Walt Disney is your Disneyland tour guide in this new book


Author Marcy Carriker Smothers had an ongoing internal dialogue with the late Walt Disney as she wrote her new book on the Disneyland walking tour from the distinct and knowledgeable perspective of the park’s founder.

“I can’t write about Walt or read about Walt without his voice in my head,” Carriker Smothers said during an online video interview. “It’s like this conversation, if you will. This is my attempt to honor Walt. “

Smothers was “talking shop” with Walt Disney as she decided whether or not to include details of her research in the new book, “Walt’s Disneyland: A Walk in the Park with Walt Disney.”

“My barometer for what to include in the book was, ‘Does this make me laugh out loud? Does this make me cry? Does it make me smile? ” Carriker Smothers said. “All of these things are part of the conversation or inner dialogue.”

The new 192-page pocket guide to Carriker Smothers from publisher Disney Editions goes on sale Tuesday, November 16.

“Walt’s Disneyland” covers familiar ground from Walt Disney’s unique perspective with layers of fresh detail, long-lost secrets, hidden locations, little-known facts and rarely seen photographs that should delight even the most popular Disneylanders. jaded people who think they have read and seen everything before.

The quotes and photos in the book were culled from hours of research and hundreds of sources, including the Walt Disney Archives, the Walt Disney Imagineering Resource Center, the Walt Disney Family Museum, and the Walt Disney Hometown Museum.

The book is filled with rare photos of Walt Disney riding his attractions and construction sites on foot at Disneyland, in addition to hand-drawn sketches by Walt Disney himself of additions he envisioned for the Anaheim theme park.

Carriker Smothers worked at Disneyland while writing the book so she could feel the energy of the park and hear what visitors had to say about Walt Disney.

“When I write Disneyland, I always listen to the guests,” Carriker Smothers said. “The subject of Walt comes up all the time and in different ways. Whether it’s parents teaching their kids who Walt Disney is or people saying Walt played a part in this attraction. His name is buzzing all the time in his beloved Magic Kingdom.

When Carriker Smothers wasn’t in a library, she spent her time writing at Disneyland – turning on her laptop on a Main Street USA park bench, the Mark Twain Riverboat Landing, at Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square, next to the Casey Jr. Circus Train in Fantasyland, outside the Enchanted Tiki Room and in Walt Disney’s personal dressing room at the Golden Horseshoe.

“It gives me the Disneyland feeling,” Smother said. “I can share that energy that we all feel when we’re out there.”

“Walt’s Disneyland” is filled with rich details about the park that most die-hard fans have never encountered before and first-person accounts from those who personally knew and worked with Walt Disney.

“Each layer of backstory lets you understand Walt a little bit more,” Carriker Smothers said. “All the details – and Walt loved the details – just add to the story and make it better.”

The book tells a story of Walt Disney sneaking into the Fairmont amusement park in Kansas City with his childhood friend William Rust.

“He made me promise never to tell the story in his lifetime,” Rust said in the book. “He thought the kids might use the excuse that if he could do it, then they could try to get into his playpen without paying.”

Carriker Smothers pays the charming tale of childhood chicanery with a full spin – all courtesy of The Walt Disney Archives.

Decades after the delinquency in Kansas City parks, an 8-year-old boy named Mike wrote Walt Disney an apology promising never to sneak into Disneyland again – with two quarterbacks attached to the letter as a reward.

“I hope you won’t be mad at me,” Mike wrote in the letter included in the book. “I’m sorry and I thought Disneyland was really nice.”

According to the book, Walt Disney was so picky about trash that he measured the distance between trash cans based on how long it took him to eat a hot dog.

“He wanted to make sure there was no reason to drop wrappers on the floor,” Carriker Smothers writes in the book. “Walt was determined to keep Disneyland spotless.”

The otherwise ordinary water fountain tucked into the back corner of the park’s central street is an important piece of Disneyland history, according to the book. The recessed demonstration wall behind the water fountain was moved to the middle of Main Street USA when Disneyland was built for reference by the masons.

“Notice that the brick patterns are far from identical, as they represent the different styles found on the walls and around the street windows,” writes Carriker Smothers.

The book reveals that remnants of a precursor to the private members-only Club 33 can still be found either side of the Plaza Inn from a hidden refuge called the Hideout where Walt Disney entertained VIPs. The hideout’s original triptych windows can still be seen across from the Disneyland aid station, while the hideout’s stained glass door can be seen next to the restrooms on the Tomorrowland side of the restaurant.

Turns out Walt Disney wasn’t the only person with an apartment at Disneyland. Golden Horseshoe Star Wally Boag also owned an apartment in the park above the River Belle Terrace restaurant, according to the book.

“Walt was so good at taking care of his performers and he insisted on providing great living quarters for us,” Board said in the book. “He wanted to make sure we had a comfortable place to relax between the five or six shows we did every day.”

Many little touches and details selected and hand-collected by Walt Disney are scattered throughout Disneyland. Curious fans can still find Welte Orchestrions — huge coin-operated instruments with bagpipes, drums and cymbals purchased by Walt Disney — in the Main Street Penny Arcade and the Frontierland Pioneer Mercantile shop, according to the book.

“Walt’s Disneyland” traces the history of the park from the start of construction to the founder’s last day at the Happiest Place on Earth. The book includes what is believed to be Walt Disney’s last photo taken at Disneyland – at a Medal of Honor ceremony he held at the park on October 14, 1966, two months before his death.

“Walt’s Disneyland” was a passion project for Carriker Smothers – who previously wrote “Eat Like Walt,” which took readers on a culinary journey of Disneyland from Walt Disney’s perspective. The books allowed Carriker Smothers to delve into the vast park’s history and come to know Walt Disney posthumously – as one of the characters in his fairy tales.

“When I was writing the book, I was living with him and we talked about shopping 24 hours a day,” Carriker Smothers said. “All my friends who are writers say they live with their characters. Mine happens to be a real human being.


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