My Disney Theme Park Library

Disney theme park books


There are many Disney Parks books that focus on Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Walt Disney Imagineering. This post reviews some of the books in my Disney Parks library, and provides links for finding inexpensive copies of the books. Over the last 5 years, I’ve gradually accrued a substantial collection of Disney Parks books.

Currently, an Amazon search for “Disney books” yields 94,266 results. That’s a lot of books. My Disney library focuses on coffee table books with strong visual elements that were originally sold as souvenir books in the Disney Parks. There are tons of Disney biographies and other non-fiction titles, and although I have or have read a good number of these, I only touch upon some of what I consider to be the highlights here.

Many of these books are out-of-print, so they can only be purchased on the secondary market. Luckily, you can still find many of them on Amazon.com for prices ranging from $.01 to a few dollars (click each title for current prices on Amazon.com). A few are quite expensive, costing a few hundred dollars, but most can now be purchased much cheaper than they were when sold new at Walt Disney World or Disneyland.

A word of caution before we begin: although these books are individually cheap, the costs of collecting them is deceptively expensive, and these books can take up a lot of space. When I updated this post to add new books in December 2014, I decided to go back and approximate how much I had spent “for fun” and the number was a bit staggering. The good news is that the values on most of the rare titles have risen since I purchased them, so consider buying to be a “pragmatic investment” if you need to justify a purchase!

With that, let’s take a look at my Disney theme park library… (more…)

Baby Sinclair in the Osborne Lights at Disney World

No, that headline above isn’t desperate clickbait. Baby Sinclair of Dinosaurs fame made his debut in Walt Disney World’s Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights…a year ago. Since we only cover the hard-hitting news and have the utmost journalistic integrity here at Disney Tourist Blog, a team of drunken monkeys has been working for like 10 minutes on this post we’ve been carefully researching this critical development since Baby Sinclair first appeared in order to bring you our thorough analysis, and have finally completed this arduous task. We present the fruits of our labor in this brilliant essay about Baby Sinclair in the Osborne Lights.

At this point, some of you are probably muttering, “who is Baby Sinclair, and why should I care?” First, shame on you. Second, Baby Sinclair is the voice of a generation: my generation. Before we get to his significance in the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Walt Disney World, a bit of background is probably in order so you can understand just how important this is, and what it means for the future of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Dinosaurs is a sitcom that ran in the early 1990s from Jim Henson Productions–the first major project after the death of Jim Henson–that lasted only four seasons. It features a family of dinosaur Muppet-esque characters in an edgy family sitcom. For youngsters like me, the show was all about Baby Sinclair. In a retrospective on the show, Vulture described him succinctly as the “silly TV candy meant to lure younger viewers into what is otherwise a family sitcom with a sneakily serious agenda.”



Baby Sinclair was something special for my generation. A hero. Not the hero we deserved, but the hero we needed. Perhaps “hero” is the wrong word, but he was a dinosaur and he was awesome, so it seems about right. If anything, he seemed like the character Generation Me deserved: rude, narcissistic, and demanding that his parents cater to his every whim. These lovely attributes became hallmarks of my generation, and there’s a distinct possibility that Baby Sinclair was partially the catalyst.

There’s also a good chance that he was written to have dual meanings: one as the “candy” that would draw in younger viewers with his catchphrases and adorable obnoxiousness, the other as commentary on the same young viewers who loved him. After all, once you got past the mind-blowing awesomeness of the fact that you were watching the actual, recreated social dynamic of dinosaurs in their natural habitats as they actually lived millions of years ago (source: science), Dinosaurs was, at its core, social commentary. (more…)

The Disney Jumbo Turkey Leg Review

jumbo-turkey-leg-bokeh

I have a confession: until recently, I had never consumed a jumbo turkey leg at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or any other Disney park. Don’t get me wrong, I am an avid carnivore and a huge fan of eating large chunks of meat off the bone, but something about the turkey leg just looked…unappetizing. However, since I always want to do what the cool kids are doing, and since I wanted a somewhat fitting post for Thanksgiving, I decided to give one a try. This post covers my review of the ubiquitous Disney turkey jumbo leg, plus about 900 words of filler since the review itself only needs to be like 2 sentences.

