The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2018 (The Unofficial Guides) Info

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THE trusted source of information for a successful Walt
Disney World vacation


Compiled and written by a team of
experienced researchers whose work has been cited by such diverse
sources as USA Today and Operations Research Forum, The
Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World
digs deeper and offers more
than any other guide.
The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney
World 2018
explains how Walt Disney World works and how to
use that knowledge to make every minute and every dollar of your
vacation count. With advice that is direct, prescriptive, and detailed,
it takes the guesswork out of travel by unambiguously rating and ranking
everything from hotels, restaurants, and attractions to rental car
companies.
With an Unofficial Guide in hand, and authors Bob
Sehlinger
and Len Testa as guides, find out what's available
in every category, from best to worst, and use step-by-step detailed
plans to help make the most of your time at Walt Disney
World.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.49

553 Ratings

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Reviews for The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2018 (The Unofficial Guides):

4

Jan 06, 2018

I for real read this, cover to cover, often out loud to prep for our trip! So...there you go. They seem to HATE Star Wars, so take any info about those rides and attractions with a grain of salt, but it's a good guide with valuable info.
5

Dec 30, 2017

Whew! A huge read, but worth it. This is a must for anyone traveling to Disney!
5

Aug 19, 2017

This book really covers everything you could want to know about a vacation to Disney World. The book might actually be too good. When I started this book I wanted to really go to Disney. After reading this I don't think I want to go anymore. Sounds like way to much planning and work.
5

Feb 11, 2018

There is no better paper resource for planning a trip to Disney and Universal. The authors are thorough, honest, and understand what people want and need to know.
0

May 27, 2018

Brilliant in-depth guide to the mania that is Walt Disney World Florida.
A must read for anyone who is going, I've also now purchased the same guide but aimed at going with children. For more hints and tricks.

I've been to Disney before and it does sometimes feel like a military operation. I'm, in general, a very organised person, and I like to make the most out of places that I travel too. So this book was a life saver.

There was a lot of information that wasn't relevant to us, mainly the Brilliant in-depth guide to the mania that is Walt Disney World Florida.
A must read for anyone who is going, I've also now purchased the same guide but aimed at going with children. For more hints and tricks.

I've been to Disney before and it does sometimes feel like a military operation. I'm, in general, a very organised person, and I like to make the most out of places that I travel too. So this book was a life saver.

There was a lot of information that wasn't relevant to us, mainly the hotels and dinning plans. This was okay though, as it's such a large guide that it was obvious from the off that not everything in there we were going to need!

It also helped to get the excitement building! Three more months till we are there! ...more
5

Oct 21, 2017

This book has everything you need to plan your trip to WDW. Be warned in that the book is huge and contains information in pertinent detail.

Who will use it? Families with children, both preschoolers and of schooling age.

As a further advantage, it includes Universal Studios park and some shopping, dining and nightlife info as well.

Try to get this book months in advance of your proposed travel and the included tips will help you save some money for this expensive excursion.
5

Nov 12, 2017

This guide remains my go to for upcoming WDW trips. It's always extremely thorough and not only states the opinions of the authors but also includes survey results submitted by the general public.
5

May 05, 2018

Excellent guide for any first timers planning a trip to Walt Disney World (Orlando). Great explanation about the parks with tips to avoid huge lines.
4

Apr 02, 2018

Exhaustive and invaluable. Only a few passages where explanations weren't clear or information proved inaccurate.
4

Jul 12, 2019

Really good book for planning your vacation. Which rides to run to first, where the best food is. I spent four days in Walt Disney World and crammed in as much magic as possible because of this book.
4

Feb 05, 2018

While filled with a ton of incredibly important information, I’m now filled with foreboding about a future trip and wondering if planning a trip to India would be easier.
5

Mar 06, 2019

The Unofficial Guides are, by far, the best travel guides ever. Of course, you’ll want the more recent version for reference. I was reading for fun (I’m weird like that) and some of the little moments in this book that’s only a year out of date are a trip!
5

Aug 24, 2018

These HUGE paperback guides are ridiculous in some ways (esp. with the Internet resources that are available) - but they make an excellent planning resource and have a nice blend of Disney love & appropriate snark. The Unofficial Guides are not for everyone - but they are very, very helpful.
5

Aug 07, 2018

Very Good Guide!

