Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Walt Disney World Vacation Field Guides books for families and kids

As much as my family loves Disney World and as often as we've been there, I have never experienced Disney World with an adventurer or explorer's mind. Now that I have two excellent books by Tracie A. Cook, though, my family's next vacation in Disney World is going to be more interesting and exciting!

Cook, a former teacher and perennial Disney enthusiast, has written Walt Disney World Adventure: A Field Guide and Activity Book for Explorers and Kid Tips for Walt Disney World: Touring Advice by Kids for Kids.

Walt Disney World Adventure is a unique guide book to the four theme parks because it also includes educational learning activities for kids. Try decoding the hieroglyphic secret message related to Epcot's Spaceship Earth ride, the Animal Kingdom Kali River Rapids fractions, a Magic Kingdom Haunted Mansion addition problem chart or the Hollywood Studios Studio Backlot Tour crossword puzzle. There are fun facts and tips for each attraction or ride. (Did you know that in the Germany pavilion in Epcot, the statue there depicts Saint George on a horse, slaying a dragon -- because almost every German village has such a statue?)

Although my two- and four-year-old boys are too young for many of the book's activities, we can do some of them together as a family. I like the list of ideas to choose from for making our visit more environmentally friendly, the "scavenger hunt" for pictures to spot while walking around Fantasyland and Adventureland, and the challenge to list animals that are in the following four categories: spots or stripes, migrate, water and herds. My family can also use all the good tips throughout the book, like which lines are shorter, where to sit for certain attractions and what kids typically enjoy about each attraction.

Kid Tips for Walt Disney World is another great resource for families because it's full of tips from a kid's point of view -- it's written by kids. Boys and girls 7-15 tell it like it is for not only theme park attractions, but also the Disney water parks, resorts, character meals and more. Kids who are old enough to read well should enjoy this book to prepare for an upcoming vacation, while parents and group chaperones can use this guide to know what will be the most fun.

Some sample kid tips:

- Go on a Kim Possible mission the Epcot World Showcase to hunt down bad guys!

- Stitch's Great Escape in the Magic Kingdom might be scary to some little kids.

- Take time to watch the Hollywood Studios street performers -- they are fun and sometimes make kids part of the show!

- Visit the water parks while it's raining to avoid crowds.

- Get a Hidden Mickey sheet from the front desk at the Polynesian Resort.

Kids give other great general tips about visiting Disney World.

For families looking to get more out of a Disney World trip than just time spent standing in line, a sunburn and some family photos, Walt Disney World Adventure and Kid Tips are good resources to have.

Vacation Field Guides provided me these two books for review. Opinions and silliness are my own.