As Disney fans, traveling to and from Disney destinations around the globe by land, air, and sea comes with the territory. Whether you enjoy the journey or are just in it for the destination, we’re constantly in pursuit of our next Disney fix. And now you can bring Uncle Walt along with you thanks to Travels with Walt Disney – A Photographic Voyage Around the World by Jeff Kurtti.
When I received my review copy, I was thrilled to see that it’s actually travel size. My Disney book collection is large and the majority of them are coffee table books, which are heavy and difficult to take on the go. I appreciate that Mr. Kurtti has considered the traveling Disney fan when assembling this book.
There are seven sections, divided by mode of transportation, location, or reason for travel. The first section, “Early Journeys,” recounts Walt’s boyhood days in Marceline and his first job on the railway. Fittingly enough, this is followed by “Riding the Rails.” Other sections on mode of transportation include “On the High Seas” (perfect for your next Disney Cruise!) and “Taking Wing.” That last section provided the biggest breakthrough for me, as it’s rare to read about Walt Disney as an airplane enthusiast. It covers the three company planes and the Walt Disney World scouting trips.
The sections split by geographic locations include Walt traveling all over California in “California Dreams” and visiting his worldwide film projects in “On Location.” The final section, “Welcoming the World,” touches on the lasting worldwide impact of Walt Disney’s theme park creations.
Travels with Walt Disney is a quick read with lots of photos, as the expanded title suggest. Diehard Disney fans will want to pour over each one, many published here for the first time. Jeff Kurtti has also provided some fun bonus images, like a hidden Gremlin in the flight section of the book and Walt Disney’s passport on the final pages, inviting readers to set their own course for fun and excitement the way Walt did.
Reading Travels with Walt Disney was a nice reminder that Walt Disney was a real man with a highly stressful job. Every once in a while, he needed to broaden his horizon through travel just like the rest of us. And now you can bring Walt Disney along with you thanks to this travel-size book about the man who started it all. This would be a perfect read the next time you find yourself heading to or from one of the many fine Disney destinations around the world. It might even inspire you to visit one of Walt Disney’s frequent destinations, such as the Smoke Tree Ranch in Palm Springs, which Walt Disney referred to as his “Laughing Place.”
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.