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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great guide, but it doesn't really stand alone
I'm going to be perfectly clear here: I love this guidebook. It's certainly informative and gives you a great overview of the Resort and the color photos are beautiful, humorous, and really add to the book. It's easy to read and provides the same quality of the regular Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, but without being 800 pages long. Most of all, I love the humor...
Published on July 10, 2010 by Alison D

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great Walt Disney World photo album
I always had high praise for the Unofficial Guide books written by Bob Sehlinger regarding Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Look at the title of this book. "The Unofficial Guide: The Color 'Companion' to Walt Disney World." Companion, meaning a compliment to the Unofficial Guide - color photos to accompany the guide book. If you want to beat the long lines, critical...
Published on June 6, 2010 by Kenneth Kamiel


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great guide, but it doesn't really stand alone, July 10, 2010
I'm going to be perfectly clear here: I love this guidebook. It's certainly informative and gives you a great overview of the Resort and the color photos are beautiful, humorous, and really add to the book. It's easy to read and provides the same quality of the regular Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, but without being 800 pages long. Most of all, I love the humor that you find in many of the sections. From the humorous captions to pictures, to the satirical take on the Fantasyland expansion, to the fake hotel listings (which, yes, I understand could be somewhat confusing for some, but personally I thought they were great), the humor gives the guide a satirical edge that doesn't overpower the content, but makes the guide enjoyable to read, not just to gather information from. It's satirical but not cynical, and informative but not dry.

However, it is not a fully comprehensive guidebook. It wasn't meant to be; it's a companion to the regular Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. I knew that when I bought the book (I already owned the regular Unofficial Guide), and I brought both Guides with me on my recent trip to Walt Disney World. While the Color Companion was great to carry around in the parks and use for reference, the regular Guide was often referred to throughout the trip. For example, when we wanted to book a behind-the-scenes tour, or when I wanted to know more about Downtown Disney shopping. The regular Guide is also much more detailed when it comes to planning factors before you leave (for instance, what kind of tickets to purchase). If you know going in that the Color Companion is going to be helpful and informative but not comprehensive, then I don't think you'll be disappointed. But if you're going to try and rely on just this book to plan your vacation, you're probably going to be disappointed. And yeah, it's true that you can skip buying this and just get the Unofficial Guide by itself and have all the information you'll need. But personally, I think the portability, great pictures, humor, and unique light-hearted yet informative tone make this Companion a must-buy.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great Walt Disney World photo album, June 6, 2010
By 
Kenneth Kamiel "Batken" (FLUSHING, NY United States of America) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I always had high praise for the Unofficial Guide books written by Bob Sehlinger regarding Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Look at the title of this book. "The Unofficial Guide: The Color 'Companion' to Walt Disney World." Companion, meaning a compliment to the Unofficial Guide - color photos to accompany the guide book. If you want to beat the long lines, critical analysis, comprehensive planning for lodging and dining, and tour plans that work, you must get a hold of the most recent copy of "The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World" by Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa. This is the only book you will need. Do not even consider other Walt Disney World guide books! But, this Color Companion is great if you enjoy a nice picture book with hundreds of color photos helping you relive the Walt Disney World experience. A nice souvenir. It gives some helpful tips and advice, but it won't help you much on the planning. Get the big book for the trip planing and use this book as it was meant to be -- a companion.

The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2010 (Unofficial Guides)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rounded up from 3.75 Stars, June 21, 2012
By 
Bucky (Haunted Mansion, The Magic Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Unofficial Guide: The Color Companion to Walt Disney World (Unofficial Guides) (Paperback)
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If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World (WDW to its devotees, of whom I am one), the premier guide to WDW's wonders and delights is THE UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO WALT DISNEY WORLD, an 800+ page behemoth that will give you the straight dope on everything--good, bad, and indifferent. As much as I love and revere that 800+ page fount of information, one thing I have always wished for is color photos. Half the fun of reading the tour guides looking over the color pictures and planning, or remembering, the good times to come. The UNOFFICIAL GUIDE: THE COLOR COMPANION TO WALT DISNEY WORLD aims to rectify that deficiency, in a volume that is more manageable in size. And for the most part, they succeed.

