Hey there, iThere, ho there! Disney and e-media
My Significant Other and I are going to Disneyland to celebrate our 25th anniversary!
I’m going to be perhaps less responsive for the next few days (burglars, this does not mean our house is empty) , so I’m writing ahead a few posts to keep this blog rolling.
I’ve been a fan of Disney for a long time…I got a share of stock when I was 12, and it helped us do our first down payment on a place to live.
They are a huge company, and own, have stakes in, or control, much of our pop culture: Marvel; Pixar; The Muppets; ESPN; ABC; and Lucasfilm, to name a some brands.
This is a company that has been around for close to ninety years. Have they adapted and embraced the digital era? Do they affect what you e-read today?
I want to focus on the books in this post: I’ve recently heard from someone who was concerned about the amount of time I spend on things that don’t work on the RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles)*, and I do want to be aware of that.
Before I plunge into Publisherland, let me just deal with of their other content that you might be using on Kindle devices:
There are fifteen of these at the time of writing, although they aren’t all compatible with all models. Those include the very popular Where’s My Water? and Where’s My Perry? apps. Interestingly, many of them are free, and they don’t all tie into the Disney characters. I think one clever thing is a couple of Temple Run apps that are specific to Disney movies: Brave and Oz the Great and Terrible. Those are ninety-nine cents each.
Not surprisingly, there are lots of Disney videos available, but you might be surprised that the ones I’ve linked above are available at no additional cost for eligible Prime members. Right now, it looks like it is just episodes of Phineas and Ferb…but they are popular.
Hollywood Records is Disney’s adult music arm, but be careful…there are “false positives” in the above search, and not all of them are Disney. It might all stretch your definition of “adult” with Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato prominently featured.
Okay, on to the books…
The Disney Publishing Group includes Hyperion, and Marvel.
Here’s a search:
Well, as I went to write this, it was disappointing! I knew Hyperion published some really well-known children’s books, but the big ones have text-to-speech access blocked!
I’ve never communicated with Disney about that issue, but I will now. I had a reader who was recently annoyed about me bringing up the text-to-speech thing, and we had a nice exchange of comments where I explained it. I sometimes forget that it’s been years since I wrote something here (I’m not at all good with chronology).
The short version is that the publisher has to insert code into the file to block access to text-to-speech (if they do nothing, it works), which I feel disproportionately disadvantages the disabled. I do think it’s a personal decision, though, so while I don’t link directly to the books, I don’t think less of you if you purchase them. I generally give a link to the full search (as I’ve done above), and then you can make the call yourself.
Here are a few Disney books without TTS blocked:
by Ally Clark
This is a well-reviewed teen book (4.8 out of five stars with 72 reviews at time of writing).
Kingdom Keepers VI
by Ridley Pearson
Pearson is a New York Times bestselling author, and this series of young adult books bring classic Disney villains into the real world (specifically, Disney parts of the real world) where they are fought by the “Kingdom Keepers”. I haven’t read one, but they do sound intriguing…
Be Our Guest
by Theodore Kinni
Disney does non-fiction…and this one sounds like an interesting guide to Disney’s customer service concept.
This is official Disney trivia. I think I met Dave Smith many, many years ago, but don’t know him personally.
Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America
by Andrea and Brian Pinkney
Now I want to change gears a bit, and mention some things that aren’t done by Disney, but are done by other people about Disney.
I do want to mention one app here before I get to some books.
That’s a free app we’ll be using on our trip, but it’s fun even when you aren’t at Disney. It shows you the wait times for the different rides..in real time. It’s a social app: the information is entered by users. However, there is a lot more to it than that…for example, people post pictures to the app…I think it would be great if Disney would put a few webcams in the park, but I do think some people may want to feel like they are more private than that when they are there.
Here’s a search for
You’ll see all kinds of things, including tips on saving money.
This book in particular:
Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland
by David Koenig
may tell you more than you want to know. It may take some of the magic out of the Magic Kingdom…not by revealing secrets of how they do things, but the nitty gritty. Hm…let’s just say that Mickey isn’t the only rodent in the park…
Here’s another good one! As you know, Disneyland changes, and this one has the details. I can still sing the Carousel of Progress song (“There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow…”) I don’t remember the flying saucers, but I once read a terrific article about the physics of how they failed, and it was fascinating. They hovered on air (like little bumpercar hovercrafts), and when people bounced up and down in them, it set up a vibration that ended up shutting off the air…meaning the ride was often out of commission. I don’t if this book explains that, but I’m sure it talks about the ride itself.
Well, have a great few days! I’ll be checking in from time to time, and I’ll be able to approve your comments if you make them.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.