The Complete Walt Disney World 2012

The Complete Walt Disney World 2012

4.8 26
by Julie Neal, Mike Neal

Your Best Vacation Ever

Even the most hardcore power mom will like this best-selling travel guide. It's written by a former Walt Disney World concierge supervisor who's also the mom of a teenage girl. Packed with candid reviews and thorough descriptions of every ride, show, restaurant and resort, The Complete Walt Disney World 2012 features the most


Your Best Vacation Ever

Even the most hardcore power mom will like this best-selling travel guide. It's written by a former Walt Disney World concierge supervisor who's also the mom of a teenage girl. Packed with candid reviews and thorough descriptions of every ride, show, restaurant and resort, The Complete Walt Disney World 2012 features the most in-depth information ever published about the world's No. 1 vacation destination. Paging through the book is just plain fun, as 535 color photos reveal details you just can't find anywhere else. More frank than Disney's own guides but less snarky than other independent books, the guide is loaded with straightforward insight and helpful information. Though Disney itself has honored the book (naming it an Outstanding Family Product in its iParenting Awards), the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the guide is "refreshing in its honest opinions."

Walt Disney World Your Way

Create Park Days Your Family Will Treasure. Comprehensive attraction pages make deciding what to do at Disney easier than ever. Going beyond mere ranks and ratings, reviews also give you insight into a ride or show's appeal, such as its architecture, history, music, storytelling or attention to detail. Helpful specs include hourly wait times, fear factors, disability access, health warnings and weather issues. Once you're at an attraction, useful tips and lists of "secret" Fun Finds help you and your family enjoy the experience to the fullest.

Plan Meals With Confidence. Thoughtful restaurant reviews cover everything from burger joints to gourmet bistros to unique character meals. Quick-read summaries let you scan restaurants by rating, cuisine, price or hours of operation. A Policies section uncovers hard-to-find facts on children's meals, special diets and Disney's new rules about canceling reservations.

Helpful Tips Make You a Disney Expert. Spread through the book, hundreds of specific tips reveal such things as how to save time with Disney's Fastpass system, how to save money with the Disney Dining Plan, even the best spots to watch parades, shows and fireworks.

Detailed Hotel Reviews Save You Time. Seriously thorough hotel descriptions let you compare every aspect of every major place to stay, including swimming pool features and other family-focused amenities. Reviews cover the Highs and Lows of every property, room decor and both rack and discount rates. Forget the hassle of spending hours online to research hotels; everything you need is right at your fingertips.

Cheer For Your Child. Is your boy or girl playing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex? Learn how to view coverage of their events and get the scoop on spectator seating, dining and other amenities.

Disney News You Can Use. Only The Complete Walt Disney World includes all 662 Disney changes for 2012—every new attraction, activity, hotel, restaurant, shop and price increase. (Turkey legs are now more than $9. Ouch!) Readers get insider advice on new rides starring The Little Mermaid and Snow White's Seven Dwarfs, as well as revamped attractions based on Dumbo, Goofy and the Star Wars universe.

Photos Take You There. Over 500 colorful images give you a clear sense of every ride, show and parade and exhibit, and reveal the quality of hotel grounds, lobbies, rooms and swimming pools. Parents will enjoy looking at The Complete Walt Disney World 2012 with their children, as the abundance of photos makes it easy for little ones to decide "Let's do that!"

Instantly Find What You Need. Color-coded chapters and a 1,000-item index let you find any topic quickly. To make planning easy, a back-of-the-book section titled Walt Disney World A-Z provides a wealth of data on airports, rental cars, park tickets and the like. An appendix holds a Character Guide, a new What Things Cost section that makes it easy to plan expenses, and telephone and Internet directories.

