A Portrait of Walt Disney World

The new book celebrates “50-years of The Most Magical Place on Earth.”

Right now, the news out of Walt Disney World remains heavy and steady. But, how about if we slow down just a moment.

Grab a cup of Keurig and sit down with a good book.

This time out, let’s think about tracking down “A Portrait of Walt Disney World: 50 Years of the Most Magical Place on Earth.”

A Portrait in a Book

Image: Amazon.com

This weekend, Zach Johnson of D23.com posted about the new volume, celebrating WDW’s big anniversary. Johnson tracked down one of the book’s authors, Steven Vagnini, and asked about the genesis of the tome.

“I think the idea arose pretty naturally. In 2013, Kevin [Kern] and I were colleagues in the Walt Disney Archives, which, as you might imagine, is involved in nearly all notable Disney anniversary celebrations,” said Vagnini to D23. “Thinking a bit ahead (and probably inspired by the hundreds of books around us!), we approached each other, suggesting that anyone who would want to work on a book for something as monumental as the Walt Disney World 50th anniversary would need to start… yesterday!

Image: D23.com

“That was eight years ago, and, of course, we wish we had even more time. Meanwhile, Tim and I had recently finished collaborating on D23 events for the resort’s 40th anniversary, as well as for the EPCOT 30th anniversary, which further sparked our interest in the project.

“The three of us [including Tim O’Day] made the pitch to our esteemed colleagues at Disney Editions—and got to work right away!”

The History of WDW

What’s resulted is a 320-page book chronicling the history of “the vacation kingdom.”

Image: D23.com

Moreover, the official synopsis explains, “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,” continued the precis. “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.”

Image: D23.com

And, for those of us stuck in relative lockdown until the pandemic runs its course; this book represents a way to participate in the 50th Anniversary.

Finally, the book is available now on Amazon.

About Post Author

A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern University, John Bishop, became the beat reporter for BostonBruins.com before the Boston Bruins 2006-07 NHL hockey season. While with the Black & Gold, “^BISH” traveled North America and Europe to cover the team's every move via laptop, blog, and smartphone. The co-author of two books, "Bygone Boston" and "Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins," John also covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the Bs 2011 Stanley Cup championship run and banner raising before taking a faculty/communications position at a prep school outside Boston in 2013. He lives with his wife Andrea, and sons Jack, Scott, and Luke, in central Massachusetts.

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