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Disney Books: It’s All in the Details

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

On a recent trip to Once Upon a Toy at Downtown Disney Marketplace, I spotted a book I had never seen before – “Windows on Main Street” by Chuck Snyder ($6.95). The book maps out and profiles the various people whose names are imprinted on the shop windows that line Main Street, U.S.A. at both Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park. I’ve always been interested in Disney history (and I love books), so I knew I had to add it to my collection.

Inside, the book explains that the tradition of placing select names on these precious windows was started by Walt Disney as a way to commemorate those who made milestone contributions to his theme park and animation businesses. The book’s maps enable you to create your own self-guided tour down Main Street, U.S.A., so I decided to take it along on my next trip to Magic Kingdom Park.
Windows on Main Street
Starting at the Main Street Confectionary, I used the book to help me trace my way back through Disney history. Some names on the windows reflect famous Disney Legends like X. Atencio, who had a hand in creating two of my favorite attractions by writing the lyrics for “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)” for Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as the storyline and theme song “Grim Grinning Ghosts” for The Haunted Mansion. A series of windows honors Walt’s nephew, Roy E. Disney for the contributions he made to Disney animation. The nautical theme is a nod to Roy’s passion for sailing.
Windows on Main Street
My next stop was the Sawyer Fence Painting Co., window, which offers a nod to Disney Legend Tom Nabbe, who was handpicked by Walt Disney to portray Tom Sawyer at Disneyland Park. Then it was on to the Mechanical Toys window, which honors individuals like Roger Broggie Jr., for their contribution to Audio-Animatronics design.
Windows on Main Street
Moving on, the Center Street Academy of Fine Art – Painting & Sculpture window is a reference to some of the theme parks’ most influential artists. Included here are nods to Blaine Gibson, whose animation and sculptures were the basis for many Audio-Animatronics; and Mary Blair, a color stylist/designer who worked on “it’s a small world” for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair; among others.
Windows on Main Street
Crossing to the other side of Main Street, U.S.A., I found the Iwerks-Iwerks Stereoscopic Cameras window, which honors one of Walt Disney’s first animators – Ub Iwerks. According to the book, Iwerks’ credits include animation on the company’s earliest shorts, Plane Crazy and Steamboat Willie.

Overall, this book provided a lot of fun and insight into some of the small details of this area of the park. In addition to Windows on Main Street, there are several other books available at the Walt Disney World Resort that even more behind-the-scenes details. Consider picking up some of the following on your next trip:

  • “Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best-Kept Secret” by Steven M. Barrett – This book gives clues as to where you can find Mickey silhouettes hidden within different attractions, resorts and more. He doesn’t give any secrets away, however, but gives step-by-step hints to where they can be found.
  • “Hidden Mickeys Go to Sea” by Steven M. Barrett – This book offers the same Hidden Mickey fun, but in a scavenger hunt version that offers clues to finding these tiny Mickey silhouettes aboard Disney Cruise Line ships, and on shore at Castaway Cay.
  • “Imagineering Field Guide to Magic Kingdom by the Imagineers” – penned by WDI offers insight into the behind the scenes inspiration and small details at each park at Walt Disney World. Similar field guides have been produced for Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Disneyland park.

Comments

  • That is so awesome! I love the windows. I have asked around and couldn’t find anyone who had info. When I visited Disneyland one of the Cast Members was able to get me a list with some info. I was told the WDW didn’t have a list or any info that I could get. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  • I have all the Imagineering Field Guides, the Studios one came last week. I have ordered them all from Amazon. I also have Mousejunkies and all Steve Barrett’s books. Look on Amazon and you will be surprised what you can find.

  • After reading all these posts, I am definately going to buy the Hidden Mickey’s Field Guide! Looks great!

  • Thank you Debbie and Marisa for your help and Kelsi I LOVED mousejunkies I read it like twice and used it to help plan my entire vacation!!

  • I’m always left in utter awe over the layers and layers of magic and detail that is contained in the world of Disney. I love this book and it really speaks to how attentive Walt Disney was in everything he did.

  • @ Shaunnon yes all of these books have been printed and are out the latest in the collection would be the Imagineering Field Guides Hollywood Studios which came out in July 2010 the other books have came out as early as 2005 hope that helps.

  • Yes I have picked this plus many to all of the other books mentioned and they are all very nice and are very well priced for what you get out of them.
    @ Crystal you should be able to purchase the “Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best-Kept Secret” by Steven M. Barrett at Walt Disney World on Main Street or even it Down Town Disney, Have Fun!

  • Regarding the Imagineering Field Guides… I bought the one for Magic Kingdom in Toontown in July but I could not find anywhere in WDW the ones for Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. In fact, I was told they had not been made yet. I tried everywhere I could think of… Downtown Disney, the bookstore in Hollywood Studios, Sid’s, Future World, even Guest Services… and came up empty. Have these books been printed yet and if so, how do I get them?

  • I agree with Stephen… Tokyo Disney Sea is so far one of the most amamzing Disney parks ever built. We don’t see much new or material in this blog about parks outside the US and that’s a pity because the parks at Paris and Tokyo are masterfully done, specially my most favourite Disney Park TDS!!

  • I know it’s not an official Walt Disney World Travel book, but I ADORE Mousejunkies. The author is hilarious and very relatable! He has nothing bad to say about the best palce EVAR!!!

  • Crystal, I ordered my copy from Amazon. You can probably find it at your local bookstore in the travel section. (Our trip is in 36 days!)

  • I was just at the parks last week and purchased my book there at the Magic Kingdom (at the shop as you unload from Splash Mountain). I’m sure all the parks must have the book and you could probably ask at one of the gift shops as you enter the park.

  • I would LOVE to know where you found the “Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best-Kept Secret” by Steven M. Barrett.

    Our trip is in less than 30days and I would just die if I could get a copy of that one to show friends and family at home.

  • There need to be more of those Imagineering Field Guides! I’d most like to see one for Tokyo DisneySea, but any of the other parks would be great too!

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