Building Walt Disney World

The Magic Kingdom

Buying Disney’s World: The Story of How Florida Swampland Became Walt Disney World by Aaron H. Goldberg

Told through the personal notes and files from the key figures involved in the project, Buying Disneys World details the story of how Walt Disney World came to be, like youve never heard before. Through verified sources, from conception to construction and everything in between-including how a parcel of land within Disneys Fort Wilderness Resort was acquired during a high-stakes poker game-explore how the company most famous for creating Mickey Mouse acquired central Floridas swamps, orange groves, and cow pastures to build a Disney fiefdom and a Magic Kingdom.

Project Future: The Inside Story Behind the Creation of Disney World by Chad Denver Emerson

On November 22, 1963, one airplane flight changed not only the future of Central Florida but also that of the entire nation. Aboard the plane was Walter “Walt” Elias Disney. From his window seat, he looked down on thousands of acres of rural swampland and orange groves, an environment that hardly seemed ripe for what would become one of the largest private developments ever in the United States. Yet, with his foresight, he saw an opportunity where other people did not, so much so that a small team of Disney confidants soon began acquiring twenty-seven thousand of those isolated acres for what would become the iconic Walt Disney World Resort.This story recounts the amazing set of events that enabled Walt Disney’s vision to become a reality.

Realityland: True-Life Adventures at Walt Disney World by David Koenig

Takes the first-ever in-depth, unauthorized look at the creation and operation of the world’s most popular vacation destination. Step backstage and witness: Walt’s original plans for Disney World—and how his dreams completely changed in the hands of his successors. His undercover agents who secretly bought 44 square miles of swamps. The chaotic construction and frantic first years of the Magic Kingdom. The underground caverns that wind beneath the theme park. Disney’s unconventional, initially disastrous foray into operating its own hotels.

Dream It! Do It!: My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms by Marty Sklar

Marty Sklar was hired by The Walt Disney Company in July 1955, the month before Disneyland opened. He spent his first decade at Disney as “the kid,” the very youngest of the creative team Walt had assembled at WED Enterprises. He became Walt’s speech writer, penned Walt’s and Roy’s messages in the company’s annual report, composed most of the publicity and marketing materials for Disneyland, and wrote a twenty-four-minute film expressing Walt’s philosophy for the Walt Disney World project and Epcot. Over the next forty years, Marty Sklar rose to become president and principal creative executive of Walt Disney Imagineering, and he devoted his entire career to creating, enhancing, and expanding Walt’s magical empire. This beautifully written and enlightening book is Marty’s own retelling of his epic Disney journey, a grand adventure that lasted over half a century.

Building A Better Mouse: The Story Of The Electronic Imagineers Who Designed Epcot by David Green and Steve Alcorn

On October 1, 1982, The Walt Disney Company opened its EPCOT Center to the world, heralding changes that would take the Disney property in Florida from a mere theme park to a world-class resort destination. Authors Steve Alcorn and David Green were there, as employees of Disney’s WED Imagineering. “Building a Better Mouse” tells the tale of the “hundreds of mostly young, mostly bright and all embarrassingly idealistic people” who worked on Epcot, and gives a unique insider’s perspective on what it was like to be in the trenches as a Disney Imagineer in the early 1980s, from pixie dusting – when new employees are indoctrinated into all things Disney – through the craziness of the engineering design process, right up until the last frantic dash to opening day. It is a breathtaking, breezy, E-ticket ride of a book, required reading for both hard-core Disneyphiles and people interested in the business side of themed entertainment.