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WhatÃ¢ÂÂs New and Updated in the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.
Planning Before You Leave Home
Updates to DisneyÃ¢ÂÂs calendar of special events, including how crowds will be affected
Time and Money
Tips on when Disney typically raises ticket prices, and by how much, so you can buy tickets beforehand.
Cost of MagicBands for off-site guests and those buying tickets from third-party vendors
Updates to DisneyÃ¢ÂÂs park opening procedures. Disney has instituted new park opening steps to slow the rush of guests to the popular Frozen Anna and Elsa meet-and-greet in the Magic Kingdom, and slow the crowds at other parks.
A step-by-step guide to making Fastpass+ reservation, including how much time to set aside, what youÃ¢ÂÂll need before you start, for your family and anyone travelling with you.
Updated FastPass+ tips, including understanding how FastPass+ attractions are segmented at Epcot and DisneyÃ¢ÂÂs Hollywood Studios, how to get more FastPass+ reservations once youÃ¢ÂÂre in the parks, and why making advance FastPass+ reservations for evening parades and fireworks is frequently a bad idea.
Updated benefits to staying in a Walt Disney World hotel, including earlier access to FastPass+ reservations.
Details on DisneyÃ¢ÂÂs updated package cancellation policy. When you call to make a hotel reservation, Disney will encourage you to book something else along with the room, turning it into a ÃÂpackage.Ã¢ÂÂ But cancellation policies for packages are very restrictive, so you need to know what to watch out for.
Tips on how to use our websiteÃ¢ÂÂs new Hotel Room Views feature, which shows you the view youÃ¢ÂÂll get from every hotel room in Walt Disney World.
A new analysis of the Disney Dining Plan, including how much each component of the plan costs for your stay. With this information, youÃ¢ÂÂll be able to see whether the dining plan makes sense for your family.
A review of the fabulous new Cabana Bay Resort at Universal Orlando
Preview of the new Four Seasons Resort Orlando, and where to sell your vital organs to pay for your stay.
The Disney Cruise Line
Coverage of DCLÃ¢ÂÂs new 2015 itineraries, including Northern Europe and Hawaii.
Updated recommendations on the best cruise itinerary for your first cruise.
All the details on the Disney MagicÃ¢ÂÂs late 2013 refurbishment, including childrenÃ¢ÂÂs areas, water play areas and AquaDunk water slide, restaurants, and nightclubs.
A review of the MagicÃ¢ÂÂs new CariocaÃ¢ÂÂs restaurant, with an impassioned plea to order the Slow-Roasted Pork Belly. YouÃ¢ÂÂll thank us later.
Review of the new AntojitoÃ¢ÂÂs Mexican restaurant at Universal Orlando. Besides tasty tapas, they give out custom-painted luchador masks Wednesday through Sunday!
Details on Universal OrlandoÃ¢ÂÂs new Bread Box, Cowfish, Red Oven Pizza Bakery, Vivo Italian Kitchen, and Hot Dog Hall of Fame restaurants.
A new review of EpcotÃ¢ÂÂs Spice Road Table restaurant in Morocco.
Details on EpcotÃ¢ÂÂs new Fountain View restaurant, essentially a Starbucks outpost in the park.
Completely updated reader ratings for all Walt Disney World counter-service restaurants.
Completely updated reader rankings for more than 100 Disney sit-down restaurants.
The Magic Kingdom
How to best use FastPass+ at the Magic Kingdom, including the 5 rides which need FastPass+ most often, the rides which never need FastPass+, and why. Where to find the in-park FastPass+ kiosks to make reservations.
A review of the new Tinkerbelle meet-and-greet on Main Street, along with the best times to go.
Updated reviews of the Princess Fairytale Hall meet-and-greets, including the new Frozen-themed opportunity with Anna and Elsa.
Touring tips for seeing the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Fantasyland.
A review of the new Festival of Fantasy afternoon parade, including where to stand to get the best views.
