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Old 07-09-2012, 01:33 PM   #16
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I love the Unofficial Guide (UG) and the PassPorter (PP) and have purchased multiple versions. The PP is great for getting you excited for your trip and has a ton of pictures and great snippets - I love the ease of use and how fast you can look general info up. The UG is great for us uber-planners who have to know every little detail!

But - the best news is that they are all in electronic form! HUZZAH! (The UG was 800+ pages when I last looked! Imagine that in your carry on!) Rather than schlepping that big ol' tome around - you can get it for $10 and it weighs nothing. I have mine on my Kindle, but I know it exists for Nook as well. I also believe you can read the electronic version on the Kindle Fire. Not sure how the book translates to the iPad, but the Kindle app is free, so it would probably work there!


The PassPorter is also offered as an electronic book. However, it is in PDF version only. That means it will look poopy on a Kindle, but would probably be really nice on an iPad or other color tablet.


Hope the info helps!
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:46 PM   #17
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I like the Unofficial Guide for reference and detail. However, my new favorite guide is The Complete Walt Disney World by Mike and Julie Neal. It has good detail with lots of pictures for a "casual" vistor, and it is small enough to take on the trip with you.


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Old 07-09-2012, 04:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by TiggerificTigger View Post
I like the Unofficial Guide for reference and detail. However, my new favorite guide is The Complete Walt Disney World by Mike and Julie Neal. It has good detail with lots of pictures for a "casual" vistor, and it is small enough to take on the trip with you.

I have no need for another WDW guide book, but this one looks great. I just ordered it from Amazon, so thanks for the recommendation and link!
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:57 AM   #19
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The problem I have with a lot of guidebooks is that Tomorrowland turns into Yesterdayland quicker than the publishing dates can keep up. So the DIS is actually providing more up-to-date accuracy.

That being said, both Passporter and the Unofficial Guide do constantly update their info. UG has a team of people test driving their touring plans and data, so they seem to be the more proactive in keeping up to date.

I remember the first guidebook I ever bought was my Birnbaum's 1987. I loved reading all those wonderful ad copy flowery prose sections! And I admit that I've read copies of Passporter and Unofficial Guides cover to cover, as well. And UG has a snarky sense of humor I just love!

Passporter is terrific for a couple things. The resort sections with the maps and such, and just as an overall combo of guidebook and pseudo-scrapbook of trip memories. They were unique in that way from the beginning.

The worst guides? The ones that were "For Dummies" or "Idiot's Guide...". Let's just say I thought they were written BY...ahem...intelligence challenged people. And just leave it at that.
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:35 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TiggerificTigger View Post
I like the Unofficial Guide for reference and detail. However, my new favorite guide is The Complete Walt Disney World by Mike and Julie Neal. It has good detail with lots of pictures for a "casual" vistor, and it is small enough to take on the trip with you.

The Complete Guide is my favorite one, too. I buy it every year, even though I don't really feel like I need it. The Unofficial Guide is great, but it can be very overwhelming to a novice (even to a seasoned WDW vet).
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:31 AM   #21
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i like birnbaum and the unofficial guide as well as the Neal's book, but my absolute favorite guide is "The Brit Guide to Orlando" by Simon Veness (well now he and his wife, but it's really his writing that's entertaining)....

as for Passporter....i read through it once after seeing lots of accolades - i was totally disappointed...wouldn't waste my money again...
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:51 AM   #22
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I tend to get all of my information here now, but for friends who are skittish about that and want print, I like the Passporter guides.


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Old 07-27-2012, 03:45 PM   #23
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I still buy Birnbaum's every year, and it is good for a first-timer too; it has maps for each park, descriptions of attractions, restaurant info, explanations of fast pass, and gorgeous color pictures. I think it would be a great gift. The Unofficial Guide is huge, and lots to read...I buy that one too, every couple of years or so. It is not so portable, and not as pretty ! Most libraries have both, so you can take a look at them and see what you think! thoughtful gift, by the way!
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:24 PM   #24
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DW and I prefer Unofficial Guide and Passporter over Bimbaums.

IMHO Bimbaums does not have enough in depth information in it for DW and I's liking. We enjoy the touring plans as well as the reviews of restaurants, rides and attractions contained in the Unofficial Guide. DW enjoys the Passporter and even has the leather binder that she buys the current insert for every year, DW enjoys the Passporter so she can use it to plan our days to maximize our time spent.

Our first trip together (2004) we used the Unofficial Guide and found the information contained within to be invaluable, it was before we discovered the DIS so we would have otherwise missed out on tons of great tips and tricks.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:49 PM   #25
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"color companion to wdw"

For casual/quick reference, and great visuals, my vote is for the unofficial guide "the color companion to walt disney world" it has the nuts and bolts, and a great visual of why early arrival to the parks is important. Check out the pictures on page 35.
The only negative is that it has a 2010 copyright date, and some of the jokes are a little hokey.
I will buy the updated version when it is released.
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Old 07-27-2012, 07:30 PM   #26
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We've taken about 10 trips to Disney in the past 4 years and I have still been carrying the Unofficial Guide in my work bag for the last 2 weeks to prepare for our late August trip.
I like Passporters, too, but I like the "completeness" of UG. And I'm obsessed with the Lines app. I feel like I get so much info here, even more so with the new app, that I want the most complete reference book. I can see how Passporters is less intimidating but UG is my personal favorite.

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Old 07-29-2012, 11:11 PM   #27
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BirnBAUM is the BOMB!!! haha!!! I love reading Birnbaum guides! This is a great guide book, it tells you EVERYTHING you need to know and it is very thorough and organized! I LOVE IT!!!
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:51 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by jpeka65844 View Post
IMHO, the best guidebook is www.wdwinfo.com and the Boards BUT what is considered (among true Disney fans) to be the best guidebook out there?

I have a friend who will be going with family in Summer 2014 and I'd like to get her a book to share with her DS's.
I think Passporter is the best guidebook - it's also very easy to use considering the large amount of info contained in the book.

If these folks are just looking for a "casual" minimal guide, I'd recommend the Birnbaum books. Really basic, but probably less intimidating to the casual WDW visitor.

I like the Unofficial Guide as well, but I feel like that might be a bit too intimidating for a casual WDW visitor.

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Old 07-30-2012, 03:16 PM   #29
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My advice would be to double up with the Passporter and the unofficial guide. Use the unofficial guide for the nitty gritty details.

But before you use the unnoficial guide use the passporter. I find it provides a more casual guest experience rather then seasoned vets spitting out a ton of numbers. It'll get you more excited that your going to Disney then the other books. I enjoy reading the reviews of the attractions and the food options because your getting reviews of real park goers that are both adults and children, and then also a tally of all of the readers opinions.
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