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The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

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The first in a series of pocket-sized paperbacks will answer the question, "What would it be like to walk through the Disney Theme Parks with an Imagineer by your side?" The Imagineering Field Guide to The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World provides that experience: pointing out details and telling stories, back stories, and Imagineering insights never before heard, conden The first in a series of pocket-sized paperbacks will answer the question, "What would it be like to walk through the Disney Theme Parks with an Imagineer by your side?" The Imagineering Field Guide to The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World provides that experience: pointing out details and telling stories, back stories, and Imagineering insights never before heard, condensed into a portable, easily-referenced park guide. You'll never spend time at Walt Disney World the same way again. Each spread contains fascinating textual information and related images (drawings, photos, graphics) such as:


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The first in a series of pocket-sized paperbacks will answer the question, "What would it be like to walk through the Disney Theme Parks with an Imagineer by your side?" The Imagineering Field Guide to The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World provides that experience: pointing out details and telling stories, back stories, and Imagineering insights never before heard, conden The first in a series of pocket-sized paperbacks will answer the question, "What would it be like to walk through the Disney Theme Parks with an Imagineer by your side?" The Imagineering Field Guide to The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World provides that experience: pointing out details and telling stories, back stories, and Imagineering insights never before heard, condensed into a portable, easily-referenced park guide. You'll never spend time at Walt Disney World the same way again. Each spread contains fascinating textual information and related images (drawings, photos, graphics) such as:

