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Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look At Making the Magic Real

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Making dreams come true is what Disney does best -- and the Imagineers unite art and science to create a world in which reality surpasses imagination. The Imagineers are like Santa's elves: they are the nuts-and-bolts workers who allow Disney's magic to take flight. Walt Disney Imagineering explains in colorful detail the making of the magic of Walt Disney World, Disneylan Making dreams come true is what Disney does best -- and the Imagineers unite art and science to create a world in which reality surpasses imagination. The Imagineers are like Santa's elves: they are the nuts-and-bolts workers who allow Disney's magic to take flight. Walt Disney Imagineering explains in colorful detail the making of the magic of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland -- the world's most popular vacation "kingdoms" -- from the inside out. From Mickey's Toontown to Blizzard Beach, the wizardry of the Imagineers is brought to life in this book through drawings, models, artwork, and anecdotes; also featured are the now legendary conceptual sketches from Walt Disney's very own pencil. Walt Disney Imagineering is sure to inform and fascinate history buffs, art collectors, graphic designers, architects, engineers, and Disney fans alike.


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Making dreams come true is what Disney does best -- and the Imagineers unite art and science to create a world in which reality surpasses imagination. The Imagineers are like Santa's elves: they are the nuts-and-bolts workers who allow Disney's magic to take flight. Walt Disney Imagineering explains in colorful detail the making of the magic of Walt Disney World, Disneylan Making dreams come true is what Disney does best -- and the Imagineers unite art and science to create a world in which reality surpasses imagination. The Imagineers are like Santa's elves: they are the nuts-and-bolts workers who allow Disney's magic to take flight. Walt Disney Imagineering explains in colorful detail the making of the magic of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland -- the world's most popular vacation "kingdoms" -- from the inside out. From Mickey's Toontown to Blizzard Beach, the wizardry of the Imagineers is brought to life in this book through drawings, models, artwork, and anecdotes; also featured are the now legendary conceptual sketches from Walt Disney's very own pencil. Walt Disney Imagineering is sure to inform and fascinate history buffs, art collectors, graphic designers, architects, engineers, and Disney fans alike.

30 review for Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look At Making the Magic Real

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This book is a wealth of amazing concept art and photography of the design process. Beyond that, it falls short. The writing reeks of corporate propaganda. The biggest problem is that it lacks any real substance. The book spends two hundred pages painting Imagineering as a wonderland for creative people, but anyone with a brain in their head knows that's a fantasy. I believe that the folks at Imagineering have the opportunity to do some wonderful things, but at the end of the day I know they sti This book is a wealth of amazing concept art and photography of the design process. Beyond that, it falls short. The writing reeks of corporate propaganda. The biggest problem is that it lacks any real substance. The book spends two hundred pages painting Imagineering as a wonderland for creative people, but anyone with a brain in their head knows that's a fantasy. I believe that the folks at Imagineering have the opportunity to do some wonderful things, but at the end of the day I know they still have the same struggles anyone in a creative profession have (deadlines, clients, management, etc). As such, I would have much preferred a more honest look at how Imagineering performs its "magic" within those constraints. I think John Hench did a much better job of that in Designing Disney. Or even further to that extreme is Steve Alcorn's Building a Better Mouse. Even Building a Dream: The Art of Disney Architecture, which was also a book published by Disney corporate, did an infinitely better job of actually looking at its topic objectively. This book is worth flipping through for the pictures alone, but beyond that, it's really better suited for teenager dreaming about what they want to do when they grow up. For an adult looking for additional insight into the creative process, stick with one of the books mentioned above.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    There's a ton of fantastic images in here, mostly early concept art for the various Disney parks and attractions. It's a must look at for fans of the Disney parks. The written content is, sadly, a little on the shallow side. It's a very light, very brief look at the creative process of WDI. But there's little to no depth, and few specifics. It doesn't give a sense of what it's really like to work at WDI. It's also, large format aside, a very quick read. But very much worth looking at, if only fo There's a ton of fantastic images in here, mostly early concept art for the various Disney parks and attractions. It's a must look at for fans of the Disney parks. The written content is, sadly, a little on the shallow side. It's a very light, very brief look at the creative process of WDI. But there's little to no depth, and few specifics. It doesn't give a sense of what it's really like to work at WDI. It's also, large format aside, a very quick read. But very much worth looking at, if only for the art.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rick Ludwig

    The content is a little thin on detail, but it is always interesting to go even slightly behind the scenes. I sense the heavy hand of corporate on this. Walt had it right that you only need to fear copycats if you stop innovating. Oh well.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brendan MacDonald

    Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look At Making Magic Real by The Imagineers, is a book about what goes into creating the Walt Disney parks in Orlando and Anaheim. The book goes into the design process of creating new attractions or new resorts at their two flagship parks. This includes mostly early drawings and pictures of popular rides as well as the blue prints for entire parks like Epcot in Disney World and Animal Kingdom in Disney World. There really isn't any plot for this boo Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look At Making Magic Real by The Imagineers, is a book about what goes into creating the Walt Disney parks in Orlando and Anaheim. The book goes into the design process of creating new attractions or new resorts at their two flagship parks. This includes mostly early drawings and pictures of popular rides as well as the blue prints for entire parks like Epcot in Disney World and Animal Kingdom in Disney World. There really isn't any plot for this book and even lacks a ton of dialogue but that is not the purpose of the book. The book is really for Disney Enthusists that want to know more about how these places were created and what kind of things you don't see when you visit the parks. I gave this book a two out of 5 stars because it simply wasn't what I thought it was going to be. That isn't entirely the book's fault though. The lack of detail going along with these interesting pictures and early drawings is the book's negative quality. The reason why I read this book was to get more educated on the planning and engineering side of the Disney Parks. As a kid, I was able to go to Disney World a few times and it was always so great because of how interesting and fun the parks where. Now that I'm older, I wanted to know how that was all possible. The drawings and pictures were great but there just wasn't enough content for me to get anything out of it. Also, when this book was published, the Animal Kingdom was just opening at Disney World and it had been the first main park made in almost a decade and it must have been cool at the time to see all the blueprints and drawings of attractions that today are mainstays and iconic at Disney. There has been a ton of new building and improvements to the Disney Parks in the last 20 years, so it would be cool to see an update to this book with more detail about the engineering and designing process that goes into making a new attraction or an entire park. The main audience for this book would be Disney Fans and aspiring designers and upcoming engineers. I would recommend this book to anybody who is artistic and enjoys looking at drawings and pictures and the process of creating something from drawings.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Claire Fudge

    As an art book WDI is stunning. It contains pages and pages of truly gorgeous concept art that I could stare at forever. As a look at the inner workings of Imagineering? Not so much. Sadly, this is every bit as corporate as others have said. A superficial glance at the process with lashings of assurance that Imagineers are the luckiest people who have fun every day and never face any struggle. I also found the sheer amount of corny jokes and puns grating. Overall, I'd say this is a great book fo As an art book WDI is stunning. It contains pages and pages of truly gorgeous concept art that I could stare at forever. As a look at the inner workings of Imagineering? Not so much. Sadly, this is every bit as corporate as others have said. A superficial glance at the process with lashings of assurance that Imagineers are the luckiest people who have fun every day and never face any struggle. I also found the sheer amount of corny jokes and puns grating. Overall, I'd say this is a great book for a younger audience (late teens?) with a new interest in what goes in to building a theme park but for a fan looking for all the gritty details, look elsewhere.

  6. 4 out of 5

    H.G. Howell

    By this point in my historic Disney reading, much of the information in this book I have already learnt. Saying that, however, this book is not overtly text heavy and showcases tons of brilliant behind the scenes sketches and concepts. Wish there was a touch more information to garnered but still enjoyable overall.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    This is a gorgeous book that is obviously dated because it was published in 1996. The book features many many beautiful plans for attractions including concept art. The book doesn't have a ton of text but it is still wonderfully done. I wish the book had been just a bit more detailed in terms of the actualization of some of the attractions. This is a gorgeous book that is obviously dated because it was published in 1996. The book features many many beautiful plans for attractions including concept art. The book doesn't have a ton of text but it is still wonderfully done. I wish the book had been just a bit more detailed in terms of the actualization of some of the attractions.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Withme

    Quite the entertaining read and a fanciful dream for any Disney fan or designer. Illustrations are large and beautifully printed - the text is comparatively sparse but the book doesn't suffer for it. For me personally, the highlights of the book are the park attraction posters, logos, and bottle labels which I'm obsessed with. A great collection of art all around. Quite the entertaining read and a fanciful dream for any Disney fan or designer. Illustrations are large and beautifully printed - the text is comparatively sparse but the book doesn't suffer for it. For me personally, the highlights of the book are the park attraction posters, logos, and bottle labels which I'm obsessed with. A great collection of art all around.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Johnson

    Full of absolutely inspiring full color photos depicting every angle of the imagineering process, but most of the writing leaves a lot to be desired. I'd have loved more technical details and less "magic." Full of absolutely inspiring full color photos depicting every angle of the imagineering process, but most of the writing leaves a lot to be desired. I'd have loved more technical details and less "magic."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mathew Duman

    I devoured this book as soon as it was released. If I previously had a passing interest in Imagineering, I was hooked after reading this. It is filled with insights, history & of course amazing artwork!

