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Beyond Disney: The Unofficial Guide to Universal, SeaWorld & the Best of Central Florida (Unofficial Guides) Paperback – August 15, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Unofficial Guides (Book 144)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 3 edition (August 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764526332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764526336
  • Product Dimensions: 4.6 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,299,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

From the publishers of The Unofficial Guide® to Walt Disney World®

"A Tourist’s Best Friend!"
-Chicago Sun-Times

"Indispensable"
–The New York Times

Seven Great Ways That Beyond Disney Can Help You Have the Perfect Trip:

  1. Practical tips on when to go and how to beat the crowds at 11 of Central Florida’s best theme parks
  2. Firsthand information on what’s worthwhile and what’s not at major attractions
  3. The inside scoop on where to go for the best roller coaster action
  4. Complete coverage of Universal Florida, including Islands of Adventure®, CityWalk®, and detailed restaurant reviews
  5. Comprehensive chapters on SeaWorld and Discovery Cove®, Busch Gardens®, Kennedy Space Center, Gatorland®, and the Holy Land Experience®
  6. Comparisons of all area water parks
  7. The straight story on Orlando-area dinner theaters and nightlife

About the Author

BOB SEHLINGER is the author of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and the executive publisher of the Unofficial Guide series.

KATIE BRANDON is a 2004 graduate of the University of Florida college of Journalism. This is her first book. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 23, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a companion book to the "Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World," for those who decide to venture beyond Disney's realm in central Florida. The authors do a fine job rating attractions (rides, films, displays, etc.). They use star-ratings coupled with their assessments and readers' comments, along with a healthy dose of humor--all of which will be familiar to readers of the "Walt Disney World" book. It's all-too familiar in the case of Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. In fact, it's simply a verbatim extract of the "Walt Disney World" text. Worse yet, it omits one of the best features of the Disney book: the touring plans.
If you're planning a trip to Universal Studios, and/or Islands of Adventure, stick with Sehlinger's Disney book: it contains more and better coverage. Sea World receives better coverage here. And this is the only "Unofficial Guide" coverage of the other parks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Boone VINE VOICE on April 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beyond Disney is meant to be used as a second guide when planning a trip to Orlando. They assume that you have purchased a guide for Walt Disney World and are using this one for the other theme parks in the area. This is a good idea but there are some problems with it. First, the Universal Parks are already covered in the The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2008 (Unofficial Guides) and that material is simply dropped in here with no additions. So if you have the WDW book, then you don't need to see that again here.

The main value in this book lies in the coverage of Sea World and Busch Gardens. Both are major theme parks and get full coverage here. This is the only book in the Unofficial Guide series where you'll find that material and many of the other publishers ignore those parks completely. If you are interested in attending either park, then I highly recommend Beyond Disney. If you plan to stick to WDW and/or the Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure area then you can safely skip this.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stacy H. Ballard on June 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
We just got back from our Orlando vacation. I had read and re-read this book before going, even made notes. It was the best preparation I did. We were ready for everything and I we did everything we wanted to do by taking the author's advice. I recommend buying it before visiting the Orlando area.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael L. Cuzzo Jr. on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A real handy guide to help plan not only your day, but what rides to hit and what rides to miss depending on what you are looking for. Very accurate and easy to work with
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pamela E. Wanta on March 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
It was a very good book to have when we went to Florida. SeaWorld it told us alot about it. We did SeaWorld 2 times. Universal we did not do when we were there. Universal we really did not have time for it. If you like to go on rides then Universal is for you.
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More About the Author

Bob Sehlinger, a Lowell Thomas Award winning journalist, is best known as the creator and producer of the Unofficial Guide Series published by Wiley Publishing Inc. and sold worldwide.

He is credited with being the first to apply research techniques from the fields of operations research and statistics to travel guides. Among other projects, he was able to develop mathematical models that could save theme park patrons more than three hours of standing in queue in a single day.

Sehlinger and his research team (pictured) have had numerous adventures and developed some unusual methodologies. Here's a sampling from research for The Unofficial Guide To Walt Disney World:

"We've slept in every Disney resort multiple times and more than 80 Orlando-area properties. Only once did we wake up covered in bugs. (It was a non-Disney hotel.)"

"We test hotel room soundproofing using a sophisticated digital sound meter and a copy of The Who's Greatest Hits."

"The first time we did Orlando spa reviews, one of our researchers had an eyebrow burned off during a waxing that went horribly awry."

"We once logged more than 700 miles in one week on buses to test Disney's transportation system, and never left Disney property. The bus drivers got so used to us being on board that one forgot we were there and took us back to the bus garage when his shift ended."

"We test pillow fluffiness using a measurement process we invented. We intended to use a fake human head as part of the test, but worried about getting it through airport security. We settled on a gallon jug of water, which is about the same size and weight as an average adult's noggin."

"When we test counter-service restaurants, we order at least one of everything on the menu, and break up in to small teams to sample each thing. We've tried every counter-service food item in every American Disney theme park."

"Our crowd prediction models take in to account everything from the day of week and time of year, to the vacation schedules of the fifty largest school districts east of the Mississippi, to weather phenomena including temperature, rainfall and humidity."

Bob Sehlinger is founder and co-owner of Keen Communications, a book publishing company that includes Menasha Ridge Press in Birmingham, Alabama; Clerisy Press in Cincinatti, Ohio; and Wilderness Press in Berkeley, California. The author of twenty-seven books, Sehlinger is a past president of the Publishers Association of the South, and has served at the invitation of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Information Service on educational missions for publishers in Hungary, Romania, and Russia.

Before becoming involved in writing and publishing, Sehlinger was CEO of SAGE, inc., a wilderness arts teaching and expeditional company that produced courses in kayaking, rock climbing, survival, and backpacking (among others) for high schools and universities in a 7-state area. During this period Sehlinger served as president of the Eastern Professional River Outfitters Association. Sehlinger makes his home in Birmingham, Alabama where he continues to be an avid river runner and mountain biker.