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MousePlanet Mailbag for October 27, 2005

We receive considerable feedback regarding our site. Although we cannot publish them all, the following may be of interest to our readers.

Feedback for contributor Richard Kaufman

Several readers have written in response to Richard Kaufman's book reviews, found in the More Mouse section of MousePlanet (link).

First, Richard notes: "In my review of The Disney Keepsakes, I explained how to assemble the reproduction of the terrific Alice Wonderbook that was included and wondered why it had not been pre-assembled (as it most certainly would have been when it was first given out in 1969 at the theaters where Alice in Wonderland was being re-released in London). I received a very kind letter from Robert Tieman, author of the book and manager of the Disney Archives":

I first off want to thank Richard for the great review of my new book, The Disney Keepsakes. As I've said before in speaking engagements about The Disney Treasures book, one of my main goals in writing these books was to do something that the true die-hard Disney fans would enjoy reading and looking at. It's been extremely gratifying to me that that goal seems to have been met, and I thank everyone; especially readers of MousePlanet. You guys 'get it.' I do have to clear something up, however, regarding the little Alice in Wonderland mystery book. The impression I've gotten from a couple of different sources is that the book—as it's presented in Keepsakes—is improperly put together, or that we [Disney] somehow have forgotten how it's supposed to go together.

Through correspondence with Brian Sibley, the Disney historian, author, and collector who suggested including the Alice Wonderbook in The Disney Keepsakes, and Robert Tieman, we've actually managed to sort all of this out. The copies of the Alice Wonderbook in the Disney Archives are all flat and unassembled, exactly as it came from the printer, and exactly as it comes in The Disney Keepsakes. The Archives didn't have a copy of the booklet as it was assembled after it left the printer and was sent to the U.K. So, it was only natural for Mr. Tieman to assume that the booklet was given out "flat." Mystery solved.

Robert closed his letter with the intriguing note: "Anyway, thanks again for all the support over the years. Who knows—there might be another book down the road." I have only one question: Where do I send my money now!

Michelle Griffin writes in response to Richard's review of Around the World with Disney:

I have to wonder why the focus strictly on WDW? I don't understand, but from your review I wouldn't waste my time. I did purchase the Disneyland: Then, Now, and Forever book. It's amazing. The pictures of the cast of The Golden Horseshoe brought tears. I remember as a child actually getting to see these people. There are so many memories of the rides—ones I remember and, sadly, some that are gone. As my children have only seen the current Disneyland and WDW, they look at me strangely when I tell them about mule rides and stagecoaches. I believe the mules were gone when I got around to seeing the park, but I remember the old Rainbow Mine Train and the "falling rocks" as you traveled through the old Frontierland. I remember the old fort where they had Native American dancing—something that would be great to see once again. Anyway, I find the book full of terrific memories and is very special to me. I have completely passed the love of Disney to my two oldest girls (12 and 10)—my boy (7) is getting there, but not quite interested yet (even all our animals have Disney names). Just wanted to pass along my thoughts on the book—look forward to reading the article.

Richard's review of Disneyland: Then, Now, and Forever generated the following letters.

Tom writes:

Where can you purchase this? Is it available at WDW as well? Thank you for a great story. I can't wait to hold that treasure in my hands. It always amazes me how Walt continued to surround himself with highly creative people and challenged them to dream bigger.

Emma Henderson writes:

Thanks for this great review—it definitely looks like a book I want to buy. Can you just let me/us know how to purchase it; is it for sale in the Disneyland merchandise shops or can we buy it online?

Tim O'Day, the book's co-author, writes:

Just read your review of Disneyland: Then, Now & Forever. WOW! Thank you for all the platitudes. It was a real labor of love for both Bruce and I and I think it shows. Just wanted to expand on your review in that the book has been immensely popular with park guests. It seems people can find some aspect of the Disneyland story that personally resonates with them and that was the whole goal of its design. I know I can speak on behalf of Bruce when I say that it is very satisfying to see not only hard-core Disneyphiles but every-day park guests really admire the book.

All the best,

Tim O'Day

Needless to say, it's very gratifying when both regular Disney lovers and the authors of the books respond to a review. I enjoy writing them and I'm glad you seem to enjoy reading them. Regarding availability:

The Disney Keepsakes is available from both Amazon.com.

Disneyland: Then, Now, and Forever and The Art of Disneyland are available at the Disney theme parks and through Disney DelivEars (800-362-4533).