  11. 5 out of 5

    krad

    Makes me want to draw - the highest praise I can give. Flawlessly whimsical with breathtaking art and what concept books should strive to be.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Girard

    It took me so long to read this book! It was good but I didn't learned a lot from it and I was expecting more from it! The pictures are definitely the best thing about it! It took me so long to read this book! It was good but I didn't learned a lot from it and I was expecting more from it! The pictures are definitely the best thing about it!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    This is probably one of the most unique Disney books I've read and it was such a great look behind the magic. Not only were there lots of details and drawings here (is it weird that I want a framed copy of the Cinderella castle blueprint?), but there's an encompassing exploration of the different facets of the creative process. We all might expect the drawings and models of attractions, but how often do you consider the lighting or vegetation that brings everything to life? It's impressive and e This is probably one of the most unique Disney books I've read and it was such a great look behind the magic. Not only were there lots of details and drawings here (is it weird that I want a framed copy of the Cinderella castle blueprint?), but there's an encompassing exploration of the different facets of the creative process. We all might expect the drawings and models of attractions, but how often do you consider the lighting or vegetation that brings everything to life? It's impressive and entertaining.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    A very tall book which for my tastes does pretty well covering the Imagineer domain. A lot of info about the other parks too, which is ok but what I really looked forward to was a big coffee book about Disneyland. Regardless this is a great coffee table book and an awesome conversation piece, as well as having tons of pictures about concepts and early models for a lot of attractions. Just a fun "curl up and let your lap fall asleep because it's so heavy" book. A very tall book which for my tastes does pretty well covering the Imagineer domain. A lot of info about the other parks too, which is ok but what I really looked forward to was a big coffee book about Disneyland. Regardless this is a great coffee table book and an awesome conversation piece, as well as having tons of pictures about concepts and early models for a lot of attractions. Just a fun "curl up and let your lap fall asleep because it's so heavy" book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This book was fantastic! It was probably my favorite Disney book that I have ever read. There were many new pictures and behind the scenes looks that my multiple other books have never shared. There was a lot of interesting insight on how the Imagineering process works and what goes on behind the scenes. I loved all the sketches and renderings and I long for some of the things that never came to be. If you are a big Disney fan, I highly recommend this book!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Fun book! Great stories and illustrations. If you love Disney or art or ideas than this book is worth a read! I love the history that is told about the projects and places that came to be and even the things that didn't come to be! :) A student recommended it to me and let me borrow it. It was a textbook for one of her sister's classes at UCLA. Fun book! Great stories and illustrations. If you love Disney or art or ideas than this book is worth a read! I love the history that is told about the projects and places that came to be and even the things that didn't come to be! :) A student recommended it to me and let me borrow it. It was a textbook for one of her sister's classes at UCLA.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    What a fantastic read! The pictures are gorgeous pieces of art in their own right and breathtaking insights into Disneyland attractions of the past, present and even those that never made it off the drawing board. The story is easy to follow from cover to cover as you walk through the creative process of all Imagineers. Beautiful book and engaging read. Certainly a favorite.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Love this book. I had the pleasure of working with one of the authors, a member of the Imagineering "Book Team", Bruce Gordon. We lost Bruce a few years ago and his friendship and support as well as his kind spirit meant a lot to me and those he worked with at WDI. I highly recommend this books for the collector of Disney books. Love this book. I had the pleasure of working with one of the authors, a member of the Imagineering "Book Team", Bruce Gordon. We lost Bruce a few years ago and his friendship and support as well as his kind spirit meant a lot to me and those he worked with at WDI. I highly recommend this books for the collector of Disney books.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shelby Rush

    I didn't actually read this book - it's mainly pictorial, for one thing. However, most of the pictures are not large enough to truly appreciate their craftsmanship. The text, what I did read, is bland. I was hoping for something much more technical and secret-revealing. This book skims the history and construction of the parks in a superficial and unsatisfying manner. I didn't actually read this book - it's mainly pictorial, for one thing. However, most of the pictures are not large enough to truly appreciate their craftsmanship. The text, what I did read, is bland. I was hoping for something much more technical and secret-revealing. This book skims the history and construction of the parks in a superficial and unsatisfying manner.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Josep

    As a Disney book about Disney it narrates an stylized history of what means to be an Imagineering. Beautiful drawings, and a big collection of historic pictures makes this book appealing for any Disney fan.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    It give the history of how Walt Disney Company became what it is today. Also goes into detail about how the artist/designers came up with rides, movies etc. Wonderful coffee table book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    I have dreamed of being an Imagineer since I was 5 years old.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Richard Harrison

    A truly beautiful picture replete with gorgeous background art that is a wonderful resource for Disney park aficionados.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Robbie

    It was fun to read this and learn a little bit more about the park I basically "live" in. lol. It was fun to read this and learn a little bit more about the park I basically "live" in. lol.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lakin

    who better to write a book about Imagineering than the Imagineers, themselves? This was such a great book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    Excellent book! Great insight and details. This makes for a great coffee book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    andy orin

    Gorgeous illustrations.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rae

    Awesome insight into the world of Disney Imagineering!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heatherjoy

    I want to be an imagineer soooo bad!!!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Simone

    The pictures and captions in this are really fun but the rest of the text is just Disney corporate text. Also this mainly seem focused on EuroDisney.

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