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Walt Disney World honors its fiftieth anniversary with "The World's Most Magical Celebration," an incredible 18-month event that begins October 1, 2021. As part of the festivities, this must-have coffee table book paints a robust portrait of the Florida resort, through vibrant voices and rare Disney theme park concept art, photographs, and ephemera.
Walt Disney's vision for the "Florida Project" begins with Disneyland and the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. After an imaginative and expansive design, a unique land acquisition process, and an innovative construction period, Walt Disney World celebrated its opening in 1971. It featured a theme park dubbed the Magic Kingdom and three exquisitely themed resorts: Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Polynesian Village, and Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.
As Walt Disney World consistently grew and evolved through the five decades that have followed, certain themes keep reverberating: there's an appreciation for nostalgia, a joy in fantasy, a hunger for discovery, and an unending hope for a better tomorrow. Inspirational and memorable theme parks, water parks, sports arenas, recreational water sports options, world-class golf courses, vast shopping villages, and a transportation network unlike any other in the world resulted in fun and familiar characters, traditions, spectacles, merchandise, and so much more. The resort has come to represent the pulse of American leisure and has served as a backdrop for life's milestones both big and small, public and private.
A Portrait of Walt Disney World: 50 Years of The Most Magical Place on Earth serves as a treasure trove for pop culture enthusiasts, students of hospitality, artists, art collectors, and Disney fans.
Searching for ways to celebrate the Walt Disney World Resort? Explore more books from Disney Editions:
- Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World
- Birnbaum's 2022 Walt Disney World: The Official Vacation Guide
- Birnbaum's 2022 Walt Disney World for Kids: The Official Guide
- Art of Coloring: Walt Disney World
- The Disney Monorail: Imagineering a Highway in the Sky
- Maps of the Disney Parks: Charting 60 Years from California to Shanghai
- The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic
- Poster Art of the Disney Parks
About the Author
Kevin M. Kern began his career with the Walt Disney Archives in 2011. As the group's manager of research, he works predominantly with historical documents and artwork, and helps to facilitate company legacy and outreach projects, including oral histories and the development and installation of museum exhibitions. He's hosted special event programming for many business units across The Walt Disney Company and has had his writing featured in numerous publications.
Tim O'Day is a successful writer, public relations executive, ideation consultant, and events producer. His creative spark was behind creating an Olympic-size lap pool at Disneyland for U.S. Olympian swimmers, procuring a Disneyland star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, placing "Dumbo" in the Smithsonian, securing Dame Julie Andrews as the Disneyland 50th anniversary honorary ambassador, and having the pardoned White House Thanksgiving turkeys retire to the Disney parks. He has worked with almost all the Disney Legends and helped secure the National Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush for the legendary songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman in a White House ceremony. He most recently contributed to the Behind the Attractiondocuseries, which will be releasing on Disney+.
Steven Vagnini is a show awareness producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, where he curates the stories behind the parks, resort hotels, and other experiences of the Walt Disney World Resort. He previously served on the staffs of the Walt Disney Archives, D23, and Disney Corporate Creative Resources after several years as a Walt Disney World cast member. He has produced a variety of special events, including for the Walt Disney World 40th and EPCOT 30th and 35th anniversaries, plus has written for several Disney publications, including having collaborated with Disney Legend Dave Smith on the latest editions of Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia.
Cover artist Fabiola Garza is a character artist at Disney Creative group in Orlando, Florida. During her career she has had the pleasure of working on The Little Golden Book for Pixar's Coco and designing the beloved turtle 'Olu Mel for Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. She is also the author and illustrator of the award-winning children's book A Boy Who Became Pope: The Story of Saint John Paul II. During her free time she enjoys ballroom dancing, the work of G. K. Chesterton, and contributing to Catholic publications and podcasts. Her favorite Walt Disney World attraction is Spaceship Earth.
"In a manner that makes it distinct from most other books about the parks, the bulk of Portrait is not organized by park or land, but rather by themes: Nostalgia, Discovery, Fantasy, and Tomorrow. Within these categories, different sections of the resort are grouped together in sometimes unlikely, yet sensible combinations. Nostalgia includes Main Street and Liberty Square, of course, but also the Grand Floridian, Boardwalk resort area, and Port Orleans, as well as the overall original concept for Disney-MGM Studios (oh, how I miss it!)"—AllEars
"Walt Disney World is a huge place with a lot of history and as such, many of the topics are really just touched upon throughout the four parks and many resorts. As much as the book is rooted in the past, it discusses the present day – from Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure to Pandora – The World of Avatar to Toy Story Land to what the book calls the Wonders of Xandar Pavilion (I had not heard that name before).”—MouseSteps
“This is chock full of stories, nuggets, facts, quotes, photographs, captions, drawings, detailed renderings and top secret blueprints, current and historical, of all things Walt Disney World…”—ZANNALAND