Going to Magic Kingdom Guidebook!

Going to Magic Kingdom: A Guide for Kids & Kids at Heart by Shannon W. Laskey

Going to Magic Kingdom is the third release in the astounding Going to Guides travel series. And there’s no hyperbole, here; Laskey has created a unique and charming series of guide books that are designed for kids but will be adored by anyone who loves Disney theme parks.

Laskey uses her individual art style to create a visually stunning work that will enchant any reader. Characters and attractions featured on every page that pay tribute to the original work, but in Laskey’s style. I really can’t say enough about how engaging the book is.

Besides the artwork, Going to Magic Kingdom stands apart from every travel guide through the attention to detail that Laskey offers; it’s detail that is going to appeal to kids that are planning their first trip or thinking about their last one. She relates the Magic Kingdom to her intended audience through anecdotes and interesting tidbits about the lands and attractions.

Every attraction in the Magic Kingdom is discussed, including the potential fear factor. Laskey includes a bit of trivia, including the year opened (and sometimes a pretty cool timeline). She also adds information about key imagineers that worked on the ride or were instrumental in theme park history. But seeing Laskey’s artwork representing the attraction and characters are the true stars of the book. Seriously.

My photos of the pages can’t do any justice to the book. You really have to see it in person!

Additionally, there are activities while waiting in queues, like photo finds, word games and coloring sections!

I remember the days when planning a Walt Disney World trip meant buying the dense and unwieldy Unofficial Guide or the semi-charming Official Guide. Now kids can watch endless POV videos YouTube without a lot of history or thought going into the planning. With Laskey’s Going To Magic Kingdom book, kids and parents can plan a vacation that offers interaction and family time; not just while reading the book, but also in the park.

Laskey captures the emotional and nostalgic essence of the Magic Kingdom through her illustrations and layout.

Simply stated, the Going to Guides are the best travel books on the market for Disney theme parks. Laskey captures the soul of what visiting a Disney theme park is and presents it in a style that will relate to kids and adults. I know I gush, but the books, especially the Going to Magic Kingdom book, exemplify how a work can be artistic and provide valuable (and fun) information about traveling.

Title: Going to Magic Kingdom: A Guide for Kids & Kids at Heart
Author: Shannon W. Laskey
ISBN: 978-0-9912954-9-4
Release Date: November 7, 2017

Are you going to pick up a copy of Going to Magic Kingdom? Have you read any of the Going to Guides?

FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Going to Disney California Adventure Guide

Going to Disney California Adventure Guide

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting guide book for Disney California Adventure, then look no further than The Going to Disney California Adventure Guide by Shannon W. Laskey! It’s the second book in the Going To Guides… series. (Check out the Going to Disneyland Guide, here.) I can’t wait for Shannon to make the trip east and do the same guides for Walt Disney World!

Going to Disney California Adventure follows the same formula as the Disneyland book, which is wonderful. Shannon is an artist at heart and her talent jumps off the pages. The book is colorful, charming and very eye-catching. It will appeal to children and adults.

Beyond the artwork, it’s obvious that Shannon has done her homework. The book takes you land-by-land and looks at every attraction, restaurant and most shops. I don’t think she’s left out any detail. Shannon even sprinkles some historical facts and tidbits throughout the book to help grow your little Disney nerdling.

As gorgeous as the book is, it’s still meant to be a guide to Disney California Adventure that you take into the park with you. Shannon has loaded the book with games to entertain you while you’re waiting in the queues. Most of the activities can also be done while you’re planning your next trip. She’s made matching games, guessing games and social games you can play with your family and friends. It’s perfect for anyone planning their first trip or their 42 trip.

The guidebook also acts like a trip planner and a journal. I can’t imagine how much a book like this would have meant to me as a child, whether I was planning my next trip or as a souvenir of past trips.

Flipping through the book, you realize just how much work Shannon has done putting it together. There are 188 pages in the book and each page has Shannon’s unique and charming art throughout. I find it so hard to believe that she laid out each page separately. Seriously, each page is a work of art.

This book is so much more than a guide to a theme park; it’s a complete work of art. Shannon has developed a style that’s adorable but not exclusionary. Fans of theme parks are going to love this book as well as anyone interested in seeing how a guidebook can be more than just a litany of facts. Shannon also did the artwork and the layout for Drinking at Disney, which was awarded the 2016 ImagiNERDing Book of the Year!

Title: Going to Disney California Adventure
Author: Shannon W. Laskey
ISBN: 978-0-9912954-5-6
Release Date: November 22, 2016

What do you think about the Going to Disney California Adventure Guide? Have you checked out this series?

FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the author for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Going to Disneyland A Guide for Kids & Kids at Heart

Going to Disneyland A Guide for Kids & Kids at Heart by Shannon W. Laskey

George: Disneyland (and Walt Disney World) travel guides are a dime-a-dozen. When Going To Disneyland – A Guide for Kids & Kids at Heart by Shannon W. Laskey arrived, I was immediately drawn to the amazing cover. I knew that this guide was going to be something different and something special.

Jeff: It’s not your typical guide that is aimed toward kids, and then has a lot of words and such to get through. This guide is literally something that kids can take with them on the go in the parks, and look at again and again. From cover to cover, it’s bright, it’s cheery, and it has some amazing art in it.