I bought this book months before my trip, but didn’t start reading right away. I regret not knowing some information before it was too late. Definitely helpful for a first timer like me!
4

Mar 07, 2018

This book did help me stop being overwhelmed at planning a Disney family vacation. It remains to be seen whether the advice will hold up since my trip is in the future but the data scientist in me has absolutely LOVED playing around with the companion website and touring plans.
3

Oct 14, 2018

These guys are great, but this is already outdated in 2018. It's a fault of the medium. That said, if you don't know anything, this does not skimp on information, even providing touring plans for the various parks. Buy or borrow an updated version of this book. It's a great start for disnoobs and if it weren't dated, it would be a 4 if not 5 star book.
4

Dec 29, 2017

Not literature, but a very useful, exhaustive guide to all things WDW (and nearby). Shelled out for touringplans.com (their adjunct web site) and for a minimal charge it will make the most pristine touring plans for you, taking into account whether you'd rather walk or wait, and accommodating your desire for breaks, meals, which fast passes you have, etc. Heaven.
5

Feb 25, 2018

This is the best, most thorough Disney guide I've read! I didn't plan to read the entire thing, but once I started, I couldn't stop. :) They rate every hotel, restaurant, and ride. They provide countless tips and ideas and include some touring plans in the back. I really enjoyed it and it definitely helped me get excited and ready for our upcoming Disney trip!
4

Jan 02, 2019

I'm a big fan of the Disney parks, but I haven't been there in about ten years. I'm also taking my kids for the first time, and wanted a break down of the new rides, wait times, and whether they're scary for little ones for now. This unauthorized guide has a healthy dose of snark, but it was also pretty thorough, if not a bit exhaustingly so. I may pick up the newest version to get insight about the new Toy Story Land.
3

Jan 30, 2018

A lot of this book was a huge sales pitch. It could have been organized in a different was to be more efficient and less repetitive. I did learn a few insider’s tip and found some different adventures to consider. I was pleasantly surprised that the custom Touring Plans really worked. You do pay extra on the companion website for this service, but it’s reasonable. I had an evening in Magic Kingdom where I did over 15 things (rides and shows) in less than 5 hours! Even for a not so busy day, this A lot of this book was a huge sales pitch. It could have been organized in a different was to be more efficient and less repetitive. I did learn a few insider’s tip and found some different adventures to consider. I was pleasantly surprised that the custom Touring Plans really worked. You do pay extra on the companion website for this service, but it’s reasonable. I had an evening in Magic Kingdom where I did over 15 things (rides and shows) in less than 5 hours! Even for a not so busy day, this felt impressive.

This book can help you plan an efficient trip. You may walk back and forth a bit, but I hardly waited on line for anything. ...more
5

Aug 11, 2018

I love the unofficial guide series. It's a great mix of information and opinions written in a really thorough and humorous manner.

The book is long because it is really thorough. Some information repeats so you don't miss it in the different sections. And because the are tables that aggregate many things. Also, they make it easy to get information for different target audiences - last visited Disney X years ago? have kids? don't have kids?

I particularly like that the book includes reader quotes. I love the unofficial guide series. It's a great mix of information and opinions written in a really thorough and humorous manner.

The book is long because it is really thorough. Some information repeats so you don't miss it in the different sections. And because the are tables that aggregate many things. Also, they make it easy to get information for different target audiences - last visited Disney X years ago? have kids? don't have kids?

I particularly like that the book includes reader quotes. It provides a lot of perspectives. I also like the data based approach. The authors have done a ton of research.

I last visited before FastPass+ was introduced. I understand it well now - now to use it, how to strategize, etc.

I read the book cover to cover. Even the parts that don't apply to my visit. I just enjoyed reading the humor. It got me excited about my trip! ...more
4

Jan 08, 2018

This book remains an amazing comprehensive guide covering the Florida theme parks and all of the related aspects. For a first time visitor, it is THE book to read and the basic touring plans alone are worth the cost of the book. I have enjoyed reading these guides for the past 15 years and still peruse the new editions for updates. If you are looking to plan a Disney trip and have never been (or haven’t been more than a few times), this giant book will give you everything you need to know.

In This book remains an amazing comprehensive guide covering the Florida theme parks and all of the related aspects. For a first time visitor, it is THE book to read and the basic touring plans alone are worth the cost of the book. I have enjoyed reading these guides for the past 15 years and still peruse the new editions for updates. If you are looking to plan a Disney trip and have never been (or haven’t been more than a few times), this giant book will give you everything you need to know.

In the spirit of knowledge being powerful, I do have some critiques. Clearly the vast majority of the book is the same year to year, which isn’t a problem, except that mistakes do creep in and often out of date material makes it through to new editions by mistake. Things are also always changing, and print books just can’t keep up (which I can’t blame the book for), so it isn’t necessarily the same level of go-to helpful for a long time visitor as for someone new.

Last, I do have some problem with some of the choices on included material. Huge chunks of the book discuss hotel rooms and table service restaurants. For the first of those, the level of detail is just insane - I would much rather see details on recreation options and activities offered at each hotel than pages of room numbers and fax options. For restaurants, the complaint is the exclusive focus on sit-down meals and the near complete absence of counter service or snack options. There is almost nothing about the fun and varied snack choices - a highlight of many people’s vacation (how many people get ice cream at some point on their trip? All?). Still, these are personal preferences and this will probably remain my favorite Disney guide for a long time. ...more
3

Apr 04, 2018

Too much extraneous information bogs down a decent guide

I decided to pick up the Unofficial Guide based on being a big fan of the Touring Plans website, and while I did find a lot of useful information, the guide is just so bogged down by extraneous nonsense that finding those tidbits was more tedious than it really needed to be. As just one example, in a book that points continually to the (excellent) website, why is so much page space devoted to tea leaf reading about Disney’s future projects Too much extraneous information bogs down a decent guide

I decided to pick up the Unofficial Guide based on being a big fan of the Touring Plans website, and while I did find a lot of useful information, the guide is just so bogged down by extraneous nonsense that finding those tidbits was more tedious than it really needed to be. As just one example, in a book that points continually to the (excellent) website, why is so much page space devoted to tea leaf reading about Disney’s future projects in the parks? Not only are these rumors covered better and more extensively on the plethora of fan sites, fora, and podcasts in the Disney fan community, the print medium makes them laughably inaccurate or outdated as soon as they hit the page. It’s wasted space.

