Have you ever thought about what a vampire, zombie, gargoyle, or other creature would need to know to visit a Disney Park? Dominick Cancilla has and he wrote two guide books this year, one for Walt Disney World and one for Disneyland, exploring the subject in depth. Both books follow the same format of starting off like a traditional Disney guidebook for the first chapter with an introduction covering the basics, vocabulary, how to get there, where to stay, when to travel, how to blend in, etc… but with creatures in mind. Then instead of being a traditional guide that would delve into each park and attraction he takes a different turn and the remainder of the book is an alphabetical listing of over 150 creature entries such as Medusae, Zombie, Robots & Androids, Heat Avoiders, Headless Individuals, and so on. Each creature entry gives some information that would be helpful for it to visit one of the Disney parks. Topics include Items of Interest, Misleading Labels, Trigger Warnings, Things to Try, and Possible Offensive Stereotypes. Sprinkled throughout are also comments from those who have written in to share their experiences too.
Dominick’s knowledge of both the creatures and Disney Parks comes through with the combination of creative, far reaching references and details throughout. Here is a sample from the Disneyland volume looking at hotels:
If you will be staying in a hotel (as opposed to staying in a camper, merging with the foliage for the night, following the lead of local animals, or wandering sleeplessly between activities), choosing appropriate lodging will be one of the most important parts of planning your vacation. Here are a few things to consider when making that choice:
- Cost: A thousand-year-old vampire will likely have more available funds than a denizen of the Black Lagoon. Choose lodging that is within your budget.
- Theme: Most Disney hotels have a specific theme, and that theme may or may not appeal to a given visitor. A mermaid might enjoy the beach theme of the Paradise Pier, while a vampire might find that “fun in the sun” isn’t the right vacation vibe.
- Bathing: Do you require a bathtub large enough for you to sleep in submerged, will a shower suffice, or do you find bathrooms a complete waste of space?
- Room location: Would you prefer a room with a window facing away from the sun or toward the moon, or does it not matter because you will be completely sealing yourself in at rest time?
Cthulhu from R’lyeh writes:
Many things have value even though they screech in the face of tradition, so keep an open mind about everything Disney has to offer. For example, my cultists have been trying to wake me for centuries with a pathetic lack of success, but Disney’s automated in-room wakeup call service is quite effective.
Most Disney hotels have a concierge available to help you with problems encountered during your trip. A concierge can help you:
- Purchase theme park tickets.
- Determine whether an attraction will be open on a certain day.
- Make dining reservations.
- See what transportation options are available.
- Exchange currency from another country.
- Help you find lost objects.
A concierge cannot help you:
- Locate weaknesses in park security.
- Determine whether an attraction’s aura is compatible with your own.
- Find likely victims.
- Hide your spacecraft.
- Exchange currency from other realities.
- Help you reattach lost limbs.
I read through both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World guides back to back. The creatures overlap and some of the basic info is duplicated too but a majority of the content is unique and tailored to the resort that is being discussed.
If you are a fan of various creatures or horror writing and Disney you will find these to be really fun reads combining the two. If you are looking for a straight parody guidebook you may find this a little challenging after the introduction because the rest of the book does not revolve around the parks & attractions but instead is centered around the type of creature visiting and their experience, so if you are not overly familiar with a creature or many creatures you may be working a bit “backwards” from a Disney perspective. These books fit into the Halloween Season perfectly with their creature theme and feature some clever references to the parks and experiences.