Guide to the Magic began with a dream…to help parents and kids share the magic of Walt Disney World together.
Ever since the time I first visited Walt Disney World waaaaay back in 1971 (I can still remember my first ride on “it’s a small world”), I had long dreamed of going back. Fast forward to the early 1990s, and I once again returned to Disney with my family in tow. Over the course of the next few years and dozens of trips, I quickly realized that the best part of going to Walt Disney World was being able to share that experience with others. To me, that’s where the true magic of Disney lies; not with dazzling effects and world class attractions, but in the joy of sharing these larger than life experiences with those you love. To see that look of wonder and awe as your child first sees Cinderella Castle all decked out in its Christmas Dream Lights, or to laugh along with your parents as you make a fool of yourself dancing in the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor.
As a graphic designer in real life, it was always a dream of mine to create my own book. But what would it be about? Fortunately, that question wasn’t hard to answer, it would be about Walt Disney World of course! But what would I write about specifically? I could think of nothing better than to write about what was most special to me: sharing the magic of Disney with your family. And so I decided to create a guide book specifically for kids…to give them a unique and fun way to see Disney in a whole new way. And, in thinking back to all of the hand-made journals we would make on family trips, to give kids and families a way to record all of their special vacation memories. What were their favorite attractions? What was their best meal? How was the weather? And what was the funniest thing your dad did on the trip?
As I put together the first draft of what would become the Guide to the Magic for Kids, I also realized that I was creating something for parents too. This was a way that they could empower their children to be “in charge.” Armed with their trusty guide book filled with fun facts and secrets, children could now be the family guide…pointing all of the fun things to discover as they wandered throughout the parks. And to me, this is the most rewarding thing of all; to give parents and children the gift of sharing the magic of Disney together, to learn…to discover. That’s what the magic of Disney is all about!
And so here we are, many years (and many trips!) later, and I still find this journey as magical as it was when it first began. Sharing the magic with others is the best way to keep it alive, and through this book (as well as Celebrations Magazine and WDW Cupcakes), I hope to continue helping people see Disney in a whole new…to see it through a child’s eyes…and to never forget how wonderful it is to dream.
Guide to the Magic for Kids Dedication
This book would not have been possible without the support and inspiration of a wonderful group of people:
To Lisa, without whom this whole venture would not have been possible. Thanks for putting up with the endless hours, the endless questions (“What color should we make the cover?”), and accompanying me on my many research trips. And most of all, thanks for the inspiration for writing this book in the first place. It couldn’t have happened without you!
To my daughter Michelle, thank you for letting me see the magic through your eyes, and for your creative inspiration. The Mitsukoshi Department Store in Japan is one of my favorite places in all of Walt Disney World thanks to you! Be sure to follow your dreams; they will always take you to a magical place.
To my parents, Carole and George, thanks for all of your support, contributions, assistance, and advice. (And thanks for taking me to the Magic Kingdom in 1971! Little did you know…)
And to the rest of my family and friends, thanks for all of your support. It’s impossible to thank everyone, but I’d like to mention a special few. First, my brother Robert (and his wonderful family, Aubrie, Corey, Mikey, and Phoebe), for always being there for me, as well as for providing me with one of my earliest Disney memories when you lost your Donald Duck hat on “it’s a small world.” (I still haven’t found it!) To Jack, my stepfather, for your enthusiasm, and for sharing some wonderful (and hilarious) Disney moments with me. The Magic Kingdom is extra ‘magical’ when you’re there!
Enjoy the Magic!