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The Disneyland Story Audiobook

The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney's Dream

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Publisher's Summary

The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney's Dream is the story of how Walt Disney's greatest creation was conceived, nurtured, and how it grew into a source of joy and inspiration for generations of visitors. Despite his successors' battles with the whims of history and their own doubts and egos, Walt's vision maintained momentum, thrived, and taught future generations how to do it Walt Disney's way.

©2014 Sam Gennawey (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (199 )
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Story
4.3 (184 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Chris 03-24-15
    Chris 03-24-15 Member Since 2014
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    "The narration is killing me."

    2 1/2 hours in but doubt I can finish with this narration. I have over 800 downloads this is in the bottom 5 narrations for me.

    If you want a great book on Disney go with "Walt Disney the Triumph of the American Imagination" great book, great narration that gives you much more than Disneyland and intimately brings Walt's story to you. I listened to the unabridged version. 33 hrs. and actually listened twice with many books marks on things we can learn from one most extraordinary people there has ever been.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry H So Cal 11-11-14
    Larry H So Cal 11-11-14 Member Since 2016

    "No matter where you go... there you are."

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    "I Was There"
    Any additional comments?

    My parents moved to pre-freeway and pre-Disney Anaheim when I was two-years old. As I approached six years old I remember sleeping with my window open, smelling orange blossoms and hearing the Mark Twain whistle from a few miles away.

    In short, I enjoyed this book very much. In fact, I listened to it twice, back-to-back. However, I believe my enthusiasm was because this was a page from my life.

    I remember going to Disneyland many times, meeting Walt sitting at the end of main street, no crowds and enjoying all the park as it evolved.

    Even my Grad Night (Anaheim High School) was held at this venue. I'm not sure if non-Disney fans will enjoy the book as much as I did. However, I can attest to the fact that it is an excellent narrative on the evolution of the Magic Kingdom.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark O 11-07-16
    Mark O 11-07-16
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    "Great story, but..."

    Love all the history and backstory but the narrator offers almost no inflection in his voice. As a result a great story is turned to mediocre, suggest skipping the audio version and read this one instead.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Lords 07-07-16
    Bryan Lords 07-07-16
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    "Great content, poor reader"

    I loved the content of this book and would consider it a must read for any Disneyland junkie like myself. While the narrator did a good job overall I was taken aback by the repeated mispronunciations of several Disney legend imagineers. As I didn't read the book the mistakes may have been made by the author, and if that is the case I apologize to the narrator. However, given the extensive research that must have gone into this book I highly doubt it was the author's error. Overall though fantastic book and I would highly recommend it to anyone!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taylor M. Roberts 03-26-16 Member Since 2002
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    "Frustrating Errors in Narration"

    The book is great, but I wish the narrator would have been subjected to more scrutiny during recording. He mispronounces so many names (and other words) throughout.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brain cloud Bay Area, California 07-24-15
    brain cloud Bay Area, California 07-24-15 Member Since 2008

    brain cloud

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    "Don't they have editors for the narration?"
    What did you like best about The Disneyland Story? What did you like least?

    For the Disneyland aficionado--casual or manic--this is a wonderful book. Provides just enough of Walt's background to help the park make sense, explains what makes it unique, and helps us understand the story behind each ride, with just enough ride description to allow the Disneyland fan to close the eyes and get dreamy.


    What other book might you compare The Disneyland Story to and why?

    It is journalistic in style--just the facts. The narrative voice is clear and relatively unemotional. It is history with very little commentary.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The performance almost ruins the book. The worst part--this derives from the way the book is put together--is that the narrator does not provide enough "white space" (audible pauses) between sections. The book is written in chapters, but the chapters are very long and are divided into multiple sections with headings. The narrator hurtles from one section to the next as though just reading the next sentence in a paragraph. This results in repeated "WTF" moments for the listener. Just a slight pause between sections would serve as a transition. Although I know this is unlikely, the narrator makes it sound as though he was paid to get through the book as fast as possible, or as if he did not enjoy the job.

    The author mispronounces many words. How can this be--how can a professional reader get away with these errors, and is there no one to listen, catch them and fix them before the book goes live? If I were the author I would be mortified! I suppose, unfortunately, the author has no authority to enforce corrections. A few examples: "Vermin" Von Braun (5.40), Marty "Skylar" (Sklar, 9.42 and throughout) "Saguro" cactus (should be saguaro, 11:50), and "persimmion" trees


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    With another narrator! Actually there are quite a few movies and archival documentaries on this topic.


    Any additional comments?

