Mini Mickey: The Pocket-Sized Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

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Overview

A concise, pocket-size version of the best-selling "Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World"--complete with all the latest developments and perfect for those who want all the ratings and advice at a glance and in a portable format.
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Mini Mickey: The Pocket-Sized Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

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Overview

A concise, pocket-size version of the best-selling "Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World"--complete with all the latest developments and perfect for those who want all the ratings and advice at a glance and in a portable format.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The series aims to help people outsmart queues, advises which rides to avoid, where to shop and dine" (Essex Style, Norfolk Journal & Cambridge Style, January 2008)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781628090086
  • Publisher: Unofficial Guides
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Edition description: Tenth Edition
  • Edition number: 10
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 274,890
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Sehlinger is the publisher of Menasha Ridge Press and the author of numerous Unofficial Guides, including the Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas and the best-selling Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.
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Table of Contents

List of Maps xi
Introduction 1
Why This Pocket Guide? 1
Declaration of Independence 1
How This Guide Was Researched and Written 2
Walt Disney World: An Overview 2
What Walt Disney World Encompasses 2
The Major Theme Parks 3
Water Theme Parks 4
Other Disney World Venues 4
Part 1 Planning before You Leave Home 8
Gathering Information 8
Walt Disney World on the Web 9
Disney World Information by Mail 11
Important Disney World Telephone Numbers 12
When to Go to Walt Disney World 12
Selecting the Time of Year for Your Visit 12
Selecting the Day of the Week for Your Visit 13
Early Entry: Now you See It, Now You Don't, Now You See It ... 14
And Now ... Ta-Da! Our Recommendations 14
Part 2 Making the Most of Your Time and Money 17
Allocating Money 17
Walt Disney World Admission Options 17
Which Admission Should You Buy? 20
Where to Buy Your Admission in Advance 21
Allocating Time 21
Which Park to See First? 21
Operating Hours 22
The Cardinal Rules for Successful Touring 22
Touring Plans Explained 24
FASTPASS 26
Part 3 Selecting Your Hotel 30
The Basic Considerations 30
Benefits of Staying in the World 30
Staying in or out of the World: Weighing the Pros and Cons 31
How to Get Discounts on Lodging at Walt Disney World 32
Choosing a Walt Disney World Hotel 36
Camping at Walt Disney World 42
Hotels outside Walt Disney World 43
Selecting and Booking a Hotel outside Walt Disney World 43
Getting a Good Deal on a Room outside Walt Disney World 44
The Best Hotels for Families outside Walt Disney World 46
Hotels and Motels: Rated and Ranked 59
Room Ratings 59
How the Hotels Compare 61
The Top 30 Best Deals 70
Part 4 Walt Disney World with Kids 72
Recommendations for Making the Dream Come True 72
Disney, Kids, and Scary Stuff 77
Switching Off (a.k.a. The Baby Swap) 77
Meeting the Disney Characters 78
Small-Child Fright Potential Chart 80
Character Dining 84
Character Meal Hit Parade 86
Baby-Sitting 88
Part 5 Special Tips for Special People 90
Walt Disney World for Singles 90
Walt Disney World for Couples 90
Weddings and Honeymoons 90
Romantic Getaways 91
Quiet, Romantic Places to Eat 91
Walt Disney World for Seniors 92
Getting Around 92
Lodging 92
Senior Dining 93
Walt Disney World for Disabled Guests 93
Visitors with Special Needs 94
Part 6 Arriving and Getting Around 96
Getting There 96
Directions 96
Getting to Walt Disney World from the Airport 98
Renting a Car 99
Getting Oriented 99
A Good Map 99
How to Travel around the World 100
Transportation Trade-Offs for Guests: Lodging outside Walt Disney World 100
All You Need to Know about Driving to the Theme Parks 100
The Disney Transportation System 102
Part 7 Bare Necessities 105
Credit Cards and Money 105
Credit Cards 105
Financial Matters 105
Problems and Unusual Situations 106
Attractions Closed for Repairs 106
Car Trouble 106
Lost and Found 106
Medical Matters 106
Rain 107
Services 107
Messages 107
Pet Care 108
Lockers and Package Pick-up 108
Cameras and Film 108
Part 8 Dining in Walt Disney World 109
Disney Dining 101 109
Priority Seating 109
Dress 109
Smoking 109
Walt Disney World Restaurant Categories 110
Disney Dining Suggestions 112
The Magic Kingdom 113
Epcot 113
Disney-MGM Studios 113
Animal Kingdom 114
Walt Disney World Restaurants: Rated and Ranked 114
Walt Disney World Restaurants by Cuisine 115
Part 9 The Magic Kingdom 119
Arriving 119
Getting Oriented 119
Starting the Tour 122
FASTPASS at the Magic Kingdom 122
Main Street, U.S.A. 123
Adventureland 125
Frontierland 128
Liberty Square 133
Fantasyland 135
Mickey's Toontown Fair 141
Tomorrowland 145
Live Entertainment in the Magic Kingdom 152
Parades 155
Afternoon Parade 155
Evening Parade(s) 155
Parade Route and Vantage Points 156
Magic Kingdom Touring Plans 157
Choosing the Appropriate Touring Plan 157
The Single-Day Touring Conundrum 159
E-Ride Night 159
Preliminary Instructions for All Magic Kingdom Touring Plans 160
Park Opening Procedures 161
Before You Go 161
Magic Kingdom Touring Plans 162
Magic Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan for Adults 162
Author's Selective Magic Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan for Adults 164
Magic Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan for Parents with Young Children 166
Magic Kingdom Dumbo-or-Die-in-a-Day Touring Plan for Parents with Young Children 169
Magic Kingdom Two-Day Touring Plan 171
Part 10 Epcot 174
Overview 174
Operating Hours 174
Arriving 175
Getting Oriented 176
Future World 177
Guest Relations 178
World Showcase 191
Live Entertainment in Epcot 198
The Best Ways to See IllumiNations 200
Epcot Touring Plans 204
Preliminary Instructions for All Epcot Touring Plans 204
Epcot One-Day Touring Plan 205
Author's Selective Epcot One-Day Touring Plan 207
Epcot Two-Day Sunrise/Starlight Touring Plan 209
Epcot Two-Day Early Riser Touring Plan 211
Part 11 The Animal Kingdom 215
Arriving 218
Operating Hours 218
When to Go 219
Getting Oriented 220
The Oasis 220
Discovery Island 221
Camp Minnie-Mickey 223
Africa 225
Asia 230
DinoLand U.S.A. 233
Live Entertainment in the Animal Kingdom 237
Animal Kingdom Touring Plan 238
Animal Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan 238
Part 12 Disney-MGM Studios 241
Arriving 245
Getting Oriented 245
Attractions 246
Live Entertainment at Disney-MGM Studios 261
Disney-MGM Studios Touring Plan 263
Disney-MGM Studios One-Day Touring Plan 264
Part 13 The Water Theme Parks 266
Blizzard Beach 266
Typhoon Lagoon 267
When to Go 267
Part 14 Beyond the Parks 269
Downtown Disney 269
Downtown Disney Marketplace 269
Pleasure Island 270
Disney's West Side 270
DisneyQuest 271
Disney's Wide World of Sports 271
The Disney Wilderness Preserve 271
Walt Disney World Speedway 272
Walt Disney World Recreation 272
Walt Disney World Golf 273
Miniature Golf 274
Part 15 Nightlife in Walt Disney World 275
Walt Disney World at Night 275
In the Theme Parks 275
At the Hotels 275
At Fort Wilderness Campground 276
At Disney's BoardWalk 276
At Downtown Disney 276
Walt Disney World Dinner Theaters 278
Pleasure Island 280
Index 283
Reader Survey 299
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First Chapter