All new Jim Hill stories about the Magic Kingdom
How to best use FastPass+ at Epcot, including the 5 rides which need FastPass+ most often, the rides which never need FastPass+, and why.
A list of all Epcot attractions with FastPass+, including EpcotÃ¢ÂÂs ÃÂtieredÃ¢ÂÂ FastPass rules and how to work those rules to your advantage.
Where to find the in-park FastPass+ kiosks to make reservations.
New review of the Epcot Character Spot, including the characters typically available and the best time to go.
All new Jim Hill stories about Epcot.
Updates on construction at the Animal Kingdom for the 2017 opening of an Avatar-themed land.
Updated information on the Animal KingdomÃ¢ÂÂs park opening procedures, including which attractions may open early. Get a jump on the crowds by knowing which rides open first.
A full review of the great new Wilderness Explorers scavenger hunt game at the Animal Kingdom.
Details on the new Harambe Nights seasonal after-hours event.
How to best use FastPass+ at the Animal Kingdom, including the 4 rides which need FastPass+ most often, the rides which never need FastPass+, and why.
A list of all Animal Kingdom attractions with FastPass+, including EpcotÃ¢ÂÂs ÃÂtieredÃ¢ÂÂ FastPass rules and how to work those rules to your advantage.
Where to find the in-park FastPass+ kiosks to make reservations.
A review of the new Winged Encounters macaw show on Discovery Island.
Updated touring tips for Festival of the Lion King, now that it has moved to Africa.
All new Jim Hill stories about the Animal Kingdom.
DisneyÃ¢ÂÂs Hollywood Studios
How to best use FastPass+ at Hollywood Studios, including the 3 rides that need FastPass+ most often, and the rides and shows which never need FastPass+.
Why using FastPass+ for Fantasmic! may not be a good idea, and what else to do to ensure you see the show without long waits in line.
A list of all Hollywood Studios attractions with FastPass+, including the StudiosÃ¢ÂÂ ÃÂtieredÃ¢ÂÂ FastPass rules and how to work those rules to your advantage.
Where to find the in-park FastPass+ kiosks to make reservations.
A review of the American Film Institute Showcase, part of the Backlot Tour post-show.
News on the January 2015 closing of The American Idol Experience.
All new Jim Hill stories about Hollywood Studios.
Universal Orlando Resort
Comparison of Universal versus Disney admission prices.
How Universal Express Pass will work with the new Harry Potter-themed Diagon Alley at Universal Studios.
Islands of Adventure
Review of the new Hogwarts Express at Hogsmeade Station, including when to go for the shortest waits.
An updated one-day touring plan.
Jim Hill stories about IOA attractions.
Universal Studios Florida
11 pages of new material on Diagon Alley, including a full review of the new Escape from GringottÃ¢ÂÂs roller coaster ÃÂ we were one of the first to ride it.
A full review of the new Hogwarts Express train with touring tips on how to ride both sides with minimal waits.
New review of Ollivanders wand shop, plus details on the new interactive wands and windows throughout the Wizarding Worlds.
What youÃ¢ÂÂll find in the shopping sections of Diagon Alley, from WeasleyÃ¢ÂÂs Wizard Wheezes, to WiseacreÃ¢ÂÂs Wizarding Equipment, Madam MalkinÃ¢ÂÂs Robes for All Occasions, Magical Menagerie, ShutterbuttonÃ¢ÂÂs, Quality Quidditch Supplies, to Scribbilus, Borgin and Burkes, and more.
Dining coverage of the Leaky Cauldron, Florean FortescueÃ¢ÂÂs Ice Cream Parlour, The Hopping Pot, and Fountain of Fair Fortune.
Updated review of the revised BeetlejuiceÃ¢ÂÂs Graveyard Mash-Up show.
