Monday, July 2, 2012

Between Books - The Disneyland Encyclopedia

Between Books - The Disneyland Encyclopeida
500 entries and Dole Whip has to share!
Chris Strodder has updated The Disneyland Encyclopedia: The Unofficial, Unauthorized, and Unprecedented History of Every Land, Attraction, Restaurant, Shop and Major Event in the Magic Kingdom.  True to its title The Disneyland Encyclopedia documents the smallest snack cart, the shortest lived shows, the favorite restaurants and the beloved attractions inside the Disneyland Park from its 1955 opening.  Starting with A and finishing with Z, Strodder documents the park in a methodical manner.  Yes, Dole Whip does not get its own entry, but Dole Whip is not a restaurant or show, though some may argue it is an attraction.  Strodder still reports the success of the cult food in the Tiki Juice Bar entry as the restaurant fits the plan of the book where a snack would not.  It would be difficult to find any physical element of Disneyland that is not documented in the book’s entries.
There are two ways to read this book.  First, one can read The Disneyland Encyclopedia straight through as an organized history of the park.  And through this method, which I did complete in a week, one can add much to their understanding of the park.  For example, I knew from Mouse Tales of deaths in the park but I had not considered the more obvious life event, births.  And I was not aware that the baby picture in the Baby Care Center was Walt Disney!  The reader does get the sense through the entries of the ever changing Disneyland, be it an attraction that was open for a few weeks or be it for decades.  Strodder’sd writing makes it clear that the park is living and evolving.  The entries are well written and clear which aids the reader looking to explore the book A to Z.  But I am kind of a strange guy, for goodness sake I have read an almanac cover to cover this year, and this method may not be preferred by everyone.  Not many will chose to read The Disneyland Encyclopedia in a week.  And with over 450 pages of entries it is a lot of information to read through quickly.

Sleeping Beauty Castle from The Disneyland Encyclopedia
Sleeping Beauty Castle from The Disneyland Encyclopedia
The second way to use this book is as a research tool.  The Disneyland Encyclopedia can provide a basic background on all attractions, shows and restaurants.  Honestly it is a must have resource for anyone looking to research Disneyland.  As a research tool the book also includes an extensive bibliography which will help keep me entertained for years to come.  Additionally those who enjoy Disneyland and wish to know more about shops, rides or shows within Disneyland will likely enjoy thumbing through this text.  If someone likes to flip through touring books, it is enjoyable browsing through The Disneyland Encyclopedia in the same way.  It can serve as a supplement to vacation planning.    
Chris Strodder’s The Disneyland Encyclopedia is a resource which Disneyland fans will likely enjoy and find informational.  The readable text along with over 400 black and white photos and sidebars can help one forget you are reading an “Encyclopedia” at times.  After reading the second edition of The Disneyland Encyclopedia I can see why I have heard podcasters refer to the first edition as an invaluable research tool.  If anything, a read-through makes me wish there was a tool available that was as exhaustive for other portions of the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.    

The Matterhorn from The Disneyland Encyclopedia
Review Copy Provided by Santa Monica Press     

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