Mini Mickey

The Pocket-Sized Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World
By Bob Sehlinger

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7645-3725-3


Chapter One

Special Tips for Special People

Walt Disney World for Singles

Walt Disney World is great for singles. It is safe, clean, and low-pressure. If you're looking for a place to relax without being hit on, Disney World is perfect. Bars, lounges, and nightclubs are the most laid-back and friendly you're likely to find anywhere. In many, you can hang out and not even be asked to buy a drink (or asked to let someone buy a drink for you). Parking lots are well lighted and constantly patrolled. For women alone, safety and comfort are unsurpassed.

There's also no need to while away the evening hours alone in your hotel room. Between the BoardWalk and Downtown Disney, nightlife options abound. Virtually every type of entertainment performed fully clothed is available at an amazingly reasonable price at a Disney nightspot. If you drink more than you should and are a Disney resort guest, Disney buses will return you safely to your hotel.

Walt Disney World for Couples

Weddings and Honeymoons

Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons department offers a range of wedding venues, services, and honeymoon packages (adaptations of the regular Walt Disney Travel Company vacations). No special rooms or honeymoon suites are included unless you upgrade. In fact, the only honeymoon features are room service (in onepackage) and a photo session and keepsake album (in two others). Package rates range from $1,800-$4,200. Call the wedding coordinator at (407) 828-3400 or (877) 566-0969 or visit disneywedding.com for more information.

