The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney's Dream is the story of how Walt Disney's greatest creation was conceived, nurtured, and how it grew into a source of joy and inspiration for generations of visitors. Despite his successors' battles with the whims of history and their own doubts and egos, Walt's vision maintained momentum, thrived, and taught future generations how to do it Walt Disney's way.
©2014 Sam Gennawey (P)2014 Audible Inc.
Constant travel has made me into an avid audiobook listener. From comedy to construction its all fair game.
Lots of detail. Gave a really good inside view of the characters that made up the Disneyland story
"The narration is killing me."
2 1/2 hours in but doubt I can finish with this narration. I have over 800 downloads this is in the bottom 5 narrations for me.
If you want a great book on Disney go with "Walt Disney the Triumph of the American Imagination" great book, great narration that gives you much more than Disneyland and intimately brings Walt's story to you. I listened to the unabridged version. 33 hrs. and actually listened twice with many books marks on things we can learn from one most extraordinary people there has ever been.
"I Was There"
My parents moved to pre-freeway and pre-Disney Anaheim when I was two-years old. As I approached six years old I remember sleeping with my window open, smelling orange blossoms and hearing the Mark Twain whistle from a few miles away.
In short, I enjoyed this book very much. In fact, I listened to it twice, back-to-back. However, I believe my enthusiasm was because this was a page from my life.
I remember going to Disneyland many times, meeting Walt sitting at the end of main street, no crowds and enjoying all the park as it evolved.
Even my Grad Night (Anaheim High School) was held at this venue. I'm not sure if non-Disney fans will enjoy the book as much as I did. However, I can attest to the fact that it is an excellent narrative on the evolution of the Magic Kingdom.
"Great content, poor reader"
I loved the content of this book and would consider it a must read for any Disneyland junkie like myself. While the narrator did a good job overall I was taken aback by the repeated mispronunciations of several Disney legend imagineers. As I didn't read the book the mistakes may have been made by the author, and if that is the case I apologize to the narrator. However, given the extensive research that must have gone into this book I highly doubt it was the author's error. Overall though fantastic book and I would highly recommend it to anyone!
"Started stronger than ended"
Really gets deep into the creation of Disneyland, especially the early years. Through the further it got in time from the beginning of Disneyland, the more it turned into high level highlights. That may be due to the material available. I really enjoyed the book overall, addicting even. I can't wait to go back to Disneyland and see it a whole new light thanks to this book.
"Great story!! Very informative!"
This was a very well written story about the history of Disneyland from conception to modern day. While I loved the story, it is hard to listen to a narator who misreads names (it is Sklar, not Skyler) and relatively common words. His voice and style were fine, but it would help if the narrators were more familiar with the subject matter.
"Don't they have editors for the narration?"
For the Disneyland aficionado--casual or manic--this is a wonderful book. Provides just enough of Walt's background to help the park make sense, explains what makes it unique, and helps us understand the story behind each ride, with just enough ride description to allow the Disneyland fan to close the eyes and get dreamy.
It is journalistic in style--just the facts. The narrative voice is clear and relatively unemotional. It is history with very little commentary.
The performance almost ruins the book. The worst part--this derives from the way the book is put together--is that the narrator does not provide enough "white space" (audible pauses) between sections. The book is written in chapters, but the chapters are very long and are divided into multiple sections with headings. The narrator hurtles from one section to the next as though just reading the next sentence in a paragraph. This results in repeated "WTF" moments for the listener. Just a slight pause between sections would serve as a transition. Although I know this is unlikely, the narrator makes it sound as though he was paid to get through the book as fast as possible, or as if he did not enjoy the job.
The author mispronounces many words. How can this be--how can a professional reader get away with these errors, and is there no one to listen, catch them and fix them before the book goes live? If I were the author I would be mortified! I suppose, unfortunately, the author has no authority to enforce corrections. A few examples: "Vermin" Von Braun (5.40), Marty "Skylar" (Sklar, 9.42 and throughout) "Saguro" cactus (should be saguaro, 11:50), and "persimmion" trees
With another narrator! Actually there are quite a few movies and archival documentaries on this topic.
Please re-do this book. I would listen again to another narrator!
"Detailed Engaging Listen on All Things Disneyland!"
I bought both the book and the audio book and equally enjoyed both so I can't say I liked one over the other. Was very useful being able to switch from one to the other especially when my eyes were tired! :D I will say that I thought that James Patrick Cronin did a good job reading the book. Feel some of the comments deriding his reading are overly harsh/picky. Yes it would have been helpful if he paused a second or two before each section but I found that easy to get used to. On the plus side and most important found his voice, pace, tone excellent.
My earliest memories are from the 1970's as a kid so I enjoyed most when the book covered the earliest rides I remember being excited about then: "Adventure Thru Inner Space", "Space Mountain", "Pirates of the Caribbean" "Haunted Mansion" Also enjoyed reading all about the rides no longer at the park I feel nostalgic about: "People Mover", "America Sings" and "Adventure Thru Inner Space"-- That one counts as both my favorite ride as a youth and one I miss the most. Wish they would bring it back!
So many it's hard to pick one! If I have to pick one I would say the parts of the book that talk about how "Space Mountain" came to be. Never knew that Walt Disney came up with the idea but they simply did not have the technology to build the ride until several years after his death.
When Walt Disney said goodbye to an employee in such a way that he knew Walt knew he would doe soon.
I was hoping for a book that gave me a detailed chronological accounting of how the park came to be, how the rides came to be, what worked, what didn't, the changes over the years, etc and this book lived up to my expectations! Did not want the book to end and was sad it did. Want more, hopefully a sequel will come out in perhaps several years so we can pick up where it left off!
"So much detail in so little time"
This book made a long trip back home enjoying. There are so many details that I will have to take notes for the upcoming trip to Disneyland to see the details, the flag pole being the first. Great Audio book.
"Great story, but..."
Love all the history and backstory but the narrator offers almost no inflection in his voice. As a result a great story is turned to mediocre, suggest skipping the audio version and read this one instead.
"A lifeless, painstaking historical treatise"
I didn't know it was possible, but the author has taken one of our most colorful institutions of imagination and fun, and retold it as a tedious, lifeless, no-irrelevant-detail-spared history of every single financial, logistical, and administrative decision made at Disney. The disinterested monotone of the reader only furthers this feeling.
You'll come across a few interesting tidbits on the visionary leadership and creative process of Walt, but overall, this is not a book for those looking to love Disneyland even more.
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