In order to keep the book to a smaller size and include a mess o' pictures, much information had to be left out. This book lacks the detailed information that the UNOFFICIAL GUIDE provides. But that's to be expected, after all the reader has to expect to trade out some things for color photos and portability. There's still plenty of good information in this book.

What I didn't care for was the quality of the photos. They just weren't as "alive" as the photos in Birnbaum's (which does the Official Guide for WDW). Also I didn't so much care for the joke pages, which could confuse some people with no prior WDW experience. If you are going to WDW and want to buy a few guide books, here are my top favorites (in order):

1) THE UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO WALT DISNEY WORLD (for a no-holds barred view)
2) BIRNBAUM'S WALT DISNEY WORLD (for the photos)
3) PASSPORTER'S WALT DISNEY WORLD (for your memories)

Have a magical visit!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not As Good As I Was Hoping For, May 12, 2010
By 
Silmarwen (Huntington Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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I have mixed feelings about this book. I was really excited to get it as I am currently planning a trip to Walt Disney World (WDW) in the fall, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for to plan my vacation. I love that it is in color and I felt like some of the pictures were helpful, but most of the pictures try to capture the feel of the location rather than what the actual location looks like.

What I LIKED about this book:
* Lots and lots of pictures - these are especially helpful for those who don't know what any of the park looks like. I go to Disneyland quite often so the pictures of the Magic Kingdom were not really helpful for me, but I loved the pictures at the Animal Kingdom & Epcot as I haven't seen these two areas of the park before.
* Very motivating and exciting to read this book. If you are having a difficult time deciding if you want to go to WDW, this book will help push you over the edge into - YES! I want to go now! If you have already decided to go, I don't think that this book is that helpful.
* Pretty well-organized as far as layout is concerned. I found the headers by each ride useful. These headers include what the ride is, how big of a ride it is, when the best times to go are to get the shortest line, author's rating, special comments (scary for younger kids, better at night, etc.), length of ride, average wait time loading speed and a 1 - 5 star rating per age group. I think this area would be super helpful if you are traveling with a group of varied ages or if you have children with you.
* I felt that the sections on the Animal Kingdom & the Disney Hollywood Studios were excellent. They were upbeat, funny, and made me excited to visit those areas of the park.
* There are some nice sections in the book that include information about Walt Disney's vision of the park, how each section of WDW was conceptualized and conceived and other factual information that I found interesting and informative.
* This book also includes sections on the water parks, Downtown Disney and other activities, such as sports, that you can participate in while you are at WDW. I really had no idea how many other activities were available around the park and found this section eye opening. This made my vacation sound that much more exciting as I realized there is plenty to do if I decide not to go to the park one day for any reason.

Why I DID NOT LIKE about this book:
* There is no pricing information included. All of the guides that I have purchased in the past contain a range of pricing for all of the lodging and the food included in the book. This guide does not. It puts them in categories of moderate, expensive, etc., but there is no actual price range there. I really would have appreciated a range of pricing, even though I know prices vary by season and promotion. This would have been tremendously helpful in planning lodging and if I wanted to dine at any of the special restaurants.
* The authors managed to make a lot of the park sound lackluster and not worth your time. All of the Disney hotels had huge drawbacks and none of them sounded appealing after I read the descriptions. I have several friends who just went to WDW last year and they raved about many of the lodging experiences and details so I was disappointed with this.
* This book is not meant to be used alone as a guide. You could probably get by with it, but one of the first things that the guide states is that you are supposed to use it with one of their other guides. Then, of course, they push their product a lot at the beginning. Mercifully, most of this urging to use their website and buy other guidebooks is limited to the beginning of the book.
* The sections regarding lodging, the Magic Kingdom and the Epcot Center were more factual than enthusiastic. Most of the stuff you are looking for it is there (what the ride is, what happens on it, etc.), but it doesn't make you excited to go on the ride or to see the show. I didn't get excited about going to WDW until I got to the end of the book, where the Animal Kingdom and other parks are featured. I felt like the first half of the book was much weaker than the second half.
* This book waffles between being humorous and being serious. You are never quite sure what you should believe. There are a few fake hotels that they make up and put in the lodgings section. There are also a few pages of food specialties that don't exist. They never let you in the joke, they just already assume that you are in the know. This means that this guide is not at all useful for foreigners as I don't think they would get it.
* This book is not for people who are serious about their food. Descriptions are brief and there are really no pictures of food. I feel like there should have been some pictures of the food so that you can kind of judge for yourself how appetizing something looked. Take out the fake food pictures and use the space for real food!
* What I was missing most in this guide is some kind of designation that showed that a restaurant or a feature/ride was a favorite of the author or the group. The other guides I have read have a little checkmark or an asterisk that shows something is particularly enjoyable or that they highly recommend it. Everything gets a level playing field, but we all know that some things at theme parks are better than others.

