Cover Image: Disneyland on the Mountain

Disneyland on the Mountain

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Member Reviews

As a Disney fan (not quite a Disney adult but close), I really enjoyed this history. It is always interesting to see when park plans fail (such as the one that could have been in Virginia), and to see why a plan does not work. A great read for any fan of the parks!

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***** I have received and read an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for giving my honest feedback. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.*****

It's a nice book, and definitely taught me some new things about Disney, but the lack of interviews was a little disappointing (to be fair, most of the people who worked on this are dead by now).

There's nothing you can't learn from the internet, but at least with this book you don't have to go do the research for yourself.

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This is a fascinating volume for anyone with an interest in the Disney company or environmental law and history. It is well researched and has a good flow, though at times I felt we could have used less background research on some minor players. It’s a great book for many corporate or school libraries, but perhaps not for a general public collection.

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From the publisher: A fascinating look at Walt Disney's last, unfinished project and the controversy that surrounded it, including the budding environmental movement that made sure the resort never saw the light of day.

I’m a huge fan of Disneyland, Disney World, Disney movies, and their creator, Walt Disney. Walt Disney revolutionized animated films and theme parks. He truly was an American genius. (And I think he’d be appalled at some of the things being done in his name today.) When I saw a book was coming out about his attempts to build a Disney ski resort destination, I wanted to read it.

I’m afraid to say I did not find the entire book to be “fascinating,” no matter what the blurb says. Parts of the book I did indeed find fascinating, but I think this book could have been a great essay. The book appears to have been exhaustively researched. There are 18 pages of footnotes, a 2 page bibliography, and a 7 page index. There is no doubt that the authors did indeed find the subject fascinating.

The book opens just three months before Walt Disney’s death from lung cancer in December 1966. Right up until the end of his life, he was excited about goals he had for the Disney company. If he had managed to turn California’s Mineral King valley into a Disney resort, it would probably have been amazing. This book tells the story of the environmentalists who were determined to stop the resort from being built. (I got a definite sense that some of the people who already lived in the valley wanted to keep it pristine for themselves. It reminded me of a quote, attributed to Dennis Miller, that I heard my environmentalist brother-in-law repeat more than once: “A developer is someone who wants to build a house in the woods. An environmentalist is someone who already has a house in the woods.”)

I did find parts of the book interesting, and I learned things that I did not know. It’s only about 200 pages (not counting the footnotes and index). If you are attracted to all things Disney, you may want to read Disneyland on the Mountain. I read an advance reader copy of Disneyland on the Mountain from Netgalley. It is scheduled to be published on September 13, and the Galesburg Public Library will own it.

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I’m actually an all things Disney book collector so when I saw this was coming out I got quite excited! Any Disney history is beyond fascinating and I really enjoyed this slim book!

I had very little knowledge about Walt’s hopes to open a Ski resort just a bit of info from other biographies. The authors did a great job laying all the history out for this dream project that didn’t come to fruition.

I recommend this one to any Disney fan! The books also has great images of locations and people!

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Who knew Disney planned a ski resort and it was Walt’s Pet Project after the Winter Olympics? I do think the publisher should send a copy to Bob Iger.

As a lifelong downhill skier and Disney fan, I would love to see this project through to completion maybe in Colorado or Utah and not California. Bob how about Powder Mountain Utah?

Many of the Intrawest resorts are nearly identical in how the base lodges are laid out and the family fun element of skiing is lost in favor of selling multimillion ski homes and condos that sit empty the majority of the time.

While I would not favor cutting down old growth Sequoia trees for a road I loved the idea of taking a monorail to the mountain.

The husband/wife author team does a great job of shaping the Sierra Club movement of the 1960’s and the Supreme Court involvement. I have purchased a hardcover also but thanks to NetGalley for an ARC!

Already posted review to Goodreads!

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I consider myself a Disney fan yet had never heard of the Mineral King saga before this book - so I was super excited to dive in! I could tell that the information was really well researched yet was laid out in a manner that didn't feel overwhelming or confusing to the reader. Even knowing the final outcome, I wanted to keep reading to find out what actually went into the project and why it didn't end up working out. A very interesting read. Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC!

