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Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making More Magic Real

General Information:

Media Type: Book
Type: Parks - Picture
Release Date: 2010-05-18

Geek's Thoughts: I think most of us Disneygeeks probably have the original Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind-the-Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real hard cover book from 1995 or the paperback version that was released a few years later, if you do not how come? This new book Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making More Magic Real is a continuation of the story. It picks up where the last book left off and takes us on a further journey into Walt Disney Imagineering with a heavy focus on the parks, attractions, and other experiences that have come into existence since the first book highlights some of the up coming changes, such as the expansion of Disney's California Adventure, WDW Fantasyland, and Hong Kong Disneyland.

Just like the original release this is a large format (13.2 x 10.3 x 1.1 inches) hard cover release that is loaded with stunning artwork, photos, and plans. It includes pictures from WDI play testing, proof of concepts and more. There are quite a few full page and two page spread photos/art pieces as well as some four page fold out pages that are incredible!


Here is a sample spread from the book featuring some great artwork and pictures.
Image courtesy of Disney Editions (Click image to enlarge)

I really enjoyed reading through the book and as soon as I finished I went through a second time just looking at the images. I am always drawn toward looking at the concept art and models and this book does not disappoint on that front.

I found the section on the Research and Development as well as some of the visualization that they do to be among my favorites, being a computer geek also. One section that stands out thinking back to the book is the Mock-ups and Playtests one. In here they discussed how Imagineers would test out an experiences. Whether is converting an the original simulator cabin for Star Tours into a platform to see how Soarin Over California could work to dragging a cart behind a regular tractor to see if Mater's Junkyard Jamboree would be fun.

As with all Disney books.. I was left wanting more, go figure. I would have really liked to have seen the section that talked about Re-Imagineering Around the World expanded to highlights more examples of how attractions were modified for various parks. They do have one great example looking at how the storyline and facade for the Tokyo Tower of Terror was changed to work in DisneySea park and with the culture vs the California Adventure version (there is also an interesting side by side photo of the two buildings).

One more quick example, in the Imagineering for New Expectations section the history of the living characters initiative is traced starting with Mickey's Toon Elevator and going through Crush, Lucky, Muppet Mobile Labs, Wall-E, and finally Remy.

I was also a bit surprised at how straight forward the book was on the Guest Feedback portion and how they reacted. Two examples that stick in my mind are the Journey Into Imagination changes as well as the California Adventure expansion recognition.
The book is organized in a straight forward manner.

  • Forewords (Bob Iger, Jay Rasulo)
  • Introduction
  • Theory
  • Tools
  • Portfolio
  • Afterword (John Lasseter)

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