A Book or Two to Help You Connect to the Disney Parks and More

A Book or Two to Help You Connect to the Disney Parks and More RotM Wisdom of Walt

It was so great getting to virtually meet several of you in the comments section of Monday’s column! If you missed Monday’s post, click here to check it out.

Over the years, on the evenings when my hubby needs to work late, I have found myself grabbing a book and heading to the Walt Disney World parks. I have a list of favorite spots to sit and read (and eat) on WDW property, and, on those quiet evenings, I grab something to eat, take my book from my bag, and spend time just unwinding from the day. 

The subject of Disney-inspired books that help connect us to the parks came up on last Tuesday’s DIS Unplugged, and, just in case you have some extra time to read on your hands these days, I wanted take a minute to share a few additional details about a couple of the books that I mentioned on the podcast.

The books that I’ll focus on today are The Wisdom of Walt and Beyond the Wisdom of Walt by Jeffrey A. Barnes. I first heard of Jeffrey Barnes and his books on Connecting with Walt (which, by the way, is a wonderful audio-only podcast hosted by Michael Bowling and Craig Williams). 

Mr. Barnes sets out to help the reader learn from the leadership lessons that were experienced by Walt and his Imagineers throughout their careers. The first book, The Wisdom of Walt, focuses on lessons learned during the planning and development of Disneyland, and for the second book, Beyond the Wisdom of Walt, the author uses the lessons learned during the process of establishing Walt Disney World

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Each chapter begins with a story of an experience had by Walt Disney or one of his team members. Mr. Barnes then proceeds to expand upon the lesson learned, and then poses a series of introspective questions and possible action items to the reader. I loved reading about the adventures of Walt and his team, and I enjoyed Barnes’ way of tying those lessons in with ones that I might need to learn. I didn’t always fill in the blanks at the end of the chapters, but I did make notes and brackets when something leaped off the page at me, which happened quite frequently. 

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As I was thumbing back through the books the other day, I found a couple of things that brought a smile to my face. When I’m on my evening reading adventures, I stick the receipt of the treat or meal that I purchased that evening in the pages of the book that I’m reading so I can be reminded of the fun moment that I had. According to one of the receipts that I found the other day, I was reading Beyond the Wisdom of Walt while eating a dessert at Sunshine Seasons one year ago this past Saturday. Little did I know then that a year later, Walt Disney World would be experiencing a temporary closure the likes of which it’s never seen. I loved finding the receipt, and it allowed me to connect to one of my favorite spots all over again. 

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So, what about you? Do you have a favorite Disney-inspired book that you would recommend? If so, please share it in the comments section below so that we all can add it to our must-read lists. Thanks!

Deni loves all things Disney, and, in 2013, moved to the Magic from Maryland. Walt Disney World is her happy place, and she loves getting to share it with others. Deni and her husband of almost 26 years have 2 grown children. Her favorite WDW snack? A Mickey Bar, of course. Is there any other?!


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