Disney's Land: Walt Disney and the Invention of the Amusement Park That Changed the World

Disney's Land: Walt Disney and the Invention of the Amusement Park That Changed the World Details

A propulsive history chronicling the conception and creation of Disneyland, the masterpiece California theme park, as told like never before by popular historian Richard Snow.

One day in the early 1950s, Walt Disney stood looking over 240 acres of farmland in Anaheim, California, and imagined building a park where people “could live among Mickey Mouse and Snow White in a world still powered by steam and fire for a day or a week or (if the visitor is slightly mad) forever.” Despite his wealth and fame, exactly no one wanted Disney to build such a park. Not his brother Roy, who ran the company’s finances; not the bankers; and not his wife, Lillian. Amusement parks at that time, such as Coney Island, were a generally despised business, sagging and sordid remnants of bygone days. Disney was told that he would only be heading toward financial ruin.

But Walt persevered, initially financing the park against his own life insurance policy and later with sponsorship from ABC and the sale of thousands and thousands of Davy Crockett coonskin caps. Disney assembled a talented team of engineers, architects, artists, animators, landscapers, and even a retired admiral to transform his ideas into a soaring yet soothing wonderland of a park. The catch was that they had only a year and a day in which to build it.

On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened its gates…and the first day was a disaster. Disney was nearly suicidal with grief that he had failed on a grand scale. But the curious masses kept coming, and the rest is entertainment history. Eight hundred million visitors have flocked to the park since then. In Disney’s Land, Richard Snow brilliantly presents the entire spectacular story, a wild ride from vision to realization, and an epic of innovation and error that reflects the uniqueness of the man determined to build “the happiest place on earth” with a watchmaker’s precision, an artist’s conviction, and the desperate, high-hearted recklessness of a riverboat gambler.

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Title:Disney's Land: Walt Disney and the Invention of the Amusement Park That Changed the World
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    Disney's Land: Walt Disney and the Invention of the Amusement Park That Changed the World Reviews

  • Scott

    "You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world - but it requires people to make that dream a reality." -- Walt DisneyI suppose that for the majority of us on this site...

  • Chad

    Richard Snow covers Walt Disney's dream of Disneyland from initial pipe dream to the "The Happiest Place on Earth". Snow details the massive undertaking Disney and his core people took on by giving a ...

  • Justin Brendel

    Richard Snow was quite ambitious with this informative book. There is so much information in here, but it doesn't read like a book report. The book is laid out in chronological order, from Walt buildi...

  • Ethan

    "To all who come to this happy place: Welcome."I'll never forget my first trip to Disneyland in California. I was fifteen years old and was visiting the park on a trip with my high school band. Becaus...

  • Susan Morris

    I thoroughly enjoyed this nonfiction account of Disneyland - not just its building, but also Walt’s dream and long road to realizing that dream. I’m a self-professed Disney fan, and this was full ...

  • Online Eccentric Librarian

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ This is definitely one of the better histories of a Disney topic that I've read in a long time. Any good biography of a p...

  • Mary

    Fantastic book. I had to return it early, but put myself back on the list to recheck out the audio book and finish. I am so glad I did. To hear about the business trials and troubles along the way is ...

  • Jonathan David Botchlett

    Although the summary promises “told like never before” a fair amount of this book is a rehashing of stories and information that is found in more original and entertaining sources. While it’s a ...

  • Mary Pauline M

    I really enjoyed every minute reading Disney's Land. This book was packed full of Disney history and was presented in an easy format where it felt like I was actually ' there '. Having read a few othe...

  • Charlene Dapelo

    Interesting book. A bit slow but worth reading. I admit I skipped a few pages. ...