First, let’s start with a bit of unnecessary background. According to a recent New York Times article, the turkey leg made its Walt Disney World debut in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom near the Big Al stand in the 1980s. As a Country Bear Jamboree fan, I could not be any prouder that the prolific history of this snack involves the Magic Kingdom’s most storied attraction. I’m also not surprised that Big Al is mentioned in the same sentence as the jumbo turkey legs. He seems like a jumbo turkey leg kind of bear. Since every red-blooded American enjoys a good piece of bone-in meat from time to time, the turkey legs were an immediate sensation, and eventually became somewhat of a culinary symbol of the Disney Parks, much like the churro.

As an “eating things that are awful for you” craze swept America in the 2000s, sales of the turkey leg exploded, with an estimated two million plus turkey legs sold per year in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. With this has come coverage in mainstream media, as well as controversy from animal welfare groups that have wondered just what kind of mutant turkey is producing legs that large. I remain fearful of the day one of these artificially bred turkeys is fed after midnight and transforms into something truly terrifying. (more…)

TCM to Sponsor Great Movie Ride: Why This Matters

Turner Classic Movies is entering into a sponsorship/strategic partnership with Disney, one that will include a sponsorship of the Great Movie Ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, as well Walt Disney Studios providing TCM with vintage movies and episodes of TV series like “Disneyland” and “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” for a periodic programming block on the channel called “Treasures From the Disney Vault.”

The first change under the sponsorship will debut in early 2015, with the films in the pre-show theater queue and finale of the Great Movie Ride receiving a refresh thanks to Turner Classic Movies. Additional changes have not yet been announced, beyond some new branding (see poster below) and TCM to “inject brand authority” into the attraction, whatever that means (also see below). TCM will also attempt to encouraging guests to explore the world of classic film once they leave Walt Disney World.

There are a ton more details about the partnership in this New York Times article, but since I don’t see value in regurgitating info press release style here, I’ve covered only the salient details above. You can read that article for more specifics. Instead, I want to offer commentary focusing on why I think this is a big deal.

Actually, at first blush, it may not seem important at all. Perhaps even bad, if you love the pre-show film and its infinite quotability, as I do. No changes to the substance of the attraction have been announced, so this really might end up being a non-story.

I think that’s a fairly cynical view, although I can understand why Disney fans might be cynical about anything good happening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I am not quite this cynical… (more…)

Top 10 Disney Theme Parks

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Disney has 11 worldwide theme parks at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Hong Kong Disneyland. While each of these 5 resorts has a Disneyland/Magic Kingdom style park, not all of these parks are of the same quality, and their second gates and beyond are all fairly different. Some of you have been asking me to rank all of the Disney Parks for a while, and while this technically won’t do that since it’s leaving one off to fit within the “Top 10″ format, it really will since it’s only leaving one off.

Think of this list as like my ‘power rankings’ for the Disney Parks. It’s my attempt at objectivity in ranking the parks, but my personal biases and most recent impressions undoubtedly will creep in a little. Like power rankings, my actual rankings could vary month to month or even week to week depending upon maintenance, new attraction announcements, seasonal improvements, and a litany of other variables. It’s all very scientific. ;)

Keep in mind that this list is all in good fun. Like sports fans, most Disney fans have strong allegiances towards their home park and take offense when they feel it’s slighted. Although I view the parks of Walt Disney World as my “home” parks, I don’t really think I have allegiance to these parks that prevents me from seeing their faults (although I do have admittedly strong nostalgia for 3 of the 4 parks). In any case, remember that this is one random dude’s opinion on the internet. At the end of the day, it doesn’t impact your enjoyment of your “favorite” park if I rank it at number 8, nor does my opinion matter (at all) in the grand scheme of things.

With that said, here are my rankings of every Disney Park, minus the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris… (more…)