George: Going to Disneyland is obviously a work of love for Laskey. Not only did she write it, but she illustrated and designed the entire book. I was mesmerized by the illustrations and it’s one of the rare times that not having photographs actually worked out very well. Laskey doesn’t mince the history or the actual guide to the park. Her writing style is appropriate for elementary-aged children but she never talks down to the kids (or adults) reading her book.

Jeff: I was actually pretty amazed at how many history tidbits and hidden things she was able to cram into the book…especially onto a single page! It never patronizes the reader, no matter the age, and it’s all shared in a fun, light-hearted manner. It’s actually really impressive.

George: Laskey covers all of the basics of visiting Disneyland, including outlining opening day attractions (or when the attraction opened) and the fear factor (so to speak) of the attraction. She even talks about the food available and what the kids might like to try. The book is interactive, in that Laskey allows space for you to write your favorite attractions, special memories and thoughts. She also offers a special game to play for each land that will provide plenty or real facetime for families.

Jeff: Laskey also went out of her way to include artwork of people she really admires in the book, such as Rolly Crump and Kolby Ratigan. The extra added perspective of art, in addition to Laskey’s unique style, really add to the overall content of the book. It’s not only informative, but it’s great to look at as well.

George: Even if you’ve been to Disneyland 100 times, Laskey’s Going to Disneyland guide is going to be a new experience and offers a completely adorable way to look at the park. The design is a lot of fun and is going to appeal to children and adults. Even if you’re not going to Disneyland any time soon, it’s still to beautiful of a book to pass up!

Jeff: It is a great way to “visit” the Park, if you’re not heading there anytime soon. Definitely one of the most gorgeous books, if not THE most, to come out in 2015 about the parks, and it’s certainly in the running for best looking, period!

What do you think about Laskey’s Going to Disneyland A Guide for Kids & Kids at Heart? Is this one you’re going to add to your collection?

Disneylanders by Kate Abbott, a Book Review

Disneylanders by Kate Abbott

George: Disneylanders is a fiction book set at Disneyland, usually, this doesn’t bode well. I’ve read (and reviewed) a few fiction-based titles that take place in a Disney theme park. By and large, most of them seem to fall short of expectations–whether it’s the plot or the characters, it always seems like the author gets hung up on the place. The other issue seems to be the inaccuracies that plague most Disney fiction. When you love a place as much as we love the Disney parks, it can be very frustrating and distracting to read about the main characters walking from Frontierland to the Japan Pavilion in less than five minutes.

Jeff: The problem is usually the author gets distracted with the location itself, and instead of using it just as a backdrop for their story, they allow it to become its own character. Of course, that often makes the location overshadow the main plot itself. Thankfully, Kate Abbott’s Disneylanders is one of the few titles to break that curse. Not only is it Disney accurate, but it’s an amazingly written story as well!

GeorgeDisneylanders is a novel aimed specifically for the tween/teen age group. But don’t let that deter you in any way. We’re introduced to Casey who’s travelling to her favorite place in the world, Disneyland, the year before she enters high school. She’s lost her best friend who usually goes with her family to Disneyland and she finds herself wondering how much her life is going to change. As the story unfolds, we see Casey, so unsure of everything in life, feel completely at home at Disneyland. As expected, everything changes.

Jeff: From there, you’ll find yourself in familiar territories in stories such as this. However, Kate manages to make a tale you may have heard before in other books fresh and interesting. Despite never having been in the same position that Casey was in, I found myself being able to relate to her feelings of being unsure of what life holds ahead for her more often than many other books! Like George said, this book is aimed at the tween/teen age group, but we’re both manly enough to admit that that didn’t stop us from enjoying it.

George: It’s a great sign in a book when Jeff and I talk about it while we’re reading it. Usually, we don’t discuss a book until we’ve finished it and are reviewing it. This time, we were so fully engaged with the book that there were constant queries of “have you made it to this point” and “did you read this, yet”. The characters were extremely well fleshed out and the scenes felt real as you read them. One of the nice things about Kate’s style with Disneylanders is that the scenes, like Disneyland, enfold you. You can see (and smell) Disneyland in this book. There were just a few minor issues in the book, but they were completely overcome by how well it’s written and how faithful to Disneyland that Kate is.

Jeff: Technically speaking, Disneylanders is a period piece, taking place the summer after Disney California Adventure opened. Like I mentioned, Kate did an excellent job of getting the details right, especially for a specific time period. She used the Disney Parks to enhance the story, and not as the highlight of it. I was particularly impressed with how well-rounded the characters were, much like George said. My only issue, if any, was that it seemed to hint at more of a back story for some of them that we never got. It actually left me wanting to learn more about these characters we already knew a lot about!

George: I agree with Jeff. I really felt like there might have been some deeper Disney connections with one of the main characters that we never got to explore. That being said, this is a really fun read that is going to attract more than just the target audience of tween and middle-aged readers. Adults are going to be engaged by the title and might learn a thing or two. Speaking as a parent of a fourteen year-old, it was a good reminder of how challenging those years can be.

Jeff: Speaking as a person who still has the mind of a fourteen year old, I agree! I definitely recommend Disneylanders if you’re looking for a great, quick, summer read!

Are you going to add Disneylanders to your pool-side reading list? What do you think about books that take place at Disney parks?