Friday, July 08, 2005

The Mother of all Guidebooks

"The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World," written by Bob Sehlinger, is by far the best guide book around and is jam packed with all the information you need to make the most of your trip. Since it isn’t sanctioned by Disney, you get good solid, unbiased information on every aspect of your trip. It covers everything including the best time to go, best and worst days to visit each theme park, detailed information on all dining options, tickets, hotels, attractions, entertainment, tips on where to get the best view for parades and fireworks, and much more. Although the author intended it to be a reference book, it’s a very entertaining read and many people (myself included) read it cover to cover.

I first became familiar with Bob Sehlinger’s wonderful guides almost 10 years ago when I purchased the 1995 edition of “The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland” on clearance at a bookstore. At the time, my mom, son and I had last visited Disneyland in October 1993 and weren’t planning any trips in the near future. However, the price of the book was very cheap and it looked interesting. Even though we had a great time on our trip in 1993, I learned so much from the book that it would have made the trip even better. So when we decided to go again during spring break in 2003, I purchased the current edition and read it cover to cover, at times sharing aloud funny passages with my family.

Of particular help in 2003 book was learning about the FastPass feature, which wasn’t available during our trip 10 years previous. We also made great use of the 2-day touring plan, one of several great plans outlined in the book. My son copied down the plan on a small index card and we carried it around with us as a reference. Being spring break, the park was rather crowded, although not nearly as crowded as it is during the summer. The 2-day touring plan enabled us to quickly see all the major attractions with a minimum wait in line.
As soon as I learned that we would be making the trip in October of this year, I purchased the Walt Disney World version of the Unofficial Guide from and waited impatiently for it to arrive. Once it did, I began reading; stopping periodically to mark important sections with purple Post-It flags. As I write this, I am almost all the way through and have gained such a vast array of knowledge, tips, and tricks, that I no longer feel overwhelmed with my lack of experience of WDW.


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