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The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2003 (Unofficial Guides) Paperback – August 22, 2002
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In their "Declaration of Independence," the authors and researchers of this guide swear their allegiance to you, the consumer. "If a restaurant serves bad food, or a gift item is overpriced, or a certain ride isn't worth the wait, we can say so, and in the process we hope to make your visit more fun, efficient, and economical." And because they've found that "spontaneity and self-discovery work about as well at Walt Disney World as they do on your tax return," The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World is packed full of essential advice for anyone braving the frontiers of the mother of all theme parks.
To help you decide what's most important for you and your family to see, this newly updated 1999 edition describes each attraction in detail and ranks them for different age groups based on interviews with more than 9,000 families. The book also covers when to go, the pros and cons of lodging outside "the World," hotel and restaurant ratings, field-tested itineraries, tips and warnings, planning strategies, and how to meet Disney characters. Humorous writing accompanied by cartoonist Tami Knight's satiric insights make this guide fun to read. Parks covered include the Magic Kingdom; Epcot; Disney's Animal Kingdom; The Disney-MGM Studios; Universal Studios Florida; Sea World; area water-theme parks; and a section called "Beyond the Parks," which delves into other various Disney offerings like golf (mini and maxi), a speedway, and Discovery Island. --Kathryn True --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
“…Indispensable…” (Leicester Mercury, 18 June 2005)
“….the unofficial guide to the mother of all theme parks tells it exactly as it is…” (Economist, 5 March 2005)--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
The reviews & information about the attractions are very helpful & informative. Although Walt Disney World is for children, there are attractions & rides that are not for the very young even if they meet the height requirements. This book helps explain the scare factor & appeal to a broad range of ages. Through the years I have used this guide to steer my children on the right attractions at the right ages so now they will ride everything & anything with little or no fear/apprehension. It always saddens me to hear & see kids at Disney who were put on a ride because it was "Disney" only to be freaked out & scream & cry the whole time. For attraction information, I highly recommend this book
The recommended touring plans are invaluable! We have truly spent very little time in line & have enjoyed so many attractions at Disney because we had a TOURING plan. I always enjoy reading the book because it is written in a humorous manner.
I used the website & downloaded the corresponding app. With this guide you can access "member-only"aspects to the website & app. They are was worth the price of the book! The app was fabulous! It really helped us adjust our touring plan on the fly.
I will be using this book as a beginning point to plan our Universal Studios vacation for Fall 2014 & updating my subscription to the app too.
While not meant to be read from cover to cover, it is indeed very readable. The readers' comments provide complementary and honest point of views, and I think the authors do a good job balancing different voices when choosing readers' comments to include.
Another bright point, in my opinion, is effectively catering to a wide audience in terms of the financial and cultural spectrum. I am more of a cheapskate, and see Disney as a place where you can easily burn money but which nonetheless seems like an interesting experience to our family, focusing on what has made Disney famous. In this respect, I feel I'll get plenty of value from the guide, with effective money-savings plans and good touring plans to cover the basics. But there's also a lot of content there that seems to fit people both higher and lower than me on the financial scale and the breadth of interests and activities they'd may want to cram on their Disney trip.
My only suggestion for improvement would be to make it more uniform throughout in terms of details and readability. I am clear that his behemoth has evolved over many years of updates, but all the same some sections are too long and detailed on stuff that's ancillary at best; this guide has the best primer in popping feet blisters I've ever seen anywhere, period! Conversely, some attractions are described in slightly less detail than I'd prefer.
In short, you could do much worse than plunge ten bucks into a guide that will SURELY help you make the most of your multi-thousand-dollar, triathlon-energy-demanding Disney trip!