Christmas at Walt Disney World – Photo Book Review
Contest for a free copy of the book has ended, congratulations to Jeffrey Holmes for winning.
People who have been to Walt Disney World Resort during Christmas will tell you that there is no better time to visit. Beginning in early November and running through New Years, the resort transforms into a Christmas paradise with decorations at all the parks and resorts. Today I want to review a book I received last week which I think many of our readers will enjoy. Denise Preskitt over at Mousesteps has published her first book, Christmas at Walt Disney World – An Unofficial Pictorial of the Christmas Season through the Years at the Parks and Resorts, which showcases over 300 photos from Walt Disney World during the Christmas season.
Before I proceed with the review, I want to make it clear up front that I was sent a free copy of the book by the author so that I could give a review.
About the book
Christmas at Walt Disney World includes over 300 color photos taken throughout the parks, resorts and Downtown Disney. You will find photos showing the small details that go into each of the parks decorations along with photos from parades, shows, attractions and everything else that makes this seasons so special at Walt Disney World.
At just under 100 pages, that is a lot of photos to include and unfortunately that means that the photos are not displayed as large as I would have hoped. At first I felt it would take away from the book but I was surprised once I got into the first chapter to find that it worked well for this book. The layout used for the photos along with the text that went into each chapter mixed well and made reading the book very easy. That said, there were still a few instances where I felt that some photos deserved to be seen at a larger size, possibly a full page display so that you could see the great details of the photos. Denise has told me that she did have limitations with the book layout and would be addressing that in future books. So while photo sizes may be limited with this book, I am confident it will be addressed with future projects.
Speaking of the content, this is not a book where you will be reading page after page of information. Instead the author has written the perfect amount of text to go with the photos in each chapter. Generally you will read about the history of the subject being discussed, some tips for when you visit or just general information to go along with the photos. You are purchasing this book to view the photos but you still get just the right amount of text to go along with it.
A look at Disney Christmas past
For me, one of the highlights of Christmas at Walt Disney World was seeing photos of past decorations and attractions. This includes photos from the Country Bear Christmas Special, Lights of Winter at Epcot, Mickey’s Christmas Cavalcade and other parts of Walt Disney World Christmas history I was not able to experience in person. After seeing the photo of the Christmas tree on display in the Magic Kingdom rose garden, I wish they would go back to that setup prior to the parade taping because it really made for some great photo opportunities.
By the end of the book, you will have taken a photo tour of the four theme parks, Downtown Disney and many of the resorts. It definitely made me wish I was able to visit Walt Disney World this Christmas season to see all the decorations for myself again. I am sure if you are reading the book and have never visited WDW during this time of year, after reading the book you will be ready to book a trip yourself!
I definitely recommend this book to readers of Disney Photography Blog. I think it would make a great Christmas gift for any Disney fan or even a gift for yourself.
About the author
You are probably familiar with the author, Denise Preskitt, from her web site Mousesteps. Denise offers detailed, multi-page photo updates from around Walt Disney World. Since she lives close to the parks, Denise is able to post updates on all recent projects and includes so many photos that you are able to see every detail and feel like you are there.
All this is done with a point and shoot camera
One last area I want to touch on is the fact that Denise does not use a DSLR camera with a large set of lenses. All of the photos in this book were taken using a point and shoot camera. Denise currently shoots with the Canon SX30IS, which is a high end point and shoot camera and takes terrific photos. It just goes to show that good composition and a good eye are more important than having the latest DSLR on the market. I mention this because we get emails all the time from readers who want to know if they need to purchase a DSLR with a lens kit that could cost as much as their vacation in order to capture great photos. We always tell them that just because we prefer using a DSLR and having the ability to change lenses, it is not required and that there are many point and shoot cameras that produce terrific photos.
Christmas at Walt Disney World is available on Amazon.com for $22.95. While it may seem a bit expensive, I believe it is worth the cost and goes to supporting a member of the Disney online community who has been providing detailed photo updates for over a decade.