/ Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

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My love of Walt Disney World began in November of 1971 and grew with each new trip and adventure I experienced with my parents and brother. But my interest and fascination grew in large part to what I experienced not while in the parks, but in the car or at home, as I loved reading, collecting and learning everything I could about what made this place special. And getting to peek at photos from construction to behind the scenes or even of my favorite attractions fed my love of Walt Disney World even more. And over time, my interest, and book collection has grown, so this week, we’re going to share our 10 Walt Disney World Books That Need to be in Every Fan’s Library. Whether you are starting your collection or looking to expand, there’s definitely a book (or 10) in this list for you.

Watch and chat during our LIVE WDW NewsCast Wednesdays at 7:30pm ET at WDWRadioLIVE.com. Upcoming My SnippetsWDW Radio Disney meets, On the Road events and more! Get dates and locations on our Events page WDWRadio.com/Events

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Sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s episode of the WDW Radio show. Thanks for listening! Be sure to tune in next week!

– Lou Mongello

QUESTION for YOU from this week’s show: What is YOUR Walt Disney World book or “Holy Grail” of books? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Tomorrowland Audio Tour Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World Lou Mongello




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Expand Your Disney Library with Books Mentioned on This Week’s Show

Click the link to see the book on Amazon.com

Disney Books

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46 thoughts on “WDW Radio Show #407 – 10 Books That Need to be in Every Walt Disney World Fan’s Library”

  1. Johnny says:

    Excellent show!

  2. Martin O'Connor says:

    Fantastic episode! Please do a follow-up episode with more books. I’m very curious to learn more about that cast-member only book that you mentioned.

    Thanks for all the great work you do, Lou!

  3. Chris M. says:

    Hey Lou! I loved this episode of the podcast but I had one question; could you list all the books that you mentioned so I can easily find them please? I listen to your show in the car and am not able to write down or search while listening since I’m driving. Thanks!

  4. Sherry says:

    Enjoyed this and please do a Part II.

  5. Donna says:

    Loved the podcast ! My 17 year old son is a nut for anything Disney World so it gave me a chance to make a list of a few books to pick up for Christmas !!!

  6. Johnny Bean says:

    Love your book shows !

    Sounds like you cut the discussion short due to time constraints. Were those your own constraints, or some limitation on podcast length?

    Why not talk as long as you have something interesting to talk about and break into separate episodes if necessary …..

    I for one could listen to that continue for hours.

  7. Marcus P says:

    First time listener here, and I have to say I am hooked!! This Podcast was GREAT! You have me wanting more for sure. Please have more episodes discussing Disney books!

  8. Rebekah W. says:

    I loved this episode. I wrote down as many of the books that I could and checked to see if my local library had them. They had a handful of them; I can’t wait to check them out! Could you do a Part 2 of this podcast? Seriously loved it. Also, could you post a list of the books you mentioned. Thank you! (:

  9. Nikki M says:

    Loved the show! Please do more episodes featuring Disney Books. Like Chris M, I listened to this podcast in my car. Please could we have a list of the books mentioned?

  10. Chris Edinger says:

    Great start for a great topic. Holy Grail? There’s only one. A very rare book and the best publishing story of Disney books that I know: Disneyland The Nickel Tour. Every post card is a memory for me, every story is a treasure. I’ll never stop kicking myself because I saw this one sitting in the writer’s stop 10 years ago and didn’t snap it up. I think they were selling it for $125. I don’t want to think how much my copy cost…

  11. JC says:

    Lou (or anything else),

    Could we get a written/typed list of the books? I was driving and couldn’t write down the list.


  12. Kevin Tully says:

    A list of all the books you two mentioned would be awesome!

    I loved this episode, by the way. Definitely looking forward to a follow-up with all the ‘honorable mentions’ 😀

  13. jill Long says:

    LOVED this show….I too would love a list of the books..I got a few written down and ordered…! This is going to cost me lol

  14. Kendall Foreman says:

    I have two that I would add to the list.
    – For anyone who has walked through the Train Station tunnels and enjoyed the attraction posters, “The Poster Art of the Disney Parks” is a must read. It is a very large coffee table-style book with beautiful copies of attraction posters, and it covers the process of design and production of these iconic pieces of work.
    – For the kid-at-heart, you have to read “The Story of the Disney Bear – A Day at the Magic Kingdom”. It tells the story of Mickey and the Disney Bear visiting Magic Kingdom for the day. Shortly after its publication, the Disney Bear was given a name, Duffy.

