For my thoughts on the re-opening of Walt Disney World, see this.

By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.

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A Friday Visit with Jim Korkis: Boundless Realm by Foxx Nolte

By Dave Shute

Welcome back to Fridays with Jim Korkis! Jim, the dean of Disney historians, writes about Walt Disney World history every Friday on


By Jim Korkis

Before I purchased this book, I asked the same question that some of you may be asking: Is there really a need for another book about the Haunted Mansion when both The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic  by Jason Surrell and The Unauthorized Story of Disney’s Haunted Mansion by Jeff Baham already exist?

Both of those books are accurate and insightful explorations into the iconic Disney theme park attraction, and I include them as valuable references on my bookshelves and recommend them.

Admittedly, this new book does not strive to be a definitive primer on the attraction, but rather to focus on a more personal observation of just the Haunted Mansion attraction at Walt Disney World. In fact, the author assumes the reader already knows the basic history and operation of the attraction.

The author is a long-time fan of the attraction, spent some time actually working on the WDW attraction and refreshingly admits that she disliked the tedium involved with the role.

I found Boundless Realm very well written, enjoyable and felt my money was well spent. I’ve always enjoyed the author’s work on her Passport to Dreams Old and New website that she has been operating since 2006, and her different perspective on things.

She has been a true Disney historian in every sense of the phrase for years. I must admit that some of her opinions in Boundless Realm opened my mind to new possibilities to consider.

One argument that particularly intrigued me was that WDW’s Haunted Mansion does not exist in the Hudson River Valley but it is more likely to be on the Atlantic coast near Boston. The discussion of the architecture of a “sea wall” along the river and the revelation that a Columbia Sailing Ship like the one in Disneyland was originally meant to be included, which is why the nearby restaurant was called the Columbia Harbor House, is very convincing.

Because of actually working in the mansion and having the opportunity to personally explore the nooks and crannies, the author comes up with some technical information that does not exist in the other two books, including a lengthy explanation of the moving lights effect in the windows of the mansion. That’s just one of the reasons if you are a Haunted Mansion fan you need to include this book with the other two.

I also liked that while the author intends to confine her discussions just to the WDW Haunted Manion, that when necessary she makes connections to the other Disney theme park Haunted Mansion experiences, and how the effects are created differently there.

The author’s genuine affection for the attraction and her curiosity about why things are they way they are and how they have changed (not always for the better) is evident on every page. She has done her research, and more importantly, has done first hand original research. I especially appreciated her making historical connections to sources like films and the Pretzel Amusement Company.

Boundless Realm is over three hundred pages long and has five appendices as well as fourteen pages of additional notes, so that it is overflowing with information. The book also includes many black-and-white illustrations and photos.

This is her first book and without hesitation I would buy any other book she chooses to write in the future.

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Thanks, Jim! and come back next Friday for more from Jim Korkis!

In the meantime, check out his books, including his two new books,  Vault of Walt Volume 9: Halloween Edition, and Hidden Treasures of the Disney Cruise Line.



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