Posts Tagged ‘Disney books’

Disney World Reading List: Books for Before, During, and After Your Vacation

by on December 30, 2014

Great Disney World vacations have three stages: anticipation, enjoyment, and fond (or wistful!) memories. Books are the perfect way to attune yourself with all three stages. Whether you’re getting excited for a trip, looking for deeper understanding of the parks’ themes and design, or ready to spend some time reading about Disney history, there are books to widen your world.

Here are some books to get you excited, keep you entertained, and tell you more — before, during, and after your Walt Disney World vacation.

Since the World Began

Since the World Began is a wonderful “get ready to go” book for your Disney vacation.

Anticipation: Planning and Building Excitement.

On the way to Disney World, you’re getting revved up. You’re making plans. You want to know what to see and where to go; you want to be reminded of favorite spots you’ve loved in the past.

First, get the current details on the parks well before even arrive. Grab a guidebook for the nitty-gritty planning work. Even seasoned travelers can use a reference guide for trip planning — I always have The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World on hand. I use it for quick reference on recommended touring plans, height requirements, dining options, and resort maps. Even though I visit Disney World multiple times a year, I still need to get specifics down pat.

But for something bright, colorful, and pleasing for all ages, try Since the World Began: Walt Disney World – The First 25 Years, by Jeff Kurtti. Yes, Cinderella Castle is in her forties now, making this book just a tad dated. But you can often find it used, or even at your local library, and it’s a nice introduction to Disney World that the whole family can have fun flipping through. Coffee table-sized and lavishly illustrated, it’s a perfect let’s-get-ready, excitement building type of read. (Amazon,

In a similar vein, there are a number of Walt Disney World photo retrospectives that Disney has released over the years, many of them from the 70s and 80s. Keep your eyes open at your local thrift stores — these beauties, often hardcovers, can often be picked up cheaply and are a fun way to relive old memories and learn more about some of Disney World’s long-lost spots.

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Entertainment to Get You Excited for Disney

by on July 1, 2014

A while back I posted a list of movies to show your kids before your Disney trip, films that would educate them about the Disney canon so that they would be familiar with park iconography. Watching princess movies is definitely going to get the kiddos psyched for your Disney vacation.

Everyone wants to get in the princess mood.

Everyone wants to get in the princess mood, even sitcom characters.

But what about you?

You know alllll about pixie dust. You’ve been there, done that with Cinderella (glass shoe, bibbidi bobbidi, yadda, yadda, yadda). You are fully familiar with dwarf nomenclature and know P. Sherman’s address by heart. So what entertainment do you, grown-up person, consume to get psyched for your Disney vacation? Here are some ideas.

All items are currently available on iTunes, among other places. So load up your phone, tablet, or classic iPod (yep, they still make those) to keep you pepped up during the plane ride to MickeyLand. Some items listed here are specific to Disney World or Disneyland but, in my opinion, any of them will pump you up no matter which coast you’re headed for.


Sometimes you need some information with your inspiration. These ex-TravelChannel videos, while now fairly dated, will fill you in on the highlights of a Disney parks visit.

  • Undiscovered Disney Parks. Focuses on backstage experiences and less popular attractions.
  • Disney Parks: Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Get up close and personal with youngest Disney World theme park.
  • Walt Disney World Resort: Behind the Scenes. A look at some of the WDW infrastructure.
  • Ultimate Walt Disney World. A look at the Disney World thrill rides.
  • Disneyland Resort Behind the Scenes. Go backstage in Anaheim.
  • Samantha Brown Great Weekends, Volume 1, Episode 5: Orlando. Sam shows things to do if you’ll be spending some time off Disney property.

Disney also offers a free trip planning DVD, updated yearly, with all the latest news about Walt Disney World.

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Also note that there dozens of other old Travel Channel and Food Network episodes which cover aspects of the wonderful world of Disney. (R.I.P. Great Hotels, Season of Disney, and a billion Food Network Challenge Disney cakes.) You can find some these on tapes or DVD, but they are not readily available for quick download.

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