Around the World with Disney is available at the Disney theme parks and through Walt Disney World Merchandise Guest Services (407-363-6200).

MouseShoppe sells all of these books and I highly recommend their service. Click here (link) to visit MouseShoppe.

Louis Gonzalez writes in about The Art of Disneyland:

Thanks for your review of this book. I carefully looked through this book on a recent trip to Disneyland. I have to agree with all your comments about how cheaply this book was made and how expensive it is. One observation you failed to notice is by far the biggest reason why I am avoiding purchasing this book. If you look carefully and many of the pictures within the book (if you have 20/20 vision, that is), you will notice bad pixilation problems occurring throughout. I figure that this happened because Bruce probably used his home computer to compile this book. If this was planned as a high price art book, they should have emphasized on making the artwork look perfect. This is never a problem with professional books. This was a terrible mistake on their part. There is no need for low quality scans of artwork. That is my biggest issue with this book. You can check for yourself and pass it along.

I did, however, pick up his Now, Then, and Forever book. I loved the rare pictures and facts. I think his font choices for that book were very immature. It reminded me of when Web sites first started, and people didn't know much about design. He was an Imagineer! He should have been more creative than to use those tacky fonts. I still bought it though as I didn't buy it for the beauty of the fonts. And at least it is a cheaper book. But cheapening on a $75 ART book with low resolution scans is a sin!

Richard responds: "Thanks for your comments, Louis, but I see no pixelization whatsoever in the reproduction of the artwork. Perhaps your eyesight is better than mine."

Richard's review of The Imagineering Field Guide (link) prompted Terre Mulkey to write:

I enjoyed your review. I purchased the guidebook from Barnes and Noble September 8th. I read it on the plane as I traveled to Disney World on the 10th. I found the book full of wonderful tidbits that I "checked out" as I went through the Magic Kingdom. On Tuesday, the 13th I went on the Keys to the Kingdom tour.

Boy was I surprised. So much of the content of the Keys to the Kingdom tour is in the guidebook. When we stopped for lunch, the tour guide pretty much pulled me aside and asked me "what was my story?" She said that I was nodding every time she pointed something out. I told her about the guidebook that had just been published and contained lots of the same material. I told her that the tour guides might need to get a copy and look it over because I bought mine at Barnes and Noble.

I don't know, if I had known that the same material was in both, I might have taken the tour first, and then bought the book later to just have the information written down somewhere.

Mike Whitener writes:

I visited the Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea this summer and couldn't find a picture book at the parks. Is there one? My photos of DisneySea didn't come out that great. Like T-shirts—perhaps the Japanese don't much like souvenir books.

There are numerous photo books of Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea - they will be the subject of an upcoming review I'm planning. Unfortunately they are all in Japanese and available only at the Tokyo Disneyland Resort. Look on eBay for titles such as Tokyo DisneySea Perfect Guidebook. They are filled with a huge number of beautiful color photos of the park.


Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Richard via our Mailbag here.

Feedback for Alex Stroup

Alex Stroup answers some reader questions:

Don Dobrez writes:

I have been searching high and wide for any information concerning a 2005 version of the Haunted Mansion Holiday Event at Disneyland. Is this the first year that they are not having one? Where can I find any information explaining why there isn't one? Thanks!

You are correct that they are not having a Haunted Mansion Holiday merchandise event this year, for the first time since they started to the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay. While no official explanation was given, the most likely reason is that after several years of doing the same event they felt interest had begun to decline. Also, with so many events surrounding the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland it may have been seen as redundant or distracting to hold the event.

Rusty Wornom wrote in asking about a photo used for the Walt Disney World Update:

Great update as usual. But since I work only a few miles from Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, I'm curious why today's WDW update is accompanied by a photo of the Capitol building in Williamsburg.

What happened is this, I didn't have a photo appropriate to the topics in the Park Update so I did what I usually do and combed through our file photos looking for something interesting yet bland, and preferably unused for that purpose before. This one was labeled "Hall of Presidents" and I didn't pay enough attention to notice that it was a photo of the building that partially served as inspiration for the Hall of Presidents. (See Brian Bennett's Liberty Square photo tour here).

So it was simply an oversight on my part.


Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Alex here.
If you have any general questions or comments, please write to us at our Mailbag here

GENERAL QUESTIONS

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