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In case you haven't noticed, we're both travel lovers and Disney lovers. To that end, we wanted to find 12 books (one for each month) to suggest our readers check out this year. Some of these we've read before, some we don't visit the parks without, some have just been on our lists for a while. If you've got any suggestions, let us know in the comments!
Six Disney Books To Read This Year
The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World: Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom by Susan Veness
From the Description: "Whether this is your first or fiftieth visit, you'd be surprised at how much you miss during your trip to Walt Disney World."
From the Reviews: "Definitely get this for the Disney Know-It-All in your life. My mother in law is a travel agent and has gone to Disney ~30-40 times for vacations, conferences, work, etc. There were details in here that she had never even heard of!"
Drinking at Disney: A Tipsy Travel Guide to Walt Disney World's Bars, Lounges & Glow Cubes by Professor of Anthropology Daniel Miller
From the Description: Join Drunky, your tipsy tour guide, and Rhiannon, his begrudging editor, as they bring you on a magical journey to every themed bar and lounge on Walt Disney World property.
From the Reviews: This is THE reference you need to guide your way around the bars of Disney World. Extremely informative and written with a lot of humor. You can tell the authors were passionate about the subject!
From the Description: As Walt Disney World continues to grow and evolve, trust Birnbaum as your guide! The 2018 edition delves into detailed descriptions of all attractions, resorts, and eateries; offers money-saving coupons and strategies to maximize your vacation budget; and includes a peek into what's new...
From the Reviews: We have been using Birnbaum’s guide to Walt Disney World since the 1980’s. This guide is the most complete guide to the World and contains insider info not found elsewhere. Even after more than 15 trips to the world we buy a new one for updated info and changes to the World
From the Description: In his superb biography, Neal Gabler shows us how, over the course of two decades, Disney revolutionized the entertainment industry. In a way that was unprecedented and later widely imitated, he built a synergistic empire that combined film, television, theme parks, music, book publishing, and merchandise.
From the Reviews: Absolutely one of the best biographies ever written. Walt Disney was incredible, but you really are able to grasp his humanity. He made mistakes and had failures, but he built the greatest capitalistic empire ever established.
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
From the Description: Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”
From the Reviews: Creativity, Inc. is an interesting, easy to read book with many details and stories from Catmull’s life and inside of Pixar challenges and successes. I personally grew up with Pixar and Disney movies. So, it was exciting to learn how many of their famous films were born and developed into the final product.
From the Description: No one knows more about this kind of leadership than Lee Cockerell, the man who ran Walt Disney World® Resort operations for over a decade. And in Creating Magic, he shares the leadership principles that not only guided his own journey from a poor farm boy in Oklahoma to the head of operations for a multibillion dollar enterprise, but that also soon came to form the cultural bedrock of the world’s number one vacation destination.
From the Reviews: I have ready several books on Disney and this is the best I have read about the behind the scenes leadership of Disney creating magic for her customers from all over the world!
Six Travel Books to Read This Year
Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, Ella Morton
From the Description: It's time to get off the beaten path. Inspiring equal parts wonder and wanderlust, Atlas Obscura celebrates over 700 of the strangest and most curious places in the world.
From the Reviews: This is a perfect book for a two minute break whenever your spirit needs boosting. Whether you find Jeremy Bentham's mummified corpse at University College London; the Beer Bottle Temple in Sisaket, Thailand; or the Canadian Potato Museum in D'Leary, PEI, you can return to your drab, dreary existence with the assurance that the World is "not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose".
From the Description: If you've ever dreamed of traveling the world, flying off to Europe, a honeymoon the Seychelles, or just taking your family to Disney or a trip to London, How to Travel the World on $50 a Day will give you the practical, step-by-step instructions to get your there - from start to finish on $50 a day (or less).
From the Reviews: Great tips and information on traveling cheaper and smarter. A great resource for anyone who loves to travel! While I won't be quitting my job and traveling the world like Matt, I do try to take a couple of trips a year to other countries and this book provides the kind of information and tips any travelers can use.
From the Description: This book combines practical wisdom with real world action steps to help you avoid paying thousands for airfare and get you closer to traveling the world. If you want to know how thousands of travelers earn free flights every year, this book is for you.
From the Reviews: This book is a great starting point for people looking to get in to travel hacking, or lowering their travel costs strategically! A quick read, and a small investment for what one could save in the future.
Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections by Patrick Smith
From the Description: For millions of people, travel by air is a confounding, uncomfortable, and even fearful experience. Patrick Smith, airline pilot and author of the web's popular Ask the Pilot feature, separates the fact from fallacy and tells you everything you need to know...
From the Reviews: The result is a lively, well written, opinionated yet balanced overview of all you need to know about flying (or don't need to know but may be curious). The anecdotes recounted are neither salacious nor inserted only for humor; they're told to make his points. The nice thing about this book is that it covers the horizon of everything from how tons of airplane stay aloft to how airports could be vastly improved at small expense.
From the Description: In this mesmerizing reflection on flying, Mark Vanhoenacker, a 747 pilot who left academia and a career in the business world to pursue his childhood dream of flying, helps us to reimagine what we—as pilots and as passengers—are actually doing when we enter the world between departure and discovery.
From the Reviews: To those of us whose only exposure to flight is as passengers, x-rayed, groped by the TSA, and crammed into an aluminum tube, listening to a pilot wax eloquently about the great romance of flight reminds us that there's something magical, something romantic, about it.
From the Description: Decoding Air Travel is the most comprehensive and insightful work to date on the intricacies of the modern air travel system from a customer perspective, and the most effective tool for making travel more affordable, convenient, comfortable and fun.
From the Reviews: Hesitate no more about buying this book! I absolutely couldn't set this book down (keep in mind, I don't usually take the time to read a full book). This was an excellent, educational experience. I couldn't wait to finish this book and put it into practice. I actually don't travel more than 1-2 times per year. But with a family of 5, it's pretty important to us that when we do travel, we would like to get the best deal possible.
All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered
Don't be overwhelmed by Disney World planning! Take a second to check out our most important content and you'll not only be an expert, but you'll save big $$$ along the way. If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars. For picking your hotel, check out our Walt Disney World hotels guide.
Don't forget to master your Disney World Fastpass+ strategy a few months in advance. We'll keep you out of long lines so you can maximize the magical time in the parks!
Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.