Dream It! Do It! by Marty Sklar

Disneyland has always been a magical place for me. It’s the only place in the world where I feel young and filled with childlike wonder. It always be a place of beauty, and I can’t wait to take my kids and re-experience all the joy through their eyes.

The other part of Disneyland that fascinates me is how it works. I love knowing and seeing the inner workings, and the behind the scenes stuff that turns plain buildings into virtual fairy tales. Knowing how the magic is made doesn’t spoil anything for me, in fact it allows me to appreciate the artistry and design even more.

I have read plenty on the original Disneyland and the creation and evolution of all the Disney parks. The stories have become so polished and overused over the years that they have become somewhat boring.

Walt sat on a park bench. He had an idea; fast forward a few years and you get Disneyland despite the critics.

It’s a good story just not too interesting anymore.

Marty Sklar gives you the backstories you want to hear. No, there is nothing scandalous or shocking in the in Sklar’s stories, but they do show you the grit and gruff it took to design the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, the rest of Walt Disney World, and the parks throughout the world. Since the death of Walt Disney, the Disney company and brand has gone through a lot of trials and tribulations and Marty Sklar was one of the main, positive stars throughout it all.

I definitely wanted to hear more about the development of the Disneyland Resort. There is no mention about the ill-fated WestCOT and very little talk about the development of Disney’s California Adventure. It was fun to see Sklar rip into the Paul Pressler era. Any Disneyland fan understands the disdain and contempt directed at Pressler, but it was nice to hear a Disney legend give his official stamp of frustration towards Pressler. Furthermore, it was surprising to see Sklar have a generally positive review of Eisner. According to Sklar, Eisner saved the company from despair yet failed to make it thrive.

This was simply a great book. If you love Disney history, buy it.