/ Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

My dream job is to be an Imagineer one day and because of this desire, I will read almost anything written by or about Imagineers or anything behind the scenes of Disney Parks.

As large as my book collection is, there are still quite a few on my Christmas Wish List this year.


1.) The number one book on my list is Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making More Magic Real. This is a giant, coffee table sized was written by the Imagineers themselves and is full of stories about who they are, what they do and even some of the tools they use to create magic. The book is also full of beautiful pictures and concept art.



2) The Imagineers Field Guides are next on my list. Essentially, they are like  smaller versions of the coffee table book. Each one covers one park with more stories and art. So far, they have field guides for all six of the parks in the United States and they update them every few years. The great thing about these books is that they are small enough to take with you into the parks…into the field as it were.



3) Next on my list is another group of books, but they are not part of a series like the Field Guides. The past few years have given us a plethora of books written by and about Imagineering legends like Marc Davis and Marty Sklar. Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man tells Davis’ story from animation to Imagineering. Marty Sklar has written two books, one is autobiography called Dream It! Do It! My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdom. The other is called One Little Spark: Mickey’s Ten Commandments And The Road To Imagineering.



4) Jim Korkis releases so many books that it’s hard to keep up. A couple that I haven’t been able to get my hands on yet are Secret Stories of Walt Disney World: Things You Never Knew You Never Knew and More Secret Stories of Walt Disney World: More Things You Never Knew You Never Knew. These are not so much about Imagineering as they are about giving us a behind the scenes look at Walt Disney World.



5) The last books on my list are The Imagineering Way and The Imagineering Workout both by “The Imagineers” like the Field Guides and the coffee table book. These books, however, are not about the history of the parks and attactions but about how we, practically, can begin thinking and acting like Imagineers.


These are the books on my Christmas list. What’s on yours?      


(Photos from WDW Radio writers Kendall Foreman and Erin Stough.)


chris-head-shotChris grew up during the Disney renaissance of animation and took his first trip to Disney World when he was ten. Even though he has loved Disney his whole life, his obsession didn’t start until he began planning a trip for his honeymoon. Right now, his primary job (at least the one that doesn’t pay the bills) is to indoctrinate his daughter with his love of Disney while at the same time convincing his wife to move to Orlando so he can become a tour guide in the parks.



3 thoughts on “5(ish) Books On The Future Imagineer’s Christmas List”

  1. Thanks for sharing your list Chris. I am currently reading Dream it Do it. It is a fascinating read since Sklar worked for Disney for over 50 years. About a year ago I read his One little Spark – This is one of my favorite books. It would be great for any leader even if they were not a Disney fan.

    Good luck on your road to Imagineering. Perhaps when you get there, you can get me a job with the Disney Institute. 🙂

  2. Cynthia Jones says:

    I have everything on your list except Dream It, Do It and that is coming soon from a re-seller. The other books are excellent!

    Others you might consider are the Disney Architecture book, Designing Disney’s Theme Parks…The Architecture of Reassurance (finally got a copy this year!) and Walt Disney’s EPCOT Center. These rounded out my collection, along with Since The World Began and Disneyland: Inside Story.

  3. vanessa prince says:

    Chris – loved your article. I found our 2005 “Imagineers Field Guides” after reading this and started reading them again. It’s fun to see what is still in the Parks and what has changed in 11 years. I also read “Dream It! Do It!”. We met Marty Sklar at D23 Expo 2013 – he was very nice and his talk was also very informative.