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on July 14, 2003
This book COULD have been so much better. This book SHOULD have been a lot better. I am a big Disney World fan, and was looking forward to reading this book when I first saw it, but I was very disappointed in it. The author in this book, Eve Zibart, is not very good. She shares her opinions way too much, which don't even make sense, and she is trying to write this book like she is turning it into her english teacher. The phrases and words she uses are too complicated at times, and again, do not make any sense. You get the feeling she is trying to impress someone with that. Those kind of things are not suited for this type of book. Also, she does not cover nearly as much as she should in a book like this. This book is a great concept, and if done right, would have been very interesting. I was expecting to learn some behind-the-scenes things about Disney World, but throughout the whole book I probably learned one thing. If someone else writes a book with this same concept, I would love to read it, but I do not recommend reading this one.
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on November 5, 2002
I think Zibart misses the point with this book. It reads like a collection of magazine or newspaper articles, and has a highly cynical tone, that masquerades as investigative journalism.
Some portions of the book are interesting, but the most interesting parts are borrowed from widely available sources (she quotes Birnbaum's guide frequently). The review of Eisner era history is perhaps the most informative section of the book.
Zibart doesn't go to Disneyworld to be entertained or to have a good time, she is in search of a story, and she doesn't really find one. Her chapter on Disney's view of history is particularly mean spirited, and deconstructionist in nature. She often gets it wrong, looking for political correctness. She overlooks Disneyland as an historical antecedant to the WDW Magic Kindgom, in terms of ride development and change. She overlooks the value of Disney style entertainment in stimulating interest in history. She also applies a kind of psuedo-psychological analysis of Disney, which ultimately says much more about Ziebarts psychology than Walt's or Eisner's.
She spends far too much time writing about hidden Mickey's when that information is readily available on the Web. She doesn't give credit to her sources either.
There are better insider books available. This fails to be an expose or a well thought out critique.
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on March 4, 2003
This little book is packed with lots of fun and interesting history and trivia about Disney. It covers everything from parks to rides to hidden Mickeys to the main players such as Walt Disney and Michael Eisner. I've read many books about the parks, Walt, Eisner, etc., and I honestly expected this to be a condensed re-hash of all that. I am pleasantly surprised to find that's not the case. I am also surprised that some of the other reviewers mentioned negativity on the part of the author. I didn't find it negative at all -- and as a Disney enthusiast, I surely would have picked up on that! In contrast, I found it fresh and just an incredibly FUN book. And the price can't be beat!
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on September 24, 2003
I came to the book looking for interesting inside tidbits. What I found was a book not well-researched, with a number of outright factual errors, such as the old urban legend that the top of the castle can be removed in the event of a hurricane.
All this is wrapped up in a post-modern smugness that makes the reading experience, while fast-moving, downright unpleasant at times.
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