Which is better Tour Guide Mike or Unofficial Guide?

Discussion in 'Disney World Tips' started by autismgoesdisney, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. autismgoesdisney

    autismgoesdisney DIS Veteran

    Oct 15, 2008
    I am wondering if I should purchase Tour Guide Mike. I have used Unofficial Guide in the past and was happy with it, but I feel that this trip maybe I should try something different so that I can see different things?!?!
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  3. churchpilot

    churchpilot I never look back, Dahling, it distracts from the

    Jul 2, 2008
  4. Justsyd2

    Justsyd2 I snorted Coca-Cola out of my nose when he said th

    Jan 4, 2009
    We used UG on our last trip. It worked the way they said it would. We were very happy with them. We never waited more than 20 minutes for anything.
  5. marielynn724

    marielynn724 DIS Veteran

    Nov 8, 2008
    never tried tour guide mike, but i've always loved and sworn by the unofficial guide. other people i talk to about disney have also recommended UG.
  6. pfalcioni

    pfalcioni If we're not Riding, we're Disney Dreaming!

    Jan 5, 2007
    We've used both.

    Ultimate Guide gives a great overview, but TGM gives the details of how and why to tour the most efficient way.

    If you are a detail-oriented person, and don't mind putting in some time reading and thinking before you leave, you will LOVE Tour Guide Mike.

    If you're not detail oriented, and you hate to plan, (you probably wouldn't be here!) TGM can still help, but may not seem as effective as it could be.

    TGM doesn't just lay down a plan, but tells you why something works. This way of teaching really helps me, especially when something unexpected comes up, instead of throwing away the plan and having nothing, you can modify and make things work on the fly.

    I used UG and TGM for our first trip, I now use TGM exclusively.

    Both are good, but TGM suits my way of planning better.
  7. dizneedoll

    dizneedoll Curioser and Curioser

    Dec 14, 2007
    I've used both and I prefer the UG and it's Touring Plans website. I liked TG and like the PP said he does give good detailed info on the why's of touring. I just think you can find the same info he provides elsewhere on the internet without having to pay the high subscription fee. The UG website subscription is another option and the last time I signed up it was $7.95 or free if you have the latest copy of the UG, I think there have been some rate changes for the 2010 editions but it's still less then TG.

    Happy Planning!
  8. Millie12591

    Millie12591 DIS Veteran

    Apr 17, 2007
    Loved TGM! :goodvibes

    A lot of reading to get through, but well worth it! :thumbsup2
  9. duffy

    duffy The Tag Fairy did not give me this tag...I wrote i

    Jan 12, 2000
    Tour Guide Mike.
  10. quantumottle

    quantumottle DIS Veteran

    Oct 22, 2008
    From my experience, they are both equally ineffective/outdated compared to Ridemax. Be sure to do your homework, there's a new and improved way to tour the parks.
  11. fleurbie

    fleurbie Mouseketeer

    Aug 13, 2005
    Hi whats ridemax?popcorn::
  12. Jillisa

    Jillisa Earning My Ears

    Mar 17, 2009
    I used Tour Guide Mike last year when we went Spring Break, the week before Easter. It was great. I am a very detail orientated person and love planning (I'm a teacher) and he was spot on for the best days for each park. We got to do everything we wanted and it didn't feel like our days were "scripted" per say, we just knew what to do first, second, etc.
    I am going back next Spring Break and will do the same. I will also check out ride max. Unfortunately, our SB this year is the week after Easter Sunday.
  13. quantumottle

    quantumottle DIS Veteran

    Oct 22, 2008
    Ridemax is software for your computer that generates a detailed touringplan according to the exact rides you and your family want to ride, as well as the restaurants you and your family want to eat at, the shows you and your family want to see, etc. Consider it a personalized touring plan, unlike the cookie cutter ideas produced by TGM and UG.

    Ridemax is also the ONLY one of the three to include WDW shows, instead of just telling you to pick up a times guide as you enter the park like TGM and UG do. And Ridemax also features a money back guarantee if you don't love it.

    HERE'S a post on the Dis where lots of other people like myself have discovered the magic of Ridemax (there's 55 pages as of today).

    HERE'S the Ridemax official website.

    So far, the only people I've noticed who don't absolutely love Ridemax are those that are not very comfortable using a computer, which shoulnd't be too much of a problem for someone posting on the Internet, and also some people who are just too set in their ways to try something new.

    At any rate, I always tell everyone I know about Ridemax, so far with 100% positive results. And it's got the money back guarantee, so what do you have to lose.
  14. fleurbie

    fleurbie Mouseketeer

    Aug 13, 2005
    Thanks i'll have a look at this :cool1:
  15. DisneyMom14

    DisneyMom14 DIS Veteran

    Jan 2, 2007
    I prefer TGM but now that I understand his way of thinking, I would one day like to try Ridemax.
  16. WildGrits

    WildGrits DIS Veteran

    Mar 16, 2002
    I bought an UG years and years ago. I felt it was very indepth.

