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The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2015 Paperback – August 19, 2014


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Product Details

  • Series: Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World
  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Unofficial Guides (August 19, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1628090200
  • ISBN-13: 978-1628090208
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 4.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you're looking for a reliable guidebook, the leader is the Unofficial series."
The Mail (London)

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

"Indispensable"
The New York Times

"I've been recommending Unofficial Guides to Walt Disney World for years."
Disney Babies Blog

From the Inside Flap

What’s New and Updated in the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World?

Planning Before You Leave Home
Updates to Disney’s calendar of special events, including how crowds will be affected

Time and Money
Tips on when Disney typically raises ticket prices, and by how much, so you can buy tickets beforehand.
Cost of MagicBands for off-site guests and those buying tickets from third-party vendors
Updates to Disney’s park opening procedures. Disney has instituted new park opening steps to slow the rush of guests to the popular Frozen Anna and Elsa meet-and-greet in the Magic Kingdom, and slow the crowds at other parks.
A step-by-step guide to making Fastpass+ reservation, including how much time to set aside, what you’ll need before you start, for your family and anyone traveling with you.
Updated FastPass+ tips, including understanding how FastPass+ attractions are segmented at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, how to get more FastPass+ reservations once you’re in the parks, and why making advance FastPass+ reservations for evening parades and fireworks is frequently a bad idea.

Accommodations
Updated benefits to staying in a Walt Disney World hotel, including earlier access to FastPass+ reservations.
Details on Disney’s updated package cancellation policy. When you call to make a hotel reservation, Disney will encourage you to book something else along with the room, turning it into a “package.” But cancellation policies for packages are very restrictive, so you need to know what to watch out for.
Tips on how to use our website’s new Hotel Room Views feature, which shows you the view you’ll get from every hotel room in Walt Disney World.
A new analysis of the Disney Dining Plan, including how much each component of the plan costs for your stay. With this information, you’ll be able to see whether the dining plan makes sense for your family.
A review of the fabulous new Cabana Bay Resort at Universal Orlando
Preview of the new Four Seasons Resort Orlando, and where to sell your vital organs to pay for your stay.

The Disney Cruise Line
Coverage of DCL’s new 2015 itineraries, including Northern Europe and Hawaii.
Updated recommendations on the best cruise itinerary for your first cruise.
All the details on the Disney Magic’s late 2013 refurbishment, including children’s areas, water play areas and AquaDunk water slide, restaurants, and nightclubs.
A review of the Magic’s new Carioca’s restaurant, with an impassioned plea to order the Slow-Roasted Pork Belly. You’ll thank us later.

Dining
Review of the new Antojito’s Mexican restaurant at Universal Orlando. Besides tasty tapas, they give out custom-painted luchador masks Wednesday through Sunday!
Details on Universal Orlando’s new Bread Box, Cowfish, Red Oven Pizza Bakery, Vivo Italian Kitchen, and Hot Dog Hall of Fame restaurants.
A new review of Epcot’s Spice Road Table restaurant in Morocco.
Details on Epcot’s new Fountain View restaurant, essentially a Starbucks outpost in the park.
Completely updated reader ratings for all Walt Disney World counter-service restaurants.
Completely updated reader rankings for more than 100 Disney sit-down restaurants.

The Magic Kingdom
How to best use FastPass+ at the Magic Kingdom, including the 5 rides which need FastPass+ most often, the rides which never need FastPass+, and why. Where to find the in-park FastPass+ kiosks to make reservations.
A review of the new Tinkerbelle meet-and-greet on Main Street, along with the best times to go.
Updated reviews of the Princess Fairytale Hall meet-and-greets, including the new Frozen-themed opportunity with Anna and Elsa.
Touring tips for seeing the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Fantasyland.
A review of the new Festival of Fantasy afternoon parade, including where to stand to get the best views.
All new Jim Hill stories about the Magic Kingdom

Epcot
How to best use FastPass+ at Epcot, including the 5 rides which need FastPass+ most often, the rides which never need FastPass+, and why.
A list of all Epcot attractions with FastPass+, including Epcot’s “tiered” FastPass rules and how to work those rules to your advantage.
Where to find the in-park FastPass+ kiosks to make reservations.
New review of the Epcot Character Spot, including the characters typically available and the best time to go.
All new Jim Hill stories about Epcot.

