The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids 2012

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  • Comments and tips on Walt Disney World from surveys of more than 10,000 families
  • Advice on how to prepare mentally, physically, and logistically for your ideal Walt Disney World vacation
  • Information on which attractions frighten kids and why
  • When to go, where to stay, and how to beat the crowds
  • Field ...
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  • Comments and tips on Walt Disney World from surveys of more than 10,000 families
  • Advice on how to prepare mentally, physically, and logistically for your ideal Walt Disney World vacation
  • Information on which attractions frighten kids and why
  • When to go, where to stay, and how to beat the crowds
  • Field tested touring plans that can save you up to four hours of waiting in line.
  • How to keep your family happy on vacation and how to return home rested and relaxed
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118012314
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Series: Unofficial Guides Series, #281
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

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

Acknowledgments x

Introduction 1

How Come "Unofficial"? 1

Declaration of Independence 1

Your Unofficial Walt Disney World Toolbox 1

The Music of Life 2

Your Personal Trainers 3

About This Guide 5

The Sum of All Fears 6

Letters and Comments from Readers 7

Reader Surveys 7

A Quick Tour of a Big World 12

The Major Theme Parks 12

The Water Theme Parks 14

Other Walt Disney World Venues 14

DisneySpeak Pocket Translator 18

PART ONE Basic Considerations 19

Is Walt Disney World for You? 19

Different Folks, Different Strokes 19

The Nature of the Beast 20

Know Thyself and Nothing to Excess 20

The Age Thing 21

About Inviting Your Children’s Friends 26

A Few Words for Single Parents 28

“He Who Hesitates Is Launched!” Tips and Warnings for Grandparents 29

Order and Discipline on the Road 31

Six More Tips 34

PART TWO Getting Your Act Together 37

Gathering Information 37

PassPorter’s Guide 39

Walt Disney World on the Web 39

Going High-tech with Liliane 41

Important Walt Disney World Phone Numbers 43

Allocating Time 43

When to Go to Walt Disney World 44

Holidays and Special Events at Walt Disney World 48

High-low, High-low, It’s Off to Disney We Go 56

Planning Your Walt Disney World Vacation Budget 57

Walt Disney World Admission Options 57

Help Is on the Way! 59

Magic Your Way 60

Base-Ticket Add-On Options 60

A Cloud Is Just a Cloud 62

Big Brother Is Watching 63

How to Get the Most from Magic Your Way 64

Gotcha! 64

Where to Purchase Magic Your Way Tickets 64

How Much Does It Cost Per Day? 65

Babysitting 66

Special Programs for Children 68

Birthdays and Special Occasions 70

PART THREE Where to Stay 72

Some Basic Considerations 73

Cost 73

Location and Transportation Options 75

Commuting to and from the Theme Parks 76

Dining 78

The Size of Your Group 79

Staying in or out of the World: Weighing the Pros and Cons 79

Walt Disney World Lodging 81

Benefits of Staying in Walt Disney World 81

Walt Disney World Hotels: Strengths and Weaknesses for Families 87

Magic Kingdom Resorts 88

Epcot Resorts 93

Bonnet Creek/Downtown Disney Area Resorts 95

Animal Kingdom Resorts 100


Independent Hotels of the Downtown Disney Resort Area 106

How to Get Discounts on Lodging at Walt Disney World 107

Lodging Outside Walt Disney World 110

Good Neighbor Hotels 110

Selecting and Booking a Hotel Outside Walt Disney World 111

The Best Hotels for Families Outside Walt Disney World 113

Getting a Good Deal on a Room Outside Walt Disney World 122

Condominiums and Vacation Homes 124

How to Childproof a Hotel Room 127

PART FOUR Dining 129

Eating Outside Walt Disney World 129

Buffets and Meal Deals Outside Walt Disney World 130


Dining in Walt Disney World 134

Disney Dining 101 135

Advance Reservations: What’s in a Name? 136

Getting an Advance Reservation at Popular Restaurants 136

Getting Your Act Together 141

Dress 143

Smoking 143

Food Allergies and Special Requests 143

A Few Caveats 144

Walt Disney World Restaurant Categories 144


Hard Choices 146


