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The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

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Table of Contents

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

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 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, 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

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