  15. I am in love with this post! You’ve filled my Christmas list for the next few years! I also vote for a part 2 and a list!!! Doesn’t have to be a linked list but it’d make it much easier. (Please tweet out if you update this post with a list!)

  16. Edward Meehan says:

    Loved the show! Please have a follow-up program. You have so much to cover on “cover to cover”!!!

  17. John says:

    Not since the Smells episode have I seen such a great response!

    Lou, I think you have a winning topic here. I also want the list of books you discussed and want more information about other books.

    In fact, a natural extension of this would be to have a “Book of the Month” segment and showcase a new or even out of print book each month. There’s no way you could ever run out of new items for this segment either.

    Keep it up!

  18. Steve says:

    I bought a few used books as a result of this episode. I’d love to hear a Disneyland equivalent.

  19. Jeanie says:

    More please!!!! Listening while filling up my Amazon cart! Happy that I have several on the list and looking forward to more being delivered to my door! One of my new favorite episodes! Thank you both, hoping for another installment (or ten…. Which means more than 10 of course!)

  20. David says:

    Please, please, please give us a part 2

  21. jill Long says:

    Thanks for the list Lou, I have ordered a few already!!!

  22. Megan says:

    Love this episode! Thank you for sharing years of knowledge and collecting with us! Can’t wait to start my own book collection! Please do a follow-up!!

  23. Charles Wood says:


    You really need our confirmation that we love this topic? Please do more of this type of podcast. For people like me who live on the west coast and only go once every 5-6 years I am very interested in reading any book possible.

    My go to book prior to any Disney trip is “Walt Disney, the man the myth” I love that book and have read it easily 15 times. Keep up the great work!

  24. Matt says:

    Excellent show!!!! Please do another show like this!! Great way to learn about which books to get for facts about Disney world and the Disney company!!

  25. Brian says:

    Can’t recommend The Haunted Mansion: From Magic Kingdom to the Movies enough. Glad to see it on the list.

  26. Chris W says:

    Personally, I have always been interested in books related to the academic study of Disney far more than what Disney actually publishes or authorizes. One can be critical and appreciative at the same time. I whole-heartedly agree that “Designing Disney’s Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance” is a great book. I would add the following three, they explore different and very interesting aspects of Disney as an idiom, as an entity, and as an object:

    “Vinyl Leaves: Walt Disney World and America (Institutional Structures of Feeling)” by Stephen Fjellman
    “Babes in Tomorrowland: Walt Disney and the Making of the American Child, 1930-1960” by Nicholas Sammond
    “Dazzled by Disney? The Global Disney Audiences Project” an edited volume by Janet Wasko, Mark Phillips, and Eileen Meehan

  27. Nick says:

    Absolutely LOVED the show. I am relatively new to the Disney/WDW scene and after our first family trip I fell in Love with WDW. Every time the family and I go down I am completely in “awe” in not only how the park was made, but the process things went through to get there and also how much growth and development has taken place to the #1 vacation destination in the world. I am so glad I am not the only one and REALLY enjoyed the podcast. I would love to hear more about other books so I can build my Disney library and learn a whole lot more!

  28. DisDoug says:

    I think I got them all…

    – The Story of Walt Disney World: 1971 Commemorative Edition ~ A behind the scenes visit to the Vacation Kingdom (Walt Disney World)
    – Walt Disney’s Epcot Center: Creating the New World of Tomorrow (Richard R. Beard)
    – Since the world began : Walt Disney World, the first 25 years (Jeff Kurtti)
    – Walt Disney’s Imagineering Legends and the Genesis of the Disney Theme Park (Jeff Kurtti)
    – The Imagineering Field Guide to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World
    – The Imagineering Field Guide to Epcot at Walt Disney World
    – The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
    – The Imagineering Field Guide to Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World
    – Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look At Making the Magic Real
    – Walt Disney Imagineering; A Behind the Dreams Look at Making More Magic Real
    – The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies (Jason Surrell)
    – Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies (Jason Surrell)
    – The Disney Mountains: Imagineering At Its Peak (Jason Surrell)
    – Florida’s Disney World : promises and problems (Leonard E. Zehnder)
    – Designing Disney’s Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance (Karl Ann Marling)

  29. Robert says:

    I really liked this episode. Please do a follow up show. One idea is to list all of the honorable mentions in the show notes.

