Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lots To Do In Line – Disneyland by Meredith Lyn Pierce

I was recently introduced to a new book from The Intrepid Traveler (think Hidden Mickey books) and I wanted to share it with you . . .

It’s called Lots To Do In Line – Disneyland.  I love the tagline --- “don’t miss the magic before the ride!”  Here’s a bit of information about this book:


No More Cranky Kids in Disneyland Lines

Like the famous slogan says, Disneyland is the “Happiest Place on Earth.” But when waiting in line for rides, especially with kids, people tend to forget that.

Few visitors realize that Disney has gone to a lot of trouble to make its lines interesting by packing the queue areas with delightful visual details. Trouble is, most kids and adults are so hyped for the rides that they miss the eye-catching magic on the way to them.

“The rides are scripted; you know just where to look and you love every moment of them,” says mega-Disney fan Meredith Pierce, who grew up in Orange County, California and spent much of her childhood and teen years in Disneyland. “In contrast, the lines are like an activity book with no instructions. They are packed with wonderful details, but kids especially need some direction to focus on them.”

Meredith came to that conclusion when she took her young daughter to the Disneyland parks for the first time, and watched the seven-year-old morph from happy-excited kid to bored-whiney kid every time she stepped off a ride and into another line. Says Pierce, “She hung from the railing, spun in a circle, hopped, fidgeted, wanted a drink, wanted a snack—all the while inching ever closer to fun. As soon as we hit the ride, happy-excited kid was back.”

A quick glance around told Meredith that her daughter was far from alone. Countless other children were also at less than their best in line.

When a search of the park shops failed to uncover any kind of guide to the queue-line visuals, Meredith decided to write it herself. The result is Lots To Do In Line: Disneyland, a step-by-step guide that turns every ride line in the two Disneyland theme parks into a series of games.

Using only the visuals Disney and other guests provide, Lots To Do In Line poses challenging questions and visual and audio treasure hunts that keep kids and their grown-ups happily immersed in the Disney magic as they move toward the ride.

To add to the fun, players earn one point for every correct answer they pick (they’re multiple choice) and a point for every treasure they spot.

Meredith tested the games on her family and the families of many friends. They worked, she says; “When you’re busy having fun, you can’t be bored.” Or unhappy. “Smiling kids make happy parents.”

Meredith Lyn Pierce was born in England but grew up in Disneyland’s vast backyard, Orange County, California. Like millions of people, Meredith loved Disneyland from the moment she first laid eyes on it as a young child. The creativity, attention to detail, and positive environment drew her back time and again even after she graduated from The College of Communications at California State University Fullerton and moved across the country to work to improve the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities and mental illness. Her jobs varied from helping people find and keep meaningful employment to finding ways for them to live independently with appropriate assistance. She was also responsible for creating a large portion of the staff training curriculum used by North Carolina’s biggest provider of services for individuals with these challenges.

Meredith currently lives in Lacey, Washington, near Olympia, the state capital, with her husband Ken and daughter Camille. The inspiration for Lots To Do In Line: Disneyland came to her during her first trip to the Disneyland parks with Camille. Looking at the park through a mother’s eyes made her notice things she had failed to register before. The lines were a wonderland of things to see and do, and they were going unnoticed and underappreciated. One year later, Lots To Do In Line: Disneyland was born.

I love this book!  My only “issue” with it is that it’s not about my Disney park of choice – Walt Disney World.  I know that my kids (and, yes, me too) would love doing the quizzes and treasure hunts while we find ourselves standing in line – and waiting – for some of our favorite attractions. 

If your family goes to Disneyland, I would highly recommend this book.  It’s size makes it very convenient for carrying along into the park (if you’ve already got Steven Barrett’s Hidden Mickey book, this book is the same size).

NOTE: I received this book from The Intrepid Traveler in exchange for my sharing my honest thoughts about it on my blog. 


Carrie said...

Well Heidi...maybe you should write it!


Mer Pierce said...

Thank you Heidi for that lovely review. Just to let you know that I am hard at work making sure that you need not miss the magic before the rides at Disney World. Stay tuned!

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