Thinking Fans Guide Magic KingdomMagic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is the most visited theme park in the world. Millions of guests enjoy to splendor of its six themed lands every year, but few stop to think about the stories being told inside the berm. Author Aaron Wallace first delved into the stories behind the attractions in 2013 with The Thinking Fan's Guide to Walt Disney World: Magic KingdomIf you're up on your theme park current events, you know that quite a lot has changed since then. Thankfully, the 2nd Edition is here to offer today's readers a view of the park as it currently stands.

The Thinking Fan's Guide is split into chapters by land with an overview of each region at the beginning. This is important as few guests stop to look for an overarching story in each of them (and most would be surprised to find that there is one). Your literary tour of Magic Kingdom starts in Adventureland and proceeds clockwise through the park, finishing on Main Street, U.S.A. for some live entertainment.

Having been a former Magic Kingdom Cast Member, I was doubtful when Wallace's introduction boasted that even I, a "Disney Freak," would learn something new. Silly me because I certainly did. The Thinking Fan's Guide offers a history lesson behind each attraction as well as a recap of the story, but the real magic of this guide comes from Wallace himself. He brilliantly points out what fits, what contradicts, and what simply doesn't belong in each land. I've grown up with this park and have never stopped to question why certain attractions are in their respective lands and whether or not it makes sense for them to be there.

While Disney's current focus is on "immersive experiences" such as The World of Pandora and Star Wars Land, Wallace points out that Disney has been doing this since the start, or at least since 1971. By the nature of Walt Disney's explanation of Disneyland, this is the place where all of these characters live. You are stepping inside their kingdom for a day and each land immerses you in the stories found within. If Disney has done their job right, it will all make sense. But if geniuses like Aaron Wallace analyze it, they find plot holes and thankfully share them with us.

As a Disney film buff, I was delighted to find that Wallace suggests things to watch that relate to each attraction and the choices are not always obvious ones. He assumes you've seen the Disney products that the attractions are based on and makes connections to other films and television series, both Disney and from other studios, that fit the theme. One of the easier to connect examples is watching Finding Neverland after Peter Pan's Flight, but what would you chose to accompany Seven Dwarfs Mine Train? For Wallace, the answer is surprisingly Something Wicked This Way Comes. It instantly sounds wrong, but when you read the reasons why, it makes complete sense.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Thinking Fan's Guide to Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom. I'm venturing back to Orlando soon and am more excited for my day in the park as a result. Wallace says that if he's done his job right, readers will never think of theme parks the same way again. That's true, but few could come to the same brilliant conclusions that Wallace has. That's why I hope it won't be long before the series is expanded to include the other Walt Disney Worlds parks and beyond. I feel that this is required reading for anyone who has ever been enthralled by their adventures inside Magic Kingdom.