Early on in life, children begin to make believe about all sorts of things. They imagine delightful as well as villainous characters including fantastical creatures. They pretend about magical places and magnificent adventures. While children need very little help to dream up such amazing things, grownups often use literature, art and music to cultivate the imaginations of youngsters.
Fostering fantasy and knowledge is something Disney has been known for from the beginning. From park attractions to films, and beyond, Disney Imagineers, writers and artists reveal their imaginations to the world. Through illustrations and text, Disney storybook authors and illustrators captivate and stimulate readers as well as listeners. Bound within every cover are pages and pages of pictures and words that provoke imaginative thinking long after The End. This is never truer than when it comes to tales written about Walt Disney World. Little ones will appreciate that these books contain recognizable places and characters from the parks intermingled within the story. Every young Walt Disney World fan – and older ones, too – will enjoy making the following books part of their personal collection.
“Disney It’s a Small World” Series
Illustrated By: Various
Designed By: Winnie Ho
Published By: Disney Press
Since 1964, “it’s a small world” has been teaching children of all ages that—while each nation is unique in culture—“a smile means friendship to everyone.” This inspirational theme flows through the children’s book series, “Disney It’s a Small World”, which is based on the world-famous Disney Parks’ attraction. Whether reading or listening to one of these delightful books, little ones will be captivated by the colorful illustrations that are reminiscent of Mary Blair’s classic artwork. Just as with riders of the attraction, those who read or listen to the tales will learn to say “hello” in several different languages. They will be taken on an imaginary worldwide safari as well as a number of other make-believe adventures. Readers can expect to experience the same happiness present in the storybooks as can be enjoyed on “the happiest cruise that ever sailed.” The series comes in an array of titles. Some stories, such as, Guess Who?, are board books perfect for babies and toddlers. Others such as Around-the-World-Safari, are paperback and suitable for early readers. Many of the books in the series are available on the Disney Shop Parks app, Walmart.com and Amazon and range in price from $3.99 to $7.00.
the story of Disney Bear A Day at the Magic Kingdom
Adapted By: Matt Whitlock
Illustrated By: Michael Sullivan
Designed By: Disney Design Group
Published By: Disney
Before he was known as Duffy the Bear, Mickey Mouse’s favorite teddy bear was simply called Disney Bear and was brought to life by Tinker Bell’s Pixie Dust. The title bearing his name tells the story of Disney Bear and Mickey’s fun-filled day at the Magic Kingdom. True-to-life illustrations show the pair riding the Jungle Cruise, enjoying a Premium Mickey Ice Cream Bar, watching the 3 o’clock parade, taking off on Peter Pan’s Flight and much more. Walt Disney World fans will enjoy seeing images of many of their favorite places in the park and will appreciate the historical aspect, being that the book was released in 2005. Sadly the title is no longer in print, but it can be found on Amazon and occasionally on Ebay for varying prices.
The Magic Kingdom Storybook
Author: Jason Grandt
Illustrated By: Jason Grandt
Designed By: Stef Lum
Published By: Disney Press
The lands of the Magic Kingdom serve as the setting in each of the five new and original tales in this whimsical anthology. Lovely illustrations and uniquely creative stories keep the attention of young Walt Disney World fans as they follow beloved characters through recognizable moments and places from the Magic Kingdom. Adults will also love searching the artwork for hidden treats such as nods to the Orange Bird and Disney Imagineer, John Hench. This title is available in hardback for $19.99 in the Parks, on the Disney Shop Parks app, or from Merchandise Guest Services (877-560-6477, item #400007803428).
(Photos from the author’s personal collection.)
What are your favorite Walt Disney World storybooks? Let us know in the comments section below.
Kendall is an editor and contributing writer for WDW Radio. She began visiting Walt Disney World in 1991 with her family and has continued to visit the resort with her husband. Her home-away-from-home is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and she believes a perfect day at WDW includes a dip in the Lava Pool, a ride on Splash Mountain and a Pineapple Dole Whip. Follow her on Twitter @kl_foreman.