Romantic Getaways

You don't have to buy a honeymoon package to enjoy a romantic interlude, but not all Disney hotels are equally romantic. Some are too family oriented; others swarm with convention-goers. We recommend these Disney lodgings for romantics:

* Animal Kingdom Lodge

* Polynesian Resort

* Wilderness Lodge and Villas

* Grand Floridian Beach Resort

* BoardWalk Inn and Villas

* Yacht and Beach Club Resorts

All of these properties are expensive. There are also secluded rooms in Alligator Bayou section of Port Orleans Riverside.

Quiet, Romantic Places to Eat

Quiet, romantic restaurants with good food are rare in the theme parks. Only the Coral Reef, the terrace at the Rose and Crown, and the San Angel Inn at Epcot satisfy both requirements. Waterfront dining is available at Portobello Yacht Club and Fulton's Crab House at Pleasure Island, and Narcoossee's at the Grand Floridian.

The California Grill atop the Contemporary Resort has the best view at Walt Disney World. If window tables aren't available, ask to be served in the adjoining lounge. Victoria & Albert's at the Grand Floridian is the World's showcase gourmet restaurant; expect to pay big bucks. Other good choices for couples include Shula's Steakhouse at the Swan, Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Spoodles and The Flying Fish Café at the BoardWalk.

Eating later in the evening and choosing among the restaurants we've mentioned will improve your chances for quiet, intimate dining, but children-well-behaved or otherwise-are everywhere at Walt Disney World, and you won't escape them.

Walt Disney World for Seniors

Most seniors we interview enjoy Disney World much more when they tour with folks their own age. If, however, you're considering going to Disney World with your grandchildren, we recommend an orientation visit without them first. If you know first-hand what to expect, it's much easier to establish limits, maintain control, and set a comfortable pace when you visit with the youngsters.

If you're determined to take the grandkids, read carefully those sections of this book that discuss family touring. Because seniors are a varied and willing lot, there aren't any attractions we would suggest they avoid. For seniors, as with other Disney visitors, personal taste is more important than age. We hate to see mature visitors pass an exceptional attraction like Splash Mountain because younger visitors call it a "thrill ride." A full-blown adventue, Splash Mountain gets its appeal more from music and visual effects than from the thrill of the ride. Because you must choose among attractions that might interest you, we provide facts to help you make informed decisions.

Getting Around

Many seniors like to walk, but a seven-hour visit to one of the theme parks normally includes four to eight miles on foot. If you aren't up for that much hiking, let a more athletic member of your party push you in a rented wheelchair. The theme parks also offer fun-to-drive electric carts (convenience vehicles). Your wheelchair-rental deposit slip is good for a replacement wheelchair in any park during the same day. You can rent a chair at the Magic Kingdom in the morning, return it, go to Epcot, present your deposit slip, and get another chair at no additional charge.

Lodging

If you can afford it, stay in Walt Disney World. If you're concerned about the quality of your accommodations or the availability of transportation, staying inside the Disney complex will ease your mind. The rooms are some of the nicest in the Orlando area and are always clean and well maintained. Plus, transportation is always available to any destination in Disney World at no additional cost.

Disney hotels reserve rooms closer to restaurants and transportation for guests of any age who can't tolerate much walking. They also provide golf carts to pick up from and deliver guests to their rooms. Cart service can vary dramatically depending on the time of day and the number of guests requesting service. At check-in time (around 3 p.m.), for example, the wait for a ride can be as long as 40 minutes.

The Contemporary Resort is a good choice for seniors who want to be on the monorail system. So are the Grand Floridian and Polynesian Resorts, though both sprawl over many acres, necessitating a lot of walking. For a restful, rustic feeling, choose the Wilderness Lodge and Villas. If you want a kitchen and all the comforts of home, book Old Key West Resort, the Beach Club Villas, or BoardWalk Villas. If you enjoy watching birds and animals, try Animal Kingdom Lodge.

RVers will find pleasant surroundings at Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground. There are also several KOA campgrounds within 20 minutes of Disney World. None offer the wilderness setting or amenities that Disney does, but they cost less.

Senior Dining

Eat breakfast at your hotel restaurant or save money by having juice and rolls in your room. Although you aren't allowed to bring food into the parks, fruit, fruit juice, and soft drinks are sold throughout Disney World. Make your lunch priority seating for before noon to avoid the lunch crowds. Follow with an early dinner and be out of the restaurants, rested and ready for evening touring and fireworks, long before the main crowd begins to think about dinner. We recommend seniors fit dining and rest times into the day. Plan lunch as your break in the day. Sit back, relax, and enjoy. Then return to your hotel for a nap.

