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Old 01-09-2013, 07:35 PM   #1
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Do you need to buy a Disney World book for a first vacation?

There are a ton of books out there about booking a creating a great Disney World vacation. We have been to Disneyland 4 times in the last 3 years, so we are pros when it comes to Disneyland. However, when it comes to Disney World, it is another story. I haven't been since I was in college, and even that trip was for a conference, so it wasn't even a "vacation" - it was more like go visit a park for a few hours after the sessions. This will be our first visit with kids (6 and 3) too, and I think it would be good to go with a plan. Not that we have to follow it to the max, but I have a feeling it is so big and so many choices we could waste a lot of time and feel overwhelmed. Is there a good book that you would recommend or can we get enough info from DIS boards and the Disney World website? Thank you!
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:37 PM   #2
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Although I don't think you *have* to buy a book (there is so much info here!), if you did buy a book, I highly recommend the 2013 Unofficial Guide to Disney World. Even as someone who has been many times, I found myself learning new things.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:40 PM   #3
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I don't think that you NEED a book, but it could be helpful. I use Birnbaum's guides and I like them. Passporters are also popular on the boards.

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Old 01-09-2013, 07:45 PM   #4
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I strongly recommend a book for first time visitors as it will allow you to read detailed descriptions of the various rides before you get there. I love the Complete Walt Disney World 2012 by Neal ...

The genius of WDW is that most of the rides are INSIDE buildings including the roller coasters. Unless you know what to look for, you will miss the best parts of the experience. There is nothing more frustrating that seeing people stare at the park maps trying to discern what to see and where to go ....

Please prepare in advance and even make a list of the rides you would like to experience. If you have kids, you need to understand height restrictions of the scare-level of the rides.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nessz79 View Post
Although I don't think you *have* to buy a book (there is so much info here!), if you did buy a book, I highly recommend the 2013 Unofficial Guide to Disney World. Even as someone who has been many times, I found myself learning new things.
Our favorite book also.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:53 PM   #6
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I highly recommend this book ... Fodor's Walt Disney World with Kids 2013 by Kim Wright Wiley.... This is by far the best book I have read... We also use Birnbaum's Walt Disney World ....
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:55 PM   #7
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I get the "Unofficial Guide" every few years. I think it's a pretty solid and comprehensive guide to all things WDW. I also picked up the "Hidden Magic Walt Disney World Planner" for the first time. It has alot of good (mostly basic) information plus some great tips. I like it because it's spiral bound, has pages for notes, and pockets to keep things organized. It's nice to have a printed reference. Of course the boards are great because it has up to the minute information. The best way to prepare for a trip is to just be informed, know what is there, pick a few must dos and things that will be special for you and then enjoy. Have a great trip!

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:04 PM   #8
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The only WDW book I have purchased are Passporters.

Everything else I get from the library. The most recent edition ONLY, don't waste your time with an older edition. By the time these books go to print they can easily be somewhat out of date anyway (same is true with any travel book), so you might as well be the least out of date as possible.

Even though we're working on our 3rd trip, the first two feel like they existed in a dream (I'm not sure we were really paying attention), so I just recently checked out pretty much all of them. Skimmed through Fodor's WDW&Orlando, read the Wiley book (though I could only find her 2012 edition), am about to read the Birnbaum. I also read the 2013 Universal Orlando book by Monaghan and Kubersky (I bought the 2010 or 2011 edition before, but gifted that to a friend). And I think I have the unofficial and one other to skim through.

Yes, I'm panicking at the last minute, LOL.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:11 PM   #9
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Since you are a DLR vet, I am not sure you need a book. You know what to "expect" of disney. And disturbingly, most of the WDW rides are also in California despite the size difference. Your biggest problem might be locations. WDW is massive.
But as others said, I am a very seasoned WDW vet and I still buy the unofficial guides every few years just to see what they have added.

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:18 PM   #10
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I've been to Disney a lot, but I still get a passporter when I'm planning a trip and I also like the unofficial guides
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 1pixiemom View Post
I highly recommend this book ... Fodor's Walt Disney World with Kids 2013 by Kim Wright Wiley.... This is by far the best book I have read... We also use Birnbaum's Walt Disney World ....
I got the 2012 version of this one from my local library. I was glad I had read it. The internet has been great for getting answers to specific questions, but I felt like the book really helped me get a better idea of what to expect as a whole on the trip.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:22 PM   #12
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Been using Sehlinger's Unofficial Guide since the 90's - can't go wrong with his book.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:25 PM   #13
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Unofficial Guide
kennythepirate.com and https://sites.google.com/site/wdwcharacterhunt/ for characters
allears.net for menus

The official website is a wreck, I try not to use it at all.

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:28 PM   #14
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I agree with those who have said that you don't HAVE to purchase a book, they are helpful and give a realistic idea of what to expect but that sort of info is readily available here.
We have gotten the Unofficial Guide a couple of times and bought Passporter on our last trip. While I did enjoy Passporter, it was geared more to keeping you organized (which is important, but less crucial for me with all of the technology available today). So with that being said I would recommend The Unofficial Guide.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:32 PM   #15
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I love the Unofficial Guide but I think it's geared more towards heavy planners. For a good overview I like the Complete Guide. Being a DLR vet will give you a leg up on MK but I think a book would come in handy to orientate yourself with the other parks. WDW is way to big to wing it and have the desired outcome.
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