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  • Which book is best?

    I am planning my first trip to Walt Disney World in October of next year. I noticed that a lot of the 2008 books are out but was wondering, which one to buy? I would be willing to buy one or two different ones, I just need some suggestions. I was thinking of getting Birnbaum's Walt Disney World 2008.... is it worth it?
    Christina




  • #2
    Re: Which book is best?

    I like:
    • The Unofficial Guide
    • Passporter
    • The Complete Walt Disney World
    DVC Mike

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Which book is best?

      Birnbaums is good, they have a lot of good pictures and spells things out simply, but since it had Disney's permission, all things in the world are good. If you want an honest opinion of things in the world, I would recommend The Unofficial Guide. It tells it like it is.


      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Which book is best?

        Nancy, as usual, is right on the money. I'd go with the Unofficial. I'm kinda a non-official, off the beaten path person when I go places. But with Disney, the commercial being that is, that's not easy to do. These are people watching your every move.

        So go unofficial.

        That's the one that works for me. No commercialism is in the book, so their responses are always honest and to the point.

        Peace,
        Roo
        husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Which book is best?

          Originally posted by Roo719 View Post
          Nancy, as usual, is right on the money.
          I love you Roo!


          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Which book is best?

            I like Birnbaum's, but you might want to also get one or more of the books DVC Mike recommended. They are god as well. One book, one opinion especailly for a first trip is just not enough. Several books are a bargin when compared to the total cost of the trip and what you can save by learning what you need to know before you get there.

            Can't tell you haw many people I've seen tryng to read a gudebook for the first time while there, walking aound the parks. Read first, have a general idea of the lay of the land, know what's where.

            Just MHO, YMMV

            [email protected]

            Andy
            -
            What is, is... What is not, is not.

            Boom!

            I don't ask for much... Just a few little things!

            Extra effort yields extraordinary results!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Which book is best?

              Thanks for the help, I will definately look into those other books mentioned, and when the time gets closer to when I actually book I am sure I will be asking lots of questions on this site! Thanks again.
              Christina



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              • #8
                Re: Which book is best?

                We got the unofficial book before our first trip last year and it was VERY useful.

                You can get the 2007 book even if your going in 2008. Most of the information will be the same.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Which book is best?

                  I would say out of all of them I found the Unofficial guide to be the most complete and probably the most critical of the books out there. The rest are not worth the money, check them out of the library if you want to look but buy the Unofficial Guide book.
                  Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Which book is best?

                    Hands down the Unoffical book has won, and who am I to argue with experts :bow: so I will definately be buying the unoffical guide!
                    Christina



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Which book is best?

                      My favorite is the Passporter. If you go to Amazon, you can get both Passporter and Unofficial and should be just about at the free shipping mark!
                      Denise

                      www.mousesteps.com




                      Favorite TDL Typo:

                      Originally posted by TDLFAN
                      I think it will give more pipping pervs the reason needed to go parasailing
                      on Bay Lake.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Which book is best?

                        Unofficial Guide by a mile.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Which book is best?

                          The Unofficial Guide by far. Tells it as it is and invites your comments too once you've had your trip. Birbaums covers everything but tends to "suck up" to Disney and doesn't point out any disadvantages or problems you may encounter. The UG gives suggested touring itineraries which can be helpful if you don't know the layout. Passporter is quite good too.
                          Now I'll turn that little mouse's dream into a nightmare Fantasmic !


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Which book is best?

                            I have used the Birnbaum's guide every year since 1994. I have never had problems with it as the information seems to always be correct. It does mention some disadvantages and offers alternative suggestions for some things. I don't think it "sucks up" to Disney.

                            I don't bother with any other guides/books. Sometimes, I don't agree with the opinions mentioned in the other books/guides. I think you should form your own opinions about attractions, etc, after you experience them for yourself and not beforehand. IMO, Birnbaum's gives a good base of information.
                            - Larisa

                            Everybody neat and pretty? Then, on with the show! -MMC

                            :ap:

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Which book is best?

                              I second the "Unofficial Guide" for the "tell it like it is" information and the "Passporter" for the "cute organization/mobility/pull out maps" that it offers.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: Which book is best?