Update coverage of in-park dining, including Springfield USAÃ¢ÂÂs Fast Food Boulevard, the Bumblebee ManÃ¢ÂÂs Taco Truck, and Lard Lad Donuts.
Coverage of the Universal Dining Plan, including how it works and where it can (and cannot) be used.
An updated one-day touring plan with specific recommendations for how to see Diagon Alley.
Jim Hill stories about Diagon Alley.
Updates to height requirements at Typhoon Lagoon and ticket prices at Aquatica, including where to find discounts on Aquatica tickets.
Beyond the Parks
More information on the ongoing conversion of Downtown Disney to the Disney Springs dining and retail destination.
How to see the Orlando City Soccer Club, OrlandoÃ¢ÂÂs MLS soccer team, who play at DisneyÃ¢ÂÂs Wide World of Sports complex.
An entirely updated section on DisneyQuest, including where to find discounted tickets, what to see, and what to avoid.
New information on the modernised Palm gold course in Walt Disney World.
A review of the Universal Hollywood Drive-In mini-golf course.
Details on the new Food Truck Park at Downtown Disney, with trucks serving everything from Indian cuisine, to meatball sandwiches, to corn dogs, lobster rolls, and pierogies.
Introduction Why "Unofficial"? Walt Disney World: An Overview PART ONE Planning Before You Leave Home Gathering Information When to Go to Walt Disney World PART TWO Making the Most of Your Time and Money Allocating Money Allocating Time Understanding Walt Disney World Attractions PART THREE Accommodations The Basic Considerations The Disney Resorts Walt Disney World Hotel Profiles How to Evaluate a Walt Disney World Travel Package Hotels outside Walt Disney World Hotels and Motels: Rated and Ranked How the Hotels Compare Hotel Information Chart PART FOUR Serenity Now! A Look at Disney-Area Spas PART FIVE The Disney Cruise Line The Mouse at Sea The Ships Services and Amenities Castaway Cay Disney Cruise Line and the Economy A Few Tips PART SIX Walt Disney World with Kids The Ecstasy and the Agony Lost Children Disney, Kids, and Scary Stuff Small Child Fright Potential Chart Attraction and Ride Restrictions Waiting-Line Strategies for Adults with Young Children The Disney Characters Character Dining Character Meal Hit Parade Babysitting 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 Tips for Going Solo Walt Disney World for Expectant Mothers Walt Disney World for Seniors Walt Disney World for Guests with Special Needs PART EIGHT Arriving and Getting Around Getting There Rent at the Airport or Off-site? Getting Oriented How to Travel around the World (or, The Real Mr. Toad's Wild Ride) Door-todoor Commuting Times to and from the Disney Resorts and Parks PART NINE Bare Necessities Money, Etc. Problems and Unusual Situations Services PART TEN Dining in and around Walt Disney World Dining outside Walt Disney World Where to Eat Outside Walt Disney World Dining in Walt Disney World Disney Dining 101 Advance Reservations: The Official Line Advance Reservations: The Unofficial Scoop Walt Disney World Buffets and Family-Style Restaurants Disney Dining Suggestions Counter-Service Restaurant Mini-Profiles Walt Disney World Restaurants: Rated and Ranked Full-Service Restaurant Profiles Walt Disney World Restaurants by Cuisine PART ELEVEN The Magic Kingdom Arriving Getting Oriented Starting the Tour Main Street, U.S.A. Adventureland Frontierland Liberty Square Fantasyland Tomorrowland Live Entertainment in the Magic Kingdom Parades Traffic Patterns in the Magic Kingdom Magic Kingdom Touring Plans PART TWELVE Epcot Arriving Getting Oriented Future World World Showcase Live Entertainment in Epcot Traffic Patterns in Epcot Epcot Touring Plans PART THIRTEEN Disney's Animal Kingdom Arriving Getting Oriented The Oasis Discovery Island Camp Minnie-Mickey Africa Asia DinoLand U.S.A. Live Entertainment in Disney's Animal Kingdom Traffic Patterns in Disney's Animal Kingdom Disney's Animal Kingdom Touring Plan PART FOURTEEN Disney's Hollywood Studios The End of the MGM Connection What's Offered at the Studios Today 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 