The Disney theme parks revolutionized the concept of family entertainment. Here are the books on how the Parks are designed and built, or those that contain information on more than one of the Parks.

We also have travel guides for each of the Disney Parks - click on the links below:

This list was last updated 03/06/2002 .

Building a Dream: The Art of Disney Architecture
by Beth Dunlop, Vincent Scully

Say what you may about Michael Eisner, but the man sure has shook up the look of Disney buildings. There's the new Animation Building, for example - that's the one pictured here with the giant sorcerer's hat. The work of the architects commissioned by Eisner and that of the Imagineers shows how the buildings are part of the show. (I still wish they had never built the Swan and Dolphin hotels, but some of the other buildings are fun!)

Designing Disney's Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance
Karal Ann Marling (Editor)

After years of silence about how Disney creates the theme parks, there has been a veritable flood of information on the subject. This book shows some of the steps needed to create an environment that is both functional and entertaining.

Disneyland Hostage (A Tom & Liz Austen Mystery)
by Eric H. Wilson

This is definitely an unusual Disneyland book! When Liz Austen visits Disneyland with her aunt, she's taken hostage by a band of Latin American terrorists.

Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando
by Richard E. Foglesong

For anyone who saw Orlando and the area before Mickey moved in, this is a look back at a very different time and place. Somewhat dry and a bit of a hatchet job (at least in tone), this is a look at how Disney was able to set up it's own form of government, and some of struggles between the company and the local governments over the years.

More Mouse Tales: A Closer Peek Backstage at Disneyland
by David Koenig

Third in the series of books on the secret and not-so-secret problems at The Happiest Place on Earth. I thought Koenig has taken this as far as it could go, but recent injuries and deaths at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will probably give him enough material for another edition.

mouse_tales.gif (6930 bytes) Mouse Tales: A Behind-The-Ears Look at Disneyland
by David Koenig

Koening quickly became famous within Disney circles with the release of this book. He went back through years of newspapers and interviewed current and former cast members to document some of the less positive aspects of The Happiest Place on Earth. Debate still can be heard as to the accuracy of some of the tales, but he did dig up a few things I only knew about because I had seen them in confidential files during my time working for Disney.

mouse_under_glass.gif (5947 bytes) Mouse Under Glass: Secrets of Disney Animation & Theme Parks
by David Koenig

Another expose of Dirty Disney Secrets, but not as well done as the first. Once again Koenig has set his sites on Mickey & Friends (perhaps a bulls-eye target would have been a more suitable piece of cover art). This time he had to stretch a bit to make the required page count, so take what you read with a grain of salt.

Once Upon an American Dream: The Story of Euro Disneyland
by Andrew Lainsbury

I have a copy on order and will update this entry when I receive it.

One Day at Disney
by Pam Brandon

Noted photographers set out across the world to capture the day's activities at each of the four Disney theme parks. Some beautiful photography, with text describing some of the differences between the parks. Well worth having.

Riding the Black Ship: Japan and Tokyo Disneyland
by Aviad E. Raz

I have a copy on order and will update this entry when I receive it.

Roller Coasters, Flumes and Flying Saucers
by Robert Reynolds

I haven't seen this one, but it contains information on the design of some of the ride systems used at the Disney parks.

Since the World Began: Walt Disney World the First 25 Years
by Jeff Kurtti

It's hard to believe Walt Disney World had its 25th birthday back in 1996. I remember when it was a sea of dirt, with trucks and builders seemingly running wild. Jeff has done a nice job of turning back the clock to those early days, and in capturing the changes over the years. He was a bit rushed for time to make the publishing deadline, but perhaps the next birthday book will make up for the few shortcomings in this one.

vinyl_leaves.gif (13463 bytes) Vinyl Leaves: Walt Disney World and America
by Stephen M. Fjellman

This is a tough one to describe. The author and his team set out to document (or perhaps dissect) Walt Disney World. They are very detailed and very technically accurate, making this an excellent snapshot in time, down to discussing tableware and wallpaper designs. Unfortunately, they seem to find fault in way too many aspects of the place - some sections read like they were written by conspiracy buffs. Good for the documentation, if you can ignore the opinions.

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