This September, my sister and I flew out to California to spend time with a dear family friend and the three of us (in our 30s and 40s) went to a magical place: Disneyland. Without kids. We were officially Disney Adults.
I have to admit - it was a lot of fun! All of the Halloween decorations were up so that added a level of excitement, plus I had so many questions about how it all worked. Mainly, what's their storage situation look like and how do they transform it from regular Disneyland to Halloween Disneyland all in one night?
After I got home, I researched behind-the-scenes information about Disneyland and found it pretty fascinating. Plus, this year marks The Walt Disney Company's 100th anniversary, so it's a special year for them. If you too would like to learn more about what goes into 100 years of magic, here are some books I recommend.
The Story of Disney: 100 Years of Wonder is a gorgeous coffee table book that contains drawings and art used for the making of various Disney movies plus photos of Walt Disney himself. There are also interviews and quotes from people important to the making of the Disney franchise.
In Disney's Land: Walt Disney and the Invention of the Amusement Park That Changed the World, author Richard Snow details the path that led Walt Disney to create a theme park like no other at that time. Instead of an emphasis on roller coasters and thrills, Disney wanted Disneyland to create a calm and fun escape from the heaviness of the world in the 1950s. Snow offers a well-researched glimpse into this process, adding a bit of his own experience with Disneyland in the mix.
If you're into logistics or learning how things are made, Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real is a great read. Full of colorful images and details about special effects, building rides, visuals and more, you'll learn first-hand from the people who make the theme park come to life.
Women of Walt Disney Imagineering features stories from twelve women "Imagineers" who have helped design, build and manage Disney theme parks. Each story is written by the women themselves, so we get to learn from their perspective what their time at Disney is like (the good and the bad), including photos and drawings as well.
If these books inspire you to make your own trip, take a look at Disney travel guides. Do you have a favorite Disney book or memory? Let us know in the comments!