Dining in Disney's Hollywood Studios Disney's Hollywood Studios Attractions Live Entertainment at Disney's Hollywood Studios Disney's Hollywood Studios Touring Plan PART FIFTEEN Universal Orlando A Universal Primer Universal on the Web Cost A Word about Crowds How Much Time to Allocate Lodging at Universal Orlando Arriving at Universal Orlando Universal Express Singles Lines Lockers Universal, Kids, and Scary Stuff Quitting Time Impact Wrestling and Blue Man Group PART SIXTEEN 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 PART SEVENTEEN Universal's Islands of Adventure Getting Oriented at Universal's Islands of Adventure Universal's Islands of Adventure Attractions Universal's Islands of Adventure Touring Plan PART EIGHTEEN SeaWorld Orlando Discovery Cove PART NINETEEN Behind the Scenes at Walt Disney World Multipark Tours Behind the Scenes at the Magic Kingdom Behind the Scenes at Epcot Behind the Scenes at Disney's Animal Kingdom PART TWENTY The Water Parks You're Soaking in It! Blizzard Beach Typhoon Lagoon Typhoon Lagoon versus Blizzard Beach When to Go Planning Your Day at Disney Water Parks Water-Park Touring Plans Wet 'n Wild Aquatica by SeaWorld PART TWENTY-ONE Beyond the Parks Downtown Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex The Disney Wilderness Preserve Walt Disney World Speedway Walt Disney World Recreation Walt Disney World Golf Golf beyond Walt Disney World Miniature Golf PART TWENTY-TWO Shopping in and out of Walt Disney World Hey, Big Spender Shopping in Walt Disney World Disney Outlet Stores Shopping beyond Walt Disney World PART TWENTY-THREE Nightlife in and out of Walt Disney World Walt Disney World at Night In the Theme Parks At the Hotels At Downtown Disney Walt Disney World 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 Clip-Out Touring Plan Companions Unofficial Guide Reader Survey Walt Disney World Restaurant Survey
Bob Sehlinger, a Lowell Thomas Award-winning journalist, is best known as the creator and producer of The Unofficial Guide series. He is credited with being the first to apply research techniques from the fields of operations research and statistics to travel guides. Among other projects, he was able to develop mathematical models that could save theme park patrons more than three hours of standing in line in a single day. He is the 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 he 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. A lifelong Disney theme park fan, Len Testa co-authors The Unofficial Guides to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Britain's Best Days Out. In grad school, Len's master's thesis described new computer techniques for generating efficient theme park touring plans, for which Len was awarded a U.S. patent. These days, Len leads the team at TouringPlans.com, the website and research arm of The Unofficial Guides. Len has stayed at every Disney hotel, experienced every Disney ride, and eaten at every Disney restaurant and food cart in the U.S. When he's not at a Disney theme park, Len lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, in a mid-century modern house whose kitchen was custom-built after one of Space Mountain's post-show scenes.
"Indispensable" --The New York Times "If you're looking for a reliable guidebook, the leader is the Unofficial series." --The Mail (London) "A Tourist's Best Friend!" --Chicago Sun-Times "I've been recommending Unofficial Guides to Walt Disney World for years." --Disney Babies Blog "I would never plan a trip to WDW without an updated (current year) copy of the Unofficial Guide. It's pages are dripping with golden strands of priceless information: presented from all sides, giving the big picture, and allowing me to make informed decisions about my vacation minutes and money. But the #1 reason I always choose the UG over other guides is for the guaranteed entertainment and giggles! The wit and tongue-in-cheek humor is so refreshing that it makes me feel like my vacation begins the moment I crack open the cover on a fresh copy." -- A Knoxville, TN reader