Not Just a Walk in the Park: My Worldwide Disney Resorts Career is a personal look at the career of Disney Legend Jim Cora. Cora started working at Disneyland in 1957 and would go on to have an illustrious 40-year career with Disney. Eventually, he would become the Chairman of Disneyland International in 1999 before retiring in 2001. In Not Just a Walk in the Park, Jim Cora shares stories and memories from his career as he shares a unique perspective on the expansion of Disney Parks around the globe.
Reading this book is a lovely experience. The writing is very friendly and it is very easy to imagine sitting next to a fireplace listening to Cora share his stories and lessons from his career. It reminded me of hearing my grandfather share his stories when I was growing up. This could have been because Cora shares the life lessons he learned throughout his career.
Through the course of the book, Cora covers decades of Disney history. He shares about what it was like to work at Disneyland (and for Walt Disney) in the early days. He talks about his experiences after Walt Disney died and then Walt Disney World opened. Through each of these seasons, Cora recalls those he works with and shares stories about them and lessons he learned from them. As time moved forward, he ended up being instrumental in opening the first three international theme parks. He shares about the experiences of opening Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and also Tokyo DisneySea. Each was different from the one before and it was fascinating hearing what the process was like from his viewpoint.
Along with sharing stories throughout the book, there is also a lovely collection of photos as well. These are photos of his projects, those he did them with, and also his family as well. They are a wonderful addition to the book that gives another look at what Cora’s experiences were like through the years.
I really enjoyed reviewing Not Just a Walk in the Park: My Worldwide Disney Resorts Career. It is a book that is fairly easy to read and very enjoyable. I also really enjoyed the perspective from which this book tells its stories. Quite often these types of books come as either a big picture historical look at Disney history or from more of the creative standpoint. This book is from an operations viewpoint. It doesn’t seem to be quite as often that this perspective of Disney history is shared. I found myself reminded of Jack Lindquist’s book, In Service to the Mouse, as I read this one. Both books have a friendly charm to them that finds the reader finding the writer endearing.
Not Just a Walk in the Park: My Worldwide Disney Resorts Career is definitely a book that Disney fans and historians should have in their collection. There is so much ground that is covered in its over 400 pages. Definitely go out and get it wherever books are sold. Then share your thoughts with it with me and let me know how much you liked it as well!