Are you a Disney kid at heart? Or rather a Disney Adult? Don’t worry. No excuses are needed. In the great words of Walt Disney himself, “That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up.” Well, we refuse to be accused of such a thing. We love our Disney lifestyle and find it always brings more magic, love, faith, trust, and pixie dust into our lives. Since we’re bent on adding more Disney to our homes and travel, why not our bookshelves? Here are our favorite Disney books you should be reading as an adult. Disney gift books, biographies, inspirational fiction, and a bunch of stuff just for fun. Because that’s what Disney is all about.
Disney Adult Books to Add to Your Disney Book Collection
Every Disney grown-up needs an arsenal of Disney Adult Books to enjoy. From memoirs to favorite Disney stories and beautiful hardbound editions, there are plenty to be had. You can even get Disney Vacation Planning Guides for FREE on Libby to help you plan your next vacation. So, if you’re ready to dive in, check out all our favorite Disney books below!
Everything I Need to know I learned from a Disney Golden Book
To tell you the truth we actually reference this book to tackle real-life decisions. Feeling lost ” Hold those dreams close, they can still come true.” “Life isn’t always fair, but don’t despair, just keep swimming.” A hopeful Disney gift book, this one is filled with single pages from a variety of Disney Little Golden Books all with great lessons of their own. Check out Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Disney Golden Book.
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
If you think this book is too ancient or just for kids, think again. The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a book you can learn everything from. Everything. As an adult, you’re faced with all kinds of relationship issues. From your family to your boyfriend, to your boss. Thankfully Winnie the Pooh has a circle of friends that we can learn from. As an adult, you’ll also tackle all kinds of stress. What can you learn from a wise Owl, easy-going Pooh bear, and organized Rabbit? What about work-life balance? Take a lesson from Tigger on the importance of fun. The collection includes Winnie the Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, and Positively Pooh.
Mary Poppins by PL Travers
Mary Poppins is not only our favorite Nanny but also our on-call life coach, most of the time. Another great story powered by a strong woman, Mary Poppins can be practically perfect and help you navigate through difficult times. We love that she’s nailed self-love, and self-worth and believes in herself. Seriously, we need these lessons as adults more than ever. Read it. It’s cozy and fun, and the series is easy to get through. It will be a nice break from all that serious grown-up stuff you’re avoiding. Grab the 4-Volume Mary Poppins Book Set.
Peter Pan by JM Barrie
Another cozy book for evening reading, or Sunday afternoons, Peter Pan combines the real world with Neverland in a way that makes us believe in magic. Bittersweet is returning home to the real world, but the thrill of the adventure was worth it. We love the “Never grow up” mindset, the spunky Tinkerbell, and all of Captain Hooks’ antics thwarting our best efforts. You’re sure to find grown-up lessons in this classic tale. You can grab the Peter Pan Illustrated Edition or the Peter Pan Book copy that’s a little more travel friendly.
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: the Search for the Lost Cartoons by David A Bossert
Oswald was Walt Disney’s first attempt at greatness, and we love it. What’s more, as it was just the beginning of filmmaking we have not only drawings to find, but the lost reels of animated cartoons Walt created for his favorite lucky rabbit. Get your hands on this book and see if you can recognize a few personality traits that also show up in Mickey Mouse. Get the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Collectors Book. Perfect for Disney fans.
The Hidden Mickeys of Walt Disney World by Kevin and Susan Neary
If you’re heading to a Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney Cruise Line Vacation grab this Hidden Mickeys book. Also available as an app on google play and in the apple store, you can even track your finding progress. While many vacations are whirlwind experiences, it’s great to have Hidden Mickey searching as an excuse to slow down and enjoy the magic of the parks. We love this guide as a stocking stuffer or something to read on the plane! Grab the Hidden Mickeys Guide Book.
The Art of Disney Golden Books by Charles Solomon
We are suckers for beautiful art and stories and Disney Golden Books offers both. These small picture books for children have the best illustrations, from kitschy, to elegant to fun. Spanning almost 70 years of illustration this book shares details about the most iconic little golden books and the art within. An excellent way to let a little throwback art appreciation into your life. Check out The Art of Disney Golden Books.
