The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2010

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  • In 2008, combined Walt Disney World Resort© theme park attendance reached over 51 million, with the Magic Kingdom alone drawing over 17 million visitors. (Orlando Convention and Visitor Bureau)
  • Despite signifcant downturns in the economy Disney theme parks have maintained attendance rates and made gains in attendance at some parks.
  • Walt Disney World Resort theme parks are rated best in the world. earning high marks for things outside of the ...
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  • In 2008, combined Walt Disney World Resort© theme park attendance reached over 51 million, with the Magic Kingdom alone drawing over 17 million visitors. (Orlando Convention and Visitor Bureau)
  • Despite signifcant downturns in the economy Disney theme parks have maintained attendance rates and made gains in attendance at some parks.
  • Walt Disney World Resort theme parks are rated best in the world. earning high marks for things outside of the traditional theme park experience. Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival, which takes place for six weeks every fall and showcases food from twenty-five countries, was rated by Forbes Traveler as one of the Best U.S. Food and Wine Festivals.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470460269
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/31/2009
  • Series: Unofficial Guides Series , #227
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 880
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.80 (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

List of Maps.


Why "Unofficial"?

Declaration of Independence.

Dance to the Music.

The Importance of Being Goofy

Honey, I Blew Up the Book!

For Those Who Desire Additional Information.

The Death of Spontaneity.

A Word to Our Readers about Annual Revisions.

Corrections, Updates, and Breaking News.

We've Got Attitude.

The Sum of All Fears.

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen?

The Unofficial Team.

The How and the Why of It.

The Unofficial Guide Publishing Year.

Letters and Comments from Readers.

Walt Disney World: An Overview.

What Walt Disney World Encompasses.

Disney-speak Pocket Translator.

The Major Theme Parks.

The Water Parks.

Other Walt Disney World Venues.

PART ONE: Planning before You Leave Home.

Gathering Information.

PassPorter Guides.

Walt Disney World on the Web.


When to Go to Walt Disney World.

Selecting the Time of Year for Your Visit.

Extra Magic Hours.

Early Entry (aka Morning Extra Magic Hours).

Summer and Holidays.

The Disney Calendar.

PART TWO: Making the Most of Your Time and Money.

Allocating Money.

Disney and the Recession.

Walt Disney World Admission Options.

Help Is on the Way!

Magic Your Way.

Base-ticket Add-on Options.

Diz Spin.

A Cloud Is Just a Cloud.

Big Brother Is Watching.

How to Get the Most from Magic Your Way.

Where to Purchase Magic Your Way Tickets.

For Additional Information on Passes.

Where the Real Deals Are.

Free Tickets and the Time-share Game.

The British Are Coming!

More Discounts on Admissions.

Partially Used Passes Purchased before January 2005.

How Much Does It Cost per Day?

Allocating Time.

Which Park to See First?

Operating Hours.

Official Opening versus Real Opening.

The Vacation That Fights Back.

The Practicality of Returning to Your Hotel for Rest.

Arrival- and Departure-day Blues: What to Do When You Have Only Half a Day.

Optimum Touring Situation.

The Cardinal Rules for Successful Touring.

What's a Queue?

Of Utmost Importance: Read This!

Touring Plans: What They Are and How They Work.

Overview of the Touring Plans.

Extra Magic Hours and the Touring Plans.


Understanding Walt Disney World Attractions.

Cutting Your Time in Line by Understanding the Rides.

Cutting Your Time in Line by Understanding the Shows.

A Word about Disney Thrill Rides.

The Wonderful, the Wild, and the Wussy: Central Florida Roller Coasters.

"Unheralded Treasures" Touring.

The Magic Kingdom.


Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

PART THREE: Accommodations.

The Basic Considerations.

The Tax Man Cometh.

About Hotel Renovations.

Benefits of Staying in the World.

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

The Disney Resorts.

Disney Resorts 101.

How to Get Discounts on Lodging.

Choosing a Walt Disney World Hotel.

Researching Walt Disney World Hotels.

Unofficial Guide Readers Speak Out.

Readers’ 2009 Disney Resort Report Card.

Walt Disney World Hotel Profiles.

The Magic Kingdom Resorts.

The Epcot Resorts.

The Bonnet Creek Resorts.

The Animal Kingdom Resorts.

Independent Hotels of the Downtown Disney Resort Area.

How to Evaluate a Walt Disney World Travel Package.


Walt Disney Travel Company Magic Your Way Packages.

Number Crunching.

Throw Me a Line!

Packages from a Different Perspective.

Hotels outside Walt Disney World.

Selecting and Booking a Hotel outside Walt Disney World.

Driving Time to the Parks for Visitors Lodging outside Walt Disney World.

Getting a Good Deal on a Room outside Walt Disney World.