30 review for The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    This will not replace your trusty Birnbaum guide on your next trip to Disney World. It doesn't cover everything that you'll see. It's more like taking a pleasant stroll through the park with a knowledgeable imagineer. This would be a fantastic book to carry through the park. Sitting at home, you kind of need to be a bit of a Disneyphile to get into it. Fortunately, I am a Disneyphile. There are a lot of really cool illustrations, almost entirely from the imagineer files. I loved seeing all of th This will not replace your trusty Birnbaum guide on your next trip to Disney World. It doesn't cover everything that you'll see. It's more like taking a pleasant stroll through the park with a knowledgeable imagineer. This would be a fantastic book to carry through the park. Sitting at home, you kind of need to be a bit of a Disneyphile to get into it. Fortunately, I am a Disneyphile. There are a lot of really cool illustrations, almost entirely from the imagineer files. I loved seeing all of the concept art, elevations, and color studies. That alone is worth giving the book at least a look. The only drawback is that I wanted more!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    I've been to Disney World 8 times since 1998 so I looked forward to reading this book in advance of a potential 9th trip, just to see what I've missed/overlooked on all the previous trips. The guide was written prior to the recent renovations to the Magic Kingdom that expanded Fantasyland and removed Mickey's Toontown Fair, so some of the attractions featured, including most of the Fair, the Snow White ride, and Dumbo, have either been removed or changed. That said, it was interesting to learn a I've been to Disney World 8 times since 1998 so I looked forward to reading this book in advance of a potential 9th trip, just to see what I've missed/overlooked on all the previous trips. The guide was written prior to the recent renovations to the Magic Kingdom that expanded Fantasyland and removed Mickey's Toontown Fair, so some of the attractions featured, including most of the Fair, the Snow White ride, and Dumbo, have either been removed or changed. That said, it was interesting to learn about some of the attractions we generally overlook like the spinning teacups and Tom Sawyer Island as well as learn the backstory behind our favorite parts of the park. This book seems best suited to the WDW veteran who has already visited the park a few times and is looking for something more. There is so much to see in the Magic Kingdom that to obsessively look for just the things pointed out in the guide would take away from the overall experience and independent discovery that make visiting the Mouse's house so much fun. What I felt the guide lacked was the intercalation of the food and shops with the vision of the Imagineers. It focused on the rides and external structures, but many of the shops continue the themes presented in the rides, and the variety of foods available fit the lands where the eateries are located. Perhaps the latter is more prevalent in some of the other parks, as Magic Kingdom is where we've had the hardest time finding a good meal, but I feel the dining experience is just as important as the rides and shows.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    My girlfriend picked this up in a Disney gift shop during our last trip to the park. We both read it cover to cover that very night. Though a slim little book, it's full of details about the engineering behind the Magic Kingdom, and it's filled with sketches and concept art for many of its attractions. To be accurate, "over-engineering" would be a better term for what this book is about. Though most people who visit the Disney parks will exclaim over the attention to detail -- the obsessive atten My girlfriend picked this up in a Disney gift shop during our last trip to the park. We both read it cover to cover that very night. Though a slim little book, it's full of details about the engineering behind the Magic Kingdom, and it's filled with sketches and concept art for many of its attractions. To be accurate, "over-engineering" would be a better term for what this book is about. Though most people who visit the Disney parks will exclaim over the attention to detail -- the obsessive attention to detail -- many of the elements of park and attraction design are so subtle as to go unnoticed on a conscious level. Guests can't help but absorb the Disney magic as they walk though the park, but will they notice the forced perspective of the architecture, the details of the garden beds, the careful placement of speakers to ensure the background music for one land doesn't bleed into the next? You don't need to witness the magic for it to be effective, of course, but if you're the sort to take apart appliances to figure out how they work, you'll appreciate having this book on hand before your visit. This is a situation where a glimpse into the magician's bag of tricks only increases your appreciation for his well-practiced sleight-of-hand.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I was skeptical of these imagineering field guides after finding out that Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real was mostly a vehicle for propaganda. While one still feels the influence of corporate on every page of this book, it doesn't feel quite as heavy-handed because the focus is on the rides, not on the imagineering process. Probably my biggest complaint is with the pocket-guide layout. It's a clever idea, but there is some great artwork included that h I was skeptical of these imagineering field guides after finding out that Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real was mostly a vehicle for propaganda. While one still feels the influence of corporate on every page of this book, it doesn't feel quite as heavy-handed because the focus is on the rides, not on the imagineering process. Probably my biggest complaint is with the pocket-guide layout. It's a clever idea, but there is some great artwork included that had to be scaled extremely small to fit the page. A very successful aspect of the book is the fact that it does manage to touch on every single ride in the park with approximately the same level of detail for each. It was nice to see some of the lesser known aspects of the park get the same attention as the E-tickets. Certainly a worthwhile book for those new to the Disney parks. More hardcore Disney nerds won't find too much new material here, but it's a quick, reasonably enjoyable read none the less.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    A great read if you are a fan of Disney parks! One of the reasons I love Disney so much is they put so much thought into every aspect of your experience at their parks. I loved reading about some of the details they've included. While this book was very interesting, it seems like there is so much they did not include at the same time. I was so happy that they included a bibliography so I can do some further reading on the development of the parks. A great read if you are a fan of Disney parks! One of the reasons I love Disney so much is they put so much thought into every aspect of your experience at their parks. I loved reading about some of the details they've included. While this book was very interesting, it seems like there is so much they did not include at the same time. I was so happy that they included a bibliography so I can do some further reading on the development of the parks.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Read the night before visiting Magic Kingdom (had been there before) and love learning about the little details that most don't notice that make the park so amazing. Great little read. Read the night before visiting Magic Kingdom (had been there before) and love learning about the little details that most don't notice that make the park so amazing. Great little read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Katy Roach