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As a Disney fan I was curious to learn more about the Mineral King project. The beginning of the book does a nice job telling the story of Mineral King while also putting it into the context of what was happening with the company in general at the time. Many interesting characters come into play, and I found it fascinating to see how the story played out. My favorite part of the story was all of the projects inspired by this piece of Disney history from theme parks to hotels to the ski resort in Vail, Colorado, and beyond. This book illustrates how a "failure" can evolve into many other successes. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC ... I really enjoyed this book!

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This well researched book about Walt Disney’s dream of a combined winter wonderland ski resort and summertime wilderness adventure playground was a great read. This project that never materialized gives insight into Walt’s unique imagination and love of immersion experiences for families that is his legacy.

Told alongside the story of the environmentalist movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s, Walt’s vision is as clear as the mountain air in Southern California’s Mineral King. The history of his love of nature and how it came through in his animated films and live action nature documentaries helps the reader see why this mountain retreat for families was the obvious next step for Disney.

Details complete the picture of Walt’s dedication to his life’s work, his brother Roy’s dedication to him, and the dedication of many Disney artists and imagineers who continued the Mineral King project for many years until it became an impossibility.

Thank you, NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review this title.

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“Walt, the Environmentalists, and the Ski Resort That Never Was” I enjoy reading about Disney history and I really didn’t know a lot about the book. It was a unique read and I was glad I got to read this. It works well as a nonfiction book and as a Disney historical book. The authors did a great job in creating this and I look forward to reading more.

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Greg and Kathryn’s book was terrific! I saw many similarities between today’s political battles with Disney (DeSantis v. Mouse) but as someone who works in the land conservation space I really enjoyed learning all about the Mineral King area and all the government intricacies that went into deciding if Disney could develop. A great cast of characters too with folks like Udall, Carter and other members of Congress and Administration. So well researched- my only surprise was they didn’t mention Disney’s efforts to create a “Colonial Williamsburg” (Disney America) in Virginia in I believe the 80s or 90s. Otherwise, I thought it was terrific and I wish them luck with the launch!

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I'd like to thank the publisher, NetGalley, and the author for allowing me a chance at reading this book.

This is one of those books where I feel like it honestly didn't need to be written. There is nothing here that can really be gleamed from articles on can find on the internet. There is also a lack of any 'new' information. Most of the men or women who worked on this are dead. You can't interview anybody of real substance - and I got through 50% of the book to realize there was going to be a lack of interviews in general.

Thanks, no thanks.

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This is a very timely book considering the current situation of Florida's governor fighting Walt Disney World. Along with failed Disney's America and California DisneySea, the Mineral King resort was a foiled attempt by Disney to build another theme park/resort. All three projects were protested by environmentalists and eventually abandoned. In this book, we get the complete story: from the beginnings at the Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley in the 1960s to the eventually court hearings and environmental legislation that ended the endeavor. Most interesting is that this was one of Walt's last big dreams and he died in the middle of trying to make it become a reality.

The writing is well done - nicely researched, good historical analysis, and a tone that neither lionizes nor demonizes any of the characters. Walt Disney died fairly early into the endeavor and it is a shame that someone so committed to the environment (as can be seen at Disney World and in his films and nature documentaries) was never able to bring the plan to fruition because of environmental impact concerns. Stories about Imagineers creating a ski resort for families, with year round entertainment for children and parents, sound like this could have been a big winner for Disney and for the public.

In all, very good points are made for both sides of the argument in the book. This is a very interesting side of Walt Disney that doesn't often come up and especially the Mineral King project is rarely discussed - or even known. Yet it had huge impact on environmental legislations thereafter. The book includes black and white images of the locations and players. So while we only get a glimpse of what it could have been through the Country Bear Jamboree attraction and Critter Country land at Disneyland (the bears were the original mascots created for the Mineral King Resort and then repurposed for Disney World and Disneyland), it is still interesting to read what might have been. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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This was a fascinating story! I had absolutely no idea that Disney had attempted a ski resort, and watching the progression (even knowing the final outcome - just not why) kept me interested!

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