Animal Kingdom
Updates on construction at the Animal Kingdom for the 2017 opening of an Avatar-themed land.
Updated information on the Animal Kingdom’s park opening procedures, including which attractions may open early. Get a jump on the crowds by knowing which rides open first.
A full review of the great new Wilderness Explorers scavenger hunt game at the Animal Kingdom.
Details on the new Harambe Nights seasonal after-hours event.
How to best use FastPass+ at the Animal Kingdom, including the 4 rides which need FastPass+ most often, the rides which never need FastPass+, and why.
A list of all Animal Kingdom attractions with FastPass+, including Epcot’s “tiered” FastPass rules and how to work those rules to your advantage.
Where to find the in-park FastPass+ kiosks to make reservations.
A review of the new Winged Encounters macaw show on Discovery Island.
Updated touring tips for Festival of the Lion King, now that it has moved to Africa.
All new Jim Hill stories about the Animal Kingdom.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
How to best use FastPass+ at Hollywood Studios, including the 3 rides that need FastPass+ most often, and the rides and shows which never need FastPass+.
Why using FastPass+ for Fantasmic! may not be a good idea, and what else to do to ensure you see the show without long waits in line.
A list of all Hollywood Studios attractions with FastPass+, including the Studios’ “tiered” FastPass rules and how to work those rules to your advantage.
Where to find the in-park FastPass+ kiosks to make reservations.
A review of the American Film Institute Showcase, part of the Backlot Tour post-show.
News on the January 2015 closing of The American Idol Experience.
All new Jim Hill stories about Hollywood Studios.

Universal Orlando Resort
Comparison of Universal versus Disney admission prices.
How Universal Express Pass will work with the new Harry Potter-themed Diagon Alley at Universal Studios.

Islands of Adventure
Review of the new Hogwarts Express at Hogsmeade Station, including when to go for the shortest waits.
An updated one-day touring plan.
Jim Hill stories about IOA attractions.

Universal Studios Florida
11 pages of new material on Diagon Alley, including a full review of the new Escape from Gringott’s roller coaster – we were one of the first to ride it.
A full review of the new Hogwarts Express train with touring tips on how to ride both sides with minimal waits.
New review of Ollivanders wand shop, plus details on the new interactive wands and windows throughout the Wizarding Worlds.
What you’ll find in the shopping sections of Diagon Alley, from Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, to Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, Magical Menagerie, Shutterbutton’s, Quality Quidditch Supplies, to Scribbilus, Borgin and Burkes, and more.
Dining coverage of the Leaky Cauldron, Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor, The Hopping Pot, and Fountain of Fair Fortune.
Updated review of the revised Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Mash-Up show.
Update coverage of in-park dining, including Springfield USA’s Fast Food Boulevard, the Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck, and Lard Lad Donuts.
Coverage of the Universal Dining Plan, including how it works and where it can (and cannot) be used.
An updated one-day touring plan with specific recommendations for how to see Diagon Alley.
Jim Hill stories about Diagon Alley.

Water Parks
Updates to height requirements at Typhoon Lagoon and ticket prices at Aquatica, including where to find discounts on Aquatica tickets.

Beyond the Parks
More information on the ongoing conversion of Downtown Disney to the Disney Springs dining and retail destination.
How to see the Orlando City Soccer Club, Orlando’s MLS soccer team, who play at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex.
An entirely updated section on DisneyQuest, including where to find discounted tickets, what to see, and what to avoid.
New information on the modernized Palm gold course in Walt Disney World.
A review of the Universal Hollywood Drive-In mini-golf course.
Details on the new Food Truck Park at Downtown Disney, with trucks serving everything from Indian cuisine, to meatball sandwiches, to corn dogs, lobster rolls, and pierogies.

