As a parent, I find it's difficult to get my kids to believe me when I try to show them something I think they'd like. Because I'm ancient (at 42), I of course have no idea, per my daughter Katie, what's hip or trendy or fun. I suppose using words like "hip", "trendy" and "fun" proves her point...but I digress.
Anyways, I found a great book that will help prove to Katie that my ideas about WDW aren't completely off base. Kid Tips for Walt Disney World: Touring Advice by Kids for Kids is a collection of advice given by kids ranging from 7 to 15 years old suggesting things to do at the parks and resorts. Tracie Cook, a Michigan-based travel writer and teacher, received over 8,000 suggestions and whittled them down to 130 pages of helpful hints like this (one of Alex's favorites):
Make a call to another world. There's a cool looking phone booth by Astro Orbiter. It kind of looks like a rocket. Go inside and press the buttons. There are a ton of funny phone messages.
Luke, age 11, Jonesborough, TN
What's nice about this book is that, being written for the most part by kids, the hints use easily understood language. However, Cook doesn't change spelling for words which have different spelling in the United Kingdom and Canada; i.e. favourite versus favorite. That is a bit distracting for some readers but is also an opportunity for parents to talk about language diversity if they choose.
On the parent side, I liked the trip planner section at the end of the book, as it helps kids focus on what they are interested in doing before their trip. However, the spaces to write in are very small, so it may be difficult for younger kids to fit their plans in. I also loved the "lost card," which directs kids who get separated from their parents to find a cast member and show them the card. The card has space for the child's name, resort and parent's cell numbers. As lost children can get so worried about their parents they forget cell numbers (especially an area code), having the number in writing can save a lot of time in reuniting child and parents.
But, for me, my favorite part of the book was the genuine caring the kids showed in their suggestions. My favorite:
A small light can come in handy. Some of the rides at Disney are in the dark. Bring a little flashlight to wear around your neck if you are afraid.
Kent, age 7, Las Vegas, NV
Isn't that what WDW is all about? The idea of total strangers helping each other is unusual in the "real" world, but is blessedly common at Walt Disney World. I only wish it would happen in the real world more often...