Book Review: The Revised Vault of Walt

9780984341542_p0_v1_s260x420A few months ago I wrote a review of the book The Vault of Walt, by Jim Korkis, over on the Come Home to Disney blog.  Since that time I was lucky enough to get a copy of the revised Vault of Walt, and I would love to share that review with you now.

For the most part the revised version of this book is similar to the original.  The major differences are that the new version has some stories that have been added, and others that were removed.  Of those that have remained in both editions, I noticed very few changes and I believe that for the most part they remain the same.  Because I’ve reviewed much of the old material previously, in this post I thought I’d give you my thoughts on some of the new sections.

Overall the new book is excellent, just like the old one.  The stories have been narrowed down to the best ones, and they are well written and chock full of information.  Jim Korkis is a great storyteller, and one that has some very unique information and insights into the Disney company.  If you’re looking for fun Disney stories or information that you almost certainly haven’t heard before, this is where you’ll find them.

There are five new stories in this book: Eating Like Walt, And the Oscar Goes to… Walt Disney, The Carousel of Progress, The Man Who Shot Walt Disney, and Song of the South Frequently Asked Questions.

The first, ‘Eating Like Walt,’ is a rather unique chapter.  It starts out by describing what his favorite foods were and what he liked to eat.  It turns out that he was a fan of homestyle foods, and a bit of a picky eater at that!  It’s an interesting chapter, but what makes it really original is the fact that it also includes some recipes based on Walt’s favorites.  These have been gathered from various sources and are presented here so you can try to make some of Walt’s favorites at home.

‘And the Oscar Goes to… Walt Disney’ does have some good information in it, but for me it was probably the weakest of the new chapters.  It describes many of the Oscars that Walt received, as well as times he was a presenter or received a special award.  The small anecdotes in here are cute, though the chapter ends up feeling more like a “list” than stories at times.

My favorite of all the new sections was ‘The Carousel of Progress.’  This is what I wish every story in this book was like.  It’s something that I know a bit about and can relate to, but it’s not something so obscure that I don’t have any context for it.  The Carousel of Progress has been through many changes since it was started, and this chapter details how it has been grown and adjusted throughout the years.

Another new section was ‘The Man Who Shot Walt Disney.’  I didn’t love the title of this story, as I felt it was a little too sensationalist and just trying to get attention, but the actual content (it’s really about a photographer) was interesting.  This man worked for Disneyland photography for a number of years, and the chapter details some of the famous and unique shots he captured and how he “rigged” some of those photos, as well as some personal stories of his interactions with Walt.  As someone interested in photography I really enjoyed this new chapter.

Finally, the back of the book has ‘Song of the South Frequently Asked Questions.’   Many Disney fans are intrigued by this film that is almost impossible to get a hold of.  Despite the fact that the movie hasn’t been released in the US in decades, it remains a prevalent part of the Disney culture thanks to the extremely popular Splash Mountain ride.  I loved reading some of the basics on Song of the South, and this FAQ made me excited to read Korkis’s new book, Who’s Afraid of the Song of the South?

The stories that were removed from the original were “Santa Walt,” “Walt and DeMolay,” “Return to Marceline 1956,” “Song of the South Premiere,” “Toby Tyler,” “Lt. Robin Crusoe U.S.N.,” “Blackbeard’s Ghost,” “The Story of Storybook Land,” “Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk Through,” “Epcot Fountain,” “Captain EO,” “Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air,” “Golden Oak Ranch,” and “Disney Goes to Macy’s”.  To be honest, I don’t think the book is missing much by removing those stories.  For one thing, it makes the novel slimmer, more portable, and more easily handled.  I brought the revised version to read on my flight to Disney World and it was the perfect size for travel.  Most of the stories that were removed were the ones that I found a bit too obscure last time, so I definitely think their removal improves the book and makes it more manageable and interesting.  The only story I really enjoyed from the original that didn’t appear here was “Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk Through.”

Although most of the duplicate stories are the same, I did re-read them.  As someone who was on her way to Disney World, I found the story about the carousel particularly interesting upon reading it the second time, and made sure to check out some of the details while I was down there.  It’s those sorts of things that make this a really worthwhile book.

At the end of the day, I would recommend the revised Vault of Walt for two types of people: those that never read the original should definitely check it out, and those that read the original and loved it.  If you read the original version and liked it but didn’t love it, I don’t believe the revised version adds so much more that it would be worth it to you.  All in all I feel that the revised Vault of Walt is definitely an improvement over the first one, and something all Disney fans should read if you haven’t read any of these stories already!

Interested?  You can find the Revised Vault of Walt over on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle form.  If you like e-books this is definitely one you should pick up at only $5.99!

Disclaimer:  I was given a free review copy of this book to review for the blog.  However, all opinions here are entirely my own.

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