Walt Disney World for Disabled Guests

Valuable information for trip planning is available at the website disneyworld.com. At Walt Disney World, each of the major theme parks offers a free booklet describing disabled services and facilities at that park. The Disney people are somewhat resistant to mailing you the theme-park booklets in advance, but if you are polite and persistent they can usually be persuaded. The same information can be found on the website. Type "Guest Disabilities FAQ" in the search tool and browse through the results.

For specific requests, including specialized accommodations at the resort hotels or on the Disney Transportation System, call (407) 939-7807 [voice] or (407) 939-7670 [TTY]. When the recorded menu comes up, touch "1" on your Touch-Tone phone. Calls to this number should be strictly limited to questions and requests regarding disabled services and accommodations. Other questions should be addressed to (407) 824-4321.

Visitors with Special Needs

Wholly or Partially Nonambulatory Guests may easily rent wheelchairs. Most rides, shows, attractions, rest rooms, and restaurants in the World accommodate the nonambulatory disabled. If you're in a theme park and need assistance, go to Guest Relations. A limited number of electric carts (motorized convenience vehicles) are available for rent. Easy and fun to drive, they give nonambulatory guests a tremendous degree of freedom and mobility.

Close-in parking is available for disabled visitors at all Disney lots. Request directions when you pay your parking fee. All monorails and most rides, shows, rest rooms, and restaurants accommodate wheelchairs.

An information booklet for disabled guests is available at wheelchair rental locations in each park. Theme-park maps issued to each guest on admission are symbol-coded to show nonambulatory guests which attractions accommodate wheelchairs.

Even if an attraction doesn't accommodate wheelchairs, nonambulatory guests still may ride if they can transfer from their wheelchair to the ride's vehicle. Disney staff, however, aren't trained or permitted to assist in transfers. Guests must be able to board the ride unassisted or have a member of their party assist them. Either way, members of the nonambulatory guest's party will be permitted to go along on the ride.

Because waiting areas of most attractions won't accommodate wheelchairs, nonambulatory guests and their party should request boarding instructions from a Disney attendant as soon as they arrive at an attraction. Almost always, the entire group will be allowed to board without a lengthy wait.

Visitors with Dietary Restrictions can be assisted at Guest Relations in the theme parks. For Walt Disney World restaurants outside the theme parks, call the restaurant a day in advance for assistance.

Sight- and/or Hearing-Impaired Guests Guest Relations at the theme parks provides complimentary tape cassettes and portable tape players to assist sight-impaired guests ($25 refundable deposit required). At the same locations, TDDs are available for hearing-impaired guests. In addition to TDDs, many pay phones in the major parks are equipped with amplifying headsets. See your Disney map for locations.

In addition, braille guide maps are available from Guest Relations at all theme parks. Closed captioning is provided on some rides, while many theater attractions provide reflective captioning. Walt Disney World will provide an interpreter for the live theater shows. To reserve an interpreter, call (407) 824-4321 (voice) or (407) 939-8255 (TTY).

Non-Apparent Disabilities We receive many letters form readers whose traveling companion or child requires special assistance, but who, unlike a individual on crutches or in a wheelchair, is not visibly disabled. Some conditions, autism for example, make it very difficult or even impossible to wait in lines for more than a few minutes, or in queues surrounded by a large number of people.

One of the first things to do is obtain a letter from the disabled party's primary physician that explains the specific condition and any special needs the condition implies. The doctor's letter should be explicit enough to fully convey the nature of the condition to the Disney cast member reading the letter. Bring your doctor's note to the Guest Relations window at any Disney theme park and ask for a Guest Assistance Card. The Guest Assistance Card is a special pass designed to allow the disabled individual and his touring companions to wait in a separate, uncrowded holding area, apart from the regular queues at most attractions. One card is good for all four parks, so you do not need to obtain separate cards at each park. You should also pick up a copy of each park's Guidebook for Guests with Disabilities (also available online at disneyworld.com).

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Mini Mickey by Bob Sehlinger Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Extremely (++) useful for the first visit to Disney

    This is an extensively researched "how-to" guide for visiting the Disney, with a helpful advice on every single aspect of the expedition. We used it this year for our first visit and did not have any single glitch or problem ( believe it or not, we did not have to wait in a single line during that week). Extremely useful.
    I grade the books as Buy and Keep (BK), Read Library book and Return ( RLR) and Once I Put it Down I Couldn't Pick it Up ( OIPD-ICPU). This one is RLR ( read it as you plan your visit, and then take it again with you to Orlando).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2013

    Great book & ride

    I can't wait to read it, i love the ride expedition everest on the cover, great ride. Can't wait to read this book

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    Nice compact guide

    This is a very handy, very useful guide. There are definitely enough tips here to make it worth the purchase price. It is the mini guide so one can't expect all the info & maps a bigger guide would have but it is MUCH lighter in the backpack!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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