Condominiums and Vacation Homes.

The Best Hotels for Families outside Walt Disney World.

Hotels and Motels: Rated and Ranked.

What’s in a Room?

Room Ratings.

A Word about Toll-free Telephone Numbers.

The 30 Best Hotel Values.




PART FOUR: Serenity Now! A Look at Disney-area Spas.

Spa Profiles.

PART FIVE: The Disney Cruise Line.

The Mouse at Sea.

The Future Is Now.

The Ships.


Services and Amenities.


Facilities and Entertainment.

Children’s Programs.

Sports, Fitness, and Beauty.

Castaway Cay.

Disney Cruise Line and the Recession.

Cruise–WDW Packages.

Advance Reservations for Shore Excursions, Spa, Palo, and Children's Programs.

A Few Tips.

PART SIX: Walt Disney World with Kids.

The Ecstasy and the Agony.

Reality Testing: Whose Dream Is It?

Recommendations for Making the Dream Come True.

About the Unofficial Guide Touring Plans.

Stuff to Think About.


Lost Children.

How Kids Get Lost.

Disney, Kids, and Scary Stuff.

The Fright Factor.


A Bit of Preparation.

Attractions That Eat Adults.

A Word about Height Requirements.


Waiting-line Strategies for Adults with Young Children.

The Disney Characters.

Meeting Characters for Free.

Character Dining.

Character Dining: What to Expect.


When to Go.

How to Choose a Character Meal.

Getting an Advance Reservation at Cinderella's Royal Table.

Other Character Events.


Special Programs for Children.

Birthdays and Special Occasions.

PART SEVEN: Special Tips for Special People.

Walt Disney World for Singles.

Walt Disney World for Couples.



Honeymoons and Vows Renewals.

Romantic Getaways.

Walt Disney World "At Large".

Walt Disney World for Expectant Mothers.

More Tips for Moms.

Walt Disney World for Seniors.

Getting Around.

Timing Your Visit.



Senior Dining.

Behind-the-scenes Tours.

Walt Disney World for Guests with Disabilities.

Visitors with Special Needs.

Friends of Bill W.

Guests Who Don’t Speak English.

PART EIGHT: Arriving and Getting Around.

Getting There.


The I-4 Blues.

Sanford International Airport.

Security at Orlando International Airport.

Getting to Walt Disney World from the Airport.

Disney's Magical Express.

Renting a Car.


Getting Oriented.

A Good Map.

Finding Your Way Around.

How to Travel around the World (or The Real Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride).

Transportation Trade-offs for Guests: Lodging outside Walt Disney World.

All You Need to Know about Driving to the Theme Parks.

Good Fuzz, Bad Fuzz.

Sneak Routes.

Taking a Shuttle Bus from Your Out-of-the-World Hotel.

The Disney Transportation System.


PART NINE: Bare Necessities.

Credit Cards and Money.

Credit Cards.

Banking Services.

A License to Print Money.

Visiting More Than One Park in a Single Day.

Problems and Unusual Situations.

Attractions Closed for Repairs.

Car Trouble.


Lost and Found.

Medical Matters.

Sergeant Blisterblaster’s Guide to Happy Feet.


How to Lodge a Complaint with Disney.



Pet Care.


Excuse Me, but Where Can I Find . . . .

PART TEN: Dining in and around Walt Disney World.

Dining outside Walt Disney World.

Take Out Express.

Dining at Universal CityWalk.


Buffet and Meal Deals outside Walt Disney World.

Dining in Walt Disney World.

Getting It Right.

Disney Dining 101.

It’s the Economy, Pluto.

Advance Reservations: What’s in a Name.

Behind the Scenes at Advance Reservations.

Getting Your Act Together.



Food Allergies and Special Requests.

A Few Caveats.

Walt Disney World Restaurant Categories.


Hard Choices.

Full-service Dining for Families with Young Children.

Quiet, Romantic Places to Eat.

Fast Food in the Theme Parks.

Disney Dining Suggestions.

The Magic Kingdom.


Animal Kingdom.

Disney's Hollywood Studios.

More Reader Comments about Walt Disney World Dining.

Counter-service Restaurant Mini-profiles.

Walt Disney World Restaurants: Rated and Ranked.

Readers’ Restaurant-survey Responses.


Full-service Restaurant Profiles.

PART ELEVEN: The Magic Kingdom.


Getting Oriented.

Starting the Tour.

FASTPASS at the Magic Kingdom.

Main Street, U.S.A.



Liberty Square.


Mickey's Toontown Fair.


Live Entertainment in the Magic Kingdom.


Afternoon Parade.

Evening Parade(s).

Parade Route and Vantage Points.

Vantage Points for Fireworks.

Leaving the Park after Evening Parades and Fireworks.

