When the twins were 2 yrs old, my husband and I thought it would be the perfect thing (as we still lived in Florida at the time) to take them on a road trip from Miami to Orlando to visit The Magic Kingdom and Epcot. After all, it’s never too early to cram a bit of culture and global citizenship into their little noggins, right?
We’d only ever visited Epcot once before, about 8 years earlier. Replete with happy memories of our (childless) experience, we thought it’d be a snap. Boy, were we ever wrong! It was our first vacation with the twins, and we hadn’t a clue as to what attractions would actually be best for the small fry, simply placing our trust that The Mouse would never steer us wrong, and if it was Disney, surely it’d be fine no matter the age.
Zanna, it turned out, had an aversion to dark places bordering on phobia. We had no recollection that practically EVERY attraction at Epcot that we wanted to see began with a darkened foyer. It wasn’t too long before we ended up taking turns babysitting Zanna, while the other one of us took Halle thru, or if it was something that Halle wasn’t keen on visiting twice, the grown-up who drew the short straw ended up watching BOTH twins, while the lucky one got to go thru unencumbered by offspring.
This carried over to The Magic Kingdom, once we’d finished our slow 2-day crawl thru Epcot, missing out on quite a few attractions because, quite frankly, we were too tired to suss out which ones stood the best chance of our getting thru it with one or more toddlers and actually managing to enjoy anything!
I wish, I wish, I WISH we had had a book like Laura Schaefer’s “Epcot 2012 – A Planet Explorer’s Travel Guide For Kids” and you had better believe that we will be packing this FIRST when I take the kids to Orlando when they’re 6!
Intended for kids age 8-12, it’s an e-book with active hyperlinks so you can find out more. It can be read on smart phones, Kindles, Nooks or iPads.
(This is also perfect for my husband who’s from Japan and still perfecting his English – grownup oriented guidebooks are a bit too much to get through for him.)
Laura rates each attraction at Epcot by how dark the venue is (this would have been REALLY handy with Zanna!), how scary it is, awesome factor, etc!
There are Fun Facts about each area/attraction, and she gives tips on how to get through some of the more popular areas with the least waste of time!
She also gives hints on finding the “Hidden Mickey”s that are sprinkled throughout both parks, as well as descriptions of the dining options in each country/area, as well as which characters you’re likely to find at any given locale. (This also would have been darn helpful, as our experience was rather hit or miss. We managed to find Donald and Pooh, but that was it!)
She also gives a description of the various street entertainment performing in each area, as well as a brief description of what kind of international tchotchkes are sold in each area’s shops.
And I had NO IDEA that at one country (that I would have SO liked to explore further) there was actually a guided tour available for FREE! ( You’ll have to read the book to find out which, I can’t give all the good secrets away 🙂 )
And as an added bonus, in the final section of the book is a pop quiz for your kids to see just how much exciting new info they’ve picked up on their “tour around the world”.
If you or someone you know is planning a trip to Epcot or Disneyworld, you might want to pick up a copy of “Epcot 2012 – A Planet Explorer’s Travel Guide For Kids“, it’ll be money well spent, and most likely alot of time less wasted (and parents & kids less stressed 🙂 )
Laura, in the meantime, has been kind enough to offer THREE of my readers at TwiceBlessedLife.com their very own copy of “Epcot 2012 – A Planet Explorer’s Travel Guide For Kids” for free!
Just enter the giveaway below and you might be one of the lucky winners of this vacation guidebook must-have!
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR & BOOK in her own words:
My name is Laura Schaefer. I’m the author of The Teashop Girls (Simon & Schuster 2009) and The Secret Ingredient (Simon & Schuster 2011). I have a new series of e-books for kids called Planet Explorers. My latest title, Epcot 2012, is a guidebook for readers aged 8-12. With fun facts, tips, and active hyperlinks for kids who want to dig a little deeper into everything Epcot, the e-book guide is designed to be read on smart phones, Kindles, Nooks or iPads.
I wanted to give kids an easy way to become vacation experts. The whole philosophy behind the series is empowering kids. The Planet Explorers guides live right on Kindles, Nooks or smartphones. E-book technology allows readers to jump from information about the Spaceship Earth attraction to a website about artist Michelangelo, who is featured in the ride. The format is perfect for young readers. It’s all there, linked and ready to go. Writing Epcot 2012 was a blast. I love history and I’ve been a middle school curriculum writer for over a decade, so my guidebooks definitely have a “social studies” feel to them.
Planet Explorers guidebooks cut out all the stuff kids would find boring if they looked through a regular travel guide and focus on attractions and fun facts. The guides have a lot of pictures and even include a quiz at the end. A lot of parents have told me they’re excited about the easy way the guidebooks incorporate learning about geography, history, art and science into real-life experiences.
I loved traveling as a kid. I want to empower my readers to be part of planning vacations with their parents. That way, the trip is more fun and fulfilling for the whole family. There are currently Planet Explorers titles for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, London, Las Vegas, SeaWorld, Universal Orlando, and more.
**I received a copy of Epcot 2012 – A Planet Explorer’s Travel Guide For Kids E-Book for review purposes only. The opinions expressed above are my honest experience reading the book and were not influenced in any way, and were not compensated financially. I also was offered 3 copies of the e-book to hold a giveaway for my readers.