Book Review: Disneyland from Windows to Happily Ever After

Author: Jeff Kurtti
Binding: Hard Cover (w/jacket)
Publisher: Disney Editions
ISBN: 978-1-4231-2905-9
Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 10.5 x 1 inches
Price: $24.95 US
Synopsis: A coffee-table book of evocative photography that gives a nice overview of the history of Disneyland. Disney Editions approached Jeff Kurtti about putting together a new hardcover that could be used to commemorate the Park’s 55th anniversary and that would be a book for the next generation of Disneyland fan.
  Circa 1957
Before and after
Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is what it portends to be: an editorial and pictorial summary of Disneyland park from the beginning to the present. And by the present I mean just before the opening of Cars Land in Disney California Adventure. We only get concept artwork for that attraction, which isn’t a bad thing!
The book is divided into 7 main sections covering from 1952 to the present, with each section covering about a decade.
We are treated to images of old rides, concept art, construction photos, and parades and events of past and present. A nice all round look into the history of The Happiest Place on Earth.
Conclusion: I would give this book 4.5 stars out of 5 and note that this would be the ultimate keepsake for anyone who is visiting Disneyland for the first time, like my wife and I were just this past January. But even old time Guests will get a nostalgic kick out this book.
The only downside I could mention is that the writing gets a bit formulaic at times and comes off as a bit of an advertisement from the Disney corporation. But that’s probably just a bit jaded coming from someone who has read an incredible number of these types of publications.
And speaking of negativity, on to our next review:
 Author: Chuck Snyder
Binding: Soft Cover
Publisher: Disney Editions
Price: $6.95 US
Review: This caught my eye immediately and I bought it without even opening it. That was a mistake. Definitely a good idea for a book, but very poorly executed!
Each of the windows featured in the book has a brief blurb about the recipient and an accompanying photograph. Unfortunately, the text is basic (which in fairness, that’s all such a small book has room for) and the photography is beyond amateurish. I’m sorry, but there’s no other way to say it.
Conclusion: I’d give this book 2 out of 5 stars because it only whets the appetite and leaves you feeling cheated. This is a case where ‘go big or go home’ applies.
One last review to end this post on a more positive note:
Author: Jeff Kurtti
Binding: Soft Cover
Publisher: Disney Editions
ISBN: 978-142312906-6
Price: $7.95 US

Review: This is a much better effort. It closely resembles the souvenir guides that have been a staple at Disney theme parks since the beginning. It’s primarily a pictorial effort which is fine by me! I would also say that it would be a good second choice if the same author’s book Disneyland Through the Decades (reviewed above) is too big or expensive for you. There is some duplication of images between the two books.

Conclusion: I would give this a 5 out of 5 simply because it does exactly what it is supposed to do. It gives a nice overview of Disneyland, in pictures, that a Guest can take home to remember the highlights of his visit.

93 Days til Disneyland – Pirates of the Caribbean!

Image taken at Walt Disney World

Image taken at Walt Disney World

Today, my friends, is Day 93 in our countdown til Disneyland!  While I didn’t know this until yesterday, I still find it ironic that yesterday was the 46th anniversary of Pirates of the Caribbean opening at Disneyland!  I had done this countdown list over two weeks ago (the order, not all the posts, mind you) so it is entirely coincidental that my pick for today is Pirates, the day after it’s anniversary (as I illustrated in my Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia post last night).

As I’ve said many times, Pirates of the Caribbean is one of my favorite attractions at Walt Disney World, so it stands to reason that I’m going to like the Disneyland version just as much, if not more, then the Disney World version.  I can tell you right now that one thing I am definitely doing is experiencing lunch or dinner at the Blue Bayou, that restaurant in New Orleans Square that has seating overlooking part of the ride.  I can’t wait!

So, for those of you that have been to both parks, and ridden Pirates at both parks, which one do you like better?  Why not tell me in the comments, please?  Thanks!