  30. Jill says:

    Hi Lou. I loved this show. I hope you do more shows like this.

  31. Shannon says:

    As a Disney fan who also loves to read this was an extra awesome podcast! I’d like to add in my vote for another podcast (or two or three)continuing the subject!

    The series I’ve been enjoying lately is the “Walt Disney Animation Studios Archive Series”. I received the “Design” volume as a gift and I currently see the whole series available in the Disneyland Parks. I love the illustrations!

    My dad is an historian and for Father’s day I picked up a copy of
    “Disney During World War II: How the Walt Disney Studio Contributed to Victory in the War” by John Baxter for him at the American Experience pavillion in Epcot last February. Just browsing through the book has been so interesting. I had no idea how much of a positive and informative presence the Disney company had during WWII in support of the Allied Forces. Highly recommended.

  32. Ana Kurland says:

    As a librarian, I’m always interested in books. I’ve been working on a Disney bibliography (now up to 6500 titles). I didn’t have some of the ones you mentioned, but they are added now.

    MomtoMandJ in the box

  33. Pat says:

    Great, Great show!!! Would love another installment

  34. Andy says:

    Excellent podcast! More Disney books please!!!!!!

  35. Ron says:

    Encore, encore! We want more!

    Great show guys, would love to hear a part 2!

  36. Ron says:

    Forgot to mention two of my favorite books.
    1) John Hench Designing Disney
    2) The Imagineering Way by the Imagineers
    Both are excellent books on the mindset of imagineers.

  37. Laurel (Momtink3) says:

    I’m a book but and amazingly enough I don’t own any Disney books, but have read all that I can get my hands in through the local library. Which, sad to say, is not much. Lou, I need to hear MORE! Please!!!! I didn’t realize that there were so many books out there. Please share more books with us!!!

  38. Brennan says:

    Great show, as always. I would second the motion that “Vinyl Leaves” is a great semi-academic analysis of the Magic Kingdom, and I couldn’t put it down.

  39. Mike J says:

    Great show. I also love the idea of a follow up show or a book of the month segment.

  40. David W says:

    Please do a follow up show!!

  41. Karen E says:

    Great show, would love to hear a follow up show or a book of the month type segment! I ordered a few the books discussed, so much fun to review them. Thank you!

  42. Steve Chen says:

    Just listened to this podcast last night. I was quite skeptical of the topic at first but I did a “go with me” and stuck with it. It was an awesome show. The only downside is I’ve been trolling ebay and half.com looking for books all day!

  43. Mark says:

    Please do a part II. Very much enjoyed this episode. As you were talking, I suddenly remembered back to somewhere around 10-15 years old (I’m 41 now). I can’t remember the name of the book, but I remember it was a Disney book with lots of pictures and behind-the-scenes, stuff I just can’t get enough of. Like you, I bring back every soap, coaster, pen and notepad from every trip.

  44. Ray Keating says:

    Do another book show. Well done!

  45. Becky says:

    OK, so I’m late to the party, but only listened to this last night! (playing catch up), I had a pen and paper and was making notes!

    Anyway I loved the show, and had a few of the books mentioned.

    I’m now scouring ebay and amazon for some – bit harder to find and more expensive from the UK! But have just purchased the ‘Walt Disney’s Epcot Center’

  46. Chuck Zitta says:

    I am on the other end of the memory you first mention in this episode, as far as a son being on his father’s shoulders. I have wonderful memories of the first time we ever took our boys to WDW back in 2002 and having the greatest time carrying my 5 year old son (wearing his Tigger visor upside down) on my shoulders through the parks, the whole week. It was the easiest way to wait in line IMO. And a great way to get exercise as well! Love that memory.

    Currently, I think I have 3 or 4 of the books on today’s list, and have some of the others tabbed in my web browser. Love books! So yes, another episode on books would be awesome! Can never have enough.

    Thanks again for another fantastic episode, Lou and Scott!!!

    How about we celebrate with a little cheese? LOL!