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Susan Veness eBooks
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Susan Veness eBooks

Susan Veness is an international travel writer, solo author of The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World, and co-author in the Brit Guide travel book series, having decided that writing holds more fascination than her degree in Bioenergetic medicine. She was among the first (very young!) visitors to Walt Disney World in 1971 and has maintained a keen interest in Orlando, Disney and the theme parks ever since, giving rise to an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Mouse-like. Her eye for detail and Disney savvy led her to becoming a contributor to a major (unofficial) Disney website and discussion forum, which she then parlayed into a job with the Brit Guide travel series as principal research assistant on their Orlando title in 2001.

Working with UK-based author Simon Veness, their professional relationship developed into a fully-fledged partnership in every sense, and Susan has also expanded her writing horizons in recent years. She now contributes to a wide range of sources, from the Internet to magazines, and writes both individually as well as with husband Simon.

Recent credits include online content as an Orlando expert for Attraction Tickets Direct, Orlando Attractions magazine and (jointly) for RCI Holiday magazine and the Mail on Sunday in the UK. She is also the webmaster of www.venesstravelmedia.com. Together, Susan and Simon’s travels take them widely throughout the USA, plus the UK, Disneyland Paris and other parts of Europe, the Caribbean and South America. Her ambition is to enjoy her son's teen years, spend a year just touring Europe and then, possibly, get some sleep.

Interview with Susan Veness

What is your favorite secret about the Disney parks?

The ones I like best are the secrets guests can see right in front of them but have no idea what they represent, such as the For Rent sign in Hollywood Studios or Prince Min on the rooftops in Epcot’s China pavilion. But my favorite secret has to be the concentric circles on the floor inside the Temple of Heaven in the China pavilion. People’s faces when they figure out the secret are just priceless!

How would you suggest families deal with how tiring it is to walk around a theme park all day?

There are wonderful little quiet spots in all of the parks where guests can take breaks, and it gives them a chance to ‘people watch’, too. Some of the most magical moments occur when guests slow down, drink it all in, and sit together as a family. Not only does it give their feet a rest, but you can hear some pretty funny things if you take the time to listen. With kids, I think a mid-day break with some time in the pool is important.

What's scarier: being on a roller coaster in the dark (Space Mountain) or waiting in all those lines?

It’s got to be the lines. If you’re not prepared, there’s nothing more terrifying than seeing a 2-hour queue snaking out in front of you. On the other hand, it’s a great opportunity to get to know your family better (even teens will talk when they’re captives in a long queue). I always took little bottles of bubbles when my son was very small, and it amused him and the kids around us. We’ve also played about a billion games of Scissors, Paper, Rock.

If you had a book club, what would it be reading and why?

I can’t even imagine the luxury of a book club. Is that the sort of thing people do when they have free time? I like the idea of discussing a great book, and I love the slightly pompous nature of saying, “I’m off to my book club now,” but I can’t begin to fathom what it would be like to have that sort of time.

Are you working on any new travel guides?

Yes. There will be an updated edition of The Hidden Magic with loads of new things to look for, and my husband Simon and I have just finished a spin-off from the Hidden Magic. It’s a guide book to Walt Disney World, but it’s full of back stories on all the parks, attractions, hotels, and restaurants, with lots of room for journaling. Fascinating stuff! It will be out in Spring, and is titled, The Hidden Magic Planner.

What are some of your favorite books from your childhood?

I loved A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Fantasy worlds with one foot in reality really appealed to me, and I’m sure my mother would say that’s pretty much been my philosophy for living.

If you could give only one tip to travelers, what would that be?

Slow down. You don’t have to do everything, and you’ll enjoy it more if you take your time, allow yourself to fully immerse in the experience, and be thoughtful about what you’re seeing. And while you’re at it, choose one food that represents the area you’re visiting, that you never would have tried otherwise.

How many times have you been to Disney World?

What, you mean this week? Hundreds of times, I’m sure. We live close enough to hear the train whistle from Magic Kingdom and we can see the fireworks show from our pool deck. We’re there all the time.

What do you think of eBooks? Do you support digital publishing?

Anything that keeps people reading is great, and I appreciate how nice it is to have a choice. I can easily see digital publishing being the true wave of the future, and that’s very exciting in some ways. From the perspective of an author though, there are some drawbacks. I do like the tactile experience of holding a book and turning the pages, but I can also understand the appeal, especially for people younger than me, of a fun, easy, convenient technology.

If you could be one of the Disney Princesses, who would you be?

Oh, I’m far more a Tinker Bell girl than a Princess. Princesses are beautiful, but ultimately they’re bound by decorum, fashion, Princes, and unreasonable expectations. Me? I’ll take the freedom of a fairy any day!



eBooks found: 2
The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World Trivia: A Ride-by-Ride Exploration of the History, Facts, and Secrets Behind the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's ePub download by Susan Veness
List Price: $14.99 Our price: $11.99
The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World: Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom ePub download by Susan Veness
The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World - Special eBook Edition
Susan Veness
Adams Media, May 2009
ISBN: 9781605500638
Format: ePub, PDF
List Price: $12.95 Our price: $9.99