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Reading a Good Book from Disney Parks

Steven Miller

by , Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Walt Disney World Resort

Reading a Good Book from Disney Parks

You may recall a few weeks ago that I shared how much I enjoy reading books to my son at bedtime. I have quite a collection of Disney books that I’ve acquired over the years. I recently spoke with Betsy Singer, product developer for media, about some of the books we have at Disney Parks.

“In my role as product developer for media, I work with the Disney Publishing group and other select licensees to introduce books at merchandise locations in Disney Parks,” explained Betsy. “While some of the books can be found outside of Disney Parks, there are several books that were developed especially for us.”

Betsy has been the media developer since 2001 and she recently celebrated her 25th anniversary with the company. She has a closet filled with books to which I recently raided to find a few examples of my favorites.

Reading a Good Book from Disney Parks

Bruce Gordon and David Mumford’s “Disneyland – The Nickel Tour” is high on my list as I enjoy collecting Disney postcards. The book contains one of the most complete collections of Disneyland Resort postcards I’ve ever seen.

Being a photographer by hobby, I enjoy “Walt Disney – His Life in Pictures” by Russell Schroeder whom I first met at the 2002 Disneyana Convention. Russell found a variety of wonderful and candid photos of Walt for this book.

Another favorite is “The Art of Walt Disney World” Jeff Kurtti and Bruce Gordon. This oversized book contains incredible Walt Disney Imagineering concept images of resorts, attractions and more of the Florida destination. The book reminds me of visiting Town Square Exposition Hall at Magic Kingdom Park as a guest in the late 1980s and seeing many concept photos of coming attractions. I could spend hours looking at this book.

My last choice is “The Art of Tron Legacy.” If you have followed my articles on the Disney Parks Blog you will know of my obsessive enthusiasm for Tron (I even dressed up like Sam Flynn for Halloween this year). This book is visually beautiful and contains concept images that seem to leap from the page.

Walt Disney World Resort's 'Disney in Details' Book

Betsy also shared a quick glimpse at a new softcover book coming to Disney Parks in a few weeks. The book is titled “Disney in Details” and was written by Jen Darcy and Jennifer Eastwood. The book reminds me of “Where at Disney Parks Can You Find…” posts shared by fellow Disney Parks Blog author Tom Smith.

Speaking of blog authors, Betsy also shared that Pam Brandon and her are working on a new holiday cookbook that encompasses all holidays. That book is scheduled to debut in Summer 2012.

Disney Parks Blog Author Steven Miller Reads a Book from the 'Kingdom Keepers' Series

Lastly, acclaimed authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have a new book titled “The Bridge to Never Land.” I enjoyed reading Ridley’s “Kingdom Keepers” books, so I’m curious to read this one.

Now that you know a few of my favorite books, I would love to hear what Disney books you enjoy reading.


  • I love how many books you have and all the great eye candy. I remember as a kid being glued to my parents Disneyland books. Thanks for the book list. Have to check some of these out.

  • I want to brush up on all things Disney (books, movies, etc.) because I’m heading down to Florida next January for the College Program! I posted earlier this summer with hopes of interning as a marketing student, and I made it! I’m so excited and kind of scared, but I can’t wait!

    • @Christine – I-O!

      @Melissa – Congratulations! That is wonderful news. I worked Summer 1997 on the Walt Disney World College Program (and later a professional internship). It was a great experience! Please look me up when you get to Florida!

  • Thank you everyone for listing all their favs – several I had not heard of and now will have to go on my Wish List !
    O * H!

  • In addition to reading anything about Disney, things like ‘The Imagineering Field Guides…’, ‘The Archive Series from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ as well as books by and about the Imagineers and books by Dave Smith, Jeff Kurtii, and Jason Surrell, I also like the Disney-inspired fiction such as ‘The Kingdom Keepers’ and ‘Peter and The Starcathers’.
    Also I enjoy reading many of the original stories that were the inspiration for the feature films. ‘Winnie the Pooh’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, and ‘Peter Pan’ are easy to find, but I’ve also read the originals of ‘Johnny Tremaine’, ‘Old Yeller’ and ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’!