    This book is SO GOOD! I got this one to go with my Disneyland volume, because I've only been to Disneyland and wanted to learn more about The Magic Kingdom. This book didn't disappoint! I learned a lot. I love the way this book is formatted: in the beginning, they have an Imagineering Index to inform you of what the different Imagineering words (think "Plussing" "Cast Members", etc.) mean. They go through each of the lands, starting in Main Street and moving counterclockwise (Adventureland, Fron This book is SO GOOD! I got this one to go with my Disneyland volume, because I've only been to Disneyland and wanted to learn more about The Magic Kingdom. This book didn't disappoint! I learned a lot. I love the way this book is formatted: in the beginning, they have an Imagineering Index to inform you of what the different Imagineering words (think "Plussing" "Cast Members", etc.) mean. They go through each of the lands, starting in Main Street and moving counterclockwise (Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, etc.) They provide fun facts about each attraction mentioned, and at the end they have a map of the Park. I ADORE these books! They provide so much information about the Parks, and this one just made me want to go to Walt Disney World all the more.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    As a Disney fan, and particularly a fan of the Magic Kingdom, I really enjoyed this book. It taught me lots of little things that I love knowing, and the text is fun and accessible. My only complaint--what keeps it from 5 stars for me--is the physical size of the book. While made to slip into a pocket, which I appreciate, some of the pictures are too small to really get a good look at their details. I would like a second copy at twice or three times the size to keep at home for really poring ove As a Disney fan, and particularly a fan of the Magic Kingdom, I really enjoyed this book. It taught me lots of little things that I love knowing, and the text is fun and accessible. My only complaint--what keeps it from 5 stars for me--is the physical size of the book. While made to slip into a pocket, which I appreciate, some of the pictures are too small to really get a good look at their details. I would like a second copy at twice or three times the size to keep at home for really poring over the photographs and diagrams!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    The edition I read was from 2009, and took less than an hour to go through. It's 9 years old, so portions of it are outdated (it includes things like Mickey's Toon Town and Stitch's Great Escape, which I don't think exists anymore in WDW). I was hoping to be clued in to more obscure park details, but the only uncommon details presented dealt with which old time imagineers were involved with what project. There really wasn't a uselful detail in the book for me, but people who know and/or follow t The edition I read was from 2009, and took less than an hour to go through. It's 9 years old, so portions of it are outdated (it includes things like Mickey's Toon Town and Stitch's Great Escape, which I don't think exists anymore in WDW). I was hoping to be clued in to more obscure park details, but the only uncommon details presented dealt with which old time imagineers were involved with what project. There really wasn't a uselful detail in the book for me, but people who know and/or follow the history of the imagineers might feel differently.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    This isn't a guide to the magic kingdom but more of a history of what went into the planning and the rides and the details of the park. Very interesting information. I am going here next month so fun to read about it in advance of the trip. One thing I didn't like about the book is that certain sections were very hard to read, meaning the font itself was difficult (light type on a light page or dark type on a dark page, or double letters which made it blurry). This isn't a guide to the magic kingdom but more of a history of what went into the planning and the rides and the details of the park. Very interesting information. I am going here next month so fun to read about it in advance of the trip. One thing I didn't like about the book is that certain sections were very hard to read, meaning the font itself was difficult (light type on a light page or dark type on a dark page, or double letters which made it blurry).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chris Batchelor

    Although it took me less than a day to read this book, I did feel that this book was outdated. I couldn't find a newer version of this book on Amazon and so I had to stick with this newest version - from way back in 2009. Things change in this park, and having details to these changed (and added attractions) is evident. We all miss attractions when they go out, but having extra details about defunct attractions in Mickey's Toontown Fair is No fair (pun is definitely intended here)! I thought thi Although it took me less than a day to read this book, I did feel that this book was outdated. I couldn't find a newer version of this book on Amazon and so I had to stick with this newest version - from way back in 2009. Things change in this park, and having details to these changed (and added attractions) is evident. We all miss attractions when they go out, but having extra details about defunct attractions in Mickey's Toontown Fair is No fair (pun is definitely intended here)! I thought this book was going to have lots more information that I didn't know already, but I only found a piece or two of stuff that I didn't already read in other books - though written by the Imagineers themselves. I got a few ideas out of this book to add to an article about this park on a wiki website to make some major adjustments to, but this book wasn't really a great book for me to read. I've read better books about the Walt Disney World parks - but this wasn't one of the best reads to this date that I've read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Lanter

