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Three Years in Wonderland

The Disney Brothers, C. V. Wood, and the Making of the Great American Theme Park
Narrated by: Al Kessel
Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

While the success of Disneyland is largely credited to Walt and Roy Disney, there was a third, mostly forgotten dynamo instrumental to the development of the park: fast-talking Texan C. V. Wood. Three Years in Wonderland presents the never-before-told, full story of "the happiest place on earth".  

Using information from more than 100 unpublished interviews, Todd James Pierce lays down the arc of Disneyland's development from an idea to a paragon of entertainment.  

In compelling detail, Three Years in Wonderland lays out the struggles and rewards of building the world's first cinematic theme park and convincing the American public that a $17 million amusement park was the ideal place for a family vacation. The early experience of Walt Disney, Roy Disney, and C. V. Wood is one of the most captivating untold stories in the history of Hollywood. 

Pierce interviewed dozens of individuals who enjoyed long careers at the Walt Disney Company as well as dozens of individuals who - like C. V. Wood - helped develop the park but then left the company for good once the park was finished. Through much research and many interviews, Three Years in Wonderland offers listeners a rare opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with the men and women who built the best-known theme park in the world.

©2016 Todd James Pierce (P)2019 Tantor

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great background on Disneyland's creation

I loved the information presented here, as it gives a fairly deep insight into the process of building Disneyland. If you are into Disney, you'll likely enjoy this focused look at that time. HOWEVER, the narrator's overly professional tone really hindered my enjoyment. I can't really explain specifically what is off about the delivery other than to say the pronunciation is too professional and each sentence sounds as though it was read individually. Think Phil Hartman's professional announcer voice, and you'll get an idea of what the narration is like here.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ryan
  • SAN DIEGO, CA, United States
  • 07-30-19

Great look at the development of Disneyland

The story of the creation of Disneyland is quite fascinating and while Disney has pretty much scrubbed their history to eliminate the involvement of C.V. Wood, it’s refreshing to hear the not sanitized version of the events. Only downside is the narration. Todd James Pierce hosts a podcast and has a wonderful performance voice that would have better accompanied this book. I was disappointed by the narration of Al Kessel as his performance feels over enunciated and condescending. He’s narrated a few other Disney related titles and he pretty much sucks the joy out of the content of those titles too. In any case, great content in this book let down by a not overly enjoyable narration.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful