Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I received two days ago a copy of the brand new "Art of Walt Disney World" book and let me tell you that it is THE artwork book of the year for all Disney World fans and Imagineering lovers!
Jeff Kurti and Bruce Gordon are the authors and they succeed to create a book even better than the previous "Art of Disneyland". Thanks to the gorgeous artwork, The Art of Walt Disney World is stunning from page 1 to page 138. The printing of the book is great and its size - 13.6" x 10.6" is perfect to pay tribute to all WDI artists who have some of their artwork reproduced inside the book.
When i opened the book two days ago i couldn't believe my eyes: almost all of the artwork in the book is shown for the first time! And God knows that i know a LOT of WDI artwork...
All WDI legendary artists are in the book, whether it is Herb Ryman with this Horizons in Future world painting...
Or Harper Goff with this beautiful "World Showcase Promenade Overview"...
Or Dorothea Redmond with this also beautiful "Adventureland Gate" painting...
And of course Mary Blair with this Contemporary Resort Grand Canyon Concourse Mural concept-art.
Marc Davis fans will be in heaven as many of Marc's artwork is reproduced in the book, including some less known renderings like these two for Pirates of Caribbean.
You will learn that Marc Davis designed too "some scenes and vignettes for show elements along the Rivers of America", like this one below.
Tomorrowland fans will love this Colin Campbell early concept for the WEDway People Mover showing its "dramatic entrance into a show building".
And Epcot Future World lovers will dream on Tony Baxter's first concept for The Living Seas pavilion.
And if you love as much as I do famous attraction posters then you're going to love this one, created for the now extinct 20000 Leagues under the Sea attraction.
Also reproduced into the book, some of the great Main Street Vehicles Ad Cards, like this one for the Jungle Cruise.
The dozens and dozens of gorgeous renderings - for most of them released for the first time - would be enough to put any reader in heaven, but there is more in The Art of Walt Disney World, and what will REALLY send you over the top are the dozens of renderings showing attractions projects that-never-were, and lot of them were totally unknown until now.
You probably knew that Herb Ryman designed a great "Africa" concept for World showcase...
But did you knew that a Thames River Ride was envisioned for the World Showcase United Kingdom pavilion?
Yes, including a reproduction of the Tower of London as well as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament as you can see on this Harper Goff rendering!
Mind you, that was not the only project for the U.K pavilion, as an Audio-Animatronics attraction based on the world of Charles Dickens was also developed - including Scrooge's encounter with the ghosts of Christmas. You will find many Sam McKim renderings about this attraction concept inside the book.
At Animal Kingdom, Joe Rhode first concept of Kali River Rapids was called Tiger Rapids Run and was originally a white water raft ride in the rain forests of India...
And although Animal Kingdom animals are all supposed to be real, WDI envisioned to add Audio-Animatronics to some scenes of that ride-that-never-was.
Do you remember Discovery Island? I loved it and it's sad to know that it's now closed forever, but the book will show you some incredible first concepts for this Island. Like this spectacular "Wreck of the Hispaniola" scene - inspired by Disney 1950's film Treasure Island.
Other Treasure Island elements also envisioned for the island were abandoned like this Ben Gunn's cave.
If you were at WDW between 1973 and 1978, you may have ride the Fort Wilderness Campground Railroad. But most of you - just like me - probably have never heard about it as it was operational five years only.
Walt Disney World Hotels are not forgotten in the book, and you will find dazzling renderings about them. But did you knew that a Main Street Hotel was envisioned for WDW Magic Kingdom? A kind of ancestor of our Disneyland Paris hotel, i suppose...
You see, "The Art of Walt Disney World" is a delight from the beginning to the end, an absolute must for any Disney theme park fan, and as i have said before, the book have so many renderings released for the first time that it's almost a miracle.
The price of the book is $49.95, but there is a little problem: the book is a Walt Disney World exclusive! Which means that, normally, you can't buy it anywhere else.
I saw it on Amazon.com or Ebay but prices are insane. So, if you don't plan to go at WDW anytime soon, the best solution would be to order it through the WDW mail order service. You have to call WDW at the (407) 363 62 00 and then press on "3" to arrive to the WDW mail order service. I just called them, and it's perfectly possible to order the book wherever you live. If you live in Europe, the book will cost you $99.95 including shipping and $59.95 only if you live inside the U.S... but at least it won't be the $200 that an Amazon marketplace seller is asking for!
All pictures: copyright Disney - WED Enterprises