Your audiobook is waiting…

The Disneyland Story

The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney's Dream
Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
Length: 16 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (307 ratings)

Regular price: $29.95

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    213
  • 4 Stars
    66
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    167
  • 4 Stars
    68
  • 3 Stars
    31
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    9

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    215
  • 4 Stars
    56
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, even with minor production issues

Before reading this book, I read the reviews and almost moved on. There were many complaints about the reader or the production quality in regards to pausing.

Let me tell you how I felt regarding this issue.

First: this book is very good. It offers a detailed and fascinating view of the inception and construction of Disneyland from its concept to the present.

Second: the reader does a fine job and is not distracting or difficult to understand.

However, there are some minor production issues regarding proper spacing in time between sections in the book. The reader simply moves from one section to the next without much indication. Where you would expect a beat or a pause, the reader just keeps going. I don’t attribute this to the reader though, but to the production.

That said, it’s not very distracting once you realize it’s happening. The whole book is chronological (for the most part) so it flows well.

I highly recommend this book if you are interested in the subject matter. Be aware of this “pausing” issue and you will enjoy the listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing details in the history of Disneyland

I am so glad I listened to this book. It was Amazing!!! Yes, the reader jumps from chapter to chapter quickly but you can get used to it. If you love Disney and it’s history you must listen to this book. I loved hearing about the background of each attraction. I’m certain I’ll go back to it again and again!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Disney dream is recounted masterfully

Never has a book of nonfiction about something so seemingly mundane as a theme park made me come so close to tears. Disneyland is not just a place, but a dream brought to life. The remarkable dream of a truly remarkable man.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Follow this guide deep down the rabbit hole

I love the amazing details behind the scenes of building the Disneyland parks I never knew. And I have every book about Walt and Disneyland and this is a great detailed book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 05-03-15

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ste
  • 07-19-18

very interesting

I like Disney, always have and I think I always will. This book provides a thorough history of the California parks and it's very well produced.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steve
  • 06-01-18

Loved it

If you love Disney theme parks this book is a must. It is packed with interesting facts. I loved it

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wendy
  • 07-14-15

The History of a Landmark

This is an interesting look at a great entertainment icon. From its humble beginnings to looking forward to tomorrow. A great listening experience for anyone who has been or is planning to visit Disneyland for the first time.