    I've had this book for a long time and realized I hadn't ever reviewed or even marked it as being read on Goodreads so here goes. I bought this book shortly after a visit to Disney World in 2007 so while I'm sure this book is dated now, I'm also going off dated memories of my trips to The Happiest Place on Earth and my enjoyment of the book was not hurt by that. This book is pretty good for someone wanting to learn a little history and behind the scenes information on Magic Kingdom. There are de I've had this book for a long time and realized I hadn't ever reviewed or even marked it as being read on Goodreads so here goes. I bought this book shortly after a visit to Disney World in 2007 so while I'm sure this book is dated now, I'm also going off dated memories of my trips to The Happiest Place on Earth and my enjoyment of the book was not hurt by that. This book is pretty good for someone wanting to learn a little history and behind the scenes information on Magic Kingdom. There are definitely some interesting things that will change the way you see Disney World and give you insight into how the park was designed. I found this book difficult to stop reading once I started because it is light and generally entertaining. All the rides at the time of publication are in the book so you just want to keep reading to find another of your favorites. There are a few faults however. One thing is that the tone and writing is overly praising Walt Disney and Disney World. This didn't impact my enjoyment but it may for some readers. While the book is small, there are shockingly grainy pictures in a few places. This ruins some of the more interesting concept paintings and is inexcusable in a book so small. Finally, some of the rides I would like to learn more about seem to get very little coverage like Its A Small World and Carousel of Progress whereas the Winnie the Pooh Playground and Toontown gets too much coverage. Perhaps, some readers will enjoy these sections, but I suspect most readers are adults and will not for obvious reasons. All in all, this is a nice book to read and I will keep it as a sort of keepsake of my trip since some awesome rides in this book have already been retired or altered for the worse since this was published.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    As a fan of Walt Disney World I have to say I think it was a good read. I could have been a lot better though. For instance, when they were talking about Stiches Great Escape, they went on and on about how advanced the Stich Animatronic is and what a challenge it was to create this ride. Te Animatronic that you see for probably 30 seconds in the show is one of the best ever made, however I wouldn't call the ride itself amazing and new. First of all, it wasn't "a whole new type of ride" like they As a fan of Walt Disney World I have to say I think it was a good read. I could have been a lot better though. For instance, when they were talking about Stiches Great Escape, they went on and on about how advanced the Stich Animatronic is and what a challenge it was to create this ride. Te Animatronic that you see for probably 30 seconds in the show is one of the best ever made, however I wouldn't call the ride itself amazing and new. First of all, it wasn't "a whole new type of ride" like they seem to want to suggest, not only did the concept for the ride already exist, SGE is in fact nothing more than an overlay of an old attraction. Alien Encounters, which took over the orginal Mission to Mars was a whole new kind of Disney attraction. It took you on board a space ship that was attacked by aliens. That ride was incedibly well done and scared the crap out of me. It was a ride you would expect to find at Universal, not loveable, cuddly Disney. After the great success of the movie, Lilo and Stich they decided they needed to do a ride, (which they did) and that the story would lend itself perfectly to the exsisting AE ride, (which it does). I don't know how they can justify talking about Stitch without even mentioning it's predicessor. I can forgive a lot of things, like pretending that the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh HAD to replave Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (I disagree) But blatintly re-writing histroy is just crap. If you don't know any better though I don't guess it would bother you too much.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Louis Prosperi

