Sunday Travel Section Recap, March 18th
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Book Review: The Busy Family's Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2012

Walt Disney World Guide Book
Just finished "The Busy Family's Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2012" by Jeffrey Merola. Here are my thoughts.

First time visitors of Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida may find this massive resort complex a bit overwhelming. Overwhelmed not only by the number of different types of amusement parks, but the vast number of entertainment, food and attractions found inside each of the parks. I was one of those lost in the colossal number of choices during my first visit. I live just minutes from Disneyland in Aneheim California, what could be so different at Disney World! Well I quickly learned the Disney experience in Orlando is decidedly different from the California operation.

For years I have been a "Details / Resources" magazine clipper. You know those portions of a travel magazine articles that give you all the nuts and bolts details of a destination. Often called "sidebars" these chunks of text suggest places to stay, when to visit, what to see, costs and other info.

Jeff's book is just such a detailed nuts and bolts resource of information about all the various options at Walt Disney World. Based on his personal research he provides tons of valuable inside information about almost everything your family will want or need during a Walt Disney World vacation. With or without a family in tow this book would be a excellent resource when planning a trip.

I'm not an expert on the Orlando parks, but I do know California's Disneyland like it was the back of my hand. The only issue, I found in the book was the limited explanation of the FASTPASS system found at the parks. He mentions where and when to use it, and some tips for using the system, but toward the end of the book after he has referenced it dozens of times.

The FASTPASS is a system that allows park guests to pick up a "reservation" for a ride. You pick it up near the entrance to the ride your interested in. This pass has printed on it a future time when you are asked to return to that attraction. When you come back you enter a special entrance that has a much shorter wait time in line. I've found this a great advantage around meal times. You pickup a FASTPASS, go to lunch, do a little shopping, then return at the printed time and stand in a much shorter line. One restriction, you can only have one FASTPASS reservation at any one time. Make sure you arrive at the time noted on your ticket.

This book is a must have when visiting any of the Disney World parks. It is available in paperback or as an eBook. I would download it to your smartphone for reference while in the parks. It isn't a massive book because he provides just the facts and spot on suggestions for families. Actually this book would be perfect for anyone, not just families, visiting Florida's biggest and best tourist attraction.