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Birnbaum's Walt Disney World 2003: Expert Advice from the Inside Source Paperback – September 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Birnbaum's Walt Disney World
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Editions (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786853727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786853724
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,835,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "racantwell" on February 6, 2003
Planning for a family vacation to Disney World can be as complex as launching an expedition to Anarctica -- and nearly as expensive if you aren't careful! If you've made the decision to take the plunge and head for the most popular family vacation spot in America spend that first few dollars on the most current edition of Birnbaum's book. This book will help you save both time and money.
Birnbaum's guide was a great choice for me -- I'm a "gotta have everything organized in advance" kind of person and the detailed, accurate information in this guide helped me do everything from pick out a hotel and book a ride from the airport to organize a packing list and rough-in plans for daily itineraries. Although the guide was absolutely jammed with information it was in a very readable format with lots of color, charts and sidebars. Birnbaum's also helped walk us through a lot of the decisions -- for example we decided to splurge on a nice on-resort hotel with access to the monorail knowing we would want to spend the middle part of most days relaxing at the pool with the kids. To balance that expense, we took Birnbaum's tip and had lunches at the nicer restaraunts instead of the more expensive (and more crowded) dinners.
My husband also found Birnbaum's guide very helpful and he is more of a "let's just wing-it" sort of vacation planner. On the days he was in charge of activities he carried the Birnbaum's book with him and used it to pick restaraunts, find less crowded rides and choose activities near wherever we happened to be walking. The color-coding on the sides of the pages helped him quickly find the section of the book he wanted just as soon as he pulled it out of the bag.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 26, 2003
This is an official Disney guide, with all that implies for good or ill; the bias is obviously positive, but the information is reliable too. Disney is becoming the ultimate cradle-to-the-grave company, and that big-picture, we-even-brought-the-toenail-clippers efficiency is captured in this compleat guide to all things Disney in the Orlando FL area.
The book begins at the beginning: Getting Ready to Go gives sound advice on when to go, how to get there, various ticket options and even sample schedules for each of the parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, MGM Studios, Animal Kingdom) complete with must-see lists and tips for travelling with young children and maximizing the number of rides you get on. There are lots of color graphics, charts and tip boxes to liven things up and present material understandably. A planning timeline is oddly reminiscent of a wedding planner, with things to do 6 months before the trip, 4 months, 3 months, 1 month, 2 weeks and 1 week before. Yikes! Obviously Mickey is a better planner than me, who is grabbing a book the day before I travel and hoping to read it on the plane.
The chapter on Transportation & Accommodations (including Disney cruises) is equally thorough, and then there is a chapter for each of the parks that includes maps, attraction descriptions (and sometimes pictures), shopping and entertainment information, and a Hot Tips section which did help us out. After reading the book we hit the ground running and made good use of our time.
A hodge-podge chapter gives info about Downtown Disney, BoardWalk, Daredevil Disney, the water parks, spas, cruises and behind-the-scenes tours, and a Sports chapter covers golf, tennis, boating, fishing and swimming opportunities while you're in the area.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Williams on November 25, 2002
Birnbaum's is absolutely the best source of information on Disney World that can be found. We took our first trip in 2000 and had no idea where to begin. With Birnbaum's you can plan your budget, select the appropriate accomodations for your family
and plan your itenerary. We have returned every year since and I buy a new Birnbaum's before each trip because there are always new attractions and events from year to year. This is the only book that you will need for your trip!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Shopper on September 23, 2002
My first trip to soak in the full magic of Disney's Four theme parks came in October 1999. My husband and I planned for months. This was our first "real" vacation after 4 years of marriage and we were very excited! I read everything I could get my hands on but Birnbaums far and above gave the best, most accurate information about exactly what to do and when to do it to make the most of your time at Disney. And thanks to the coupons that were in the back of my book, we got a 1 car class upgrade on our rental car and a free AAA Tote Bag!
I bought the book again when we went back with my Mother in 2001 and didn't get as much out of it since not as much had changed since our last visit. So If you have "been there done that" recently, skip this book, because it won't tell you anything you don't already know, but if it's been awhile since you've been to WDW or this is your 1st time, then pick this book up so you won't miss a thing!
Have Fun! Wish I was going again this year!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kamakanoe on October 13, 2002
If this is your first trip to WDW, or you have not been back in years (Mid 80's for me), this book is a must. It is the only book that provides color photos and the information is invaluable. You'll find out the best time to go and when to avoid the area altogether, as well as get a wonderful overview of each theme park and hotel. As the "offical" guide to WDW, the Birnbaum travel guide is essential for all first time visitors.
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