                                Originally posted by AlwysL8 View Post
                                I am planning my first trip to Walt Disney World in October of next year. I noticed that a lot of the 2008 books are out but was wondering, which one to buy? I would be willing to buy one or two different ones, I just need some suggestions. I was thinking of getting Birnbaum's Walt Disney World 2008.... is it worth it?
                                I'll give you my unbiased review of what you can expect from all the guides that I've read. Full disclosure. I'm a UG user regularly. But first let me direct you to some free websites that will actually have a wealth of information also that you have to pay nothing for.

                                Mousesavers.com usually has a great handle on the deals and such and is a good free source of info for them.
                                Allearsnet.com has a wealth of free info including fairly up to date menus at the restaurants. They have a rate and review section also which is informative but is not enough to be a representative sample.
                                WDWinfo.com has good general info as well as a very active message board community. There is a board for theme park strategies, another for restaurants, etc.
                                Intercot.com has a less active message board community, but has a wealth of info as well including historical hours and the like.

                                On to the books.

                                Birmbaum's. If you know absolutely nothing about the place as to what things are, then I suggest you start with Birmbaum's. It gives a great description of what everything is and is probably the best descriptive book with color pictures. Ours had nice maps and such in it.
                                The drawback is that it is extremely light on money saving and touring tips and gives you only minimal ratings and advice. There are a few Birmbaum's best awards for attractions. But they're the predictable Space Mountain, etc. ..This is not a Disney suck up guide as some suggested. Far from it. It really doesn't have much commentary to it at all, suck up or otherwise. So though it is a great place to start, it is only a start. One should not merely read it and think they are prepared. If you already have a good idea of what everything is and are looking for touring advice and more detailed advice and ratings, then I would suggest you skip Birmbaum's.

                                1. The Unofficial Guide. This is sort of a handi dandi reference guide. It has age appropriate ratings for all the attractions. It has a brief description of the rides. It has all the hotels, what rooms to ask for with certain views, restaurant ratings and such, both on site and off, everything. It is full of money saving and time saving tips as well as touring strategies. You also get a free subscription to their website touringplans.com with a crowd calendar and best days included and many more touring plans. In addition to their commentary, they have up and down surveys on the restaurants.
                                A few drawbacks. The first is that it is a long book and can be very imposing. It is not the best first read if you know absolutely nothing about the place. It also doesn't give much help on organization. You'll have to do that on your own. A picture can be worth 1,000 words to some folks and well the UG's pictures and maps just simply don't cut it relative to the others. Next, it tends to suggest over powering your way to fun at the expense of stopping and smelling the roses so to speak. The small print and some of the funky blue print they have used in some editions can be extremely hard on the eyes.

                                2. Passporter.
                                Three words. Organization. Organization. Organization. If you have trouble organizing your info and the like for your trips, this is definitely the one to get. It's not as detailed or all encompassing in the tips and touring department as the UG, but it has many more than does the Birmbaum's. I can't imagine anyone getting this book and then not being able to get organized. I simply can't. The maps in here were good.

                                The rest I haven't read and therefore cannot review.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: Which book is best?

                                  Originally posted by WSVR View Post
                                  I'll give you my unbiased review of what you can expect from all the guides that I've read. Full disclosure. I'm a UG user regularly. But first let me direct you to some free websites that will actually have a wealth of information also that you have to pay nothing for.

                                  Mousesavers.com usually has a great handle on the deals and such and is a good free source of info for them.
                                  Allearsnet.com has a wealth of free info including fairly up to date menus at the restaurants. They have a rate and review section also which is informative but is not enough to be a representative sample.
                                  WDWinfo.com has good general info as well as a very active message board community. There is a board for theme park strategies, another for restaurants, etc.
                                  Intercot.com has a less active message board community, but has a wealth of info as well including historical hours and the like.

                                  On to the books.

