50 years of joy at the Walt Disney World Resort have arrived! And how do we celebrate? A Between Book of course is the best way to party! And when we say Between Book, we mean a massive, big, back-breaking, coffee table book.
A Portrait of Walt Disney World: 50 Years of the Most Magical Place on Earth by Kevin M. Kern, Tim O’Day, and Steven Vagnini is a massive coffee table book highlighting 50 years of magic. The text opens with the expected historical path with the authors outlining the origin, development, and construction of the Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. This history is followed by themes. For example, the first theme, nostalgia shows how the entire resort encapsulates the ideal of the past as the authors walk through Main Street U.S.A., the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Liberty Square, the Haunted Mansion, Hollywood Boulevard and other attractions and locations which fit the theme. The text is illustrated with gorgeous color photos and concept art. Other themes which follow this pattern include fantasy, discovery, tomorrow, and reflections. The book concludes with a chapter that provides detail around the 50th anniversary celebration.
Overall, the book is brilliantly illustrated and visually enjoyable to dive into. The accompanying text fits the images well and is well-written. The piece that took me the most to adapt to was the themes. When you have read as many Between Books as us, do we not all expect that they will walk park-to-park and then land-by-land in each chapter? But here the themes transition from park to attraction to resort hotel to attraction again. So the reader must come to learn to follow the theme and not the geographical area as they proceed through the book. It is also very large, and expensive, so I do not suggest attempting to read the book all in one sitting…especially if it is sitting on your lap. This offering is also long-term going to be a collectors item and not something for your friend who is just showing a passing interest in the park, especially due to the large price point especially for periods where it may be out of print.
A Portrait of Walt Disney World: 50 Years of the Most Magical Place on Earth can help all of us park fans celebrate the park no matter how Between a visit we truly are. It is visually pleasing and can help us connect to the Florida Project no matter where we are. We just have to be willing to pay a fee which is closer to a one-day ticket than we may guess.
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