I read this book from cover to cover. And I mean that I read EVERYTHING, including the brief food descriptions underneath the restaurants and, at the end of the book, I was still torn and was asking myself "Is this still a good guide to purchase?" Yes and no. If you are trying to decide if you want to go to the park and need some pictures and a quick snapshot of each ride, show or any other kind of experience, then this book is useful and informative, especially if you have kids so that they can look at all the pictures. If you have already decided to go and are looking for 1 guide to take to the park with you, this is not your book. If you are like me and you buy several guides before you go on vacation, read them all, and then decide which ones to take with you on that day, this book is worthy of inclusion. Ultimately, I think that this guide is a good purchase, but it was not inclusive enough for me and was missing some critical components.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment..., October 5, 2010
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I absolutely love all things Disney, and The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2011 (Unofficial Guides) is my favorite trip planning resource. The Unofficial Guides have few (if any) pictures, so I was very excited when this book came out. Sadly, this book is not nearly as helpful or informative as I had expected, and definitely does not live up to the other Unofficial Guide books. It has far too many failed attempts at humor, wasting so much space in the book. There are pictures of hotels and foods that don't even exist. Someone who knows about Disney would know these things aren't real, but someone just learning about the hotels & parks could easily be misled. (After all, is there anything Disney can't do?!)
The pictures aren't anything special. You can find these pictures anywhere. I had hoped there would be more detailed pictures of the hotels, parks & rides, and restaurants. Hopefully they'll publish a second edition of this book that will live up to the other Unofficial Guides.
My recommendation: Buy the other Unofficial Guides -They're fabulous. If you want pictures, search the internet. This book isn't worth buying.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK--if you have other WDW guidebooks, May 24, 2012
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This review is from: The Unofficial Guide: The Color Companion to Walt Disney World (Unofficial Guides) (Paperback)
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First off let me say that I LOVE the Unofficial Guide people. I buy their guides for all my travel destinations, as I think they give you the best and most honest information. For my numerous (almost yearly trips--yes I am a Mousejunkie) to WDW, I still buy the latest edition of their Unofficial Guide just because I like the most up-to-date info from these guys. I own several editions of their WDW guide, and I read it thoroughly in preparation for my WDW trip. I also belong to their online membership touring plans website and blog.

Having said that though, I would definitely pass on this guide book if you have other WDW guides. Why? Simply because a lot of the information you can find in their "Official" Unofficial Guide to WDW. The pictures are a nice bonus, true. But what cheapened this for me a little were the needless jokes and humor (and fake tips)throughout the book. These guys are hilarious in their bible sized Unofficial Guide, but here in the Color Companion, these jokes and pics (which at times look like cheap clip-art) just come off as filler. And who wants filler when you buy a book for info and great pictures??

So if you want a great, comprehensive guide to WDW then buy all means please please please buy their Unoffcial Guide to WDW book. You won't regret it. There is a ton of information in it, and yes all that infor will be overwhelming, but believe me it will help you navigate your time in WDW wisely.