Fast Food in the Theme Parks 149

Disney Dining Suggestions 153

Readers’ Comments About Walt Disney World Dining 155

Counter-service Restaurant Mini-profiles 156

Disney’s Full-service Restaurants: A Quick Romp Around the World 165

Magic Your Way Dining Plan 168

Number Crunching 176

Throw Me a Line! 177

Purchasing Room-only Plus Passes Versus a Package 177

Character Dining 178

Walt Disney World Restaurants: Rated and Ranked 178


PART FIVE Disney Boot Camp: Basic Training for World-bound Families 182

The Brutal Truth about Family Vacations 182

Mental and Emotional Preparation 183

Division of Labor 183

Togetherness 183

Lighten Up 184

Something for Everyone 184

Whose Idea Was This, Anyway? 184

Disney, Kids, and Scary Stuff 185


A Magical Time for Mom and Dad 194

Preparing Your Children to Meet the Characters 194

Role-Playing 196

Physical Preparation 196

The Agony of the Feet 197

Sleep, Rest, and Relaxation 199

Developing a Good Plan 201

The Great Walt Disney World Expedition 202

Logistic Preparation 203

Clothing 203

Accessories 206

Miscellaneous Items 209

Supplies for Infants and Toddlers 215

Tips for Pregnant Mothers 215

Remembering Your Trip 218

How to Have Fun Before and After Your Visit—or the Things Bob Would Never Do 218

Trial Run 219

PART SIX Get in the Boat, Men! 221

Ready, Set, Tour! Some Touring Considerations 221

How Much Time Is Required to See Each Park? 221

Which Park to See First? 221

Operating Hours 222

Official Opening Versus Real Opening 222

The Rules 223

Your Daily Itinerary 226

Touring Plans 227

How to Find the Touring Plan That’s Best for You 229

Fastpass 234

A Word about Disney Thrill Rides 238

A Word about Height Requirements 239

Waiting-line Strategies for Adults with Young Children 241


Character Analysis 247

Character Watching 247

Character Dining: What to Expect 249


Other Character Events 256

Strollers 257

When Kids Get Lost 259

Liliane’s Tips for Keeping Track of Your Brood 262

PART SEVEN The Magic Kingdom 264

Main Street, U.S.A. 265

Adventureland 268

Frontierland 271

Liberty Square 274

Fantasyland 275

Tomorrowland 283

Live Entertainment and Parades in the Magic Kingdom 288

Magic Kingdom Touring Plans 292

Magic Kingdom Trivia Quiz 295

PART EIGHT Epcot 297

Kidcot Fun Stops 300

Future World 300

World Showcase 309

Live Entertainment at Epcot 317

Epcot Touring Plans 320

Epcot Trivia Quiz 322

PART NINE Animal Kingdom 323

The Oasis 326

Discovery Island 326

Camp Minnie-Mickey 327

Africa 328

Asia 331

DinoLand U.S.A. 333

Live Entertainment at Animal Kingdom 336

Animal Kingdom Touring Plans 338

Disney's Animal Kingdom Trivia Quiz 339

PART TEN Disney’s Hollywood Studios 340

Live Entertainment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios 355

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Touring Plans 358

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Trivia Quiz 360

PART ELEVEN Universal Orlando and SeaWorld 361

Universal Orlando 361

Universal Studios Florida 365

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Versus Universal Studios Florida 366

Universal Studios Florida Attractions 373

Live Entertainment at Universal Studios 383

Universal Studios Florida Touring Plan 384

Universal’s Islands of Adventure 384

Islands of Adventure Attractions 388

Islands of Adventure Touring Plan 402

SeaWorld 404

PART TWELVE The Rest of the World 408

The Water Theme Parks 408

Wet 'N Wild 413

Aquatica by SeaWorld 416

Downtown Disney 417

The Best of the Rest 424

Index 427

Clip-out Touring Plans 445

Unofficial Guide Reader Survey 469

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 4, 2012

    We have already got our monies worth from the tips on making din

    We have already got our monies worth from the tips on making diner reservations and recommendations by age groups. We are taking our 5 grandkids from 2 – 7 years old and this book really helped us in planning where to stay and getting around. There are maps for suggested routes by age that I found very useful for planning. The author’s web site has smart phone apps that supplement the text for wait times and menus. I’ll report back after our visit.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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