If there is one person who knows Disneyland Park better than anyone else, it is Walt Disney himself. After visiting numerous amusement parks with his children throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Walt decided that he wanted to build a one-of-a-kind theme park where adults their kids could have the time of their lives together. On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California, and it has been a top theme park destination ever since.
Sadly, Walt Disney passed away in 1966, so he was unable to see the expansion of Disneyland Resort with the additions of Downtown Disney and Disney California Adventure Park. However, a new book published on November 16 will allow Guests to experience the magic of Disneyland Park through the eyes of the man who created it.
“Walt’s Disneyland: A Walk in the Park With Walt Disney” by Marcy Carriker Smothers was published by the Disney Editions publishing imprint and takes a deeper dive into the Park than many books currently on the market. Smothers worked at Disneyland while she wrote the book in order to fully immerse herself in everything Disneyland had to offer, and it gave her the ability to truly understand the magic of Walt’s vision.
The Orange County Register spoke to Smothers about her new book, where she said that she would speak with Walt in her head and would “talk shop” with him as she decided whether or not to include certain details in the book. Per The OCR:
“Walt’s Disneyland” covers familiar ground from the unique perspective of Walt Disney with layers of fresh details, long-lost secrets, hidden spots, little-known facts and rarely seen photographs that should delight even the most jaded Disneylanders who think they’ve read and seen it all before.
Quotes and photos in the book were culled from hours of research and hundreds of sources, including the Walt Disney Archives, Walt Disney Imagineering Resource Center, Walt Disney Family Museum and Walt Disney Hometown Museum.
The book is filled with rare photographs of Walt Disney riding his attractions and walking construction sites at Disneyland in addition to hand-drawn sketches by Walt Disney himself of additions he envisioned for the Anaheim theme park.
The book claims to be filled with details and stories that even the most hardcore Disney fan may be unaware of — including a story from one of Walt’s childhood friends, who tells a story about the time the two snuck into an amusement park in Kansas. The book also claims to have the last known photo of Walt Disney at Disneyland, which was taken two months before he died as he hosted a Medal of Honor ceremony at the theme park.
“Walt’s Disneyland” is not the only Disney-themed book that Smothers has written. She also wrote “Eat Like Walt” which took readers on a culinary tour of Disneyland where they were introduced to the foods that Walt Disney loved to eat.