Thursday, December 23, 2010

Two Oldie But Goodie Books

Occasionally I discover new amusement park books that I hadn't heard of before, for whatever reason.  In the past couple months I found two such titles, both of which ended up being worthy of mention here on NPN!

Hersheypark: The Sweetness of Success, written by Charles J. Jacques, Jr. and published in 1997 is an absolutely wonderful complete history of the theme park.

When I say complete I really mean complete.  The story of the park begins with Milton Hershey himself, and the book then chronicles everything up through the addition of the Wildcat coaster in 1996.  All developments and changes to the park are in there, accompanied by plenty of graphics.

I really love how Charles included park maps from different eras to show how dramatically things were changing.  There's some rare concept artwork included as well, and even an aerial photo or two! (and you know my love for those!)

If you've any interest in the history Hersheypark, this one is sure to satisfy.

Going back to 1982 when Walt Disney's Epcot Center: Creating the New World of Tomorrow was published you have to remember that EPCOT was brand-stinking new at the time.

Coincidentally it's also my birth year, so I have to figure that the park was probably built at least partially in celebration of that.

Kidding.  I've always been fascinated by EPCOT, mostly because what it could have or would have been if Walt had been alive for its building.

This book takes a careful look at each section of the park, Future World and the World Showcase.  There's plenty of stories about the park's creation, concept drawings, and other goodies packed in the pages.

There's even a section on the planned, but never built, African Pavilion.  The two shows that were planned for the area are covered, and it certainly sounds like the area was a definite go - but that wasn't how it turned out.  (some history on that here)

I got my copy used, which makes sense considering the book's age.  I think I paid a few dollars for it - it arrived not in perfect condition but all things considered it's a steal.  And worth several times that amount, in my opinion.