Book Review: Once Upon An American Dream – The Story Of Euro Disneyland

Once Upon an American Dream

Andrew Lainsbury

Product Type: Book
Pages: 280 pages
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Published: 2000
Language: English

A few weeks after I created the Magical DLP Twitter account I started searching the internet for Disneyland Paris related books. I thought there would have been loads to choose from but I was wrong. There is the amazing Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality by Alain Littaye (which I will review soon) but that was really it. A few days later I was searching Amazon and eBay for “Disneyland Paris” and I came across a book called Once Upon an American Dream: The Story of Euro Disneyland. At first I just scrolled right past it. The front cover didn’t grab my attention and it didn’t shout Disneyland Paris to me but for some reason I went back and found myself clicking on the link. As I am only new to the Disneyland Paris community I am not sure if this book has been discussed or not but it hasn’t been mentioned on the list of books people say they have in their collections.

They say you should never judge a book by its cover and this saying is true for this book. The front cover has nothing to do with Disneyland Paris, Disney or anything magical. The clouds and strange font colours and layout make it look like a project a year 7 ICT student designed. But like I said, don’t judge this book by its cover!

Inside the hardback cover is where this book gets interesting. The book covers all the important topics separated into the following chapters:

  • A Disneyland for Europe (How Disney searched for a European location for a new Disney resort  including all of the political negotiations that went with it).
  • Designing the Euro Disney Resort (How Disney Imagineers reinvented the Disney theme park for a European audience).
  • Marketing a New Magic Kingdom (focusing on the ways in which the Euro Disney Resort was promoted, from TV, Radio and corporate sponsorship).
  • Rescuing the Euro Disney Resort (Looking at the struggles in the early years of the resort and what was done to overcome them).
  • It’s a Small World, Inc. (Looking at the future of the resort and how Disneyland Paris has served a s catalyst for other parks around the world).


The book is easy to read and full of facts, quotes and all the information you will need to know about the early years of Disneyland Paris. Andrew Lainsbury has definitely done his research and has had access to some big players in the world of Disney.


The book is very short. Just as I was getting into each chapter and wanted to know more detail it would end and move on to another topic. There are also no pictures in the book but my imagination and understanding of Disneyland Paris helped me through,


I would definitely recommend this book to every Disneyland Paris fan. Even a fan of theme parks in general as it is well researched and put together. The book also lists all of the people he interviewed and the journals and articles he used to compile the book.

A must read! Grab a copy from Amazon here.



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  • Enya
    February 25, 2014 at 11:51 am

    I’ve always wondered whether this book was interesting. Thanks for the review! I’m definitely going to give it a try.

  • Dennis Strågefors
    March 4, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Great review, Andrew. I’m definitelly gonna have to get myself a copy of this book.

    If you haven’t read them already, the following books also includes some interesting facts about the process behind and the early days of Disneyland Paris:

    ”Disney War”, by James Stewart

    ”The Keys to the Kingdom: The Rise of Michael Eisner and the Fall of Everybody Else”, by Kim Masters

    And Michael Einers own auto-biography: ”Work in Progress: Risking Failure, Surviving Success”

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