Today I’m excited to have a guest review by my sister Melissa who just started a blog VERY recently! It’s not a YA blog, but it’s about another one of my favorite things… DISNEY! She just recently started working with Magical Vacations as an Authorized Disney Vacation
Planner (how awesome is that job!) and wanted to share her thoughts on THE UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO WALT DISNEY WORLD 2014 so what better way to do that than by guest posting on her little sister’s book review blog!? 🙂 All you Disney fans planning a vacation — read carefully! 🙂
Completed: August 19, 2013
Title: The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2014
Authors: Bob Sehlinger, Len Testa
Publishing Info: August 20th 2013 by Unofficial Guides
Genre: Travel & Tourism
Find It Online: Goodreads || Amazon || B&N
“Compiled and written by a team of experienced researchers whose work has been cited by such diverse sources as USA Today and Operations Research Forum, The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World digs deeper and offers more than any other guide. The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World explains how Disney World works and how to use that knowledge to make every minute and every dollar of your vacation count. With advice that is direct, prescriptive, and detailed, it takes the guesswork out of travel by unambiguously rating and ranking everything from hotels, restaurants, and attractions to rental car companies. With an Unofficial Guide, you know what’s available in every category, from the best to the worst and step-by-step detailed plans allow the reader to make the most of their time at Disney World.” –– From Goodreads
As guidebooks go, this is the best of the best! The authors are Disney experts and are continuously making updates as Disney World evolves. Each year, two guides are released, one in August or September of the previous year with an update around February of the same calendar year. It’s one of the many things that makes it superior to all the rest.
Once you open the book, you’ll know what I mean! Each section is carefully laid out and broken down into easily readable sections. This is not something you can fly through in a day! They begin with the planning process including the best time of year to go and budgeting which helps to mentally prepare for a Disney vacation.
From there is a detailed breakdown of all of the Disney World resorts (hotels). Each resort has a profile so the reader understands what each resort offers. All resorts have a report card with data compiled by readers and is updated on an annual basis and includes everything from lighting to comfort. It also gives the general pros and cons of each resort. This writer doesn’t agree with all of their comments, but it’s a great starting point to pare down the numerous options Disney provides. For those looking to stay at an offsite hotel (which I don’t suggest), there is a smaller section for these hotels.
The next major section is transportation: data compiled by reader reviews of each rental car company and how to best utilize Disney transportation. For those first timers out there, make yourself familiar with Disney transport and then use it!
Next up, dining. Another great section with reader reviews of each location. Additionally, the writers created profiles for each restaurant in Disney. The counter service (or quick service) restaurants all have mini profiles which offers a grade for the portion size and the value for the money. The table service (or sit down restaurants) have more detailed descriptions as well as reader reviews. Whether you choose to use a Disney Dining Plan or not, this is one of the best places to make your dining choices.
The last important sections I’d like to highlight are detailed descriptions of each park. Each of the 4 Disney parks have their own chapter and are broken down by “lands”. If you only read one part of this book, this should be it! The writers provide a detailed description of each ride, how different age groups rate the ride (pre-school, kids, tweens and teens, young adult, adult, and older adult). It also provides a scare factor for those with little ones and rides that could make you sick for those with a weak stomach. And the most important part of all, Touring Plans! For those that don’t know, touring plans is the best way to get around the parks in the least amount of time. Their proven methods are said to save up to 4 hours waiting in lines each day. That’s a lot of time left available for snacking, exploring, or just a nice relaxing swim at your resort pool!
For those planning or thinking about planning a Disney vacation, this is a must read and one of those books that’s hard to put down. While you may feel your head exploding with knowledge, it’s well worth the read. It helps create excitement and you can involve the whole family in planning!
I highly recommend it!
My philosophy, know before you go! The more research you can do before your trip and the more you can plan before your trip, the more fun you will have. Vacations can be stressful. Add the Disney factor to it, and it can be even more stressful. My advice, work with a professional! You get the same Disney prices and discounts without all the work. Plus, you’ll have a valuable point of contact and a wealth of knowledge available to you!
About the Guest Blogger
Melissa is Vacation Specialist and Independent Contractor with Magical Vacations, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Check her blog for exclusive promotions on top of Disney’s Special Offers and how to get your FREE version of the 2014 Unofficial Guide to Disney! If you have questions, want a no obligation, no cost quote, or you just want to talk about Disney, feel free to e-mail or visit her blog.
Special offer for blog readers: Follow my blog and book or transfer a vacation package, and receive a Disney gift card to use on your vacation! (minimum package required)
Email || A Little Magic (Disney Blog) || Twitter
4 thoughts on “Guest Review: The Unoffical Guide to Walt Disney World 2014 (Melissa from A Little Magic)”
I LOVE YOUR SISTER’S JOB. It may just be the most magical thing EVER! Hopefully, should I get enough dollars to do it, I’ll be able to solicit her advice on a trip sometime next year 😉
Great review! We might be going to Disney World in the spring, so I’ll definitely look for this guide.
The Unofficial Guide is the best. I used to listen to a Disney podcast that Len Testa is on.
I always buy a travel book when going on a big trip. It can be tough though to blindly walk into a book store and find one that is worth it and full of information! Buying these books can make trips soooo much better.