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

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

by Bob Sehlinger, Ritchey Halphen

Paperback(11th Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781628090468
Publisher: Unofficial Guides
Publication date: 10/20/2015
Edition description: 11th Edition
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 293,024
Product dimensions: 4.40(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Bob Sehlinger, a Lowell Thomas Award-winning journalist, is best known as the creator and producer of The Unofficial Guide series. He is founder and co-owner of Keen Communications, a book publishing company that includes Menasha Ridge Press, Clerisy Press, and Wilderness Press. The author of 27 books, Sehlinger is a past president of the Publishers Association of the South, and has served at the invitation of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Information Service on educational missions for publishers in Hungary, Romania, and Russia. He lives in Birmingham, AL.

Ritchey Halphen is a project editor at Keen Communications. His 18 years of publishing experience include editing stints at Cooking Light, Southern Living, and Health magazines. He lives in Birmingham, AL.

Read an Excerpt

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 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.


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 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


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.

Table of Contents

List of Mapsxi
Why This Pocket Guide?1
Declaration of Independence1
How This Guide Was Researched and Written2
Walt Disney World: An Overview2
What Walt Disney World Encompasses2
The Major Theme Parks3
Water Theme Parks4
Other Disney World Venues4
Part 1Planning before You Leave Home8
Gathering Information8
Walt Disney World on the Web9
Disney World Information by Mail11
Important Disney World Telephone Numbers12
When to Go to Walt Disney World12
Selecting the Time of Year for Your Visit12
Selecting the Day of the Week for Your Visit13
Early Entry: Now you See It, Now You Don't, Now You See It ...14
And Now ... Ta-Da! Our Recommendations14
Part 2Making the Most of Your Time and Money17
Allocating Money17
Walt Disney World Admission Options17
Which Admission Should You Buy?20
Where to Buy Your Admission in Advance21
Allocating Time21
Which Park to See First?21
Operating Hours22
The Cardinal Rules for Successful Touring22
Touring Plans Explained24
Part 3Selecting Your Hotel30
The Basic Considerations30
Benefits of Staying in the World30
Staying in or out of the World: Weighing the Pros and Cons31
How to Get Discounts on Lodging at Walt Disney World32
Choosing a Walt Disney World Hotel36
Camping at Walt Disney World42
Hotels outside Walt Disney World43
Selecting and Booking a Hotel outside Walt Disney World43
Getting a Good Deal on a Room outside Walt Disney World44
The Best Hotels for Families outside Walt Disney World46
Hotels and Motels: Rated and Ranked59
Room Ratings59
How the Hotels Compare61
The Top 30 Best Deals70
Part 4Walt Disney World with Kids72
Recommendations for Making the Dream Come True72
Disney, Kids, and Scary Stuff77
Switching Off (a.k.a. The Baby Swap)77
Meeting the Disney Characters78
Small-Child Fright Potential Chart80
Character Dining84
Character Meal Hit Parade86
Part 5Special Tips for Special People90
Walt Disney World for Singles90
Walt Disney World for Couples90
Weddings and Honeymoons90
Romantic Getaways91
Quiet, Romantic Places to Eat91
Walt Disney World for Seniors92
Getting Around92
Senior Dining93
Walt Disney World for Disabled Guests93
Visitors with Special Needs94
Part 6Arriving and Getting Around96
Getting There96
Getting to Walt Disney World from the Airport98
Renting a Car99
Getting Oriented99
A Good Map99
How to Travel around the World100
Transportation Trade-Offs for Guests: Lodging outside Walt Disney World100
All You Need to Know about Driving to the Theme Parks100
The Disney Transportation System102
Part 7Bare Necessities105
Credit Cards and Money105
Credit Cards105
Financial Matters105
Problems and Unusual Situations106
Attractions Closed for Repairs106
Car Trouble106
Lost and Found106
Medical Matters106
Pet Care108
Lockers and Package Pick-up108
Cameras and Film108
Part 8Dining in Walt Disney World109
Disney Dining 101109
Priority Seating109
Walt Disney World Restaurant Categories110
Disney Dining Suggestions112
The Magic Kingdom113
Disney-MGM Studios113
Animal Kingdom114
Walt Disney World Restaurants: Rated and Ranked114
Walt Disney World Restaurants by Cuisine115
Part 9The Magic Kingdom119
Getting Oriented119
Starting the Tour122
FASTPASS at the Magic Kingdom122
Main Street, U.S.A.123
Liberty Square133
Mickey's Toontown Fair141
Live Entertainment in the Magic Kingdom152
Afternoon Parade155
Evening Parade(s)155
Parade Route and Vantage Points156
Magic Kingdom Touring Plans157
Choosing the Appropriate Touring Plan157
The Single-Day Touring Conundrum159
E-Ride Night159
Preliminary Instructions for All Magic Kingdom Touring Plans160
Park Opening Procedures161
Before You Go161
Magic Kingdom Touring Plans162
Magic Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan for Adults162
Author's Selective Magic Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan for Adults164
Magic Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan for Parents with Young Children166
Magic Kingdom Dumbo-or-Die-in-a-Day Touring Plan for Parents with Young Children169
Magic Kingdom Two-Day Touring Plan171
Part 10Epcot174
Operating Hours174
Getting Oriented176
Future World177
Guest Relations178
World Showcase191
Live Entertainment in Epcot198
The Best Ways to See IllumiNations200
Epcot Touring Plans204
Preliminary Instructions for All Epcot Touring Plans204
Epcot One-Day Touring Plan205
Author's Selective Epcot One-Day Touring Plan207
Epcot Two-Day Sunrise/Starlight Touring Plan209
Epcot Two-Day Early Riser Touring Plan211
Part 11The Animal Kingdom215
Operating Hours218
When to Go219
Getting Oriented220
The Oasis220
Discovery Island221
Camp Minnie-Mickey223
DinoLand U.S.A.233
Live Entertainment in the Animal Kingdom237
Animal Kingdom Touring Plan238
Animal Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan238
Part 12Disney-MGM Studios241
Getting Oriented245
Live Entertainment at Disney-MGM Studios261
Disney-MGM Studios Touring Plan263
Disney-MGM Studios One-Day Touring Plan264
Part 13The Water Theme Parks266
Blizzard Beach266
Typhoon Lagoon267
When to Go267
Part 14Beyond the Parks269
Downtown Disney269
Downtown Disney Marketplace269
Pleasure Island270
Disney's West Side270
Disney's Wide World of Sports271
The Disney Wilderness Preserve271
Walt Disney World Speedway272
Walt Disney World Recreation272
Walt Disney World Golf273
Miniature Golf274
Part 15Nightlife in Walt Disney World275
Walt Disney World at Night275
In the Theme Parks275
At the Hotels275
At Fort Wilderness Campground276
At Disney's BoardWalk276
At Downtown Disney276
Walt Disney World Dinner Theaters278
Pleasure Island280
Reader Survey299

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Mini Mickey: The Pocket-Sized Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
B-2 More than 1 year ago
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).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mgb194 More than 1 year ago
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!
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