As I am sure you are already aware, the 2017 edition of our occasionally-best-selling and always-highest-rated Walt Disney World guidebook is now available for your casual perusal at the usual link: http://amzn.to/2buYUqG. If you refresh this website hoping that new content will be posted, you might instead take a gander at the 325+ pages of carefully organized Walt Disney World tips that have helped thousands of people plan better vacations. And don’t worry. I am back in town.
In an effort to increase value and keep you up to date on all things Walt Disney World, we are again including the Kindle version of the book with a paperback purchase. After checking out, simply visit the product page at http://amzn.to/2buYUqG, click over to the Kindle version, and it will display the Kindle MatchBook: $0.00 price. Obviously you will want your own paperback copy of the book to impress your friends and co-workers, but you might enjoy the ability to lend the book out and still have the digital version to reference just in case you are wondering what the wait for Big Thunder Mountain will be at 2:30pm with a crowd level 6 or whether Frontera Cocina accepts Tables in Wonderland. That means you can also open the book up immediately upon purchasing rather than waiting the two days for the UPS driver to throw the book in your general direction. Amazon makes Kindle reading apps for mobile devices in addition to offering a PC version of the reader, so you don’t necessarily need a Kindle to use it.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE
This year, we will also be updating a PDF version of the book when important changes are made and will forward you the new versions as they become available. Obviously the downside of a printed book is that it becomes outdated as things change. And while 95.3% of the book will still be accurate at this time next year (probably), we will take care of the other 4.7% via updates. So you will always have access to the freshest information.
One thing you might have picked up on is the removal of the word “first” in the title. While the book still assumes some amount of unfamiliarity and spends some time introducing each subject, we’ve emphasized advice for return visitors as well. I like to say that a first vacation is a good primer for figuring out what you want to do on your next trip. This book will help you plan a better first vacation in addition to providing a basis for what you want to do next time around.
People inevitably ask me “what’s different” about this book. And there are a lot of things. One of the two main reasons why you want this book is the organization that it provides. If you read every word that Dave and I write, in addition to all of the fluff that you’ll find elsewhere, you would know 95.3% of what’s in this book. But you’d have to piece a lot of that together while trying to remember the conclusions and whatever the URLs are for the hundreds or thousands of blog posts that you’ve consumed over the years. This book is “literally” based on over a thousand theme park visits and hundreds of resort stays and consolidates all of that information into an easily digestible, easily referenced guidebook.
Another difference is that you benefit from the experiences of not only myself, but Dave over at yourfirstvisit.net. There is nobody on this planet that has more experience with Disney resorts than Dave. I always tell the story of how he pitched me the idea of the book from the 2-bedroom Grand Floridian Villa that he was staying in shortly after it opened. Paying cash. That room goes for more than $2,000/night.
When we were discussing strategy last month, he was staying Club Level at the Polynesian with a Theme Park View. That’s a $1000+/night room. All just for the sake of reviewing the experience. This book takes the best parts of our collective knowledge and consolidates it into a book that will teach you answers to questions that you didn’t even know you should have asked.
To make things even easier, we boil down our best advice into the first chapter and then expand on it in the chapters following. If you visited Walt Disney World and did nothing but read the first few pages of this book and followed the strategies laid out in the cheat sheet touring plans then you’d have a fantastic time with just a few minutes of preparation.
Chapter 2 is all about planning trips with kids of varying ages and deciding if it’s the “right” time to go:
Child Swap, height restrictions, maturity levels, etc. are all discussed along with tips on how to make different vacations work for different people.
After you’ve decided that you’re going, it’s time to decide for how long:
Chapter 3 discusses budgeting and how much everything is going to cost, in addition to offering advice on saving money and reducing fixed costs.
After deciding on how long to visit, you’ll want to pinpoint when to visit:
Chapter 4 discusses when the best times to visit will be in 2017 based on crowds, weather, pricing, refurbishments, etc. As it stands, the 2017 version of the guidebook is best for those planning fall and winter 2016 visits with plans to return sometime in 2017. You’ll benefit from the best touring information and have the added benefit of looking to the future.
We rank and discuss every week in 2017.
Now that we know if, how, and when, we can consider where:
This is the first of several meaty chapters and where the book really begins to shine over the “competition.”
Each resort is reviewed, compared, and contrasted:
Room layouts are included along with advice on which room types to consider booking.
Chapter 6, titled “How to Spend Your Time,” is over 100 pages of information on touring strategies and how to go about your time in the theme parks:
FastPass+ strategies are detailed early on.
Each land is introduced along with brief reviews/introductions to the attractions found there. We rarely dissuade from visiting attractions and don’t spend a lot of time discussing the backstory or exactly what’s going to happen.
We can’t guarantee that you’ll love everything, but most everything is worth experiencing for yourself.
Towards the end, you’ll find detailed touring plans in addition to handy reference charts like the one above.
Chapter 7 covers dining:
Food is a big part of most people’s vacations and this chapter is the second longest, introducing and reviewing every restaurant on property, in addition to discussing the various Disney Dining Plans and whether they’re a smart value.
You’ll find new reviews of all of the Disney Springs restaurants, in addition to new outlets like Tiffins and Nomad Lounge.
Resort restaurants are also showcased.
With a firm understanding of the various pieces that make up a vacation, we move back to budgeting and tickets:
This covers a variety of topics like park hopper add-ons and legitimate ways to save money by purchasing tickets from a reputable online vendor.
Finally, the last chapter: “How to Set Everything Up and Get Everything Done,” talks about setting up a My Disney Experience account, how to use MagicBands, when to book FastPass+ experiences, etc.:
Overall, “The easy Guide” is packed full of information, tips, and advice on planning and executing the perfect Walt Disney World vacation from start to finish. It’s unlikely that you’ll run into a more concise, better-organized guidebook about Walt Disney World than this one.
We hope you enjoy it.