Chapter List:
Best Bets
What's New
Magic Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Water Parks
Downtown Disney
ESPN Wide World of Sports
Restaurants and Food
Planning Your Trip
Walt Disney World A-Z
Character Guide
What Things Cost
Telephone Directory
Internet Directory

Editorial Reviews

Darcy Jacobs
Seriously thorough.
Family Circle Magazine
Paul Schultz
Highly recommended.
New York Daily News
Amy Bertrand
Refreshing in its honest opinions. Far and away the best guide to Disney World.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
J.D. Brown
Should leave fans of Mickey smiling from ear to ear.
Chicago Tribune
Richard P. Carpenter
A thorough overview, with inside tips.
Boston Globe
Jim Abbott
A fantastic planning tool; marked by stunning photography and depth of information.
Orlando Sentinel
Midwest Book Review
In-depth insider knowledge... The magic of Disney radiates from the pages... All the information needed to ensure your vacation is the experience of a lifetime... Definitely the book to purchase to help plan out your trip.
Writer's Digest Book Awards Judge
The ultimate Walt Disney World guidebook. Everything you could possibly need to know to plan and pull off the best Disney trip ever. Colorful, easy-to-navigate, beautifully designed guide. Leaves no stone unturned.
June Naylor
Our favorite Disney guidebook.
Ft. Worth Star Telegram
Chuck Campbell
Endless tips and trivia.
Knoxville News-Sentinel
Ed Gefen
Very detailed descriptions of each ride, show and attraction. Among the gems are Fun Facts, suggested itineraries and little things to look for.
Jacksonville Times Union
Florida Review and Travel Guide (United Kingdom)
Well-written and illustrated, with sumptuous colour photographs.

Product Details

Coconut Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

Five stars, author recommended. Africa, Asia, Discovery Island. 15 min. Circles Discovery Island. Starts, exits, in Africa. Arrive 15 min early for good spot, 30 min for best spots. Cancelled during rain. Fear factor: None. Access: Special viewing locations for those in wheelchairs, ECVs. Assistive listening. Debuted: 2001.

A chameleon may snatch a fly off your head in this lively parade, which combines animal characters, safari SUVs, huge mechanical puppets, stilt-walkers, dancers and infectious music to celebrate the harmony between man and animals. Winding along shady pathways that are often just 12 feet wide, it begins and ends in Africa's Harambe Village and circles Discovery Island. Everyone seems to love it.

As the story goes, Mickey Mouse and Rafiki—the wise mandrill from 1994's "The Lion King"—are taking Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy camping, though none of the three know how to pack. Donald totes a leaky boat, Minnie brings a bathtub. Goofy's packing list apparently included everything—even, literally, his kitchen sink. Dancing alongside are stilt-walking animals, safari guides and characters such as Pluto, Chip 'n Dale, Timon ("The Lion King"), Terk (1999's "Tarzan"), Baloo and King Louie (1967's "The Jungle Book") and Brer Bear and Brer Rabbit (1946's "Song of the South").

A toe-tapping soundtrack features Disney versions of the 1954 New Orleans standard "Iko Iko," South African legend Miriam Makeba's 1960s tune "Pata Pata" and "Mas Que Nada," the 1966 signature song of Brazil's Sergio Mendes.

Selected at random by Disney cast members, up to 25 park guests ride along in the parade in rickshaws and trailers.

Best viewing spot. A good place to watch the parade is in Africa's Harambe Village. The route here is especially narrow, which brings the action up close. A variety of snack stands (and a bar!) make it easy to indulge in treats while you wait for the parade to begin.

Crowds. The best viewing spots get taken about 30 minutes early. Crowds are light for the return trip through Africa.

A closer look. Created by Michael Curry, the huge puppets use leaves for feathers, vines for tails and sharpened twigs for teeth. Curry also created the puppets for Finding Nemo—The Musical as well as those used in the Broadway version of "The Lion King."

Family matters. Stand right up front and your children will almost be guaranteed to slap hands with characters.

Meet the Author

A former Walt Disney World concierge supervisor, Julie Neal grew up in St. Louis, Mo., and studied biology and art at the University of Missouri in Columbia and Florida State University in Tallahassee. Since 2004 she's spent over 1,500 days at Walt Disney World, not counting her time working there. Today Julie (along with her photographer husband Mike and teenage daughter Micaela) lives right next door to Disney, in the Disney-designed town of Celebration, Fla. Her office window overlooks the Walt Disney World entrance. Her favorite ride: Expedition Everest.

