Slo-o-o-w Down and Savor the Magic!
INTRODUCING A DIFFERENT KIND OF DISNEY BOOK
FOR A DIFFERENT KIND OF THEME PARK EXPERIENCE
3rd Edition Updated & Revised for 2020
The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom is NOT the WDW Guidebook for you if . . .
- You want to run around like a crazy person from dawn to midnight, trying to accomplish the superhuman task of seeing everything in Magic Kingdom
- You need a description of every hot dog stand and turkey leg in the park
- You want a mathematics Ph.D. to guide you through the maze of ticket options.
Do yourself a favor. Step beyond the rush-here, do-that frenzy of most guidebooks to truly appreciate the magic behind the attractions with The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom.
Aaron Wallace avoids the ephemera of prices and menus to explore the heart of the Disney experience. He provides a lighthearted but scholarly look at the history, lore, and literature that inform the designs and storylines of every ride and attraction in the Magic Kingdom.
Far from being mere “amusements,” these attractions provide a complex, multi-layered narrative that can be experienced and appreciated just like a great novel, play, or film.
This is a guide for those ready to immerse themselves in the magnificent achievement that is Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. It will fascinate Disney buffs with the sometimes surprising insights it offers into old favorites while offering newcomers to the Disney magic a much richer experience.
For the first time, WDW is appreciated not as a mere theme park but what Disney’s Imagineers always intended it to be — a work of art.
Signed-by-the-author copies are available exclusively at AaronWallaceOnline.com. Order yours here.
WHERE TO GET IT
The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom 2020 is available wherever books are sold, including:
- This website (autographed copies available now)
- Your favorite local book retailer
The eBook edition of The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom 2020 will be made available in late fall 2020. To be notified as soon as it’s available, simply scroll to the bottom of this page and sign up for the email newsletter.
International readers can order from their country’s online Amazon store and at many local bookstores.
What’s New in the 2020 Edition?
Newly updated, expanded, and revised for the year 2020, this new third edition of The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom adds brand-new entries for the park’s latest attractions, including:
- The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History (in Liberty Square)
- Happily Ever After (the new fireworks show)
- The Hall of Presidents (the all-new version of the show featuring Donald Trump)
Additionally, the 2020 edition features completely rewritten and expanded entries on two favorite Magic Kingdom attractions:
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
And significantly expanded and revised entries on:
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant (featuring a new “WATCH THIS!” entry)
- Main Street, U.S.A.
- Cinderella Castle
- Jungle Cruise
Along the way, Wallace takes an even closer look at many of the existing attractions in light of Disney’s new storytelling style over the last few years. The result is an in-depth and intriguing book that even previous readers will find newly enthralling.
You will learn to answer questions like:
- If Disney can change key scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean, what does that say about our understanding of these rides as classic “works of art?”
- What do the changes made at The Hall of Presidents tell us about what Disney thinks about Donald Trump?
- Is the Carousel of Progress sexist? What’s it like to ride it for the very first time in 2019-2020?
- How can a simple ride like Dumbo the Flying Elephant compete with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? Should it bother us that we can see 31 other Dumbos next to us while we ride? Does that undermine the ride’s “story”?
- What would Walt Disney have thought about the current obsession with “immersion” in Disney theme parks?
- Why does anyone care about The Muppets, and do they even make sense in Liberty Square?
- What are we supposed to take away from Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire?
- How can a fireworks show like Happily Ever After literally alter your understanding of a concept like “happiness” and truly change your life?
Readers who missed out on the book’s 2nd Edition in 2015 will also find entries that weren’t part of the book’s original edition. These 2nd Edition entries explore the role of gender (“boys vs. girls”) in Fantasyland, the narrative curiosities of New Fantasyland, and how Disney’s live-action movie remake trend is affecting its theme park. Entries that were added for the 2nd Edition (and are still available in 2020) include:
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
- Peter Pan’s Flight (newly revised for the 2nd Edition)
- Mickey’s Philharmagic (newly revised for the 2nd Edition)
By looking at each attraction in depth, The Thinking Fan’s Guide unlocks the secret of what makes Magic Kingdom so enduringly spellbinding for millions of people every year. Whether it’s their first visit or their five hundredth, readers will find new insight and a deeper appreciation for the Walt Disney World experience.
What Is The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom All About?
The book endeavors to answer questions that will have fans fascinated.
Find out why Space Mountain is a “mountain,” what makes It’s a Small World a “fantasy,” what Tomorrowland really means by “Tomorrow,” and exactly why Disney parades are able to make an emotional impact that Universal and other companies simply can’t recreate no matter how big their budget.
How do the Animatronics (i.e. robots) in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh contribute to Christopher Robin’s imagination? What role does gender play in New Fantasyland? And how exactly do parades and fireworks make us feel like kids again?
Funny, clever, and honest, The Thinking Fan’s Guide presents brand-new, substantive ideas in a way that is entertaining, easy, and quick to read.
The author’s passion and affection for all things Disney comes through in engaging and reverent prose, even when the book takes the occasional attraction to task. It’s also the first book in print to devote substantive attention to the popular in-park role-playing game, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.
Every attraction is paired with a TV or movie recommendation in a feature called “WATCH THIS.” The movies aren’t the ones readers will expect. Learn why Mary Poppins is the perfect companion piece for Splash Mountain, for example, or how “LOST” ties in with the Swiss Family Treehouse, and what connects non-Disney films like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Hello, Dolly! to Main Street, U.S.A.
Harry Potter fans will also be intrigued by J.K. Rowling’s influence on today’s Disney park.
A “Facts & Stats” sidebar for each attraction will give travelers the nuts-and-bolts information they need for effective trip planning, but The Thinking Fan’s Guide‘s real value is its thought-provoking analysis and contagious passion for Walt Disney World. Relive each and every attraction through captivating assessments to realize why Disney is simply so easy to love.
“Aaron injects his personality in all the right places and never shies away from being a little bit corny. (I think I may had shed a tear or two at the end. Not kidding.)”
Estelle Hallick, This Happy Place
“The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Walt Disney World is like giving every Disney Guest who reads it their own Disney historian as a guide.”
Natalie Reiner, Ink and Paint Blog
“The Thinking Fan’s Guide is insanely readable.”
Andrew Tipton, Disney Hipsters Blog
Ever wonder why the Disney parks are so successful? A new book called “The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Walt Disney World: Mag- ic Kingdom” goes a long way toward answering that question…
Rudy Maxa, Rudy Maxa’s World
Few could come to the same brilliant conclusions.
Alex Reif, LaughingPlace.com
“I have to say this might be my favorite Disney book to date! … I love Aaron Wallace’s writing style. It’s intelligent, with a hint of humorous mixed in for good measure.”
Heidi Strawser, Heidi’s Head
This is most certainly not a guidebook – this is an expertly crafted, brilliantly executed work that intelligently takes you through the inner workings of the whys of Disney.
Amazon review (5 stars) – Emily J. Silver
I have read plenty of books, fan sites, forums. I’ve listened to podcasts galore and read blog posts, and I am a travel agent and yet I still learned new things reading this book. This book will keep a complete newbie to Disney and the super fans both happy. The backstory of the attractions in the Magic Kingdom make the attractions so much better. This gives you all the information in one place so you don’t have to troll the internet to find things out. It is a great book and I can’t wait to see more from the other parks.
Amazon review (5 stars) – J. Foster
Looking for the Original Cover Art?
Here’s a look at the book’s earlier editions: