Favorite Guides to Walt Disney World

Having recently gone to Walt Disney World for the first time, I did a lot of research before the big trip to prepare us for our week in Florida.  As you might expect, I borrowed every book on Disney World in our library system.  Not every book made the cut (we were, after all, limited to 50 lbs of luggage).

I thought I’d share with you the books that were the most useful to me on our trip.  If you are planning a trip to Disney sometime in the near future, I highly suggest checking these books out.

idiotdisney

  1. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Walt Disney World 2009 by Doug Ingersoll.

This book was a great introduction for the first stages of planning, before we bought our tickets, before we figured out where we were staying, and before we decided on our meal plan.  It guided you through all the basic decisions you need to make before you book your trip.  Don’t bother taking this along with you, though. It’s not useful once you get there.

disneygrown-ups

2.  The Unoffical Guide to Walt Disney World for Grown Ups by Eve Zibart, 2007.

I took notes when I read this book for some useful tips when planning the trip.  We weren’t going on the trip with kids, so this was especially important to us. It lists quiet places and more grown up dining experiences (where you don’t have to worry about Donald Duck interrupting you).

frommers-disney-2009

3.  Frommer’s Walt Disney World and Orlando 2009 by Laura Lea Miller.

This was my favorite, all purpose guide. If you’re going to buy only one guide, get this one.  Take it with you on the trip, read it on the plane, and read it each night before you go to the parks.  Lots of great info on rating the rides.

fodordisney

4. Fodor’s Walt Disney World 2009: Plus Orlando and Sea World

My second favorite all purpose guide.  We brought two different guides on the trip, one for me and one for Dan.  We would compare what the two would say on the rides and shows, which to skip, which to prioritize first.  This one was a bit more kid oriented and wasn’t as well organized.  The ranking system wasn’t as nice as the Frommer’s guide.

disneydining

5. Birnbaum’s Walt Disney Dining Guide 2009

Take this one to the parks with you.  But also use it when you make your restaurant reservations ahead of time because it has excellent explanations of all the restaurants.  It’s a small book that fit nicely in my purse.  We’d consult it before we went to lunch or got a snack each day.  We were very pleased with the recommendations.

On a brief side note, at Target the other day, I noticed they had a mini version of the Frommers guide in their dollar section ($2.50). It targeted families with kids, but it looked like it hit some of the key points (on my brief skim).  A good investment for those considering a trip to Disney, and an excellent pocket size for the parks.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I forwarded this link to some friends who have Disney plans. Thanks!!

    AL: Oh good! I was hoping that this could be a good resource for folks planning a trip. Might as well benefit from all my labor!

  2. And…at NO additional expense, you can use the same publication rating system whenever and where ever you go, for the most part.

    There’s a reason libraries always carry the most recent version of Frommers and Fodors (although for some reason when I type in Fodors I alway flashback to the Russian novel Brother K. You know the one I am thinking of and can’t spell the K name.)

    Glad they steered you well and you had a swell time in the Magic Kingdom.

    AL: I got a copy of that “K” book recently and am planning on tackling it as soon as I can work up the momentum for another victorian era monster.

    I’m a huge fan of the eyewitness books, for general travel purposes, but I was very unimpressed with the Disney one.


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