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Old 01-10-2013, 11:50 AM   #31
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They used to sell Mini-Micky: The Pocket Sized version of the Unofficial Guide to WDW - not sure if Sehlinger still puts this version out

I prefer the book - use it as a reference guide to plan out our trips. They do have generic park plans in the back you can cut out and take with you, otherwise I find it more of a distraction to be looking things up while in the park......
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:51 AM   #32
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:57 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by ses1230 View Post
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.
I totally agree with the above quote - this is what we use/used too. Love the Unofficial Guide book, easywdw.com is great for crowd calendar and suggesting which parks on what days to visit and allears is great for dining planning
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:01 PM   #34
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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.
My favorite book, also. Even thought we have been MANY times, I still buy one every few years. The more you know ahead of time, the smoother your trip will be.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:12 PM   #35
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We found the Passporter a big help on our first trip seven years ago. I think the Unofficial Guide would be a little bit of information overload for a first trip. The Passporter is laid out well with lots of great info without getting bogged down with details.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:49 PM   #36
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I don't think you need to buy a book.

we sent to wdw,several times with no planning,and we had wonderful trips.

I think if you've already found the dibb,everything you need is right here.

I remember seeing a lady at pizza planet reading a really large book whilst standing in line,it was a wdw planning book,and huge to carry around dhs!
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:50 PM   #37
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I have multiple copies of....The UnOfficial Guide to WDW, Birnbaums Guide to WDW and The PassPorter. They each serve a purporse. Birbaums is the 'official' guide to WDW...has some great photos and ride/attraction stuff. But, you don't get any true advice.
The UoG is great, but huge. And I think that sometimes, it can be off-putting to a park novice. It's good to have, but as something to read when you get a chance.
Then, there is the PassPorter. I just love this book. I have several of them, both for the parks as well as my cruises. Why multiples?? There is a section at the back of the book to note your daily activities and journal them...almost like a trip diary or journal. I love reading them long after I return. They are able to give my some of the info I had forgotten. This book is also a bit more concise and clear. It gives advice, but isn't overly negative. It has photos that the UoG doesn't get to have. Evidently they got permission from Disney to include photos.
So, I would suggest having the PassPorter on hand. Take it with you to WDW and then leave it in your room and use it in the morning and then the evening.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:01 PM   #38
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I've bought one book and that was because it was on clearance for a dollar. Website getting rid of them when the 2012's came in.
Since you are a disneyland vet, you should just go to disneys website and order the free personalized maps to get yourself familiar to the parks.
If you see one of the guides for sale go for it but I dont think it would be a have to..
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:37 PM   #39
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Guide books did not exist the first time we went to WDW, so I'm in the camp of saying no you don't need one. I DO think part ofthe fun of visiting any place - including WDW- is the act of discovering it in person. That is especially true of WDW! It's what I miss as a WDW veteran.

However, as you can see from my total number of posts, I do use the DIS for updated info. WDW has grown quite a bit since my first visit. It is wise to get some basic info before you go. Part of my being onthe DIS is to see i fthere will be anything for me to dicvoer on my next visit. It's also why I'm not reading much about the new Fantasyland. Last spring, I LOVED seeing Harry Potter at Universal for the first time! I did not read almost anything about it before I went.

It also depends a little on how savy you are. I don't say that to be pert, but much of the best touring info is just common sense. Like arriving early. I mean, if you've ever been to any popular landmark or museum or beach, you nkow that arriving early or staying late has it's perks. You also know that eating at offtimes has some perks.

WDW is just those same ideas mutliplied out a little. There is some insider info that's smart to research - like WDW discounts, tricks for getting cheap airfare. It's smart to know park hours, plan some ADR's. The DIS can also be very helpful if you need suggestions for what to carry in your backpack and that sort of thing. Perhaps details on what to do if you need a last minute change of some kind.

I think the internet is as good as any guide book, including in-park real time info of an app. If you like the idea of a guide book they can be fun reading. All guide books though become quickly outdated. Disney changs some menus seasonally, for example so don't rely on a guide published in 2012 to be 100% where menus are concerned. I find magazine articles, in particular, to be infuriatingly useless.

