What initially drew me to Disneylanders was its setting—like Casey, I grew up going to Disneyland once every year, and have a fierce love for it. In portraying Disneyland itself, this book excelled. It’s chock-full of references to the rides and areas in Disneyland, and felt like I was there. In fact, every chapter’s title included a reference to some sort of Disney slogan, song, attraction, show, etc. If you love Disneyland, then you’ll definitely get some amusement and enjoyment from this book.
The main problem I had with this book was the main character, Casey. Although I was sympathetic to her in the beginning, I found her naïve and whiny by the middle of the book. I understand that parents can be embarrassing and over-bearing at times, but I found myself cringing at some of the decisions Casey made. She also had this huge issue against this group of girls she kept seeing around Disneyland, just because their bra-straps were showing—an issue I found immature and judgmental. I really only liked Casey because of her love for Disneyland. On the other hand, Bert, Casey’s love-interest, was awesome—his love for his family and his interactions with Casey (although a bit unrealistic at times) were adorable. I found myself getting bored during the parts with just Casey and her family, and wanting to get back to Bert.
Overall, I think Disneylanders is a cute, well-written, coming-of-age summer read. The ending, albeit not giving a definitive solution to every subplot, was sweet and ended on a hopeful note. I would recommend it to any Disney fan willing to look past the main character’s flaws for a good account of Disneyland.