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The Complete Walt Disney World 2012 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
HarleyFan More than 1 year ago
If you’re going to be heading to one of the Walt Disney World theme parks in the future, it’s necessary to plan ahead. There are so many terrific things to see and do at each of the parks that you want to be sure you can do all your favorites -- and skip the losers. Therefore, I highly recommend that you get The Complete Walt Disney World 2012: The Definitive Disney Handbook. This book gives both the good and bad about each theme park. At the beginning of the Epcot chapter, for example, it says that some of the best reasons to go to this park are to ride Soarin', visit the dolphins at the Seas pavilion, the international cast, eating and drinking around World Showcase and the unusual shopping. For the worst aspects of the park, the book lists the impersonal nature of Future World, the lack of a parade, the non-kid-friendly focus, limited breakfast choices, the corporate nature of the park and many of its sponsored attractions, and, lastly, all the walking required. I agree with all of these thoughtful insights. Do yourself a favor and get this book!
LuvMyLabrador More than 1 year ago
I ordered this Disney guidebook before Christmas, and I'm so glad I did! I'm planning for a trip to Disney World in the spring, and had a friend recommend this book. She said author Julie Neal included literally hundreds of beautiful color photos (which is true), plus very detailed descriptions of every single ride at all the Disney parks. I've been paging through this book with my family since I got it, and we keep honing our must-do list based what the book tells us. For example, I probably wouldn't have considered Mickey's Philharmagic in Magic Kingdom until I read Julie's thoughtful and incredibly detailed review. She describes what happens in each scene, points out how cool the scene transitions are (for example, that sunlight from the Little Mermaid scene turns into the African sun from the next sequence about The Lion King), and even lists the show's six Hidden Mickeys. In Philharmagic's "Fun Finds" she lists a dozen secret little "Easter Eggs" to look for while at the attraction -- I can't wait to hear Goofy say Goodbye in five languages! I haven't even gotten to the book's other pleasures, for example all the photos of animals in Animal Kingdom, or how we picked to stay on Disney property at the Yacht Club based on the book's recommendations, photos and details. It's just a terrific guidebook, and anyone planning a trip to Disney World should have it!
Douglas73 More than 1 year ago
This Disney World guidebook is not only the most thorough, detailed and interesting Disney travel guide out there -- and I've read dozens -- it also has the most luscious visuals. There are (it says it on the cover) 535 color photos spread throughout its almost 400 pages, and they cover the gamut from landscapes to character portraits to architectural details. The topics the photos cover vary from every single Disney ride and show to fireworks, parades, Hidden Mickeys, animals (I could write a review just on the beautiful animal photos!), entertainers and hotel room interiors. I could go on and on. Do yourself a favor and add this Complete book to your Disney collection.
KenFisherman More than 1 year ago
If you are going to Disney World this year, The Complete Walt Disney World 2012 will be a great resource. It has ratings and reviews of all the rides and shows -- there are more than 700 attractions, believe it or not -- plus all the restaurants and hotels. Tips are spread throughout the pages. The hour-by-hour wait times for each attraction come in really handy when you are planning your day. At the end of the book are directories for telephone numbers and web addresses; incredibly helpful. It's all wrapped up in an attractive package, with literally hundreds of photos.
GoCardinals More than 1 year ago
My neighbors own this Disney guidebook, and convinced me to get it for my own family. It is quite different from other travel guides for Disney World, specifically in two ways: the photography and the information on the attractions at the Disney theme parks. First the photos. The book is absolutely filled with sumptuous color photographs. The usual subjects are covered (the castle, Epcot's giant golf ball, etc), but also images you don't see so often. These include dozens of shots of the animals at Animal Kingdom (love the funny meerkat pic!), shots of ESPN Wide World of Sports I've never seen, multiple photos of my favorite show (Festival of the Lion King), many character portraits (including unusual ones like Thumper and Frozone), and I could go on and on. Even if you never plan to read this book, it would be worth it for the photos. Second, the info on Disney's attractions. I've never seen a Disney guidebook go into such helpful detail. Each ride, show, parade or fireworks display has at least one page devoted to it; many have multiple pages. My favorite ride, Toy Story Mania in the Hollywood Studios park, has three full pages, including an entire page on incredibly detailed tips to get a high score while on the ride. I also like the Average Wait Times listed for every single attraction, so you can plan your day with a little certainty. This is an awesome travel guide, and a must for anyone going to Disney World that wants to maximize their vacation.
