Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
Just back with a beaten up guide
on March 29, 2002
Having just returned from WDW last night I am writing this with a well-beaten copy of the Birnbaum's guide in front of me. It is worth every dime I paid and I highly recommend getting one prior to going to WDW. It is "Pro-Disney" as the official guide but we never found anything untrue or over optimistic. In fact, in many cases, they "undersold" the advice. We quickly found ourselves leafing through to the "Hot Tips" since they really are good ideas. The guide helped us plan prior to leaving and adjust our plan once we got there. The ability to read ride descriptions before walking across the park and finding something was inappropriate for younger/shorter/easily scared children was worth the cost alone. We looked at some of the "unofficial" guides and have no regrets about the Birnbaum's. We are already planning our next trip and putting more wear on our guide doing it. Some things we will do for next time:
Stagger early rise and late to bed days. If you stayed up for fireworks don't try to be the first family at Epcot the next day!
Whatever the price difference for staying on Disney property is, I will gladly pay. My time is worth way more than $20-$50 an hour when I am on vacation and the traffic on I-4 the day we left convinced me that I didn't want to drive in from an off Disney location ever!! That $50 a day extra for a room on Disney might be money well spent.
Best advice we got from one of the unofficial guides was to drive to the parks other than the Magic Kingdom from Ft Wilderness where we were staying. Parking is free for WDW resort guests and it saved us the bus to TTC to park to TTC to cabin cycle. Since we were already on Disney property, it never took us more than 20 minutes from our cabin to the parking lot.
Get your Fast Passes early and often. Since you can get a new Fast Pass as soon as your window opens on your last one, you can spend most of your wait on a ride if you plan carefully. Having the guide let me know the length of a ride or show and I could adjust Fast Pass pickup.
The guide is great but the free Disney supplements are essential for the most up to date information about park openings and show times. Finally, get the propaganda video tape from Disney (free). We watched the tape, checked the guide and then went to the park and it was great. Put them together and you will have a much more enjoyable time at Disney.