Ride of a Lifetime by Bob Iger
While Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, just stepped down from his role at Disney after 15 years with the company. During a time of Disney Park’s development, including the addition of Pandora at Animal Kingdom and Lighthouse Point in the Bahamas, to his acquisition of Fox and the creation of Disney+. If you’re interested in a particular brand of leadership, chutzpah, and professionalism with a vision, get an inside look at this memoir. Check out Bob Iger’s Memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime.
Entertaining with Disney by Amy Croushorn
We were gifted this amazing Disney Entertaining Book by Disney Books and did a full review of Entertaining with Disney. But in truth, we would have bought it. This Disney cookbook and party planner is all about seasonal parties aligned to our favorite Disney characters. Disney Villains at Halloween, yes, please. An Alice garden party in the springtime. Ok! An Aladdin outdoor movie night in the summer. Where do we sign up? Such a beautiful book, this one has a ton of content, and is actually physically heavy- there are so many party ideas in this book. A must-have for any respectable Disney Kitchen. Take a look at Entertaining with Disney.
The Disney Christmas Card by Jeff Kurtti
From all of us to all of you, a very Merry Christmas. Frankly, we love Christmas all year round, but our favorite Christmas books only adorn the house during the holidays. If you’ve never seen the Walt Disney Company’s Christmas Card tradition, know that it included hand-drawn one-of-a-kind cards made by Walt Disney himself in the early days. This book tells the story of those cards and even has prototypes of many that were sent to staff and is just an all-around jolly book to own. You can get lost in this book and it’s an excellent treasure trove of inspiration. Get The Disney Christmas Card Book.
Yesterday’s Tomorrow Disney’s Magical Mid-Century by Don Hahn
Have you been to EPCOT, or on the Carousel of Progress? The People Mover? Before Disney focused just on fun rides based on our favorite characters, there was a larger Community building element at play that has always been central to Walt Disney’s vision. A better future. This book breaks down the big ideas that came from the Walt Disney Company during those years of Parks building. A very interesting read and a great way to know more about all things Disney. Grab a copy of Yesterday’s Tomorrow Disney’s Magical Mid-Century.
One Day at Disney by Bruce Steele
This coffee-table book is considered “The Book” for the new Disney era. Bringing everything Disney does into the spotlight from conservation efforts to the theater to technological inventions and Imagineering. A collection of single stories from Disney creators, Imagineers, field workers, and more. This is one of those titles you simply want to own because every once in a while this much inspiration all in one place is the thing that will get you to your own dreams. Get a copy of One Day at Disney.
Mary Blair’s Unique Flair by Amy Novesky
Mary Blair is a Disney icon. She is responsible for the bulk of Disney’s look and feels when it came to film and the parks. As a woman animator, she has a great story and one that included earning the respect of not only Walt Disney but also her peers, in a time when women weren’t the norm. When we think of Disney art, we think of Mary Blair. Small World, Jungle Book, most of the childlike animation we see, is all Mary. Another beautiful book to own, and read for some inspiration. Grab Mary Blair’s Unique Flair.
Ink and Paint the Women of Walt Disney’s Animation by Mindy Johnson
More powerful women in animation at the Walt Disney Company this round-up of illustrators gives an inside look at the art, the determined mindset, and working in a world owned and run by men. Such an interesting take on Art and Animation, Ink and Paint is perfect for the artist, or illustrator just getting started to see how it was done in the old days. See all the details, Ink and Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation.
Quotable Walt Disney
We’ve talked about the power of Disney quotes before, but quotes straight from Walt Disney himself are often the most powerful. With the help of the people around him, namely his brother Roy, Walt was able to let go of the business stuff and just be creative. Thinking outside the box was his forte, and he was free to dream big because so many around him held down the fort of reality. These quotes are life lessons you can learn and implement. And it’s wonderful having them all in one place. Grab this in paperback or on Kindle; Quotable Walt Disney.
Walt Disney An American Original by Bob Thomas
The quintessential biography of Walt Disney, this book covers the early days of bankruptcy and moving to California, and building an empire. An inside look at all things Walt, from the beginning to the end, and the mindsets, ideas, and decisions that got him to be one of the most influential people in history. By far one of the most important books to have for Disney fans, grab this Walt Disney Biography.
