Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book review: Hidden Magic of WDW Trivia (2013)

Susan Veness, author of The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World, is back this month with a new book, The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World Trivia. Her new book is a take on the trivia book concept (something I know intimately from my own Disneyland trivia book written a decade ago, Magic Quizdom - now out of print). But hers is not a TYPICAL trivia book. She's got a revised format that feels fresh. The book offers a tour around the parks, lingering in each land in turn, and mixes up trivia questions with infoboxes of more information.

Here's one example: the section on Storybook Circus (the book is new, so it has all sections of the parks) starts with a brief history of the place and its many name changes and re-themings. Then comes a multiple choice question: which animal did NOT leave tracks in the wet concrete? There's often a second trivia question right after the first, then she follows each trivia section with Fascinating Facts that are designed to showcase smaller details you may have missed in the land -- like the target across the walkway that stuntman Great Goofini seems to have missed due to his clumsiness.

At the end of each chapter (park) is a short scavenger hunt that is less obvious about where to look. Here's one example: "In the future, even newspaper delivery is high-tech. Find the Robo-News and check out the headlines. There's trouble afoot, and it's all because of one pesky character. What is the caption under the headline feature's photo?" Obviously, this is all stuff you can find in the parks, so it doesn't rely on outside knowledge.

The answers to all the trivia questions come at the back of the book. They are "basic" answers without additional information.

The book skews a bit younger than most trivia books, clearly meant to be accessible to reading-age children rather than aimed at adults exclusively (and, it must be added, many diehard Disney fans will know a lot of the Fascinating Facts already). The trivia questions are similarly aimed at younger crowds. If your kid(s) are the right age, this could be an ideal book!

Kevin Yee is the author of numerous independent Disney books, including the popular Walt Disney World Earbook series and Walt Disney World Hidden History.