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The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World: Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,344 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
Sure, it's the Happiest Place on Earth, but how much do the 45 million-plus people who visit the Disney World theme parks annually really know about it? From where to find all the hidden Mickeys to the truth behind Madame Leota's ring at the Haunted Mansion, learn all about the hidden magic that permeates these fabulous resorts in this tell-all handbook. Readers also get t ...more
ebook, 259 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Adams Media Corporation (first published June 26th 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Becky Ginther
Jun 16, 2011 Becky Ginther rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are into Disney World, this may be a very interesting book for you. However, it's definitely for a certain type of fan. I think that someone who maybe has an annual pass and goes all of the time and already knows every minute little detail will already know some of what's in here. On the other hand, even if you go every few years and consider yourself a fan, I do think there is a lot here that will be new and interesting.

The idea behind this book is really good, but it unfortunately drags
Aug 30, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although the book Walt Disney World Hidden History: Remnants of Former Attractions and Other Tributes provoked me into buying this book(I wish I could have given this book more than just the 5 most stars-and more close to 10 stars instead), this was an excellent book to read. I liked this book more than the former book. Although some points were explained better than the former book(which crossed over in SOME places), this book was a bit more fleshed-out as well as several additional points adde ...more
Apr 15, 2012 Andrea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
The book describes itself as a guide to hidden Walt Disney World treasures, no matter if you’re just going to the parks for your first time or if you’re a well-seasoned WDW fan like me.

If you’re a first time visitor to Walt Disney World, then it’s a good guide to inform of all the extra things that Disney does to help make their parks so magical.

Unfortunately, I was more than a little disappointed by this book. Many of the hidden secrets in the book are things that you don’t really have to go o
Ashley P.
Dec 27, 2014 Ashley P. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a sucker for any book that has the words "Disney World" in the title so when I saw this book on sale at Barnes & Noble I snatched it up.
Unfortunately, I don't know if it's just my copy or all of the Barnes & Noble version, but I was missing pages 19-50 and it was part of the Magic Kingdom section (my favorite) so it really knocked my excitement down a peg.
That aside, this book is really interesting and if I ever get to go back to Disney World I am definitely taking it with me. Ther
Sep 27, 2014 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it!

I chose this rating because I am a huge disney fan. I love all the parks in the U.S.A. and this book helped with the fun of our trip. I hope more books come out that are like this. I they do I would love to be messaged about it. so if you love disney secrets then this is the book for you.
Feb 23, 2014 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Not a bad little book. I loved reading all the facts and hidden secrets about Walt Disney World. I LOVE Walt Disney World so it wasn't going to be hard for this book to impress me. I do wish it had focus on a few more attractions, some were barely mentioned and a few not at all. This book would be tons of fun to have with you while strolling through the parks, the only downside is WDW has made a lot of changes since this book's publication. It's new enough to cover the addition of Jack Sparrow a ...more
May 08, 2013 Steph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, disney
I really enjoyed this book. I've read a lot of Disney books and I loved having new and surprising information. I actually took notes so I'd have something to refer to when I go down next month as a part of the Disney College Program!
Many believe Walt Disney World to be a simple vacation destination, full of magic and dreams coming true. They have the magic and dreams part right, but the simplicity? Not so much. Welcome to one of the best "Stop and Smell the Roses" guides you will ever read. This book is a "walking companion piece" to each of Walt Disney World's four parks. Even though I'm not in WDW yet, I read it anyway. The way it's presented does add an awkward element to it - you can't really "look up" when you are not ...more
Brittany Z
Aug 25, 2015 Brittany Z rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book serves its purpose for people interested in extra facts about the disney parks. I like how it was organized by how you walk through the parks so you can look for things as you go
Its a nice book of facts to bring and read in lines at the park. It definitely made me appreciate all the work that goes into the parks as there are so many details you would never notice. My criticism of the book would be to condense it some by maybe taking the history of the parks out (which would make it lig
Shaun McAlister
Jan 06, 2014 Shaun McAlister rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone who has never been to America I read this book not as a tourist but as someone who likes to know the hidden stories behind cultural icons. And in the end I wanted to pack my bags and spend a week at Disney hunting all of them down, ignoring the rides and taking pleasure in seeing a wooden leg named Smith.
There were two downsides to this book though. Being unable to follow along with the text some of the visuals were lost on me but that is no fault of the text since I was reading it in
Daniel Butcher
May 11, 2015 Daniel Butcher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: disney-history
It has been nearly 400 posts since I reviewed The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World by Susan Veness. New Fantasyland has come to life. Test Track is now more Tron than General Motors. And Avatar has led to shifts at Disney's Animal Kingdom. I think it is fair to say that now is a good time for an updated version of Veness' title.

