Disney Editions Synopsis

The fifth in a series of pocket-sized paperbacks answers the question, “What would it be like to walk through Disney’s Hollywood Studios with an Imagineer by your side?” The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios provides that experience: pointing out details and telling stories, back stories, and Imagineering insights never before heard, condensed into a portable, easily-referenced park guide. You’ll never spend time at the Studios the same way again. Each spread contains fascinating textual information and related images (drawings, photos, graphics) such as:

  • Set-up, backgrounds, and origins of each park/land/mini-land
  • Concept art to compare to the finished show
  • Timeline information (opening dates, previous shows in the same venue, alterations and updates) Photography of the details and big pictures being discussed
  • Special props, design sources, artistic inspirations, nomenclature gags

About the Author

Alex Wright is a show designer for Walt Disney Imagineering in Orlando, Florida. His credits include concept and set-design work for Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Journey Into Imagination with Figment, as well as various enhancement projects all over the Walt Disney World Resort. Alex received a BA in design theory from the University of Florida in Gainesville in 1992 and an MFA in scenic design from the California Institute of the Arts, in Los Angeles in 1994.

My Review

Fifth in the popular series of pocket-sized paperbacks books that offer real Disney Imagineering insight to the creation of the parks. This book has taken what seems like forever to be produced; it is dedicated to the 3rd gate, or park, at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, FL. I have heard various reasons around the Disney-fan community for the holdup but can get no real clarification from anyone within Disney Editions on the delay in getting this field guide published. Regardless, the book is out and makes a fine addition to the others in the series.

In keeping with the series of books, there is the standard introduction to Disney Imagineering terms and practices. This book also introduces Mickey’s Ten Commandments: the distillation of the past fifty-plus years of park design.

Tracing the heritage of the Disney Co. straight back to Walt and Roy’s days early days in Hollywood (technically Hyperion Avenue was in Los Angeles), this book shows the evolution of the Disney-MGM Studios through to today’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Building upon that history and drawing directly from their current studios, constructed by Roy and Walt after early successes as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a manifestation of the design sensibilities of Walt, the creative team at Disney and of that Burbank studio itself.

Throughout the park you can find numerous tributes to the brothers’ early days in the Hollywood as well as nods to the legends of the day. Just as in all of the other Disney parks the lands are defined, in large part, by the architecture that tells their stories, the same is true here at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. From Hollywood Boulevard to the Streets of America you can find the influence of famous films and television shows peppered throughout the park. This book gives you the inside scoop on a lot of the thought and design that went into creating the parks. A lot of this may be familiar to the true Disney fan but there are great nuggets of trivia that everyone will enjoy.

This is a fine book for anyone who might be visiting the parks…you need not be a Disney aficionado to enjoy the book. This would supplement your favorite planning tools nicely although, I am not sure I would like to carry it around the park due to its size. It is not a particularly large book, but it would be better suited for backpacks and purses rather than pockets.

Author: Alex Wright Reading level: Ages 9-12 Paperback: 128 pages Publisher: Disney Editions; 1 edition (July 27, 2010) Language: English ISBN-13: 978-1423115939 Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 3.8 x 0.3 inches Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces