55 AM · Just testing the comments on the new design.
October 6, 2014 at 9:02 AM · Here's a test response!
October 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM · Nice design. I like it.

As for attention to detail, I can't help noticing that the Small World attraction at the Magic Kingdom is lacking in a big way compared with Disneyland. They need to double or triple the amount of dolls there. Disneyland's Small World is significantly better.

October 6, 2014 at 9:38 AM · Wow. TPI just took a quantum leap in appearance. It has a more professional look now.
October 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM · Something looks different about you TPI. Did you change your hair?
October 6, 2014 at 11:18 AM · Just got this book on my iPad with my new Kindle Unlimited subscription, very excited to read it now.
October 6, 2014 at 11:45 AM · Definitely something I have to swoop up. He also does a weekly video now on InsideTheMagic where he shows some hidden stuff.

Btw: The new design looks great.

October 6, 2014 at 7:54 PM · That sounds like a book I must read...the book I'm reading now is the The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion by Jeff Baham-if you're a HM fanatic like me, you will love all the stories that went into what makes this one of the best...if you can believe it, there are still some Imagineers who aren't happy with the way the Haunted Mansion turned out!

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