Do you need to buy a Disney World book for a first vacation?

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by BensWife, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. ColoradoDis

    ColoradoDis DIS Veteran

    Jan 29, 2001
    I do the same thing. I always buy the Passporter update (love the pockets for each trip) and borrow all the rest from the library. It's actually part if the planning fun for me.
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  3. GreenCntryGirl

    GreenCntryGirl The DIS keeps me up past my bedtime.

    Sep 5, 2011
    The Unofficial Guide.
  4. Gorechick

    Gorechick DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 2001
    Sometimes having a book is a lot more convenient than clicking around the computer to find what you're looking for. I recommend the Passporter, lots of great information and very organized.
  5. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010
    I highly recommend the Unofficial Guide, they have different ones for "kids" "no kids" etc as well so there's lots of variation. It's the main one I depended on when I was planning my first trip!

    As for websites, use this one over the actual Disney World website, I simply use that one for park hours and booking vacation/dining. Otherwise, it's not that great hahah :thumbsup2

    Have a fantastic vacation!
  6. tigger24601

    tigger24601 Earning My Ears

    Sep 16, 2010
    Even after countless trips I still love to find a new book or get an updated version of a well loved one.

    So yes! Absolutely! If it's been a while or if you're wanting some new info or updated pics, go to the library or your favorite book store. Pour over their travel section and pick out 1 or 2.....or 6. Lol. It always adds to the anticipation for us. Love getting new disney trivia books also.
  7. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

    Mar 8, 2001
    For our first trip, I didn't buy any guidebooks, but I did borrow several from the library. I wasn't sure what would give the best information so I read all the ones I could get my hands on.
  8. AntFarm

    AntFarm Mouseketeer

    Aug 21, 2012
    Get The Unofficial Guide.
  9. NicPie

    NicPie Frozen 24/7

    Jan 9, 2013
    I was about to order the Unofficial Guide to WDW 2013 on my Kindle, but then wasn't sure if I should hold off and get the paper copy. Is it something I'd want to take with me on the trip, or is it mostly just for the advance preparations?
  10. ses1230

    ses1230 DIS Veteran

    Aug 10, 2006
    The UG is a fairly large paperback book, I wouldn't take it into the parks with me, but might be nice to have in the plane/car or in your room.
  11. NicPie

    NicPie Frozen 24/7

    Jan 9, 2013
    Kindle it is then! Thank you.
  12. Herfnerd

    Herfnerd DIS Veteran

    Feb 28, 2006
    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......
  13. bdklein

    bdklein DIS Veteran

    Sep 17, 2005
  14. princessSunshine

    princessSunshine Mouseketeer

    Aug 28, 2009
    :thumbsup2I totally agree with the above quote - this is what we use/used too. Love the Unofficial Guide book, is great for crowd calendar and suggesting which parks on what days to visit and allears is great for dining planning:thumbsup2
  15. KimK2006

    KimK2006 DIS Veteran

    Jul 18, 2006
    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.
  16. AaronInWI

    AaronInWI Mouseketeer

    Aug 17, 2012
    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.
  17. married2mm

    married2mm DIS Veteran

    May 15, 2011
    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!:yay:
  18. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

    May 2, 2002
    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.
  19. Mike7468

    Mike7468 Mouseketeer

    Aug 17, 2012
    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..
  20. mickeyluv'r

    mickeyluv'r DIS Veteran

    Feb 14, 2005
    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.
  21. stindall

    stindall Congress Tart

    Aug 11, 2012
    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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