  • One of my favorites is A Day at Disney, a book of photos taken within a 24 hour period at what was then just DL, WDW, Paris and Tokyo. I also love the Art of Disneyland and the Art of Disney World. I also love those that focus on the concept art. The Imagineers are such incredible artists that often get overlooked.

  • Will the Disney In Detail book be available in stores? My daughter is going to Disneyland in April for her choir group, so if not, I’ll have her pick it up there.

    P.S.- I love reading yours and Jennifer’s posts. My daughter plans on being apart of the Disney family one day- she’s an avid reader! Thank you!

  • I also love the Kingdom Keepers Series! I have The Diseny Mountains: Imagineering at Its Peak, which is pictured in the first picture, which is also one that I love.

  • I LOVE the Kingdom Keepers Series!!!!! Best books ever, I highly recommend them to all ages.

    The new Bridge to Neverland book is pretty good, but written for a younger audience than both Kingdom Keepers and Peter and the Starcatchers.

    GO KK!!!!

  • One of my favorite books is “The Making of Disney’s Animal Kingdom” by Melody Malmberg. I think every Disney park should have a “making-of” book as good as that one. I also really enjoy the Imagineering Field Guides (I’m hoping for a California Adventure one soon), “Building the Dream” by Beth Dunlop, and Jason Surrell’s books. I really, really enjoyed Jason’s “Disney in Detail” presentation during the D23 weekend at Walt Disney World in May, so that new book sounds really good! Another favorite is “Disneyland – The Nickel Tour”. It’s so well-written, and it’s really sad that neither of its authors are still with us.

  • Ok…I forgot that you would chop out the URL from my post. 😉

    Right now, I am reading Walt Disney’s EPCOT Center by Richard Beard and Vinyl Leaves by Stephen Fjellman.

    I love Since the World Began, Walt Disney Imagineering, Walt Disney World: The First Decade, Designing Disney, The Gardens of Walt Disney World Resort and the Imagineering Field Guides by Alex Wright. Of course, who could forget the books by Jason Surrell: the Disney Mountains; the Haunted Mansion; and the Pirates of the Caribbean.

    • @George – That’s the book!! The “EPCOT Center” book is one of my all time favorites. I had that book in the original draft of this article but didn’t have my copy at the office. The concept photos and model images are amazing. I have both the thick version and the thin versions. I also remember reading “Vinyl Leaves” while in high school. Of course, one can not forget Jason Surrell – look carefully at the top image. 🙂

  • Disney books are my specialty!

    I compiled a list of Walt Disney World-related titles at my website

  • My all time favorite is the Art of Walt Disney. I’ve read it cover to cover since I was a kid. Once I regularly started visiting the parks, I started buying other faves like the Walt Disney Imagineering series, Windows on Main Street, Designing Disney, Vault of Walt, Walts People series, Spinning Disney, Since the World Began, the Unofficial Guide series, and many others. I hear that Art of Walt Disney is putting out a new revision this year! I’ll be sure to pick up a copy Disney in Details too!

    One of my fave things to do each Disney parks trip is to check out the latest Disney books, such as at the book store in Disney Hollywood Studios.

    • @Mark – Thanks for the comment. Just a sign replica? I would gladly take the entire Enchanted Tiki Room (complete with Tiki Garden and Dole Whip stand)! 🙂

      @Bozena – I love that book! I remember reading it too as a child. You are correct – an updated “Art of Walt Disney” book is arriving at Disney Parks in a few weeks. I can’t wait to see it!

  • I love the Disney In Details book, it would be neat to have some Big Fig pieces that represent Park Details, such as Merlin’s Sword by the Castle,a gargoyle and urn from the Haunted mansion, or a decorative crate and sign from Big Thunder, Toad in his motorcar, or brer Rabbit in his pose from the splash mountain sign, themepark themed Big Figs.
    Or possible ride sign replicas like the wooden Tiki Room Sign, or a smaller Splash Mountain sign done resin. These and the books you mentioned would be great Holiday Presents.

  • Nickel Tour tops my list. I also like both Art of Disney books (World and Land). Since the World Began and Disneyland Inside Story round out my list of best titles. I’d love to pick up Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality and Tokyo DisneySea at some point, too!

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