Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Walt Disney World (2010 Edition) by Doug Ingersoll

Several weeks ago, I reviewed the WDW Complete Travel Guide App and mentioned that it was created by the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Walt Disney World. This week, I’m going to be reviewing this great book by Doug Ingersoll . . .

51MJl6vAaPL._SL500_AA300_ Mouseketeers will be all ears…

This guide to the happiest place on earth takes the guesswork out of planning the perfect Disney vacation. It goes beyond general descriptions of rides, hotels, and restaurants and instead offers readers advice based on the type of trip they want. Whether it’s for a family spring break, a honeymoon or a convention, this book will help readers make the most of their time at Disney World.

• Features cut-out touring itineraries with detailed maps for each park
•Includes an eight-page color insert that captures the magic of Disney World
•Up-to-date prices and hotel, park, and dining information

c2bfc0a398a041ab4ab52210.L._V192469699_SL290_ Doug on Doug:

I am a a lifelong Disney fan who has been vacationing at Walt Disney World for more than 30 years. Over the last decade, I have helped friends, family, and others negotiate through the maze of planning and enjoying a vacation to the Magic Kingdom with my unique card system. I have refined my attraction, hotel, and restaurant reviews over literally dozens of visits, including family vacations, bachelor weekends, and romantic couple's getaways. I think that my book is perfect for first-timers, or someone who has not been to WDW in a long time, and really want a quick way to get up to speed on all that can be done at the parks and surrounding areas.

Heidi Says . . . For years, I had been a die-hard fan of the Birnbaum’s Guides to Walt Disney World.  So much so, that I didn’t look at the other guides that are available.  I’m glad that I decided to check out some of the other Disney resources that are available.  I don’t even mind being referred to as an “idiot” because this guide is GREAT!

I was sitting here wishing that I could copy and paste the entire Table of Contents for you, so that you could see just how thorough and informative this book is.  Then, I found this downloadable sample that contains the TOC, along with Chapter 6 (Walt Disney World Resorts) so you can see how the chapters are set up and how much they cover.  I’d encourage you to check out the sample!

This book seems so personal – like it was written by Doug, just for me (how sweet of him!)  It’s set up to help you plan your vacation (and gets into the nitty gritty of budget, etc.), then moves on to choosing where to stay and reserving your room, eating at Walt Disney World, all the entertainment (or “attractions” as is the official term), and all the rest (the extras, such as the water parks, Disney night life, and other Orlando-area attractions). 

I love the little extras that are included throughout the book – Hidden Magic! (those extra things that you might not find otherwise), Mickey-Speak (Disney has it’s own language, and you’ll enjoy learning more about it in these sections), Did You Know? (seldom-known facts that will make your trip more interesting), and Disney Don’t (warnings to keep you from a vacation headache!)  These features are set apart in boxes making them easy to find as you journey through the book. 

I appreciate the reviews on attractions, restaurants, and resorts.  The rating system is simple to understand – full stars and 1/2 stars, with 5 stars being the best. Meal listings are designated with $ symbols (each $ represents a $10 increment in price). Attraction reviews contain symbols for Must Do! attractions, FastPass, air conditioning, height requirements, and whether or not the attraction contains darkness (which is scary for some children).

The attraction reviews are also separated into various age categories, and rated within each category.  This is very helpful for those traveling with family – you can see which attractions the toddlers will like, right on up to grandma & grandpa.  I appreciate this!

In the back of the book there are two Appendix sections.  Appendix A contains itineraries that you can remove from the book (they’re perforated) and take with you.  There are 8 of these – 2 per park – one for families with children, and the other for adults & teens. 

Appendix B contains a card system with cards you can tear out and carry with you – they are small enough to fit into a wallet.  I might recommend filling them out and laminating them so that they will be more durable and hold up on rainy days in the parks. There are cards for each of the smaller sections of the 4 parks, with checkboxes where you can indicate which attractions you absolutely want to see/do. There are also 2 Lost Child cards.

For those people who like visuals in their planning guides, I should note that there are several black & white pictures located throughout the guide.  In addition, there are 8 pages of full-color images located in the center of the book. 

In closing, I would definitely recommend this book and will be using it to plan my next trip to Walt Disney World.

NOTE: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review of it on my blog. I was not required to write a positive review and my thoughts were not influenced in any way. I only recommend books that I have read and that I like.

1 comment:

* said...

This book sounds like a must have!!!

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