The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
Now for something completely different. The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet are all about thinking and behavior. A study on Pooh Bear’s mindset and how it reflects primary practices in Buddhism gives us an inside look at how we can be a little more like pooh. Easy, breezy, mindful, kind. Able to let things go, and be welcoming of life. Less of a book about religion and more just a fun and insightful reading of Pooh Bears’ character, we love that this one is just about “being” and not necessarily needing “to do” anything. Such a good lesson in times of overwork, burnout, and people not using their earned vacation time. A necessary read for any Disney adult. Grab a copy of the Tao of Pooh.
Disney During World War II by John Baxter
Did you know Hollywood was responsible for rescuing Jews from Germany? Or that it was the morale of Mickey Mouse that often steered the country through the bleakest times? Disney created Military training videos, allowed the military to move into half of their Burbank studio lot, and reported that by 1943, 90% of their staff efforts were for the government’s war effort. Even the character of Donald Duck was singled out as the “salesman of the American Way,” acting as a sailor, patriot, and airman. If you love history, you will devour this book. It’s amazing what a company in the right hands, with the right vision can do on a scale this large. It was about so much more than a mouse. Learn more about Disney During World War II.
The Haunted Mansion by Jason Surrell
Haunted Mansion celebrated its 50th Anniversary this year! We had a Haunted Mansion Movie Night, added Haunted Mansion decor to our mantel, and dug deep into some of the stories of our favorite Haunted Mansion characters. If you’re eager to learn what prompted the creation of this iconic ride found at Disney Parks worldwide, the stories of Constance and the Hatbox Ghost. Or even how the use of Peppers Ghost created the dining room scene of ghosts at dinner. You will find all of it in this book. Such a fun book for any Haunted Mansion fan. Grab The Haunted Mansion on Amazon.
Disney 100th Anniversary Books from Disney Publishing
Brand new titles honoring the Walt Disney Company are on the way with Disney books for all ages. Some notable titles are highlighted below.
- Disney 100th Anniversary Little Golden Books Collection
- Walt Disney: An American Original, Commemorative Edition
- The Official Walt Disney Quote Book
- The Story of Disney: 100 Years of Wonder
- People Behind the Disney Parks: Stories of Those Honored with a Window on Main Street, U.S.A
- Disney 100th Anniversary Little Golden Books Collection
Walt Disney Company Studio Book Collections
Nothing says devoted Disney fans like a Disney Bookshelf. If your days are spent musing over the art in Sword in the Stone, the music in Fantasia or the amazing colors in Frozen, then these Disney books are for you. Here are some of the most important books including the history of the Walt Disney Company to add to your collection.
- Walt Disney: An American Original
- Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation
- The Art and Flair of Mary Blair (Updated Edition): An Appreciation
- Nine Old Men: Lessons, Techniques and Inspiration from Disney’s Great Animators
- The Walt Disney Studios: A Lot to Remember
- Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Disney’s Magical Mid-Century
- The Walt Disney Film Archives. The Animated Movies 1921–1968
The Hidden Art of Disney They Drew as They Pleased Collection
With a penchant for Disney animation be sure to browse these Hidden Art of Disney books. Complete with line drawings, colors, sketches, and ideas, this collection is a must-have for any Disney fan who gets wrapped up in the art.
- New Golden Age Vol. 6
- Mid-Century Era Vol. 4
- Early RenaissanceThe 1970s and 1980s Vol. 5
- Late Golden Age (The 1940s – Part Two) Vol. 3
- Musical Years (The 1940s – Part One) Vol. 2
- Golden Age Vol. 1
Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Archive Series
Budding filmmakers, this collection is for you. What better way to celebrate the Walt Disney Company than by learning more about how these timeless films are made? Certainly, you don’t need to be talked into buying these, but if you’re a storyteller or designer, we consider these a must-have collection.
- Animation (Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Archive Series)
- Story (Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Archive Series)
- Layout and Background (Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Archive Series)
- Design (Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Archive Series)
Disney Books for Adults
Hopefully, you have found at least one title here that you will love and add to your Disney bookshelf. There are so many amazing books out there to help us with life, and it’s even better when they involve Disney. Let us know if you have a favorite Disney Book we missed. We are always looking to add more Disney to our lifestyle. Thanks for letting us share our favorites with you! Check out all our favorite Disney Adult Books on Amazon.
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.