Traffic Patterns in the Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom Touring Plans.

Choosing the Appropriate Touring Plan.

Magic Kingdom Touring-plan Companion.

The Single-day Touring Conundrum.

Preliminary Instructions for All Magic Kingdom Touring Plans.

What to Do If You Get Off-track.

Park-opening Procedures.

Before You Go.

Magic Kingdom One-day Touring Plan for Adults.

Authors’ Selective Magic Kingdom One-day Touring Plan for Adults.

Magic Kingdom One-day Touring Plan for Parents with Young Children.

Magic Kingdom Dumbo-or-Die-in-a-Day Touring Plan for Parents with Young Children.

Magic Kingdom Two-day Touring Plan.



Operating Hours.


Getting Oriented.

The EPCOT Acronym.

Future World.

Guest Relations.

The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion.

The Land Pavilion.

Imagination! Pavilion.

Test Track Pavilion.

World Showcase.

Mexico Pavilion.

Norway Pavilion.

China Pavilion.

Germany Pavilion.

Italy Pavilion.

United States Pavilion.

Japan Pavilion.

Morocco Pavilion.

France Pavilion.

United Kingdom Pavilion.

Canada Pavilion.

Live Entertainment in Epcot.


IllumiNations Cruise.

Traffic Patterns in Epcot.

Epcot Touring Plans.

Preliminary Instructions for All Epcot Touring Plans.

Epcot One-day Touring Plan.

Authors’ Selective Epcot One-day Touring Plan.

Epcot Two-day Sunrise–Starlight Touring Plan.

Epcot Two-day Early-riser Touring Plan.

PART THIRTEEN:Animal Kingdom.


Operating Hours.

Getting Oriented.

The Oasis.

A Word about Animal Kingdom Live Shows.

Discovery Island.

Camp Minnie-Mickey.


Rafiki’s Planet Watch.


DinoLand U.S.A.

Live Entertainment in Animal Kingdom.

Traffic Patterns in Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom Touring Plans.

Before You Go.

Animal Kingdom "Not a Touring Plan" Touring Plans.

Animal Kingdom One-day Touring Plan.

PART FOURTEEN:Behind the Scenes at Walt Disney World.

Behind the Scenes at the Magic Kingdom.

Behind the Scenes at Epcot.

Epcot DiveQuest.

Dolphins in Depth.

Seas Aqua Tour.

Behind the Scenes at Animal Kingdom.

PART FIFTEEN: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld.

Disney's Hollywood Studios versus Universal Studios Florida.

Disney's Hollywood Studios.

The End of the MGM Connection.

Self-promotion Run Amok.

How Much Time to Allocate.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the Evening.

Arriving at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Getting Oriented at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Attractions.

Hollywood Boulevard.

Sunset Boulevard.

Live Entertainment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Touring Plan.

Before You Go.

Disney's Hollywood Studios "Not a Touring Plan" Touring Plans.

Disney's Hollywood Studios One-day Touring Plan.

Universal Orlando.

Lodging at Universal Orlando.

Arriving at Universal Orlando.

Early Entry and Universal Express.

Singles Lines.


Universal, Kids, and Scary Stuff.

Quitting Time.

TNA Wrestling and Blue Man Group.

Universal Studios Florida.

Universal Studios Florida Attractions.

Live Entertainment at Universal Studios Florida.

Universal Studios Florida Touring Plan.

Buying Admission to Universal Studios Florida.

Universal Studios Florida One-day Touring Plan.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Beware of the Wet and Wild.

Getting Oriented at Islands of Adventure.

Islands of Adventure Attractions.

Marvel Super Hero Island.

Toon Lagoon.

Jurassic Park.

The Lost Continent.

Seuss Landing.

Islands of Adventure Touring Plan.

Islands of Adventure One-day Touring Plan.


Discovery Cove.

PART SIXTEEN: The Water Parks.

You’re Soaking in It!

Watch the Weather.

Extra Magic Hours.

Blizzard Beach.

Typhoon Lagoon.

Shark Reef.

Surf Pool.

Wet 'n Wild.

Body and Mat Slides.

Raft and Tube Rides.

Other Attractions.


Aquatica by SeaWorld.

Typhoon Lagoon versus Blizzard Beach.

When to Go.

Planning Your Day at Disney Water Parks.

PART SEVENTEEN: Beyond the Parks.

Downtown Disney.

Downtown Disney Marketplace.

Whither Pleasure Island?

Disney's West Side.


ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Walt Disney World Speedway.

Walt Disney World Golf.

Golf beyond Walt Disney World.

Other Standout Courses in Orlando.0

The Best of the Rest.

Miniature Golf.

PART EIGHTEEN: Shopping in and out of Walt Disney World.

Hey, Big Spender.

Pin Mania.