    One of the better of the Imagineering Field Guides, this book should be in the library of any fan of the Magic Kingdom, or any student of Imagineering. The Imagineering Field Guides are among my favorite books in my Disney/Imagineering library. They not only spotlight interesting details about the parks, but also are great guides to the design principles and practices employed by WDI in the design and construction of the Disney parks. This is the revised version of this guide, which includes updat One of the better of the Imagineering Field Guides, this book should be in the library of any fan of the Magic Kingdom, or any student of Imagineering. The Imagineering Field Guides are among my favorite books in my Disney/Imagineering library. They not only spotlight interesting details about the parks, but also are great guides to the design principles and practices employed by WDI in the design and construction of the Disney parks. This is the revised version of this guide, which includes updates based on renovations, refurbishments, and new attractions added since the guides's original publication in 2005 (this update was published in 2009). I haven't yet had a chance to compare both editions side by side, but will be doing that at some point, mostly out of curiosity, but also in case the choices made in this edition highlight specific design principles. I strongly recommend this book to any fan of Disney theme parks in general and Magic Kingdom in particular.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tony Stark

    I've been to Disney World 10 times, every time for exactly a week. I know the parks like the back of my hand. I am a total Disney junkie, and I could probably tell you the answer to any question about Disney World. This book is great! I have the one to Hollywood Studios too! I remember when it was still called MGM!! We're planning on going again next summer, and the summer of 2015 we're going on the Disney Cruise!! But anyways, I just got this book when I went at the end of May, and it's great f I've been to Disney World 10 times, every time for exactly a week. I know the parks like the back of my hand. I am a total Disney junkie, and I could probably tell you the answer to any question about Disney World. This book is great! I have the one to Hollywood Studios too! I remember when it was still called MGM!! We're planning on going again next summer, and the summer of 2015 we're going on the Disney Cruise!! But anyways, I just got this book when I went at the end of May, and it's great for anyone who has a passion for Disney that is as great as mine! 5 stars!!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This book was very intersting, but could be a little hard to get through at points. Also, it was unclear how they chose which features of the park to highlight and which not to (for example, the Hall of Presidents? I don't think I've ever even been in the Hall of Presidents.) But overall when you go on your trip you'll have a lot more inside knowledge to share with your friends and family that I found made it more enjoyable. This book was very intersting, but could be a little hard to get through at points. Also, it was unclear how they chose which features of the park to highlight and which not to (for example, the Hall of Presidents? I don't think I've ever even been in the Hall of Presidents.) But overall when you go on your trip you'll have a lot more inside knowledge to share with your friends and family that I found made it more enjoyable.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Completely awesome. There's so much behind the Disney parks that people don't pay attention to, yet those little things, and little details, is what makes it all the more amazing. What I wouldn't give to be one of Walt Disney's imagineers. Or to go back in time to the grand opening of the park in 1955. =) The only thing wrong with it, is that it wasn't long enough. I know there's tons more to learn! Completely awesome. There's so much behind the Disney parks that people don't pay attention to, yet those little things, and little details, is what makes it all the more amazing. What I wouldn't give to be one of Walt Disney's imagineers. Or to go back in time to the grand opening of the park in 1955. =) The only thing wrong with it, is that it wasn't long enough. I know there's tons more to learn!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gilly

    This series of books added a lot to our Disney experience. Not a travel guide, rather they share some insiders notes on the design of the parks and hidden features to notice. Disney pays crazy attention to every detail, from controlling sight lines to make a more immersive environment, to creating patterns in the pavement to imply a backstory to an area. We never would have noticed half the things in here without the books.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    An interesting collection of notes about attractions at my favorite theme park, this book is only that: something interesting. It's not insightful or intriguing, but that's because it's really a corporate promotional tool. It's too full of puns to be meaningful. I'd like to read a more thorough explanation of the park by Imagineering - or, better yet, a third party who analyzes their explanations to create a narrative. But this is a neat appetizer. An interesting collection of notes about attractions at my favorite theme park, this book is only that: something interesting. It's not insightful or intriguing, but that's because it's really a corporate promotional tool. It's too full of puns to be meaningful. I'd like to read a more thorough explanation of the park by Imagineering - or, better yet, a third party who analyzes their explanations to create a narrative. But this is a neat appetizer.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brett