Customer Reviews

Tons of very good information!
Maureen Bennett
It will save you time, It will save you money and it will save your sanity.
Martin
Very helpful book for planning my Disney world vacation.
Jaclyn Hill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By ej on August 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
Simply indispensable. Possibly the best investment I ever made was buying this book. It has allowed me to visit Walt Disney World six times without having to wait in line for anything, even during the busiest seasons. One spends thousands of dollars on a vacation, yet this book is what allowed me to truly enjoy it all without waiting in line. There is so much useful information in this book about a myriad of all-things Disney. And it's an entertaining read, so I even enjoyed sections that didn't pertain to what I was interested in (Disney cruises, for instance). It's even got info on Universal & other Florida theme parks. I'd give it 10 stars if I could.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is THE BEST book for a Disney World vacation. You get honest, reliable information. I always read the newest edition before a trip to Disney World. This book along with their website, touringplans.com are necessities for economically and successfully planning a Disney World trip.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a expert myself (or so I beleive I am) on Walt Disney World, there is no other guide that even comes close to the perfection this book/guide offers (I've read them all). the UNOFFICIAL GUIDE (make sure you look fo 'unofficial') accomplishes telling it like it really is and in excellent detail.

It's large so order early as to read the entire book page to page. Reading it twice is even better.

It's the ONLY guide you'll really need to Walt Disney World and I promise I fly for an airline and do not work for the publisher.

This is a rare find and as said well perfected and researched. A solid 5-star guide.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By savingsinseconds on August 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this hoping to see new information, since I have the 2013 and 2014 guides. While there are a few updates, many of the reader comments are exactly the same. We've visited WDW twice since the last guide and things have been changing there a lot! It was disappointing not to see much new information presented in the 2015 guide. If you have the other versions, there's nothing to see here that will change your life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sara Beth Wade on March 4, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been using this book and the accompanying website and app for years, and it is hands-down the best for preparing yourself for a Disney vacation. I'm a Disney parks pro and I still pick up the latest edition when I'm planning a big trip to see what they have to say on the latest developments. For the 2015 edition it was for the new fastpass+ system and the new Harry Potter Diagon Alley section in the Universal parks. Speaking of which, our week-long trip will cover both Universal Studios and Disney World and the Unofficial Guide has prepared us for both, although by far the bulk of the book is devoted to Disney, with smaller sections in the back covering Universal, Seaworld, and the water parks.

The Unofficial Guide writers have a particular sense of humor, so make sure you read the introduction first--they care a lot about The World, but don't take it, or themselves, too seriously. This is not the "everybody happy all the time" Disney guide book like so many others you could buy--if an attraction is not worth your time, they will tell you. They have a loving, but critical eye on the mouse that's refreshing in a world of brochures and official videos full of people with cruise-ship commercial smiles on their faces. Keep in mind that their angle is logistics and touring strategy--most of the descriptions are brief, combined with reader ratings, author ratings, and they often throw in a dissenting opinion via a reader comment set off in blue. Then they'll tell you when the best times are to experience that attraction and some common pitfalls to avoid. Sometimes it seems like they tell you to see every attraction before 10 or within 2 hours of closing, but of course that's not actually possible, and it can sound pretty alarmist at times.
Read more ›
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Don C on October 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a deep, broad and up-to-date discussion of everything WDW has to offer. Being unofficial its guidance seems to be more objective regarding WDW shortcomings. Its encyclopedic but readable. We may not need much more information about the park as we plan our trip. The guide also covers Universal Orlando. It points to an equally-valuable on-line resource by the authors that has a modest additional cost (with a discount for Guide-buyers) if one chooses to use it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bibliophile@heart on February 9, 2015
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This book is incredibly detailed and seems very unbiased. However, the first entire half is devoted to hotels and travel to Disney. I really wasn't looking for this in my guidebook. This results in the book being about 850 pages... which is clearly way too big to carry around the park.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gabby Hasenyager on August 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm 18 years old and I've been to Disney World more times than I can count. I know it inside and out, but never before in my life have I planned a trip to Walt Disney World. Thankfully, this book exists for people like me and for every level of Disney traveler. Walks you through the process and makes the whole experience less stressful.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


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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The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2015
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