This year marks the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland which happens to be a really special place to my family. My husband and I got married at the Grand Californian, my baby shower was held there, and we actually took a Disney Cruise as our honeymoon. Needless to say I am a Disney nut, but I know I’m not the only one. Disney really does have a little bit of magic for everyone, and these books are no different.
Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters, by Disney Book Group and Disney Storybook Art Team
Before trekking out to the Park, get your family all caught up on the famous Disney and Pixar characters you’ll encounter. This encyclopedia is especially neat since it includes images from upcoming movies, like The Good Dinosaur. This might even be a nice thing to leave at the grandparents’ house to help them brush up on their Disney characters, so they don’t accidentally send out scary clown birthday cards thinking they are from Star Wars the way my grandma did.
Disneylanders, by Kate Abbott
In Kate Abbott’s middle grade novel the main character Casey struggles with being, for lack of a better word, a tween. She loves Disney and her parents, but at times she feels like she has outgrown both. Add a cute boy who shares her interests to the magical mix and you have all the makings of an age-appropriate drama.
Disney After Dark (Kingdom Keepers Series #1), by Ridley Pearson
Instead of reading fiction based on a favorite movie, your kids can follow five teenagers through a series of adventures at Disney World. This series of seven books, plus a new follow-up series, blends technology, imagination, and plenty of Disney history. Readers will even be introduced to possible future Disney career, perhaps as an Imagineer. If you can’t make it to Florida this year, but still want to offer your kids a runner-up escape, this series might fit the budget better.
Paperback $20.99 | $23.96
The Never Girls Collection #1 (Disney: The Never Girls Series), by Kiki Thorpe and RH Disney
Another Disney series, this time aimed at a younger crowd, in the Never Girls novels a young group of friends fly off to Never Land and meet their green winged idol, Tinker Bell. Now that Disneyland has an enchanted Pixie Hollow where you can meet Tink and all of her pals, this set of books is a great way to amp up spirits before at trip to the Park. Need an added bonus? The second box set comes with stickers, and who doesn’t love stickers?
Disneyland’s Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Disneyland Resort’s Best Kept Secrets, by Steven M. Barrett
If you have kids who still love Disneyland but are no longer completely swept away by the magic, the Hidden Mickey game can be addicting. Once you find all the ones they list in the guide—and it is challenging—you will catch yourself finding other little Mickey heads everywhere. You can also get this for your Nook, so no print-outs or extra book weight to lug around.
Lots To Do In Line Disneyland, by Meredith Lyn Pierce
A second resource to help pass the time spent in line would be Meredith Lyn Pierce’s collection of games, facts, and scavenger hunts. It unfortunately doesn’t have an eBook version, but it is a slim enough paperback that you could pop in the front pocket of your backpack or slip into that retro fanny pack.
Disney’s Greatest, Vol. 1, by Disney
If a day at Disney wasn’t magic enough, you can also listen to famous Disney singles on the Disney’s Greatest series of CDs. Volume 2 and Volume 3 have classics you forgot you loved; some that give you flashbacks to your own childhood, and whatever was the “Let it Go” of its day (“Part of Your World” was mine.) If you just can’t listen to the Frozen soundtrack anymore, give these a try.
Paperback $20.99 | $23.00
Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination, by Neal Gabler
For some less-than-light adult reading, I highly recommend Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination. It looks like a thick, daunting read, but it covers everything in Disneys truly inspiring life. On the days I just don’t want to truck another bag of clothes to the laundromat, I think of Walt walking in the snow at 3am to deliver newspapers, or riding a train as a small child and selling cigarettes, and I suck it up. The ending is a tearjerker, be warned, but then again, so is every Pixar movie.
What do you do when you need a little Disney magic?