Best Disney History Books of 2017
“Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food” by Marcy Carriker Smothers, is by far one of my favorite books on Disney history. Yes, Disney history. It takes a unique look at Walt and Disneyland through food, what he liked, what was and still is served in the park.
This book really is a must-have for any Disney fan. It not only gives a never-before told history about Walt and Disneyland, but also this book is filled with glorious photos and sketches – many seen for the first time – of Walt and Disneyland, as well as images of many of the various restaurants menus.
There are a lot of photos Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food that I have never seen before. It is worth the book price just for that. Add to it the stories, the history, the concept art, and the recipes and it’s really just a terrific book that would look nice on an average size coffee table or side table for reference.
Marcy Carriker Smothers has produced a book that is far-reaching in its scope and offers a new perspective on Walt Disney, culinary life at his studio and how food figured in his planning of Disneyland.
This story begins, as many good Southern tales do, with an antiques shop. The treasure-hunter was Walt Disney himself and the setting was the late 1950s in a curio store in New Orleans, where Disney spotted a gilded metal cage with a mechanical singing bird perched inside. Enchanted, he brought the find home to Anaheim, California, where he implored the staff at his recently opened Disneyland to understand how the bird moved and sang—and then improve upon it.
Holes smokes, where to begin? EAT LIKE WALT is an absolute must-own for any Disney fan. Yes, that expression is used A LOT but author Marcy Smothers has crafted a coffee table book that I can’t stop thinking about or talking about and I’m so happy I got the chance to have an advanced copy to review.
The book is definitely for Disney Geeks. That fact is validated with a stamp of legitimacy in the form of a foreward by Chief Creative Officer of Pixar, John Lasseter. He talks about his experiences early in his Disney career with eating on the studio lot and more broadly about the impressive work by Smothers to compile all the information in the book.
Marcy Carriker Smothers’ latest book, “Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food,” is a hefty, large-format tome that can be a little hard to digest in one visit, kind of like the iconic theme park in its name. But thanks to a generous helping of insider-type historic photographs and drawings, colorful graphics and a passionate narrative, it sweeps the reader along for the ride. And it’s a good one…
Talk about a book that took me completely by surprise. With a title like this I was expecting a pure “marketing” product. Not so at all. This is an outstanding book, full of never-seen-before illustrations and photographs, and impeccably researched by Marcy Carriker Smothers, an author who clearly cares deeply about her subject matter.
This is a book that will be a pure delight to fans of Walt Disney himself and to Disneyland enthusiasts. I never thought I would say this about a book titled Eat Like Walt, but this is clearly a “must have” for many of us.
***** An Historical Tour De Force Of Disneyland Restaurants And More! Golden…And Sure To Bring Joy And A Smile!
By Albert M. on September 19, 2017
I only just received my copy of this remarkable book a few hours ago and i’m already checking my list, ready to stock up for Chrismas presents!
My first impression was one of wonder! Wonder in the effort and care in publishing this remarkable history. The overall design and chosen photographs immediately perked my interest. Even the artwork on each page added to the overall feeling of being transported to each location and memory!
As I began perusing the pages, a feeling of warmth enveloped my mind and never let go until I reached the end! A true moment of time travel exists that I had long forgotten could exist in a book. Each story whisked me away to my childhood, spending time with my family at Disneyland. I realized that each restaurant shared a personal history for me and those whom I love. Just as we gather around our meals and share the goings-on of our day, this book allows us to do the same and draws us closer to being adopted into Walt’s family. When you finish you may feel as I did, that I had been privy to some pretty special moments in the Disney history heretofore just touched on in other works.
I can’t recommend this history book enough. You absolutely should not confuse this volume in even a small way with a cookbook…it IS NOT! Yes there is a chapter of marvelous and simple recipes in the final pages and particularly the recipe for Blue Bayou’s “Monte Cristo Sandwich. But the true story is all about a love letter from this author to Walt Disney and his adopted family…dreamers everywhere!
What Would Walt Eat?
Marcy Smothers is a Sonoma Valley treasure and a close friend of Glen Ellen’s John Lasseter, who (as chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios) is a national treasure. And Walt Disney (as Walt Disney) may have been (and could still be) an interstellar treasure.
Which brings us to Smothers’ new book, Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food. While some people may take issue with the title assumption (have you eaten at Disneyland lately?), Smothers manages to translate the title into a fascinating look back at the evolution of Disneyland food and the food habits of Walt Disney himself.
Disneyland acolytes, who number in the millions, will be fascinated as Smothers reveals the culinary history of each Disneyland attraction, from the dinner menu of the Tahitian Terrace to the futuristic dessert “surprises” offered at Carnation In Disneyland, a smorgasbord of milk-based treats.
The photos are worth the price of admission and show Walt and company in countless scenes inside the park, often in conjunction with food. Judging from both the text and the photos, Walt was no gourmet. But at the time, neither was America.
The 176, glossy-paged homage to Disney food will make a weighty addition to coffee-table collections, and at $35 is a relative bargain.
Published by Disney Editions, with a foreword from John Lasseter.
Author Marcy Carriker Smothers held a special panel on the final day of the D23 Expo 2017 that highlighted topics in her upcoming book, Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food. While a lot of Disneyland’s culinary history has been covered before, Smothers goes ALL IN here for an exhaustive look at all the munchins and crunchins surrounding the life of Walt Disney.