                                  Birmbaum's. If you know absolutely nothing about the place as to what things are, then I suggest you start with Birmbaum's. It gives a great description of what everything is and is probably the best descriptive book with color pictures. Ours had nice maps and such in it.
                                  The drawback is that it is extremely light on money saving and touring tips and gives you only minimal ratings and advice. There are a few Birmbaum's best awards for attractions. But they're the predictable Space Mountain, etc. ..This is not a Disney suck up guide as some suggested. Far from it. It really doesn't have much commentary to it at all, suck up or otherwise. So though it is a great place to start, it is only a start. One should not merely read it and think they are prepared. If you already have a good idea of what everything is and are looking for touring advice and more detailed advice and ratings, then I would suggest you skip Birmbaum's.

                                  1. The Unofficial Guide. This is sort of a handi dandi reference guide. It has age appropriate ratings for all the attractions. It has a brief description of the rides. It has all the hotels, what rooms to ask for with certain views, restaurant ratings and such, both on site and off, everything. It is full of money saving and time saving tips as well as touring strategies. You also get a free subscription to their website touringplans.com with a crowd calendar and best days included and many more touring plans. In addition to their commentary, they have up and down surveys on the restaurants.
                                  A few drawbacks. The first is that it is a long book and can be very imposing. It is not the best first read if you know absolutely nothing about the place. It also doesn't give much help on organization. You'll have to do that on your own. A picture can be worth 1,000 words to some folks and well the UG's pictures and maps just simply don't cut it relative to the others. Next, it tends to suggest over powering your way to fun at the expense of stopping and smelling the roses so to speak. The small print and some of the funky blue print they have used in some editions can be extremely hard on the eyes.

                                  2. Passporter.
                                  Three words. Organization. Organization. Organization. If you have trouble organizing your info and the like for your trips, this is definitely the one to get. It's not as detailed or all encompassing in the tips and touring department as the UG, but it has many more than does the Birmbaum's. I can't imagine anyone getting this book and then not being able to get organized. I simply can't. The maps in here were good.

                                  The rest I haven't read and therefore cannot review.

                                  Wow, thanks for all that, it really helps to determine what I need. I actually have an old Brinbaum's Walt Disney World that I found which is from 2004 or 2005. I know things have changed since then, but if it is just the very basics I doubt I would need a new one. I know that the Unoffical 2008 Guide is out now, so I think I will go ahead and get that one, and when the 2008 Passporter comes out next month I will get that one too. I am actually a really organized person, but having it all in one handy book will be perfect. I am really interested in the ratings of the restaurants, so that will be great to have.

                                  This trip is very special, I am going with my mom to celebrate her being 5 years cancer free, we will be there for at least 2 weeks as this will probably be the only time she ever goes to WDW, we want to do it right. We are definately going in October because we want to go to MNSSHP and hopefully (keeping our fingers crossed) see Maleficent, my mom's favorite Villain. So again, everyone thanks for your help and I will be back when I actually start the planning!
                                  Christina



                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: Which book is best?

                                    Birnbaum
                                    Marquis d'Bod of the RCMC... always and forever

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Re: Which book is best?

                                      Originally posted by AlwysL8 View Post
                                      Wow, thanks for all that, it really helps to determine what I need. I actually have an old Brinbaum's Walt Disney World that I found which is from 2004 or 2005. I know things have changed since then, but if it is just the very basics I doubt I would need a new one. I know that the Unoffical 2008 Guide is out now, so I think I will go ahead and get that one, and when the 2008 Passporter comes out next month I will get that one too. I am actually a really organized person, but having it all in one handy book will be perfect. I am really interested in the ratings of the restaurants, so that will be great to have.

                                      This trip is very special, I am going with my mom to celebrate her being 5 years cancer free, we will be there for at least 2 weeks as this will probably be the only time she ever goes to WDW, we want to do it right. We are definately going in October because we want to go to MNSSHP and hopefully (keeping our fingers crossed) see Maleficent, my mom's favorite Villain. So again, everyone thanks for your help and I will be back when I actually start the planning!
                                      Yes. If you have a 2004 or 5 Birnbaum's that should be a sufficient primer to get you started. No need to buy a new one imo. Note that some of the info will be obsolete. But its best use is to give you just the basics anyway.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: Which book is best?

                                        Of course if you just want pure fabulosity, get Queens in the Kindgom, my favorite guide be far!

                                        :thumbup:
                                        --Jonathan

                                        Comment

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