Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Book Reviews: The Imagineering Story *and* 100 Disney Adventures

I actually have two books for you today, but they are both related to each other..kind of... so I thought, why not review them together? I don't know about you, but where I live it's getting colder and we're currently getting snow. I'm not a winter fan, so I'm dreaming of sunshine and warmer days.... at Disney!

100 Disney Adventures of a Lifetime

Wake up to the sight of giraffes grazing outside of your window. Soar 400 feet into the sky on a hot-air balloon ride over Walt Disney World. Watch the Disneyland fireworks from The Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge, far away from the crowds. Taste your way through 11 countries of the world at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. Take a jet trip around the world.

All these experiences and more bring the magic of Disney alive--and you can find 100 not-to-be-missed adventures in this one-of-a-kind collection. From the most beloved signature experiences--Epcot’s International Flower Show, breakfast with beloved characters at Chef Mickey’s, and getting dolled up like a princess before your day at the park--to the hidden VIP wonders like a private dinner in the wine cellar the Grand Floridian or drinks at the exclusive, members-only Club 33, this illuminating guidebookcelebrates and reveals the best experiences in and around Disney resorts and parks all over the globe.

Discover the magic that awaits, including:
  • A training session at the Jedi Academy at Disney Hollywood Studios, where you can make your own light saber and fight Darth Vader
  • Magical meals at a rotating dinner club featuring Walt Disney World’s best chefs, each themed to Disney lore
  • A 5.7 million-gallon salt water aquarium at Epcot Seas, where you can swim with angelfish, dolphins, eagle rays, and sharks
  • A private after-hours tour of the Luxor Temple in Egypt, where Adventures by Disney gets you away from the crowds for an intimate experience
  • Secret off-the-menu items around the park, including a cherry milkshake at Carnation Caf√© and ice cream nachos at the Golden Horseshoe
  • The ultimate viewing spots for nightly fireworks throughout all the Disney Parks
  • Disney’s Halloween party, a one-of-a-kind theme night in the happiest place on Earth
  • A 5K Challenge on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, where you can soothe sore muscles post-race with a beachfront massage
  • A private jet tour around the world, led by expert National Geographic explorers
  • And so much more!
Along with beautiful imagery that will help shape your bucket list, this fantastic guide includes pilgrimages to historic Disney sites, like Walt’s hometown haunts in Chicago and Tam O’Shanter’s in Los Angeles where there’s a table named in his honor. Plus, National Geographic provides the inside stories of some of Disney’s most beloved attractions.

Each of these 100 adventures--from Walt Disney World in Orlando to the Galapagos Islands to Disneyland Tokyo--will have you believing in magic and wonder all over again.

I was blown away by this book!! So many of these things I didn't even know were options to do, or had any clue about. I have tabbed off a few that I definitely want to check out when we go (hopefully next year.. crossing fingers!). The best part is that some of these are geared towards adults, so if you can get away from the kids, or you came with no kids but want a step above a dinner with Winnie the Pooh, there are so many really great options for any budget. Sometimes you just outgrow the parks or need something more, and this book has a LOT of options for you. 

Stunning photography, clear descriptions, lots of insider information that would be incredibly helpful (especially to first timers not familiar with the parks to begin with), and it was well organized. I want to be able to find what I need or want right away and I could do just that. 
The Imagineering Story

The highly acclaimed and rated Disney+ documentary series, The Imagineering Story, becomes a book that greatly expands the award-winning filmmaker Leslie Iwerks' narrative of the fascinating history of Walt Disney Imagineering.

The entire legacy of WDI is covered from day one through future projects with never-before-seen access and insights from people both on the inside and on the outside. So many stories and details were left on the cutting room floor—our book allows an expanded exploration of the magic of Imagineering.

So many insider stories are featured.

° Sculptor Blaine Gibson’s wife used to kick him under the table at restaurants for staring at interesting-looking people seated nearby, and he’d even find himself studying faces during Sunday morning worship. “You mean some of these characters might have features that are based on people you went to church with?” Marty Sklar once asked Gibson of the Imagineer's sculpts for Pirates of the Caribbean. “He finally admitted to me that that was true.”

° In the early days, Walt Disney Imagineering "was in one little building and everybody parked in the back and you came in through the model shop, and you could see everything that was going on,” recalled Marty Sklar. “When we started on the World’s Fair in 1960 and 1961, we had 100 people here. And so everybody knew everything about what was happening and the status of [each] project, so you really felt like you were part of the whole team whether you were working on that project or not. And, you know, there was so much talent here.”

Easily the largest book I've taken on this year, at just under 750 pages, this is not light reading. I would say this is one chapter per sitting kind of book because it is absolutely chock full of incredible stories you couldn't have even imagined about Disney. If you've ever seen documentaries on the Disney+ channel (I just finished Decorating Disney, but the Christmas one and to see the behind the scenes stuff is incredible), this book is just like that but amplified. 

Even if you aren't into the aesthetics and how they get things to visually be what they are, the invisible things, how things move/perform the way they do was fascinating. I absolutely loved the part about projection mapping on things like Cinderella's castle. 
Getting to see it transform in person was incredible, but we all wondered, how do they do that? You can't be off even a teeny tiny bit because then the whole thing is goofed up. There are light shows where animated clips are shown and you wouldn't even know it's on a building, it looks like a flat surface almost. All of that (and more!) is in this book. 

Both of these books would make terrific gifts for a Disney fan in your life, no matter the age. Thank you to TLC Book Tours and National Geographic for having me on these tours and sending me a copy for review. Safe travels!

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1 comment:

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Glad to hear these were both winners. That first one sounds super handy though, and I love that they have adults-only options/ideas.

Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net