If you just want a color companion of WDW or a guide to take a couch trip to WDW--and believe me, I do this often as I am 8 months pregnant and not going anywhere anytime soon--I would go for "The Complete Walt Disney World 2012" by Julie & Mike Neal. The pictures are beautiful and the info is excellent. It is not as comprehensive as the Unofficial Guide but sometimes, like I said, you just need a mental trip to WDW every once in awhile.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive overview of Walt Disney World., April 25, 2010
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This is an excellent guide book for someone wanting to plan a trip to Disney World. While I would suggest using several sources, including the internet to collect information and plan a great trip, this book covers a lot of the info you'll need. The book does not walk you step by step through planning and taking the trip, but it does provide much needed information to help make you enjoy your trip.

It begins with a history of Walt Disney World and gives the reader a background on the park, followed by a brief summary of each theme park in WDW.

The book then proceeds to outline the Walt Disney World experience, broken out into eleven parts, Practical Stuff, Resorts, Walt Disney World With Kids, Dining, the four theme parks, the water parks, Downtown Disney/Boardwalk, and Recreation.

Each part provides great details, such as resort strengths and weaknesses, ratings from surveys, park hours, tips, and photos.

The photos, while numerous, are mostly tiny and many are repetitive (several photos of park strollers, for example).

Dining locations are covered in good detail, with descriptions, costs, fare, and survey ratings.
The "appeal by age" ratings by age group for various attractions is a nice feature, along with other ride info like duration, when to arrive, etc.

The last time I visited WDW I used my knowledge from prior visits and a really good internet site to help plan. But next time around I plan to use this book as well. It is really helpful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars worth it, January 13, 2013
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Found it very interesting but unfortunatly on the kindle its obviously not in colour. Lots of extra tips & hints.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy it for the pictures!, May 18, 2010
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Hmmmm.. what were they thinking? I am surprised that the authors of this book included non-existent places and odd pictures such as the one with Elvis. I guarantee this will cause confusion for people actually relying on this book. There is even half a page with a giant blue, pink, and green poodle and underneath the picture is the caption, "What did Florida look like when giant poodles ruled the Earth?" It makes me wonder just how much time did these authors spent at Jellyrolls?

The best part about this book though is that it is a fast read with most likely more than 50% of the space devoted to pictures.

First time visitors to Disney World short on time will appreciate the condensed version of how to do everything from getting a fastpass to transportation (getting there, parking, using the Disney transportation services), history of Disney World, when to visit, and ticket buying strategies. If a ride has a fastpass option, it's noted which can make this a handy book to carry along in a purse or backpack.

Kids and adults alike will love the pictures. The attraction descriptions were excellent, assigning a star rating to each demographic (teen, preschool, senior, etc). The compact full service restaurant profiles (pages 129-145) can assist with making dining reservations. The hours, cost, dining plan participation, and sample menu items are included. In general, the counter service restaurants do not mention price and those restaurants are profiled along with the theme park they are located in, separate from the full service restaurants.

If you don't have a lot of time to read but would like the short version guide, this would be a good choice. Watch out for the pranks though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book for Disney World Adventurers, May 3, 2010
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I love Walt Disney World but it can be a little overwhelming to visit and the long lines in the hot heat can be enough to discourage another visit but Walt Disney Color Companion can help with advice on how to enjoy your visit more and ways to avoid the long lines. The Color Companion to the Unofficial Guide to Disney is a great book. I love it. It contains 560 full-color photos, helpful hints, detailed information on all the resorts, theme-parks, restaurants, and more. The Color Companion is meant to supplement the Disney Unofficial Guide but the Color Companion book itself is great and can be used alone. The book contains general park information, recommendations and advice plus details on each park, resorts, and restaurants, ticket information, maps, and more. There are ratings for the restaurants and resorts also to help you decide where to eat and stay.

I can't wait to visit Disney soon and this book is so exciting, it provides a little taste now. Love the bright, colorful photos.

Highly recommend and can't wait to get the Disney Unofficial Guide.
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The Unofficial Guide: The Color Companion to Walt Disney World (Unofficial Guides)
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