As I might have shouted about once or twice, I went to Disneyland back in February. It was incredible, and I can’t even breathe about it without feeling like the child I am. When I was trying to think of new content, this idea popped up in my head. Disneyland is currently closed due the virus, so why not experience in the form of books? I picked a few of the greatest attractions for Disneyland and Disney California Park Adventure as YA (and one adult) books.
The Haunted Mansion / The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
The Haunted Mansion is a timeless classic that I love – it has the ghosts, it has the atmosphere, and it has the wow factor. Unfortunately, when I went in February, it was closed down, but it’s still probably a favorite ride. Even though it’s in a motel, The Sun Down Motel is the perfect book to pick if you want a book that will transport you to a place filled with creepy – a few friendly ghosts – with even a few jump scares to boot.
Matterhorn Bobsleds / The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron
There are quite a few roller coasters at both of the parks, but this was my favorite. It’s a climb, and it increases in speed and speed and then you feel like you’re about to shoot off. However, it never gets too consuming. This book felt like it was continuously drawing breath, the stakes getting more and more intense. It’s a binge read that you devour whole, and you have to keep going, your head spinning faster and faster.
Pixar Pal-A-Round / Unscripted by Nicole Kronzer
This ferris wheel is the icon of Disney California Park Adventure – it’s instantly what I call to mind when you mention the park to me. However, that’s just what I thought it was – just a ferris wheel. Since it’s Disney, you should always expect the unexpected. It has a swinging option – so yes, your little ferris wheel booth can go swinging around. It’s a thrill and unexpected and brings so many feels – just like this book. It seemed like just your regular ole fluffy contemporary read, with a cute man on the forefront and a girl squad in the wings. However, this book gets so much deeper than that, and my emotions were swinging around.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! / Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
The science fiction duo that has created something quite like ride – except for Kaufman and Kristoff. They create dynamic space crews full of sass and humor – from all different walks of life (and alien life form). The ragtag crew of Aurora Rising certainly fits the bill, and with twists and turns and life and death on the line, this book matches a bit of the craziness of the ride. Just a bit – because I don’t think I’ve yet to find a book that makes me want to lose my cookies that much from bouncing too hard.
Jungle Cruise / The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Tell me the Jungle Cruise isn’t a scene out of a Riordan novel – anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. You’ll end up in a dangerous part of the jungle, with a group of misfits, and hop from crazy situation to crazy situation. The humor, the heart, and the plot twists and turns are foundations of both the classic Riordan formula and this cruise. This was the first ride that I rode when I returned to Disney, and it set the exact tone that I wanted and needed for the day.
Mad Tea Party / What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera & Becky Albertalli
Again, this was another ride that I loved as a kid, but I couldn’t ride it again – RAINNNNNNNNNNN. Ugh, rain. Anyway, this ride makes you feel incredibly giddy inside. It has you spinning around and around and around in this gorgeously done teacups, and how do you not keep a smile on your face (except maybe when you’re feeling a little nauseous after spinning a little too much)? THIS pretty much encapsulates my ride with What If It’s Us. I couldn’t get enough of this book, devouring and spinning and feeling so incredibly giddy. I loved it so much, and there is a lot of back and forth, much like the ride.
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage / The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
Some might say this is an odd choice – I mean, where’s the water and submarines in this book, Mandy?? However, this book submerges you in a world unlike anything else – much like the ocean, which is a deep dark place. This ride has heart, humor, darkness, thrills, chills, and more – much like this story does. This is one of the most immersive books I’ve ever read, which fits with this ride that honestly made me forget about the outside world for a bit. Also, like, tell me that book cover isn’t something you would spot underneath the ocean.
What do you think? Let’s discuss in the comments below!