    I read this prior to my last trip to Disney World, and it really opens your eyes to some things you wouldn't notice otherwise. The goings on behind the Magic Kingdom's park design, from forced perspective to layout of the lands, is quite interesting. It's all told in an easy-to-read style, and there are plenty of pictures and diagrams to boot. I read this prior to my last trip to Disney World, and it really opens your eyes to some things you wouldn't notice otherwise. The goings on behind the Magic Kingdom's park design, from forced perspective to layout of the lands, is quite interesting. It's all told in an easy-to-read style, and there are plenty of pictures and diagrams to boot.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    The first in the series that I read. I appreciated it enough to go on to read all 4. These parks are truly onions with tons of layers! I came to appreciate the investment made in the backstory of each attraction and the Land it is in. Included were many details of our county's past both real and mythic. The first in the series that I read. I appreciated it enough to go on to read all 4. These parks are truly onions with tons of layers! I came to appreciate the investment made in the backstory of each attraction and the Land it is in. Included were many details of our county's past both real and mythic.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Josh McConnell

    Like with the EPCOT book from the same series, this is a solid guide to the Magic Kingdom with lots of behind the scenes information for casual Disney fans. However, if you are more of a diehard Disney fan (especially in regards to Disney World), then chances are you know most of this information. Nonetheless, still a short and solid book put together.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    The depth of the design concepts between the layout, attractions and details of rendering are simply amazing. Much could easily be overlooked at the park, many things couldn't easily be seen by kids so they are there for adults. The illusions created by building proportions, the hidden infrastructure, as many wonderful things for an adult to discover. The depth of the design concepts between the layout, attractions and details of rendering are simply amazing. Much could easily be overlooked at the park, many things couldn't easily be seen by kids so they are there for adults. The illusions created by building proportions, the hidden infrastructure, as many wonderful things for an adult to discover.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Caldwell

    It's fascinating learning about the Disney parks from the people who design them and the entire series of these books are wonderful! I'd highly recommend them for any fan of the Disney company and the parks especially. The amount of inside information in areas that most people wouldn't even consider is amazing! It's fascinating learning about the Disney parks from the people who design them and the entire series of these books are wonderful! I'd highly recommend them for any fan of the Disney company and the parks especially. The amount of inside information in areas that most people wouldn't even consider is amazing!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jillian

    A super awesome resource for those interested in the behind-the-scenes magic of the Magic Kingdom. A quick, interesting, and enjoyable read. I just wish it were updated. And longer. Maybe with a few more pictures to illustrate what he's talking about. But mostly updated, since a lot has happened in the last 10 years... A super awesome resource for those interested in the behind-the-scenes magic of the Magic Kingdom. A quick, interesting, and enjoyable read. I just wish it were updated. And longer. Maybe with a few more pictures to illustrate what he's talking about. But mostly updated, since a lot has happened in the last 10 years...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Haefner

    Loved this book....but then again, I love anything that is Disney related! This book really gives the reader an in depth look at what goes/went into the design and making of Walt Disney World....it's not just a bunch of rides and stuff.... (that's why I love it so much!!) Loved this book....but then again, I love anything that is Disney related! This book really gives the reader an in depth look at what goes/went into the design and making of Walt Disney World....it's not just a bunch of rides and stuff.... (that's why I love it so much!!)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    If you are an expert, most of this is known already, but it is attractive, well packaged and extremely affordable. For the novice, this is a treasure that should be read before going and then carried in the park for a more liesurely second day visit to the Magic Kingdom park.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This was a really fun and quick read just before my most recent trip to Walt Disney World. It was full of inside info and fun little facts and tips. I look forward to reading the ones centered on the other them parks at Walt Disney World.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    this sounds like a book I would want to read. I haven't read it yet. this sounds like a book I would want to read. I haven't read it yet.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Weavre

    Thank you, Troy! This was a wonderful Christmas present! :)

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