    Please re-do this book. I would listen again to another narrator!

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Tan 05-03-15
    P. Tan 05-03-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Started stronger than ended"

    Really gets deep into the creation of Disneyland, especially the early years. Through the further it got in time from the beginning of Disneyland, the more it turned into high level highlights. That may be due to the material available. I really enjoyed the book overall, addicting even. I can't wait to go back to Disneyland and see it a whole new light thanks to this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Robert 03-24-15
    Robert 03-24-15
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    "Great story!! Very informative!"

    This was a very well written story about the history of Disneyland from conception to modern day. While I loved the story, it is hard to listen to a narator who misreads names (it is Sklar, not Skyler) and relatively common words. His voice and style were fine, but it would help if the narrators were more familiar with the subject matter.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seth Brady Oak Park, CA United States 05-11-17
    Seth Brady Oak Park, CA United States 05-11-17
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    "How The Happiest Place on Earth came to be (and th"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Having raised two of our kids for years in Southern California, Disneyland was a hallmark of their childhoods. I've always been a fan, and sometimes wondered what it took to bring this giant vision to life. The author takes you through so many of the major and minor stories filling the decades-long evolution that started with Walt and the went beyond his death.

    You'll hear stories about the original concept, about tireless lobbying with Anaheim city officials to secure the land AND to expand the infrastructure around the park (in a world where nothing like his ever existed before), about rides that did and didn't work, the shocking amount of times that existing rides today have been made over over the last few decades, the lack of attention Disneyland suffered as the company focused on emerging parks in Florida and around the world, the differences between the Walt vs the Eisner years, and much more (including ill-fated plans involving Long Beach and Queen Mary).

    The main message? No matter who was at the helm, Disneyland has always been about making something better through revision over time. You'll see countless examples of how, to Walt's original vision, this park was never "done" but was always being reinvented and "plussed" to keep bringing the crowds back as they raised their own entertainment bar higher and higher. Even rides like the Tiki Room, with the audio-animatronic birds that started the who AA movement within Disney, has had countless years to be tweaked, tuned, and improved.

    The one complaint I've seen about this audio version is the narrator. I will agree that he isn't great, but certainly not enough to ruin a very good tale.

    If you've ever been curious about how this iconic park redefined theme parks and set a new standard for others that would come after its founding in 1955, then you should definitely check this out. Enjoy!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam J. Landefeld Lehi, UT USA 05-01-17
    Adam J. Landefeld Lehi, UT USA 05-01-17 Member Since 2013

    Luumin

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    "Great history, performance detracts sometimes"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I am an amateur Disney historian, and I did really enjoy this book for it's dense packing of information. There are a couple times when the facts are mixed up (like the actual build date for the Dentzel carousel that became King Aurthor's Carousel. It switches between the actual born on date in 1875 and the 1922 update it went through at Sunny Side Beach Park in Canada before being moved to Disneyland in 1954,) All in all though, it stands as a great view into the personalities, back stories, and raw determination that went into building the American institution, Disneyland. There were certainly several nuggets in this book that I had not encountered before and was able to then do some sleuthing to verify. I have listened to the audio performance several times now and have found value each and every time.Now, while I did like the narration style, there are numerous times throughout the performance where the mispronunciations are extremely distracting. Especially when they center around some of my personal heroes, people like Mary Sklar (narrator pronounces as Skylar, which blows my mind in that I can only think the narrator believed the author had misspelled the name or he wouldn't have changed it so awkwardly.), Eyvind Earle, Roger Broggie, and more. It really interrupts the flow to hear those thrown in there if you know better. Perhaps someone who does not would be fine.I do recommend this book for its fantastic information and interest value. I like the flow, and I do really like the sidetracks that are followed sometimes into a particular attraction's future rather than waiting for the basic setting of the book to catch up.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I actually enjoy the more flat approach to the narration. I like adding my own interpretation of emotion and inflection (which is how I like most historical stories to be presented). The reader's voice is easy to listen to and, when not butchering a pronunciation, works well for me.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, it does a good job representing the pace of the story and how you would read it to yourself.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, and have done so on road trips!


    Any additional comments?

    Great book to add to the stack. I like it as another perspective to the likes of Bob Thomas and Neal Gabler. Even though the stated goal of this book is to be a Disneyland history, you cannot do that without also covering Uncle Walt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • John
    SURREY, United Kingdom
    5/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A realy great insight"
    What made the experience of listening to The Disneyland Story the most enjoyable?

    Lots of detail. Gave a really good inside view of the characters that made up the Disneyland story


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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