I’ve written a fair number of Disney park books. My niche seems in general to be trivia and history-oriented books (see especially Walt Disney World Hidden History for the Orlando parks, and 101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland and Disneyland Compendium for the Anaheim parks). But considering my decades of working in and visiting the parks weekly, I’ve often got a unique perspective that lends itself as well to travel and tourism. I dipped my toe into the waters of such general books with Tokyo Disney Made Easy, but title confusion (a long story) has resulted in that book not finding an audience on Amazon. I’ve got another similar venture ready to announce. This time, it’s a book about traveling to Disneyland Paris.
Rather than provide comprehensive and exhaustive coverage of every last detail, though, this book intentionally stays lean and mean. The title is “Top Tips for Visiting Disneyland Paris,” and the book itself lives up to the promise of staying focused only on the stuff you truly need to know. The problem with some travel books is that they over-stuff the pages with so much information, it results in information overload. I’ve seen people in the parks with giant touring books that act almost paralyzed with indecision. Others think they are following good advice, but they are unwittingly chasing a “small” tip that actually is much less important than a “top tip,” with the net result that they did the wrong thing for that moment. Less is actually more in some situations, and this is one of them.
I was also concerned with keeping the surprise. It would be all too easy to spell out the ways in which Pirates of the Caribbean is a superior ride in Paris (versus Orlando, and possibly even Anaheim), but that would rob the reader of the suspense, the discovery, and the excitement. Frankly, it would probably make the visit feel more “by the numbers” and less interesting overall, especially if the reader knew what to expect in every single ride.
Disneyland Hotel, shrouded in fog.
So I wrote a guide that lists all the ways you need to take advantage of systems (the altered FASTPASS rules there, for instance, or the wacky restaurant hours) without belaboring exactly what to look forward to on each ride. I provided recommendations for which rides to prioritize on your visit (this guidebook assumes the reader already knows at least Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom), but I don’t spell out the many reasons behind each decision. That’s part of the fun. Why spoil everything? A vacation should be relaxing. This book gives you just enough info, wisdom, and guidance so you can relax, but not so much that you feel you already know the park before you even arrive. The discovery and exploration will definitely still be there.
I was also adamant that my book would provide a lot of step-by-step help for navigating through the airport, the subway systems, the transfer busses, and the parks. Americans who don’t speak French might be reluctant to travel to Disneyland Paris, and that would be a shame. This book makes it easy to select your appropriate method of travel, and you’ll know exactly what to expect each step of the way. This is one part of the journey where the descriptions are comprehensive and complete—there are no surprises—because this part isn’t supposed to be about discovery and surprises. This part of your vacation is most relaxing when you already know what to expect.
There are also sections on planning, online preparation, packing, cultural differences, and the resort area itself. This little guide should be all you need to plan.
Because the book is so focused on just the essentials, it’s not nearly as long as many other touring books on the market. Formatted for a standard book (8 inches by 5 inches), it would probably top out at 70 pages, including the pictures. Remember that the somewhat short length is intentional: the book wouldn’t be as valuable if it tried to be comprehensive. By focusing only on the top tips, readers will digest those all the better.
Now there’s no need to fear the travelling part of your Disneyland Paris vacation!
A shorter book calls for a smaller price tag. Since this is my creation, I get to set the rules, and my internal sense of fair play says to keep prices low on this one. In fact, I elected to go an all-digital route. That way I could keep prices even lower. This book will only be available for Kindle devices, the Kindle-for-PC software reader (which is a free download), or Kindle for Mac (also free).
The book retails for the rock-bottom price of $2.99. It’s possible that Amazon/Kindle will discount the book even lower than that, but I’m not in control of the price fluctuations and sales they offer.
If you’ve got Amazon Prime, the book is entirely free for you to “rent” since I signed the book up for a rental program (I get some share of rental money). That will only be true for several weeks, I think.
An overgrown hedge maze themed to Alice in Wonderland? Yes please!
The book was done several weeks ago but THIS is the right weekend to unveil it to you—Disneyland Paris just celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a big party last week! The newest entertainment offering at DLP, a must-see fireworks, projection, laser, waterscreen, fountain show called “Disney Dreams” is not covered in my book because at the moment of publication, it wasn’t clear what the operational realities of this nighttime show would be. But the book does give tips for planning for the big entertainment (shows and fireworks) that will still be adequate.
