If you’ve ever read this blog before, it’s no secret that I love Disneyland history. I am always searching for books that go into the details, especially those obscure shops, hidden gems, or restaurants that aren’t talked about much. Out of all the Disneyland books I’ve ever read, none have been as thorough as The Disneyland Encyclopedia.
This book is exactly what it sounds like: an encyclopedia. With helpful numbered maps, the book combs through Disneyland’s past and present, calling out shops, restaurants, noteworthy details, events…if it made any impact on Disneyland, it’s here. The maps will also point out attractions or shops that shared a space. So you can look up a building, and see everything it has housed in its history!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
From the book cover:
Chris Strodder works as a website editor/designer and teacher while also writing books, including The Encyclopedia of Sixties Cool, Swingin’ Chicks of the ’60s, the young adult novels Lockerboy and The Wish Book, and a collection of short stories, Stories Light and Dark. He lives in Mill Valley, California.
If I could only have one Disneyland book, this would be it. I’ve read it cover to cover several times, and it’s always the first place I look when I’m going to write about park history (which happens a lot!). The author goes into an incredible amount of detail with virtually every item in the book. Sometimes it’s hard to believe so much has happened in one small space since 1955.
My favorite parts of this book are the maps. Sometimes I have a hard time picturing where exactly shops or restaurants fit into a land, especially when they were shaped differently than they are now. It’s so fascinating to look at one building and see how many dramatically different attractions shared the same space.
Only one word of caution – I would not recommend this book as a travel guide. If you’re visiting Disneyland for the first time and want tips, tricks, reviews, etc., this is the wrong book. It is way too detailed and the focus is not planning a trip.
Otherwise, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Disneyland history. Even if you’re not a person that wants to know the nitty gritty details, you’ll still learn so much about how Disneyland grew and changed over time. And if you’re someone who visited many years ago, you might rediscover a long lost favorite!