Shopping in Walt Disney World.

Tips for Disney Shopping.

I Need . . . .

Downtown Disney.

The Magic Kingdom.


Animal Kingdom.

Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Disney Outlet Stores.

Shopping beyond Walt Disney World.


Universal CityWalk.

International Drive.


Traditional Shopping.

PART NINETEEN: Nightlife in and out of Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World at Night.

In the Theme Parks.

At the Hotels.

At Fort Wilderness Campground.

At Disney’s BoardWalk.

At Coronado Springs Resort.

At Downtown Disney.

Walt Disney World Dinner Theaters.

Other Area Dinner Theaters.

Universal CityWalk.

Appendix, Indexes, Touring Plans, and Reader Surveys.

Readers' Questions to the Author.

Readers' Comments.

Accommodations Index.

Restaurant Index.

Subject Index.

Touring Plans.

Touring-plan Companions.

2010 Unofficial Guide Reader Survey.

Walt Disney World Restaurant Surveys.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    Want to know how to get the most fun out of your visit to world that Disney created? Get this book!

    The book is written so that you get the most bang for your buck. It starts by having you start planning your trip before you leave home. Then it goes on to explain the cost involved, allocating your time and and explanation of the rides. I personally like to read about the rides so that I can plan which rides I want to go to first. There are tips on accommodations, the Disney Cruise line and traveling with kids. The book goes into detail about getting around and the whole dining experience. Each individual park at Disney World is detailed with maps and a thorough explanation of each ride and attraction. If you want to travel outside the parks, there is also information about other sites to see in Orlando. Over all, I did not mind spending the $19.99 to receive all this information.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    best guide to Disney World

    Several of my friends also love this guide to Disney World. We used it to plan our trip and everything went like clockwork. If you've never been to Disney World before, this is the best guide to fill you in on the details. There are also handy tearaway touring plans that can be carried with you to the parks.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Use the day planners if you want to move!

    We used the daily planners. For $5 with a discount from buying the book, you can print planners online. Also check ride lengths on your phone. The day planners had us running around like chickens with our heads chopped off. The pedometer would have went crazy. We loved it! We made it to everything it suggested plus stopped for parades and such. Had we walked in without a plan, we would have been lost. Kids ages 7, 8, 10, and 11, and we chose the adult planners. No breaks for us. We brought sandwiches, water bottles, and lemonade packets, and we ate on the run. Great time for all of us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Better than the rest!

    I bought nearly every book out there about Disney World. I bought this one last. I could have saved myself alot of time and money if I would have bought this first. It had all the information the other books had and then some. It didn't read like Disney was giving perks or something to the writer. The writers obviously love Disney but weren't afraid to tell the truth. Buy this book before you buy any others.

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  • Posted December 30, 2009

    Almost too good to be true!

    I got the previous edition of this (2009) before my family went on a vacation to Disney World. My dad was all anti plans and stuff so we didn't really use it that much. But on the last day my parents said let's use the touring plan for Universal. So I brought the book along and we arrived early like it said. On a very crowded day we were through the entire Islands of Adventure with the park only being open for 2 hours. It was simply amazing I couldn't believe it! This is a must by for any travelers or vacation enthusiasts.

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    Absolutely Indispensable

    The size of this book appears intimidating, but don't be afraid. At all. You won't use every page. Peruse the chapters and you can go straight to what you need. I buy this book to give to friends who are visiting Walt Disney World (WDW) and they all report how much it helped. If you follow the park plans you will maximize your WDW experience and get your money's worth. Also, it can help you plan the extras like evening shows, dining, and special events. Note: You don't have to lug this book around the park with you. Either pull out the park plans or Xerox them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2009

    great for planning

    I highly recommend this book for anyone planning a trip to WDW. I used the 2009 addition for our first trip to WDW. The advise was so great it really made our trip. I immediately bought the 2010 addition to help plan our next trip.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2009

    Must-have if you go to Disney

    We used this book over spring break and waited no more than about 20 minutes in any line. The book says it will save you hours waiting in line and it's true! We overheard a family at Disney that didn't have a plan and they were going to be waiting about two hours in line for their next ride. They weren't going to be able to get all the rides in that they wanted. We did. The book also eliminated any sibling rivalry about who wanted to do what ride next. The "plan" ruled. The end of sponteneity? Only if you like waiting two hours for a ride. I'd take the book's plans any day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2009

    Still the Best

    This book and the associated website have proven themselves on 3 separate trips to the Walt Disney World Resort. I bought a few other insider books but they have little extra except a few hints about hidden Mickeys and historical information. For a practical guide to having a stress free trip this book remains the single best and most up to date.

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  • Posted September 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Must Have

    This book is great--I have been to Disney World 26 times and still have found lots of new information from it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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