Thursday, November 15, 2007

Daily Figment 106: Walking In an Imagineering Wonderland

This week, we take another look at the Disney Geeks' Holiday Wish List. We're getting closer to the season: the decorations are up at the parks, the resorts are starting to sprout red and green, the trees are showing up everywhere and Mickey is celebrating with his Very Merry Christmas Parties.

So far, we've looked at Walt Disney Imagineering: a Behind-the-Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real and Walt Disney's EPCOT Center. Both of these titles are mainstays to any Disney Geeks' book collection.

Today, we want to talk about a three-peat: The Imagineering Field Guides. So far, there are only three titles in the series, but we expect the Disneyland one next summer and the Disney Hollywood Studios guide after that.

The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World was the first in the series. The small pocket-sized book quickly found an audience even though many trivia buffs proclaimed that the book was geared towards the Disney Newb. Of course, I love it. It does offer a lot of details about the lands and spends a lot of time talking about the architecture of the areas. There is a lot of concept art and if you're a fan of Jeff Pepper's Theme Parkeology, you will love this title.

The Imagineering Field Guide to Epcot at Walt Disney World followed. This one focuses more on the development of Epcot as a different type of theme park and the creation of the headline attractions. Of course, a large part of the book looks at the countries in World Showcase and their design. Future World isn't neglected; it is covered in great detail as well--storylines, artwork and design issues.

The Imagineering Field Guide to the Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World is Andrew's favorite of the series. In my opinion, it is one of the better ones, simply because the details are so fresh and most of the Imagineers that built the park were able to contribute to the guide. Since there is so much physical land in the Animal Kingdom, a lot of the book focuses on Harambe. The details are covered--in great detail. The Animal Kingdom guide is more about creating a completely themed environment. One based on real properties, to give you that complete immersive quality.

Each title contains essays about the areas, lands and rides. Ride development, arhictectural details and signage all come into play. They all come in under 125 pages. They are quick reads with lots of pictures and artwork.

All three of these guides are highly recommended by both Disney Geeks.


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