Theme Park Press was kind enough to send me two copies of “The Easy Guide to your First Walt Disney World Visit” – one to review, and one to give away to a lucky reader!
I will start off by saying that I’ve read a good number of guide books, and this is honestly one of the best I’ve come across in many ways. There are still a few things that I think could be added, but what it does cover it covers really well.
One of the things I loved was that it doesn’t just present all the options – it actually narrows it down for you based on their opinions, which is great for first timers. A complete list of all the resorts on its own might be overwhelming, and while that is included, the authors also specifically state they recommend staying at Art of Animation, Pop Century, Port Orleans, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary, or the Poly. For a first timer, looking into just these resorts first would be a good way to relieve some of the stress and planning that goes into a Walt Disney World trip these days. They present things in a very matter of fact manner, but with flexible advice.
There is detailed information on all of the resorts, including floor plans of the rooms, which I love. This is something I will use and refer to even as a Disney expert. You’ll also find month by month commentary on when to visit, Fast Pass Plus info with a list of FP+ priority for each park so you know what to book, itineraries that are pre-designed or a worksheet to design your own, descriptions of the attractions, ticket info, and detailed information on the restaurants, reservations, and dining plans. Chapter 9 is also very important for those new to Disney or those who haven’t been in awhile. It covers magic bands, My Disney Experience, and a lot of the new technology in-depth.
The book also hits on some tips and tricks for making your stay more enjoyable, beyond just the facts and information about things like resorts and restaurants. A section titled “The value of time away from the parks” outlines how it’s important to take breaks and not run yourself ragged while at Disney. There’s also an extra magic hour “warning” about how crowded the parks can get. And check out “Jim’s Gems” – fun little facts about the park that may be interesting even to people that know the parks well!
One of the few things I think could be improved with this book is the information on the rides and attractions. If anything, they needed more detail. I “tested” this book on a friend that went to Disney for the very first time, and the issue we encountered before he went was that the Disney rides are so unique, he had a hard time comprehending what a lot of them were just by reading the descriptions in this book.
The other thing that I think could be added is information on the water parks and Downtown Disney (aside from the restaurants there, which were included). Many people taking their first trip plan to be there for a full week or more and might want to know about these other options. My friend planning his first trip was very interested in the water parks, and didn’t find anything here to help him out in that regard.
Overall I found this to be a really useful, great guidebook for all sorts of Disney fans. It’s detailed and focused for first timers, but it has so much information that it also makes a great reference for those that have been there before. Highly recommended – and you can buy it on Amazon for Kindle or in paperback!
And now you can win your very own copy! All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter entry below. Giveaway ends Sunday May 24th at 11:59 pm. Open to residents of the US only.