SanFranFan More than 1 year ago
This is the second year in a row that I've gotten this beautiful Disney guidebook. It's such a high-quality travel guide; not only the content but also the vibrant colors, paper quality and glossy cover; it just feels good in your hands. Inside is thorough, comprehensive information about all four Disney parks plus the water parks, Downtown Disney, resorts, dining, even all the activities like parasailing and miniature golf (and non-miniature golf). Again I was impressed with the level of detail and depth in this book. My family will use it again to plan our Disney vacation. Good job!
NotAFarmer More than 1 year ago
I bought this Disney book for me, but my kids have stolen it :) They love to look through it and pick out the rides they want to go on during our upcoming vacation to Disney World. It's very helpful that this book has a photo or photos on every single ride at Disney, so the kids know what it is without having to read anything. As for me, I'm looking forward to the fireworks and Tower of Terror!
HobieFan More than 1 year ago
Kudos to the authors of this Disney guidebook! I like that they not only had amazing chapters on the four Disney World theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom), but that they had equally detailed and in-depth chapters on all the rest of the Walt Disney World Resort. Here is the chapter list for this book: Best Bets What's New Magic Kingdom Epcot Disney's Hollywood Studios Disney's Animal Kingdom Water Parks Downtown Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports Activities Restaurants and Food Accommodations Planning Your Trip Walt Disney World A-Z Character Guide What Things Cost Telephone Directory Internet Directory As you can see, there is much much more than just the theme parks. I especially liked the thorough coverage of Disney's water parks. I've always been a big fan of Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon (and I still miss River Country!), and this book goes into detail and shows photographs I haven't seen anywhere. Every water park ride (slide) and attraction has a rating, description, fear factor, length, speed, height minimum (if any), and has some particular advice for families. There are even average wait times for the slides for every hour of the day. I've never seen this anywhere else. A really good choice for anyone going to Disney World.
HarryMac More than 1 year ago
This book ought to be sold at Disney World! It has amazing depth in its coverage of the four Disney parks' rides, shows, parades, fireworks and other entertainment. The book rates and reviews all of them -- that's hundreds of attractions. It also rates and reviews all the Disney restaurants, shops and hotels. Tips and advice are spread throughout. One feature that is very helpful is that each ride or show is set off by itself on its own page or pages. This modular format makes it easy to find what you want (plus each chapter is color-coded). Other Disney guides I've looked at are not so organized, so it can be head-achey to look at them. I can't say enough about how helpful this book is! If you are planning a trip to Disney, do yourself a favor and pick it up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a travel guide junkie, and I was very pleased with this one from Coconut Press. Such a beautiful book, filled with stunning photos and blocks of colors. The advice is to-the-point and sometimes surprising. I learned a lot, and I'm ready for my trip now! Can't wait!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice and compact - small enough to pack in a backpack. I loved the pictures and the great advice. It has me so excited for my first trip!
HulaHands More than 1 year ago
Even after reading the reviews here, I was surprised how pretty this Disney World book is. There are literally hundreds of photographs -- all in color -- and lots of other color as well. I was also impressed with how white and high-quality the paper is. The cover feels really good in my hands, as it's laminated and glossy. This is really a high-quality book. From a quick skim of the contents, the information is just as high-quality :)
TrailRideGirl More than 1 year ago
Got this Disney guidebook in record time... a day early! Just thumbed through it so far, but very impressed with how colorful it is. Not just the photographs, but also graphics, maps and color-coded chapters you can see from the edge of the book. Nice purchase; can't wait to try it out on my next trip to Mickeyland!
PunchbugFan More than 1 year ago
I'm a true "Disney Geek" (at least that's what everyone tells me), and this guidebook is my absolute favorite. I buy the new edition every year, and am continually impressed with how the authors make each one better. I love grabbing this book off my bookcase if I have a few minutes to kill -- I open it up anywhere and start reading. I can almost guarantee I'll find something interesting that I didn't know before. And I've been to Disney dozens of times! Do yourself a favor if you're planning a Disney World vacation: Get this one! You're welcome.
BirdwatcherMW More than 1 year ago