That Tokyo book I mentioned earlier isn’t on Kindle yet, but it will be soon. I’ll be renaming it to “Top Tips for Visiting Tokyo Disneyland.”
And yes, there *is* a book coming from me later this year to be called “Top Tips for Visiting Walt Disney World.” That one will go in a slightly different direction, being less about travel and more about the basic principles you must absorb and internalize to make good decisions. More info on that soon.
Big Thunder in Paris—my favorite of all of the Thunder rides.
For those new to this publication, here’s the description: From the closing of Star Tours and "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" to the debut of several new experiences, 2010 held a lot of change for Walt Disney World. Additions included Summer Nightastic, Captain EO, Main Street Electrical Parade, Duffy the Disney Bear, Via Napoli, Best Friends Pet Care, D-Street, and Pollo Campero, among others. This book captures all the new attractions in pictures, and offers brief retrospectives for the closures. Many special events are also captured here--all through the eyes of one frequent visitor. A time line of events throughout the year puts the changes into perspective, and offers a glimpse into the ever-shifting kaleidoscope that is Walt Disney World. To aid in this book's value as a reference work in the years to come, a listing of some key prices from 2010 is included, and an index makes finding each entry a snap.
There will be a kindle version of the 2011 Earbook soon as well.
They’ve re-recorded all the spoken audio spiels on the monorails (Express, Resort, Epcot), and quite a few fans are dismayed by the change. The most common complaint is that they find the voice sterile and lacking in emotion (something that happened to the PeopleMover TTA voiceover a while back as well).
I agree that the PeopleMover change was for the worse, but it’s less clear that the Monorail change is quite that bad. Yes, the voice is a bit sterile. But it’s also blissfully un-chipper. There’s a certain caliber of “too happy” that Disney advertisements carry. Disney has always been about sugar coating everything, but lately the happy announcers have just been over the top. It was particularly bad on the Express monorail, outbound to the TTC. You were tired, perhaps it was late at night, and the way too cheerful voice extolled you to visit every darn attraction in the thirty seconds he had your ear.
The new narration avoids such over the top theatrics. Even better, that stretch as you leave the Magic Kingdom is now silent, allowing the visitors to wallow in the contentment of finally being on their way (or perhaps mourning that they have to leave; either way, they want quiet). The voice does advertise the Grand Floridian and Polynesian briefly, but it’s not excessive.
Kevin Yee may be e-mailed at [email protected] - Please keep in mind he may not be able to respond to each note personally. FTC-Mandated Disclosure: As of December 2009, bloggers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose payments and freebies. Kevin Yee pays for his own admission to theme parks and their associated events, unless otherwise explicitly noted.
Kevin is the author of many books on Disney theme parks, including:
Jason’s Disneyland Almanac (co-written with Jason Schultz) is an exhaustive listing of every day in Disneyland history, from 1955 to 2010. You’ll find park operating hours, weather and temperatures, and openings and closings of any park attraction, shop, or restaurant… for every day in the park’s history.
The Unofficial Walt Disney World ‘Earbook 2010 is a photo-rich volume of 70 pages that park fans will find especially useful if they want to know what’s changed at WDW since their last visit.
Walt Disney World Hidden History: Remnants of Former Attractions and Other Tributes As the title implies, this is all about those little things in the parks that have significance to insiders and long-timers, but are never explained or highlighted.
Your Day at the Magic Kingdomis a full-color, hardcover
interactive children’s book, where readers decide which attraction to ride
next (and thus which page to turn to) - but watch out for some unexpected surprises!
Mouse Trap: Memoir of a Disneyland Cast Memberprovides the
first authentic glimpse of what it’s like to work at Disneyland.
Tokyo Disney Made Easy is a travel guide to Tokyo
Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySeas, written to make the entire trip stress-free
for non-speakers of Japanese.
Magic Quizdom offers an exhaustive trivia quiz on Disneyland
park, with expansive paragraph-length answers that flesh out the fuller
story on this place rich with details.
101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland is a list-oriented
book that covers ground left intentionally unexposed in the trivia book,
namely the tributes and homages around Disneyland, especially to past rides
More information on the above titles, along with ordering options are at this link.