Conversely,if you have a special needs traveler, then Passporter will give you good info on details you may need. Like if you have to avoid strobe lights, or confined spaces, or someone has food allergies. It will tell you what to do. IF you arelly wanta book, Passporter is the best I've seen. My only copy was from the early 2000's. (a gift)

The Unoffical Guide can be fun to read if you want to know small details abotu attractions, but it may also take away some of the discovery. At least as far as I've looked at them. (agian my info from a few years ago)

One Oddball guide that can be fun is the Hidden Mickey Guide. There are hidden Mickeys all over WDW. Finding them is lots of fun. The guide can help you know where to start. But finding HM's is hardly essential to a great trip.

I use only the internet for my info. Mostly the DIS. I do consult the official website for a few things. I also like mousesavers and allearsnet. I like GoogleEarth for an accurate map. You can find asorted 180 calculators online and on ehe parent site of the DIS. Still one more place to look is a tour guide. If you have AAA , they can be helpful.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:42 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by married2mm View Post
I don't think you need to buy a book.

we sent to wdw,several times with no planning,and we had wonderful trips.

I think if you've already found the dis,everything you need is right here.

I remember seeing a lady at pizza planet reading a really large book whilst standing in line,it was a wdw planning book,and huge to carry around dhs!
I agree. There are so many Disney Websites that will give you all the information you need. If you have any questions you can ask them here and people will answer. In addition to The Dis, EasyWDW, All Ears, WDW Magic, etc all have write ups on food, rides, parades and shows as well as countless photos and videos! No need to shell out money for stuff you can find free of charge. That being said, if you have a library card you can always go check one out.

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Old 01-10-2013, 04:00 PM   #41
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I agree with previous posters that a guidebook isn't essential but I love reading them. It helps build anticipation -- which is probably why I spend way too many hours on the Disboards

I primarily read library copies but I did buy the Unofficial Guide for 2013 and put it on my iPad Kindle app. The paging on the iPad is much more true to the paper version plus the maps are much clearer on the iPad than on my Kindle.

I drive to Orlando and oftentimes drive around WDW rather than use Disney transportation. The UO maps have been very useful for the Orlando area and WDW property. My 2012 Unofficial Guide was the paper version. I've torn it up. I sent half to my DIL to research rides for the grandkids. But I kept all the UO maps and put them in a plastic folder that I keep in my car for easy reference. When my sister's GPS sent us to Downtown Disney rather than to our Art of Animation resort, the UO maps got us back on the right road
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:18 PM   #42
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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.
I agree, I think good guidebook is really helpful for a first-timer. My favorite, hands-down, is the Unofficial Guide.

If you don't want to buy it, how about checking it out from the library?
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:03 PM   #43
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One thing that hasn't been mentioned too much here is phone apps. Folks have mentioned carrying a book around, but not portable phone apps. If you have a smart phone, there are some great apps out now, which wll give you info in real time. Some of them are even free.

Some folks hate carrying a cell phone around WDW, so if you are in that camp, then maybe it's not for you. If you like technology though, they won't take up any extra space.

The apps I've seen aren't 100%, and who wants to spend their vacation buried in their electronics? Still, if you are in the parks, and want to know the fastest way to get to Space Mtn, the fastest way to get to the Polynesian, of the current wait time for Space Mtn- phone apps can be fantastic!

I also find it super useful to have a few Disney phone numbers in my phone.

Another way a phone is super useful is for basic record keeping: Take a photo of your parking spot in the parking lot (esp signs that ID the location), take a photo of your family each morning when you set out (if they get lost, you can describe them in seconds), take a photo of the ID number on your park tickets (you wont need this if you buy an onsite package, only tickets you buy some place else), and anything else that you might need help remembering or 'proving.'

Last trip, I saved quite a bit of hassle and maybe money because I had a photo of my park tickets! that's how you cna get them replaced if they get lost.
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:49 PM   #44
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These are just my opinions but-

First-go to your local library and check out thier books because it's easier to preview there than go and buy the one or two books you really love or the couple that seem to work best with your plans.

Two-don't travel with books they're heavy, they get ripped/torn/wet, etc. Just a bad idea

Three-nook/kindle app on your smart phone means you can buy a digital book and carry THAT with you

Four-If you really want a book I'd suggest this one of these. They're smaller as far as physical size and they seemed to answer a lot of question. The second one even has some touring stratagies and really nice ride descriptions and is just the right size for a backpack. But the first one is my personal favorite. I own both (though my Birmbaums is about 3 years old and my black book is 2012 edtions)


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