250 Things You Never Knew About Walt Disney World
Almost every time a new ride opens up at Walt Disney World, it takes up
residence in the spot of a former attraction. That's just the way it works most
of the time now, because real estate has gotten precious. There are exceptions
to the rule, of course (Expedition Everest leaps to mind), but by and large, any
new ride sits in the spot once occupied by something else. The Pooh Playground
resides where 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea used to be. Mission:Space took over
from Horizons. And the American Idol Experience displaced Superstar TV (sort of…
there were a few years in between).
Each of those alterations left traces in the form of intentional tributes. If
you look around inside the Pooh Playground treehouse, you can find a one-inch
Nautilus carved in the wood. The Horizons logo can be seen in the Mission:Space
gift shop and again in the center of the giant gravity wheel of the queue. And
the American Idol Experience is housed in the newly-renamed Superstar Television
Those are just a few of the many dozens of examples. Such tributes form the
basis for my book "101 Things You Never Knew About Walt Disney World," which has
been around for a couple years now. I've long kept it up to date in the small
ways that count. Whenever a tribute disappeared, I removed it from the book or
updated the entry, and since I only printed a few hundred copies at a time, the
book being sold was kept pretty current all the time.
Can you place these tributes?
Over the years, the reception has been sometimes great, but also sometimes
lukewarm. Those who had criticisms mostly complained about the formatting; giant
font was used to list the actual 101 items, and smaller font for the
explanation. The net effect was never meant to be sparse (the idea was to draw
attention to the big point), but sparseness is the way it felt to some readers.
Also, there were no pictures included originally.
I am a critic myself, and can hardly be dismissive of others' criticism now
can I? So I took the criticism to heart. Indeed, I depend on criticism. How will
I know otherwise when I've gone too far, or not gone far enough? In this case, I
set out to remedy the major problems perceived with "101 Things." Gone are the
big fonts and indeed the listing of numbers (the individual "things" referenced
by the title). Instead, I elevated all the facts in this book to their own
paragraphs. I trimmed out mere trivia and scoured the parks (and my resources)
for many more tributes and hidden history, and almost doubled the amount of text
in the book. The net result is more than 250 actual "things" with their own
Can you place these tributes?
I added photos of many of the "things" left as remnants in the parks. It's
not meant to be comprehensive (there aren't 250 photos in here), but almost
every page has an image now. The idea is that the book will be more useful as a
kind of guided tour of the parks and their history.
Also added were a few sections
toward the back of the book that work like appendices: former tributes that
finally got taken away, untrue urban legends, and even a section on hidden
history for Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure (the same kind of
tributes and remnants; stuff that is appearing in print for the first time).
Finally, there's now a table of contents that lists out each of the paragraphs,
for easy reference.
The resulting second edition adds almost fifty pages to the total (now
clocking in at 157 pages), uses smaller font and thus overall has way more
information, and adds photos. It's better on every level. There's a revised cover image, of course. That happens with all books when
they get new editions!
All this, and the book keeps the original $14.95 list price. Amazon doesn't
have it yet – the "street date" will be sometime later this spring, and if they
discount the same amount as they do for the current edition, the cost will be
I'm willing to beat that discount for US readers of MiceAge, and I'll even go so
far as to throw in the shipping at my own expense. For a flat $10, you'll get
the book shipped to you by media mail. This special US-only deal is only available via
the online button below, I'll stop direct sales once the book is up at Amazon:
Do note that the above deal is only for residents of the United States.
Those requesting shipping out of the US should NOT use the buy-now
e-mail me instead for specific instructions.
Sorry for the extended
sales pitch today. To make up for it, let me trot out an article I've been
holding in reserve for some time. It's a bit, uh, controversial.