Similarly, while I understand that many visitors to the World are also hitting other theme parks in the area, I don’t understand why so much page space in a Disney World guide book is devoted to Universal Studios. No disrespect to those who enjoy it, but when I’m planning a WDW vacation, staying on WDW property, with my whole week spent there, I expect a guide book for WDW to not have entire sections that don’t apply to WDW. My finger got numb swiping through all these pages. And I found it very irritating that the Hollywood Studios section literally told people to go to Uni instead. If I wanted to go there, I would. But I purchased a Disney guide book, for Disney info.

Too much space is similarly devoted to the musings of random readers. While some were amusing, there are numerous fan forums for this kind of thing—free, even. I bought a book for something different. If for some reason I needed it, I can get Karen Mom of 3’s views on Haunted Mansion scaring her little angels for free.

In the spirit of positivity though, I did find the transportation section with travel times listed for the different resorts very useful, and I also deeply appreciated the “not a touring plan” touring plans for people who aren’t A types checking attractions off a list.

So I recommend it with heavy caveats—if you can exercise your scroll button. But in this day and age, just go on the website. It’s superior by every conceivable metric, even with the subscription fee.

...more
5

Jan 15, 2018

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/

This book is pretty much a one-stop planning assistant; it contains everything you need to make the right choices when planning your Walt Disney World Vacation. Unlike the sponsored guides like Birnbaums, the authors are given free reign to give honest evaluations that aren't all rainbows and unicorns. You'll get the most out of it if you read BEFORE you book your trip since it contains really useful information such as

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/

This book is pretty much a one-stop planning assistant; it contains everything you need to make the right choices when planning your Walt Disney World Vacation. Unlike the sponsored guides like Birnbaums, the authors are given free reign to give honest evaluations that aren't all rainbows and unicorns. You'll get the most out of it if you read BEFORE you book your trip since it contains really useful information such as resort information, crowds, weather, dining, and more. More importantly, there's no fluff. The authors have really thought long and hard over each edition on what to include and what to leave out to ensure you aren't overwhelmed.

Families have two great options when planning a WDW vacation: use a respected travel agent or resources like this book. Those that prefer to make the decisions themselves will appreciate what this book offers. Those that are overwhelmed by all the choices will likely find a travel agent most helpful. A travel agent can help find deals better and they can also use their clout if something goes wrong while you are on your vacation in Florida. But this book gives you all you need to plan out your day, which rides to go on and when, and how to make the most of the trip once you are there. If anything, a travel agent AND this book are a great way to ensure a really successful and less stressful trip. But I have admittedly never needed a travel agent and really prefer to do all the planning myself so I can tailor it most effectively to what I want to get out of my vacation.

I bought my first Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World back in 1993 for a honeymoon trip. The information from that earlier edition was incredibly valuable - it helped me save time and money and made the vacation that much better as a result. I learned how to avoid long wait times for attractions as well as which restaurants are worth my time and which are not. Now, returning for the first time since 1993, it was a no brainer to get this book. I have to say that the difference between then and now is social media: I can youtube to see walking tours of the resorts and what the rooms look like as well as go on Facebook forums like the Walt Disney World Insider to ask questions in real time and get immediate answers and opinions. Anything the book doesn't cover I can find out immediately in a forum or video. As well, just following Vloggers as they visit the Parks really helps me decide which rides to Fast Pass and how to navigate/enjoy the Walt Disney World Experience.

As in 1993, my 2018 trip was a success thanks in no small part to having purchased and read this book. Since I was going with my niece and nephew, I also purchased the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World With Kids, which had a bit more information on caring for and keeping young ones happy. Considering the cost of the vacation and how things can get very expensive, time consuming, stressful, or unhappy fast, this is probably the best dollars I've ever put into a vacation.

Of note is that those who want more personalized attention can subscribe to the book's online sight for ten dollars or so. It gives you a planning countdown to-do list, at the moment crowd estimates, ability to fax your resort in advance for room requests (as well as room pictures), and more. You get email updates when park opening hours change, rides are closed, and more. You definitely don't need to spend the money on the upgrade since the Facebook forums are so useful for asking questions and because the website feels primitive and can be difficult to use. I did get some use out of that ten dollars but learned a lot more from the Facebook forums, to be honest. ...more

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