Monday, January 7, 2013

Between Books - Seen, Un-Seen Disneyland

One of my critiques of independent publishers of Disney themed books is the pictures. Due to resource limitations these photos can be grainy, often black and white and difficult to interpret. Seen, Un-Seen Disneyland is one of the best efforts that I have seen to date in making Disneyland pictures the star in a non-Disney published book.

Seen, Un-Seen Disneyland: What You See at Disneyland, but Never Really See by Russell D. Flores highlights for readers the visual treasures of the Disneyland Park that guests often overlook. Flores details his own self-discovery of the depth of design within the Disneyland Park triggered by a trash can. From that moment, Flores began to collect pictures of the non-hidden treasures within the park. He presents his findings within his text. Flores takes his readers on a tour that includes extinct ticket booths, trash cans, manhole covers, popcorn carts, and restroom signs amongst others. Flores also provides a light narrative text and notes that provide interesting facts about the featured design elements. Additionally, Flores provides an extensive list of notes and bibliography.

The pictures really are the highlight of the text. With 374 pictures in a lightweight and easy to manage text, Flores has created a great visual reference. There are many items within the book that I have honestly overlooked during my vacations, and several times Flores left me wanting to visit the park to find the item in person. I found it fun to compare different bathroom sign styles, and attempting to guess their in park locations. I can see dropping the book into a backpack and using it as a guide within Disneyland due to its manageable size. For me, I really enjoyed learning more about tributes and reused pieces of extinct attractions especially those I never enjoyed. Additionally, the glossy pages really make the pictures pop off the page. When comparing the pages to other picture-centric books with regular paper stock, the pictures of Seen, Un-Seen Disneyland stand out and are very visually pleasing.

I often flip immediately to the notes and bibliography of new books that enter my Between Books library. I also did that with this book. I was impressed with the depth of the bibliography and saw leads for future readings. But the notes and bibliography show the book’s biggest error, in my opinion. Let me first digress quickly. Once I wrote a multi-chapter project on military history. I kept typing the word solider instead of soldier. I had worked for months on this project, and read over it several times never seeing my error. Others had read it for me! Likewise I believe something similar has happened here, as Kevin Yee’s name has been mistyped as Kevin Lee numerous times. Sadly this is not a one-time error, but every time his name is mentioned, 7 times on page 166 for example. Like my solider, I believe this was a simple error but one that pops out to the reader familiar with Between Books.

Have you ever noticed the details on top of the manhole covers in the Disneyland Park? Do you know what the Viewliner station is currently being used for? Have you found all the survey markers within the park, not just the one near Sleeping Beauty’s castle? If the answer is no, Russell D. Flores in Seen, Un-Seen Disneyland will help you explore the park in a new and interesting way.

Review Copy Provided by Synergy-Books Publishing, U.S.A.


  1. Thanks for the great review. Yes, Mr. Yee is my soldier. I was so embarrassed when I read that part of your review. I highly respect Mr. Yee's work as shown by the number of times I reference it. I immediately contacted him to apologize. He had already seen it and was very gracious. He is great. It will be fixed in the second printing. Thanks again,