Book Review: The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World

The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney WorldLive Intentionally is all about inspiring each of us to make the most of every situation, which includes a trip to Disney World. That’s my best attempt to make this book review sound relevant to this blog.

The truth is, I had the opportunity to get a free copy of The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World by Susan Veness from Thomas Nelson’s in exchange for a review, and since I only live 90 miles from Disney, I jumped on it. Since this is not really on topic for Live Intentionally, I’ll keep it short.

The book has the sub-title, “Over 600 secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.” I expected those “secrets” to include way to save time or experience special opportunities the average Disney visitor isn’t aware of. A handful of the secrets are along those lines. But the majority of the “secrets” are how many of the names and numbers on various attractions are tributes to the imagineers who created them.

For example, on Splash Mountain, just as you begin the final climb before the big drop at the end, there’s a gopher who pops his head out and yells “F S U!” the alma mater of one of the imagineers who worked on the ride.

So, I was a little disappointed with the book, but if you’re going to drop $100 for a day at one of the Disney parks or $1600 for a family of 4 to visit all for Orlando area parks, the enjoyment you’ll get out of seeing all the little “secrets” the author points out is probably worth the $10 you spend on this book.

As long as we’re talking about Disney… are you a Disney fan? Got any secrets to getting the most out of the theme parks?

7 Responses to “Book Review: The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World”

  1. Awesome! Thanks for the quick review… I look forward to reading this.

  2. I have read that book about 4 times now and I probably own several dozen other book regarding Disney World. I believe that visiting Disney becomes more fun when the rides and attractions are out of the way and one truly understands the deep meaning and symbolism in what Walt Disney has created. This book only touches on a small portion of the thousands of things people “miss” because they take their kids to ride the rides and they are blind to the awesome details.

    I’m sure there’s even a spiritual application in there somewhere as well. 🙂

  3. Wow – don’t get me started! I am obsessed with this stuff.(Even my picture is of me sitting on a monorail.)

    I especially liked the section near the front of the book that describes the windows on Main Street. It is fascinating to know about the biographies and characteristics of the names of the legends honored by these windows. Of course, the windows are just made up to look like old-fashioned store fronts, but there is a tremendous amount of history behind each window. (On a side note: I would highly recommend the book “Windows on Main Street” by Chuck Snyder, for a full explanation of each window.)

    Bottom line? Not a single detail is missed by Disney Imagineers. Even the Morse code being tapped in Spaceship Earth is the actual message announcing the Golden Spike for the first transcontinental railway had been driven in!

    • I agree… you are obsessed with this stuff. 😉 Seriously, though, there are so many layers to the Disney onion. Always something new to learn or discover no matter how many times you go.

  4. Paul thanks for the review. I don’t know if I have read this specific one, but I love picking up a book like this from the library before a trip to WDW. I am actually going to have to agree with Karl. The information about all the mainstreet windows really blew me away the first time I read it.

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