Author: Leslie Iwerks
Publisher: Disney Editions
Release Date: November 8, 2022
If you have ever wondered how they do the magic at the Disney theme parks, this book is for you!
Imagineering is a common term heard around the Disney Parks, but most people really don’t know that all goes into making the parks so magical. Originally established as WED Enterprises by Walt Disney himself, Imagineers are a group of creative geniuses that have learned how to blend storytelling, theming, and engineering to give theme park guests experiences that they will never forget. Leslie Iwerks’ father and grandfather were both Imagineers, so it is no surprise the stories that she has experienced firsthand that made her the perfect author to compile this book.
This book is about half history of the parks, rides, and attractions and the other half is the engineering behind it all. I’m not sure which part of the book that I enjoyed more. When I first picked it up, it looked daunting at over 700 pages, but once I was immersed within the content, I couldn’t read it fast enough. I love history and having experienced multiple Disney rides, I couldn’t wait to learn the story and engineering behind my favorites. This book has it all. And it’s not just about the rides either, it’s about Imagineering involvement in the Winter Olympics, 1964 World’s Fair, cruise lines, and starting up new theme parks in Europe and Asia. But if it is the rides your after, you get the real story behind some of the classics including Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Small World, and Tower of Terror, as well as some of the newest hit rides including Rise of the Resistance, Tron, and the Radiator Springs Raceway. Iwerks does a great job of telling both why and how the rides were designed.
It’s also interesting that some of the failures were documented. I had no idea of some of the attractions that were scraped or abandoned. And then how they were able to transform that failure into something loved far and wide is just astonishing. If you love to learn the history and inner workings behind some of your favorite theme parks, you need to get this book. Great Christmas gift idea too!
I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.