The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World: Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom by Susan Veness provides a be
Aug 23, 2013 Jo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for people interested in learning more about Walt Disney World. If you are a Disney expert, you will probably know most of this. It was interesting to read. However, this book needed to be researched more. The author got some things wrong (calling Remy from the movie Ratatouille the wrong name, saying The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe won 11 Oscars). She also advised taking a flash picture on a ride to look at later (something that is against Disney's policy, and is annoyi ...more
Jul 28, 2011 Alexandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World was full of fun facts, a lot of which I had no idea about! The author definitely took her time researching this one. Everything in the book that she talks about she has seen firsthand and can verify it. For example, when describing particularly interesting "talking" water fountains, Susan writes: Now, standing on the pathway between Fountain of Nations and Mouse Gear, with the fountain to your right and the shop to your left, you will see two drinking founta ...more
Jun 20, 2011 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't want to say that I'm a fan of Walt Disney World, but my friends and family refer to me as the "Disney Nazi" because of my knowledge of the parks, ability to plan vacation experiences based on individual preferences at the drop of a hat, and tendency to take people to the parks who have never been there before so I can experience the visit through their eyes. Oh, and I know the menus of every restaurant in all four parks. This book is an insider's look at the planning, creating, and updat ...more
The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World by Susan Veness

I received a copy of this book through BookSneeze. I am under no obligation to write a positive review, just an honest one.

If you know much about me, you know I'm a Disneyland fanatic!!! I love going to Disneyland (yes Disneyland, the one in California) as it close to my mom's home and my best friend, Brian, takes me all the time! In fact, I was just there for my birthday on October 23rd!!

This book is a great history of the Disney empire!

I hav
Benjamin Thomas
Feb 08, 2011 Benjamin Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is the book I've been reading lately during my mornings. It's actually my daughter's book, purchased during our June trip to Florida, and she found it so fascinating that I just had to read it too. I was skeptical at first because I fancy myself a pretty knowledgeable Disney World visitor, having been to the park at least 5 times in the past 20 years.

I've also read several Walt Disney biographies as well as related books and seen documentaries about how the parks were built, etc. So I just
Luiza Salazar
This book started off great, with the promise of looking further into a theme I've been studying since I was a little girl.
Susan Veness is a fan, but she isn't anything else. Her book doesn't read like something a person would actually have to study to create (which is proven by the fact that her reference material were only TWO other books. Seriously?) and her writing style isn't good enough to be taken seriously.
The book is super fun, and if you're a fan of the Disney parks, you will be transp
Dec 06, 2012 Mel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can't say this revealed too much that was new to me. I guess at this stage in my investment into Disney Parks lore it would be pretty difficult to shake me up. That's not really what annoyed me about this book though, it was more that the tone it was written in was very strange. I think Veness should've opted for a more journalistic approach. Let the information sit on its own without any additives such as, "And that's really clever!" Because to someone like me, who used to work and live there, ...more
Nov 23, 2013 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as a birthday gift from my son and daughter-in-law...and it was a perfect gift for me! I love all things Disney, and had recently taken the family to Disneyworld for the 1st time in 10 years or so a couple months ago. Since I have been many times over the years, it was very interesting to read about all the secret things most of us miss in our rush to do everything there as fast as possible to be sure we get it all in. The author does a great job walking you through the park ...more
Apr 21, 2011 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World is subtitled Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. I didn’t count them, but this book certainly is packed full of information. Reading this book was like opening up a whole new world for me. Not only have I never been to any Disney park, I can’t even keep straight which one is in Florida and which is in California. I really didn’t think I had missed much, but this book makes me want to pack up the famil ...more
May 07, 2011 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Anyone who's ever been to one of the Disney parks knows the incredible detail that went into creating them. They aren't your typical "amusement parks." It's like being in a whole separate world, and nothing is overlooked. Some of the details you can see yourself, quite obviously. But others are "hidden," and you have to know where to look. That's where this book comes in.

The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World, by Susan Veness, is a guide for recognizing some of the hidden details of the four maj
Faye Ducker
My first thought after finishing this book is that it would be great to take around the parks with you (which I'm sure is the original intention) however if you're reading it at home like I did, it gets a little tedious.