Having bought this guidebook to help plan a trip for my extended family to Disney World, I must say how helpful and really thorough it is. I learned all about not only the basics -- where to stay, how to buy tickets, restaurant info -- but also information particular to my family's situation -- handicapped access information, "Fear Factors" for small children, the kosher food scenario at Disney. Very complete; the title says it all.
JeanGenie More than 1 year ago
Very much enjoyed this Disney guide. Pretty pictures, maps, tons of info. I've never seen the Wishes fireworks photographed like on the cover. Anybody going to Disney should get this.
TallahasseeLassee More than 1 year ago
If you look past the beautiful photos, there is something else to recommend this Disney World guidebook: the advice will save you both time and money. The great tips in these pages will teach you how you can save lots of time waiting in lines, and how to avoid wasting time doing things that are not fun. I also learned ways to save money on my lodging, on my dining, on activities and on park tickets. This Complete Guide is pretty to look at, but also really useful.
BenJam More than 1 year ago
I bought this Disney World guidebook last year (the 2011 edition), and was so impressed I decided to get the new one this year. What a terrific guidebook! Julie Neal should be commended on delivering such a quality product, and so helpful too! My family now can't wait for our next trip to Disney, after looking through the great photos in this Complete Guide. I'm glad the book has all the updates to my favorite ride, The Haunted Mansion. I can't wait to go through the new waiting line and look for all the fun hidden things this book details. Another ride I can't wait for is the updated Star Tours at Hollywood Studios. This book reviews all the new features in this "Star Wars" ride. Again, kudos! I'm sure I'll pick up the 2013 edition when it comes out.
superpack More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I usually get the updated version everyyear... very infomative..
HotRodLincoln More than 1 year ago
I bought the 2011 edition of this photo-filled Disney World guidebook, and I'm glad I also got this new one. It is still just jam-packed with beautiful, surprising photographs. Our children, like last year, picked out the rides they wanted to go on by looking through this book. My wife and I feel fully prepared to go on our Disney vacation now. The only thing I'd change is if the book would also include some info about the other Orlando attractions. Our kids want to see the Harry Potter land at Universal, and this guide doesn't cover it. Other than that, I'm perfectly happy with the Complete Guide, and I'm sure I'll buy another one next year :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Disney World guide book is certainly beautiful -- there are color photos on nearly every page, and lots of colorful touches everywhere. I really like the different colored bars that separate the different chapters, because it makes it easy to find what you're looking for. However, I don't agree with some of the ratings in the book (every attraction, restaurant and hotel have star ratings). For example, this book gives my favorite show, Lights Motors Action in Hollywood Studios, only a 2-star rating out of 5. It's so much better than that! It also gives the Caribbean Beach Resort only 3 stars out of 5, which is also too low. On the other hand, it does have lots of information about the Art of Animation Resort, which is brand new. All in all, I recommend this book, although it gets some things wrong.
EddieOw More than 1 year ago
What a helpful guide book! Very impressed with its organization, quality of photos, depth of information. Great planning sections, including for people with disabilities. Highly recommended!
Idratherbefishing More than 1 year ago
Pleased and pleasantly surprised at the detail in this Disneyworld guidebook. I figured it would be pretty to look at, based on the colorful cover, but the number and quality of photos inside still was a bit of a shock. The information is better than I've read anywhere else. Can't wait to go to Magic Kingdom, Epcot and the rest and try this out for myself!
Geno17 More than 1 year ago
What a useful book! I'm quite pleased with its depth of information, especially about the Walt Disney resorts. My family is visiting Orlando this spring, and we're trying to plan our vacation ahead of time (particularly where to stay). This guidebook has beaucoup info on each Disney hotel, including room photos, restaurant reviews, pool descriptions, even how far the hotel is from the four different theme parks. Outstanding photos, by the way, throughout the book.
BigBravesFan More than 1 year ago
If only all travel guides were like this one! I'm usually a DK or Lonely Planet guidebook buyer, but this one on Disney World has their visual appeal plus startling detail. Each page, it seems, has at least one photo, and the photos are not the typical brochure-style shots. I loved the detail shots of my favorite guilty pleasure, Jungle Cruise; I've never seen "Ginger" the crocodile (careful, she snaps!) so clearly. Written descriptions are also terrific. Every little fun reference Disney puts in their rides is listed out for you to discover. Every Hidden Mickey (another guilty pleasure of mine!) is also listed. All in all, a must for those planning a Disney trip, or anyone wanting to remember their great time on vacation.