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Inventing Disneyland, the Book

I was just informed that my book about the creation of Disneyland California, Inventing Disneyland, is now available, just in time for Christmas. It's the (I hope) entertaining story of all the people not named Walt Disney who worked so hard to make this singular place a reality. Walt shows up in the story, too, of course.

This is the result of years of research and interviews with the principals, organized as a chronological journal to let you experience the process as it unfolded.

When I worked for WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering) many years ago, I studied the original plans for Disneyland (some of which are available on the internet) in my spare time. I was lucky enough to be able to chat with Disney Legends like Herb Ryman, Sam McKim, and Bill Martin--and they were extremely generous (with everyone) with their time. Others, like C. V. Wood, Jr., I had to track down.

One thing missing from Disneyland books, in general, is a sense of context. What was happening in the world as Disneyland was built? What was Roy Disney reading about in his morning newspaper just before New York called to discuss a weekly television show?

Some, not all, condensed stories make it all seem inevitable, that of course the Magic Kingdom must have a castle at the center. To focus on that one choice: A castle is a defensive perimeter. Putting it at the center inverts the principle to delightful end. But this isn't a castle at all, it's...well, you can read more here.

I illustrated the book with drawings like this, because Disney has been litigious in the past. If I had a photographic memory (which I don't), the blueprints for Disneyland are still, 63 years later, copyright by Disney. So, I explain things graphically using all new drawings based on generally-available information.

The book is simultaneously available on Amazon and as an e-book, thanks to my editor, Bob McLain of Theme Park Press.

Here's an example of the blueprints, available online, that you won't find in this book:


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