AWOL Airwaves Press


Storytelling Through Backyard Imagineering

by Justin Clavet

HHI_PosterEveryone has dreams of leaving behind the burdens of their everyday life and escaping to a faraway paradise. This is the story of a man who did.

A History of Hideaway Island: Storytelling Through Backyard Imagineering offers a unique look into the small but growing culture of “backyard Imagineering,” in which fans of the Disney theme parks and resort hotels design and construct experiences evocative of those crafted by the renowned Walt Disney Imagineers.

In late 2009, Disney enthusiast Justin Clavet decided to become one of these backyard Imagineers. For his first undertaking, he would ultimately settle upon designing a resort hotel hypothetically located at the Walt Disney World Resort. His journey would take him from concept sketches to scale models, but the center of his project would unexpectedly become the story being told by the experience he was designing.

With every Disney experience beginning and ending with a story, this would undoubtedly be the component to exert the most influence on the project, dubbed Jungle Hideaway. This book details the author’s motivations and inspirations, the features of Jungle Hideaway, and the story of Edward Riles, while exploring every step of the design process.

Join the legendary Admiral Edward Theodore Riles on his final expedition in this daring and adventurous tale. After being shipwrecked on an island, in a cove, in the middle of the endless Amazon jungle, Riles and the men who accompanied him on his journey find themselves in an unlikely paradise. These men will toil to make the island their home, but the trials they endure will pave the way for countless people around the world to experience the magic and splendor of Hideaway Island many years after they are gone.

A History of Hideaway Island is for every fan of adventure and any person who has ever been inspired by the work of the Walt Disney Imagineers around the world.

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This first edition paperback contains the complete story of Admiral Riles and Hideaway Island, in addition to a preface and afterword exclusive to the book describing the project and its development in great detail.  The heart of the book, the story of Admiral Riles, is available to read online at no cost on AWOL Airwaves, here.  If you enjoy reading the story of Admiral Riles, or want to hear more about Disney’s Jungle Hideaway Resort & Spa and this Disney enthusiast’s experience with backyard Imagineering, then you are encouraged to purchase the book which presents the story in an entirely new way.

Presented beautifully as a book-within-a-book in period typeface and format, A History of Hideaway Island will take you by the hand and bring you to the enchanting shores of Hideaway Island, making you fall in love with Edward Riles and the men who called the island in the cove their home.  Extras include the famous portrait of the Admiral, the Elizabeth passenger list, and an index of the original Hideaway Island homes and their inhabitants.  The preface and afterword, available exclusively in the book, tell in detail the story of the story behind the Jungle Hideaway Resort & Spa, including the location and design, theme, plot and character, setting, and magic of the resort, in addition to providing background information on the project’s inception and creator.

The story of Admiral Riles can be read in its entirety at no cost on AWOL Airwaves, here.

A History of Hideaway Island: Storytelling Through Backyard Imagineering is available for purchase in print from for the low cost of $6.95, here.



the story of a fan and his journey to become a backyard Imagineer

A History of Hideaway Island

the story of a man who left behind his burdens and escaped to a wondrous place of beauty

PART ONE: Edward Riles

Chapter One: Beginnings
Chapter Two: Life With Elizabeth
Chapter Three: Life Alone

PART TWO: The Elizabeth

Chapter Four: One Last Adventure
Chapter Five: In the Amazon
Chapter Six: Doubts

PART THREE: Hideaway Island

Chapter Seven: The Grand Tour
Chapter Eight: On the Island in the Cove
Chapter Nine: A New Life
Chapter Ten: The Final Years

PART FOUR: Discovered Anew

Chapter Eleven: Lost and Found
Chapter Twelve: Another Tour
Chapter Thirteen: The World is Watching
Chapter Fourteen: Final Rest

PART FIVE: A Jungle Resort

Chapter Fifteen: The Grand Opening
Chapter Sixteen: Interlude
Chapter Seventeen: A Triumphant Return
Chapter Eighteen: A Bright Future


Elizabeth Passenger List
Original Hideaway Island Homes


the story of the story behind the Jungle Hideaway Resort & Spa

Neither this work nor its author are affiliated in any way with The Walt Disney Company or its subsidiaries. The use of the Disney name or the mention of Disney properties is not intended to imply any such affiliation or infringe on any existing copyrights or registered trademarks held by The Walt Disney Company but are used in context for educational purposes.