As an icebreaker question, I was once asked if I had a time machine and could go to any time and place, where would I go? My easy answer was Disneyland in 1955 to see the park as it was originally built. There’s lots of black & white footage and photos of the park in its earliest years, but color photos are a little less common. Even rarer are 3D photographs and in Dave Bossert’s newest book, Disney history fans will get that opportunity to step in a time machine and see Disneyland in the 1950’s not only in color, but in stereoscopic splendor in 3D Disneyland: Like You’ve Never Seen It Before.
With a pair of blue and red retro style 3D glasses, readers can pore over 95 photos in 3D, primarily taken by retired Disney effects animator Ted Kierscey, the left and right images each scanned in high quality and merged together on each page. The book takes you through the book grouped by land, traveling down Main Street U.S.A. into the far corners of each area of the park. Kierscey’s photos from the early 1950’s are juxtaposed against a 25th anniversary visit in 1980, with a few new photos from 2019 provided by Patrick Swinnea, who also assisted with the anaglyph photo process within the pages.
This is primarily a photo book, and a beautiful one at that, but Disney fans will find a good amount of history in the pages. Each photo is arranged on the right side, with text on the left that not only attributes the year and photographer, but gives readers a bit of history about what can be seen. I even found myself learning something I never knew about one of my favorite attractions, Peter Pan’s Flight.
Retired Imagineer Tom K. Morris provides a great forward that precedes an introduction from Dave Bossert. He gives an overview of the history of stereoscopic photographs, including a device most readers will be familiar with, a Viewmaster. You’ll feel like a child at Disneyland with the turn of every page.
3D Disneyland: Like You’ve Never Seen It Before comes out on November 15th, just in time for the holidays. Whether you’re looking at it for yourself or as a gift, ordering directly from publisher The Old Mill Press allows fans to get a signed copy. But wherever you get it from, a safe trip to Disneyland through the years is at your fingertips anytime you want to slip the 3D glasses back on.
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.