The Story of Walt Disney (1971)

One of the very first publications centered on the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, The Story of Walt Disney World: Commemorative Edition was released in the resort’s opening year and provides a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Walt’s final and most ambitious dream.

The forty-six-page book features many exclusive photos from the construction sites of the Magic Kingdom and resort hotels, as well as shots from WED Enterprises back in California, where artists conceived and designed the coming attractions. It also contains a map, depicting the three planned resort hotels that were never built: the Asian, Venetian, and Persian. Interestingly, the book also describes the resort’s future plans centering on Walt’s pet-project, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (in its original “community-living” form), a pipe dream that would of course only be realized a little over a decade later in a much-compromised theme-park version.

Several editions of the book followed over the next ten years or so with few changes, but this original 1971 commemorative edition remains one of the centerpiece items for collectors of early Walt Disney World publications.

VALUE: $15-$25

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