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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Clinton Township, MI
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    Default Walt and the Promise of Progress City

    Here's my review of Walt and the Promise of Progress City from the January 2012 INTERCOT Insider.

    Walt and the Promise of Progress City (Ayefour Publishing, 2011, 373 pages) is a well-written book by Sam Gennawey on the conceptual evolution of EPCOT. Gennawey is an urban planner and this book is written through that lens.

    Gennawey takes us through the evolution of Waltís ideas and projects that eventually led to EPCOT and the Florida Project. It is a different look on things like the Worldís Fairs, Disneyland, and other projects that influenced Waltís thinking on EPCOT. There are some editing errors and sometimes information youíd want is left out. For example, Gennawey says that the Industrial Parks USA exhibit at the 1958 Brussels World Fair influenced Waltís thinking on EPCOT but he doesnít say anything about the exhibit to explain that statement.

    The finale of the book takes us through a look at EPCOT as if it had been built per Waltís vision. Gennawey largely relies on the Progress City model for this look. Itís interesting look at the model but the question of whether EPCOT could have been as Walt envisioned is never really tackled or answered.

    This is worthwhile addition to any Disney fanís, especially fans of EPCOT, library. It adds more to the story of Walt Disney World and EPCOT. In fact, it was interesting to read that Walt had wanted to build a Chinese restaurant at Disneyland that would feature an audioanimatronic like Confucius that would pass on words of wisdom to guests. Sounds similar to the Great Destini that was previewed at the 2011 D23 Expo in Anaheim. It does lack an index, so trying to find information in the book itself can be a challenge.

    Walt and the Promise of Progress City is available from Amazon; purchasing through this link will help support INTERCOT: http://www.amazon.com/Walt-Promise-P...-1/intercotcom
    Steve (aka brownie)
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Silver Spring,MD
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    Red face

    Thank you for the review. I had been thinking of buying the book.
    First visit 1976
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Evansville, Indiana
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    I got the book for Christmas. I found it to be a very worthwhile read. I do wish that the author would have focused a bit more on Disney and a little less on the urban planning background. I found those sections to be a bit tedious. I can see what the author was trying to do, but I feel that he could have shorted those section somewhat.

    All in all, I enjoyed the book very much.

    On a slightly off topic note, as the owner of all of Ayefour Publishing's books (as well as just about every other book on WDW History) I wish they would include a few more illustrations

    Scott C
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Denver, CO
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    I am in the middle of this book and so far have really enjoyed it. I am in the urban planning profession so I enjoy all of those discussions. I credit Disneyland and WDW for my interest in a career in planning. Glad that others have enjoyed reading about the two topics together as well.
    "Jammin' in the jungle to the rhythm of one!"

    Proud mom of Elias - born Sept 2008!

    WDW College Program Alum-Fall 2001

    I runDisney - 2010 DL Half, 2012 Coast to Coast DL Half and Wine & Dine, 2014 Tinker Bell Half, 2014 Avengers Half, 2015 Pixie Dust Challenge, 2015 Dumbo Double Dare

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