Veness' writing style is a little bland and failed to get me excited about any of the parks. The best part of the book are the secrets and hints, I feel like it could have done without the timelines as they are repetitive and basically just a list of rides that were added that p
Oct 21, 2015 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coming up to my first visit to WDW this year, and I purchased a few used tourbooks to get my bearings. I found this one easy to jump into first, giving me a very general description of the lands and attractions so I could get it set in my head. Looking forward to taking this with me and checking off what I missed when I come back.
I think it's an awesome first timer book that gives you a backstage pass to some of the hidden secrets.
Jan 07, 2016 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't been to Disney World since 2004 or 2005, and even then I had only gone to The Magic Kingdom, so this was all fun for me to read and remember and be nostalgic about. While I did enjoy the book, I did find some parts lacking or drawn out, but overall it was very good and brought back some good memories. Maybe one of these days I'll be able to check out some of the other parks! I would recommend this book. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
May 10, 2011 Birgit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a big fan of Walt Disney World it was only a matter of time before I came across this wonderful book by Susan Veness.
Presenting hidden secrets as well as lesser known facts about all four Disney Parks you will learn a thing or two that you've never heard of before or might have simply overlooked when roaming one of the parks. And it's not just about finding hidden Mickey's, but about having an open eye for all kinds of details in attractions and its surroundings alike.
And trust me, even t
Brandan Roberts
Chapter on Magic Kingdom was great, the other parks do not seem to be covered nearly as in depth - especially Animal Kingdom. What's more, the writing seems equivalent to reading an amateur blog as times, and if not for the subject matter (some new information, but a lot I already knew anyway) the book would be almost tedious. Worth it for when feeling nostalgic for the World though!
Jun 08, 2010 Redfox5 rated it really liked it
Shelves: disney, non-fiction
I can't belive how much stuff I missed at Disney! I'm so excited to be going again now. I can't wait to start hunting for stuff, epeically for the Hidden Mickeys. I'm going to keep an eye out for the feral cats that are the parks rat catchers, I certainly didn't notice any of them last time I was there. Also a bit gutted about all the rides, parades and attractions that have now closed down that I'll never get to experience. Like the 'Who wants to be a millionaire-play it!' where you got the cha ...more
Jennifer (livresaddicted)
The first edition of this book was (and still is) my favourite book about Walt Disney World. The second edition is just as good. I love the little details and the secrets in Walt Disney World and this book is sharing them with us. It's a must read for anyone wanting to visit the park, disney fans and even for the know-it-all kind of person! I always want to know more about the parks and this book do just that.

La première édition était (et est toujours) mon livre préféré sur Walt Disney World. L
Mar 27, 2014 Martha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was fine but there wasn't anything in it that I didn't already know. People who have been to WDW a few times may get some use from it if they haven't researched the "secrets" and need a little something to do besides just doing rides. Regulars know that the "Magic" of WDW is more than just rides and this book helps newbies see that. Also, the book is a little out-dated but that is to be expected. I average 2 trips a year and every time there is something new or different to see or do.
May 03, 2014 Charlotte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazingly helpful when going to Disney! I'm a total disnerd, so I really adored this! It gave me so much different info about the parks that even I, an obsessive fan, had no clue about. Altogether, it was full of information and I definitely used it during my birthday trip in November:)
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Susan Veness is an international travel writer, solo author of The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World, Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World Trivia, and the second edition of The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World, plus the co-author of The Hidden Magic Planner and the Brit Guide travel book series. She was among the first visitors to Walt Disney World in 1971 and has maintained a keen interest in Orlan ...more
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“Imagine That! As Manager of Entertainment Staffing, Gene Columbus knew how to create the kind of special events Disney does so well. But there was one event that stands out for him: “There are so many special events and productions to be proud of, but the one that sticks out in my mind was the twenty-fifth anniversary of Special Olympics. We kept adjusting the scope of the event so Disney could provide more experiences to the families attending the event, and as the producer I had to keep adjusting and working with my operational partners to find ways to reduce costs. Everyone worked hard to make it happen and I am sure many of those people share how proud they are for pulling this event off in such a grand scale with a small budget. As part of the program there was a drawing to select the Special Olympian to carry the torch to light the cauldron on stage, and this was done only hours before the big celebration. When the young man arrived at America Gardens stage in Epcot he was in a wheelchair, and as I briefed him he was very clear that he would not use his chair but would walk to the stage carrying the torch. I was so taken with this young man and his determination, and when that moment came he proudly stood up and began walking toward the stage. The audience jumped to their feet and you could see the joint emotion of the young man and this large audience. About halfway, it became apparent that he was having difficulties and was not going to make it, but his father came out of nowhere and grabbed his son before he fell and helped him to the stage. He did not take the torch as his son continued on his quest to light the cauldron. The moment the flame burned brightly the young man turned to the audience, with his father stepping backward to ensure the glory was for his son, and the brilliance of this young man’s smile and pride shined as brightly as the flame. I admit that tears were rolling down my cheek and each time I see the America Garden stage I have a flash of that very magical moment.” 0 likes
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