Planning a Magical Trip to Disney
Though the weather hasn’t been cooperating, summer is almost here. It’s time to plan summer vacations and pick out new destinations or visit familiar haunts. If you’re like thousands of other families, a trip to Disney World or Disneyland might be in your future. At the right age, taking your kids to Disney can be (dad joke alert) magical. Before you head out into the hot, crowded, and intense parks, grab some of these great materials to help plan your trip and prepare your kids:
The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland by Seth Kubersky and The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World by Bob Sehlinger: Chock-full of tips to help you make the most of your time, these guides give an unvarnished assessment of every ride, restaurant, and experience. Detailed itineraries will help you avoid the lines and still fit in every attraction you’re hoping for.
What is Walt Disney World by Joan Holub: If you have a kid in elementary school you’ve probably run across the Who Was… series. This title from the spinoff What Is… series gives a snappy recounting of the building of Walt Disney World complete with illustrations. Walt Disney World was a hugely ambitious and risky project that required the hard work and creativity of many people- all for something no one was sure would succeed.
Pocket Full of Colors by Amy Gugliemo: A lovely picture book biography of Mary Blair, this book details Mary’s persistence to have her colorful artistic vision implemented on “Cinderella”, “Peter Pan”, “It’s a Small Small World” and other Disney films and attractions. Over the objections of senior animators, Mary used color and modernist stylings to bring a fresh new look to the studio’s output.
Poster Art of Disney Parks by Danny Handke: To ramp up excitement for each ride, check out this book of posters cataloging both vintage and current attractions at Disney Parks worldwide. Without dipping into the surprisingly deep world of YouTube ride videos, these images are a great way to let your kids know what to expect without spoiling it for them. As a bonus, the posters reference various art movements of the past century, offering a chance to learn about contemporary art, as well.
Disneyland by Walt Disney Records: Another good way to prep kids for the intensity of the experience is to give them a taste of the music they’ll hear at the park. This CD (also available on Spotify) mixes orchestral scores with terrifyingly catchy earworms.
It’s a Small World: Furry Friends by Brooke Dworkin: Don’t leave your littlest one out! Read them this simple board book with appealing art and a loose connection to a classic Disney ride.
Ridgeway Burns is the Youth and Young Adult Services Manager at the Hinsdale Public Library.