    These days I really feel with all the info that is out there, I can't justify paying for info I can find online for free. Of course I am not of the mind set of criss crossing the park to see the big rides. My family visits during slower times so that we can go at our own speed.

    If you are interested in seeing if there is things you are missing, the co-writer of UG has a podcast that is very enjoyable to listen to. And there are a few sites out there that touch upon the hidden magic like the umbrella at Studios and that sort of stuff.
  17. punkin413

    punkin413 feel the magic, dang it!

    Jan 9, 2007
    keep in mind that if you don't like to get up early, TGM may not be good for you. we are not early risers and i found it frustrating to use TGM because of this. he sort of counts on rope drops more than i like. i just don't feel like i'm on vacation if i have to get up at 7:00 every morning! but that's just me - some people love it.
  18. BlondeMinnie

    BlondeMinnie College-Aged and WDW Bound!

    Jul 27, 2008
    Personally, I'm a big Unofficial Guides fan. Some advantages over other things like TGM and RideMax are that the UG:
    -has plans that incorporate EMH mornings AND evenings
    -has plans for holidays and special events (like pirate and princess party, and the halloween and Christmas parties)
    -has plans for adults, teens, small children, parents with teens and small children, seniors, parents who only want to please their kids, etc etc etc, basically any combination of interests
    -has plans for early morning risers, people who like to sleep in (like me, these plans start at 11am and still get everything in with minimal waits...), for late night touring, and different day combinations like one and a half days at MK, etc
    -plus, the UG online subscription (still only $7.95 for a full year) includes all of the plans, a program to personalize your own plan based on what rides you want to see, plus tons of general park and planning information, including in depth reviews on all dining locations and resorts (incl. off site)
    -and, my favourite, right now the website subscription includes Lines, which is their mobile wait times program (avail. on iphone as an app, and on tons of other phones as a mobile web site) that has updated info on posted wait times, actual wait times, fastpass times, and predictions about the waits and about when fastpasses will run out. I love this program, and it is really easy and accurate. Users can even upload wait times as they experience them to make the program more accurate.

    Ok, so this totally sounds like an ad for UG, but I really am just a happy customer. I truly think it's the best out there, and you can look at the website and get a preview of the kind of info you can get with the subscription. It's just touringplans.com

    I hope this helps!
  19. donatalie

    donatalie DIS Veteran

    Jul 17, 2004
    I am going to add my opinion as a mom with two autistic kids...

    join both and get as much information you can! If you are travelling with an autistic child you need to be ready for anything and able to change your plans at a moments notice. I really like a lot of the insider tips that I have gotten from TGM and I like to compare his plans with what is on UG. We have learned the hard way to not have a moment by moment touring plan. One meltdown and the plan is BLOWN SKY HIGH!!!

    We start with a picture chart of what are considered to be the "least crowded parks" in order of recommendation. Then we let the kids choose any park that's "green". The only time we even consider deviating from that is if there if a special event like F! or Spectro that we want to see.
    We create a kind of "wish list" for each park and just take on the day.... slow and steady.
  20. TrustedTraveler

    TrustedTraveler Mouseketeer

    Apr 18, 2009
    We've had great success at avoiding crowds with TGM but it is a bit of a chore putting it all together. I whole heartedly recommend TGM.
    This year we bought the UG and TP. Holy Wah, that's a big book! Lots of great information. We look forward to trying their plans.
    I was just about to click on "Buy Now" for Ridemax when I saw their note on Sunday visits to the parks which is essentially they don't do Sundays, so you have to fudge it for a Sunday plan.
    I have no problem with people who don't work on Sundays or offer customer service on weekends, but if you are offering a service to the vacationing public, 90+% of whom like to play on Sunday (even after church) then I think you should make an effort to accommodate your clients.
    Had they said we don't work on Sundays so we haven't confirmed wait times, then I probably would have gone ahead and purchased their product, but since they don't even include Sundays on their planning calendars, no park times, show schedules or anything, now their pushing their personal beliefs and I don't buy it, and won't buy their product.
  21. ginnymack

    ginnymack Mouseketeer

    Oct 11, 2009
    I am another fan of RideMax - it allowed me to make sure everyone got to do what they wanted and they knew when their favorite was coming. It is highly customizeable and will even allow you to schedule "re-rides".

    As for Sundays - it is a bummer that they don't work and therefore do not include park data on Sundays. However, they will help you find an alternate day that should have similar wait times to the Sunday that you will be in the park. You can just make the simple substitution and get a pretty accurate representation of what you day will be like.

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