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Beyond Disney: The Unofficial Guide to Universal, SeaWorld, and the Best of Central Florida (Beyond Disney: The Unofficial Guide to Universal, SeaWorld, & the Best of Central Florida) Paperback – August 29, 2001

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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"PassPorter's Walt Disney World" by Jennifer Marx and Dave Marx
Disney World can be daunting — simplify the process with this indispensable travel planner "PassPorter's Walt Disney World".

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

The Unofficial Guides are the "Consumer Reports" of travel guides, offering candid evaluations of their destinations' attractions, hotels, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, sports, and more, all rated and ranked by a team of unbiased inspectors so even the most compulsive planners can be sure they're spending their time and money wisely. Each guide addresses the needs of everyone from families to business travelers, with handy charts that demonstrate how each place stacks up against the competition. Plus, all the details are pulled out so they're extremely easy to scan.

Beyond Disney is the guide for folks who've been there, done that when it comes to Walt Disney World and are ready to explore the host of other attractions in the Orlando area, from Sea World to nationally ranked golf courses to Universal Studios.

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 12 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 expanded restaurant reviews
  5. Comprehensive chapters on SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Cypress Gardens, Gatorland, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, and water parks
  6. New sections on SeaWorld's Discovery Cove, Splendid China, and the Holy Land Experience
  7. The straight story on Orlando-area dinner theaters and nightlife
An Unofficial Guide Great trips begin at Frommers.com

About the Author

Bob Sehlinger is the creator and Executive Publisher of the Unofficial Guide travel series.

Product Details

  • Series: Beyond Disney: The Unofficial Guide to Universal, SeaWorld, & the Best of Central Florida
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: *Frommers; 2 edition (August 29, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764564129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764564123
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,783,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have been a fan of Bob Sehlinger's "Unofficial" guide to Walt Disney World since the early 1990s. I have made numerous trips to the Disney resort, and have saved a great deal of time and money using his book "The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World".
Much like his WDW book, this guide offers honest rankings of activities such as shows, attractions, and dining for parks including Busch Gardens, Cypress Gardens, Gatorland, Kennedy Space Center, Sea World, Universal Studios and Universal's Island of Adventure. As a water park fan I appreciate the detailed comparison and ratings of the different water parks, including Disney's. It also has a section discussing night life and dinner theaters, but doesn't cover or compare Downtown Disney or Cirque Du Solie.
While the brutally honest ratings are great in this book, I am greatly disappointed that their traffic gurus didn't write up touring plans for which their WDW are famous. There is plenty of detailed information that will allow you to create "battle plans" based on age, type of ride, and attraction popularity.
It is a small book, easily carried in a fanny pack and is an excellent companion with their "Mini Mickey" book for touring, and "The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World" for planning. I look forward to the next edition of this book.
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By A Customer on December 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
This guide provides good, basic information about the other major theme parks of central Florida. However, for a more complete guidebook, giving more information about the major parks PLUS information on a wide range of minor sights (musuems, parks, activities, etc.), try "The Other Orlando."
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