Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2014 by Bob Sehlinger & Len Testa,

Whenever I'm looking to take a family trip to the Lands of the Mouse (whether in Anaheim or Orlando), I always make sure to check out the most recent Unofficial book on the subject during my planning. Sure, I've internalized most of the lessons at this point, but there are changes every year, and other things that I need to be reminded of. In 2011, during my year-long Book-A-Day string, I read a good-sized pile of guides to Walt Disney World (and then read two about Disneyland last summer), and the Unofficial books, in all of their varieties, are clearly the most useful and directly helpful of any of the books I've seen. Others sometimes have more facts and figures, but the Unofficial books tell you what to do, in conversational language, and incorporate not just a huge wealth of personal experience and Big Data computing power, but also anecdotes and ideas from dozens of their readers.

This year, I got The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2014 pretty much the second it was available, through the magic of ebooks, and read just about all of its 850 pages (I may have skimmed the chapters on things that don't really apply to me, like tips for little kids or the details of the cruise ships) on my iPad over the course of a little more than a week. And, yes, I did still learn some things -- so, unless you go to WDW substantially more often than I do (several times a year, for example), this book will still have useful things to teach you.

And my employer no longer publishes these books, so there's no reason for me to be politically nice at this point; I really do think the Unofficial books are excellent travel guides, and would buy more of them if they covered other locations I was going to travel to. Sure, it will be useless to you if you're not going to Orlando, but any travel guide has that handicap. And I have to think that, if you were trapped in a doctor's office for several hours with nothing to read but travel guides, this is the one you'd choose, and you'd be pretty well entertained along the way.

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