Book Review: Beyond the Attractions

Today I’m taking a look at a book that has been out for a while, and is updated each year.  Lisa Battista is the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers, and she has agreed to let me read her book and post a review.

Why am I reading and reviewing a book that is written towards a family with children between the ages of two and five, when I have a child that is now nine, and will turn 10 during our next trip to Disney?  To be honest, I wasn’t sure why at first.  I thought about it a long time before asking Lisa about the review, and the conclusion I came to was that regardless of the age of Sophie, there are still some things that apply to our family.  In addition, next year we will be taking a vacation with Sophie’s godmother and her family, and their children fall into that age category, so I’ll be able to help them also by having read the book.  For those reasons, plus the fact that I love to explore all aspects of Disney, I decided to do the book review.

Beyond the Attractions is fairly long book, 186 pages including the index, and it covers a lot of topics, including the following:

  • Preparing — planning your trip and tips on deciding if your children are ready for Disney.
  • Lodging — deciding on whether or not to stay on Disney Property, and the types of lodging available.
  • Transportation
  • Attractions — the attractions are looked at from a young child’s perspective, and won’t include attractions that a younger guest won’t be able to ride yet.
  • Dining
  • Recreation — things to do both inside the parks and outside, back at your resort.
  • Parades
  • Child Care and Safety

In addition to those topics, there are so many more to look into.  At the very beginning of her book, Lisa talks about her top six tips.  Read them and follow them!  It is great advice, and for many of them, there are also special Tips that will point to additional resources that you can use to get even more information.

Throughout the book I have found example after example of things that I didn’t realize about Walt Disney World.  For example, did you know that there is a small hedge maze over in the United Kingdom that you and your family can use as a relaxation point during your trip to Epcot?  Or that you can get a pony ride over at Fort Wilderness, or watch the blacksmith work?  I have been to Walt Disney World eleven times, and I never knew either of those facts!

One other thing that I think should be mentioned is that Lisa updates her book yearly, and in between printings, she also does a really good job of noting the updates to Disney World that are announced.

There are so many interesting things scattered throughout the book, if you have small children and are considering a trip to Disney World, I cannot encourage you enough to take a look at this book.  For more information on how to purchase the book, visit the Beyond the Attractions website today!