Thursday, May 12, 2011

PassPorter’s Walt Disney World

We’re counting down the days until our Disney trip, and guess what?  We’ll be there one week from today!!!  I wanted to share a very special Disney planning guide with you this week - - -


Have you ever heard of the PassPorter’s guides?  If not, you seriously need to check these things out!  A trip to their website alone will generate you TONS to look at and keep you busy!  I could spend hours just browsing around the site.

But, this review is all about the book!  My friends and readers know I have a sick fascination with planning – especially my Disney trips – and this book just feeds my addiction.  Seriously!  It’s like a drug for the planning addict.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it. 

The cover is a heavy, very sturdy/durable cardboardish material (don’t you love my words?!)  When you open the front cover, you’ll be greeted by some colorful park and area maps.  The front cover also serves as a flap and under the flap you’ll find a current calendar (the 2011 version has both 2011 and 2012 calendars), a planning timeline, and a “this book belongs to” type section.  The back cover flap opens to review an important reminders checklist (with blanks for you to fill in) and an important addresses checklist.

The  book itself is spiral-bound.  It contains an elastic strap to hold everything in place when not in use. 

Now, for the contents.  Up front, you are immediately introduced to the PassPorter Authors and the PassPorter Team.  I loved reading all about them, and seeing the accompanying pictures.  It makes them seem “real” when you can attach a picture to a name, don’t you think?

The remainder of the book is divided into color-coded sections:

  • Yellow = Planning
    This section is the “getting started” section. It shows you how to best make use of your PassPorter. It also has 2 full pages of online resources with descriptions and links, lots of money-saving and budgeting tips, and a budgeting worksheet.
  • Orange = Getting There
    This section tells you the best times to travel (taking crowds, temperature, and prices into consideration).  Then it goes on to talk about actual travel, via car or air – flying tips, airport information – or by train, bus, tour, or boat (think Disney Cruise Line!) A travel worksheet and packing checklist are also included.
  • Pink = Staying in Style
    Here you will learn how to choose the Disney resort that is right for you.  It starts off with a handy-dandy resort comparision chart.  From there, it goes on to cover reserving a room, choosing a package, and explaining the Resort Key.
    Then, it goes into detail about each individual resort, including a standard room layout, eating & drinking options, playing & relaxing options, and how to get around.  There’s also a tips section, a notes section, and a ratings section for each resort (showing who it might appeal to most, and why, etc.)
    Also included are resort maps.
    In addition to the Disney resorts, this section also contains information about the Shades of Green resort, the Swan & Dolphin resorts, the Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Vacation Club, Hotel Plaza resorts, hotels near Disney and Universal Studios, and Vacation Homes (I must mention that I did not see my favorite vacation homes – Florida Dream Homes – listed here.)
    This section ends with a Lodging Worksheet.
  • Purple = Touring
    This section contains EVERYTHING you need to know to navigate the Disney parks!  Park passes and prices, transportation options, and tips and ratings are included. 
    Each park is represented by a 2-page spread map (inside the foldout is a PassPorter’s Favorites Touring Plan and a quick reference attraction checklist).
    It tells you the best times to see and do everything on your list, and then goes into detail about each individual attraction (including a rating system).
  • Blue = Feasting
    This section starts out with information on the Disney Dining Plan and Advanced Reservations.  It goes on to list each individual restaurant in the parks and the resorts. 
    It goes on to discuss Character Dining options, along with other fun dining experiences.
    A Meal Worksheet and Advanced Reservation Worksheet finish this section.
  • Green = Making Magic
    Could there possibly be more to WDW than meets the eye?  In fact, YES!
      This section talks about those extras – such as guided  tours, children's tours, classes and educational programs, treasure hunts, hidden Mickey’s, photo tips and Photopass options, souvenirs, pins & passports, and so much more!
  • Light Green = Index
    Can’t find something?  It’s most likely here.  Just check the index!
  • Yellow-Green = Notes & More
    Blank pages for notes, autograph pages, and more information about PassPorters can be found here.

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a fun section of full-color photographs to look at and fun stickers to use to customize your PassPorter.

Then, the book ends with THE POCKETS!  These are cool folders, useful for storing your mementos and keepsakes from your trip.  There’s a pocket titled Our Journey and one for Our Room, followed by Days One – Ten pockets, a customizable pocket and an Our Magical Memories pocket.  Each pocket has tons of information on both the front and back for you to fill out and make them your very own.  These pockets ROCK!

So, who would I recommend this to?  EVERYONE!  Here’s why:

  • If you’re not a good planner, you need this book!  It will totally walk you through each step of your vacation and help you create a plan that will enhance your trip and make it more meaningful for you and your family.
  • If you’re a planning freak, you need this book!  As mentioned above, it’s fuel for the planning fire!
  • If you’ve never been to Walt Disney World before, you need this  book!  It will help you get your bearings before you even arrive, and you’ll feel right at home when you get there – and ready to take the World by storm.
  • If you’ve traveled to Disney many times, you need this book!  You’ll enjoy learning about the little extras that you maybe weren’t aware of.  Add a few of them to your trip to make new memories this time!

Clearly, I’m hooked!  What do you think?  If you’ve used a PassPorter book, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.  If you’re new to PassPorters, check out this awesome sample!  Check out the PassPorter book options here.  Get book updates here.  Subscribe to the PassPorter newsletter here.  Oh, and you social media people can follow them on Facebook and Twitter too!

NOTE: I received a free copy of this book in order to use it and share my honest thoughts on it.  I was not compensated in any other way.


Bird said...

Heidi, you and I sound so much alike with our planning ;-) I wish I'd had this book along the way- it sounds right up my alley! I'll know for next time... Thanks for sharing!

Cathy said...

We used this book on our last trip. I love it too. But I'm not near as organized as you. haha

Birdie said...

I had no idea you were a Disney nut too! I <3 you even more now :) I just bought the book and am on my way to Disney in a week :)

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