Author Chris Strodder has once again managed to concentrate more than six decades of Disneyland history into a manageable tome. He offers an overview of each attraction, restaurant, shop and major event that has happened at the Happiest Place on Earth. Do you remember America Sings? Inside The Disneyland Encyclopedia, you can uncover how many figures made up its cast, a few of the character voices featured in addition to its opening and closing dates.
Fox example, among the voice talents featured in America Sings, was Disneyland performer Betty Taylor. Within the book's America Sings section, her name is featured in bold indicating she has her own listing. Under her entry, we’re offered a brief biography along with a description of her career at Disneyland until her 1987 retirement. This is the type of in-depth info the third edition of The Disneyland Encyclopedia contains. But, aside from all the fascinating history, the updated guide even includes more recent developments such as tidbits about the developing Star Wars Land as announced by Disney CEO Bob Iger at the 2015 D23 Expo as well as details that have been announced in more recent months.
This new updated third edition of The Disneyland Encyclopedia is 527 pages (black & white) with over 300 photos. Also new, Strodder has added "Mouscellany" sidebars (almost 200 of them) highlighting fun facts, hidden secrets, and odd trivia about the park.
We enjoyed using the book beyond its intended design -- a game we call "Identify the Letter Icon." At the beginning of each alphabetized section, the author has selected an appropriate image such the little green men for letter “L”. We made our way through the book trying to guess what the author might select. As an example for letter “C” my guess was Casey Jr, Doobie guessed castle, while little dude guessed cars. We were all wrong. It was the mailbox marked “Chip & Dale” Once again, be ready for distractions during this game as we stumbled on a picture of little dude’s favorite bear, Wendell, and had a brief conversation about the Country Bears.
The Disneyland Encyclopedia also will provide me an invaluable tool to support some important basic school skills over the summer. We’ll use it to reinforce my little dude’s developing alphabetical skills. The reward for finding “Space Mountain” is far more enticing than your standard dictionary requests but there are far more distractions. “Hey, mom! Check this out about Carnation Cafe.”
In the age of Wikipedia and Google, it's nice to have a broad scope of information on a fun topic like Disneyland readily available on the bookshelf in the form of Chris Strodder's The Disneyland Encyclopedia. It gave us a chance to revisit skills that will strengthen research abilities on less interesting topics in the endless recesses of the web.