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Fodor's Walt Disney World with Kids 2012: with Universal Orlando, SeaWorld & Aquatica [Paperback]

Kim Wright Wiley

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Book Description

Aug. 2 2011 Travel Guide
Your Ticket to a Magical Family Vacation!
Inside this new edition is all the information you need to have the family vacation of a lifetime at the Orlando theme parks. Up-to-date and written with the help of more than 500 families, this guide is packed with details on all the attractions at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld. It's user-friendly, fun, and designed for at-a-glance reference. And it will help you and your family plan the vacation each of you wants.

Inside you'll find:
• Time- and money-saving tips, insider’s secrets, and scare factors for every ride and venue
• Clear, easy-to-read maps
• Full restaurant and hotel descriptions, with star ratings
• Quick Guides, Don’t Miss Lists, and favorite attractions by age group
• Updates on Disney’s Fastpass system and Universal’s Express system
• Know-how for Disney cruises


Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Fodor's (Aug. 2 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679009329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679009320
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #383,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Kim Wright Wiley---mother of two, Lowell Thomas Gold Award recipient, and novelist---wrote the first edition of Walt Disney World with Kids in 1989. More than 20 editions later she's exceeded 50 visits to the parks, a statistic that stuns even her. Her Disney favorites? The Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, the character Eeyore, and the California Grill. When she's not at the theme parks, she's at home in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  64 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful resource for the non-Disney obsessed family. Nov. 7 2011
By Meredith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Planning a trip to Walt Disney World can make you insane. I now know this first hand. Planning since July, I have just returned from a whirlwind 5 day adventure with my husband, 2 children (5 and 8), my sister and mother. I was so pleased to receive this book and start my research until I opened the box and saw its thickness. Is there really that much to know? Yes. But the good and the bad is that you can pick it up at points along your planning and then honestly use this as a 'day before' guide book.

Chapters 1-4 cover the first stages of planning; answer questions about where to stay, to get a dining plan or not?, transportation, and things you need to do before you leave like make reservations for certain special events and meals with characters. Then, put the book down. Walk away and let yourself absorb that section. Go read some websites, call Disney and pick their brain. Then, back to the book.

The next chapters are more about each park. This is so very helpful when you are ready to go. I would sit in bed the night before our visit and read the chapter on whatever park we were heading to the next day. Having a 5 and 8 year old, I found rating the rides by scariness and height requirements helped immensely. After reviewing the chapter, I was the most informed in my group as to how best approach the park, the rides we had to go to first and planning places to eat. I also was lucky to have the insider knowledge on each ride to gauge whether or not it was appropriate for each member of my party.

The maps are limited and not very in depth, but that's ok when you are just getting an overview.

The only con to this book is that it isn't something to carry around with you while you are actually INSIDE the parks. Its just too big for that. However, I am sure there are better guides put out by Disney themselves with more minute by minute information.

All in all, I found this book very helpful and not too overwhelming.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Nice Planning Tool Jan. 19 2012
By K. Fontenot - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Having used both "Unofficial Guides" and "Birnbaum's" books as guides to get me through my first two trips to Walt Disney World, I can say that I'm familiar with two of the most used and/or referenced books on the matter of visiting Mickey's place in Orlando, FL. When given the opportunity to review Fodor's "Walt Disney World With Kids 2012" guide, I jumped at the chance to see how author Kim Wright Wiley would tackle the park and all of its wonders.

What I got was a book that takes the vacation planner's hand and guides them along on every step of the planning process. The book opens with a comprehensive list of helpful phone numbers, websites, and other references that can help any person get a good idea as to what they are getting themselves into. From there, the book's first four chapters gives the reader tips and suggestions on how to do everything from planning and booking the trip to discussing how much time can be spent in each park or at each attraction. These chapters also give hints on how to save time and money during this first stage of the vacation process.

From there, Wiley focuses on each Kingdom, giving each one a chapter. In each chapter, she gives helpful hints on how to plan out your time at the park, a quick guide to the attractions, explanations of attractions (including attraction tips on things such as "Scare Factors" and "Hidden Mickeys"), "Don't Miss" lists, and a "Last Hour" guide.

She follows this up with a dining guide for all of the full-service restaurants in each Kingdom and includes tips on making reservations, whether your children will enjoy the atmosphere of the different establishments, and a price guide. She also addresses the dining packages available in the park in the early chapters and briefly in the dining chapter.

Wiley also tackles spending time in the park in the evening, with and without the kids. There is also a chapter on the Disney Cruise Line. The book finishes with a brief look into Orlando's other theme parks, and gives a nice nod to the "low stress experience" of SeaWorld when compared to all of the other parks. Although I've never been to SeaWorld in Orlando, I have visited the park in San Antonio and can say that it is a much calmer park to visit.

Overall, this book is packed with great tips for everything from funds to food, and also places the focus on family fun. If you've never been to Disney World, I highly recommend it. I also recommend this book to you, even if you don't have children.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE book for any Disney World trip Nov. 27 2011
By TamiBrothers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I've been to Disney World numerous times over the past decade with my family and have purchased numerous Disney books. Although I thought I knew most everything there was to know before reading this book, I ended up filling a notebook page with new tips I'll use on my next trip. Instead of purchasing a handful of books on Disney travel, save yourself some time and money and grab this one. It has literally EVERYTHING you need to know before heading out.

I figure the easiest way to convince you is to list a few of the things you will find in this book.

-List of Disney phone numbers (who knew you could call specific areas)
-It explains that even though travel guides give out the "secret tips", it reminds you that only a small number of visitors actually make advanced plans. So just by buying a travel guide, you are a step ahead of the majority of other visitors
-Tips on best times to visit for each season
-Advice on looking up ride closure schedules
-Incorporates educational tips for those parents wanting to add that to their vacations
-Some cool information on one of my least favorite parks that now has us excited to go back
-Info on other educational activities outside of WDE complete with prices and times
-Gives the real deal (or not so great deal) info on things like package plans and meal plans
-Ticket price chart
-Transportation options with prices
-Neat countdown schedule outlining helpful things to make the trip planning flow smoother
-Height requirements for major rides
-Baby swap - awesome option so the adults don't miss out on rides themselves
-Ins and outs of choosing a hotel
-First aid, strollers, rain, lost kids
-Tips on saving money
-Disney line apps for your phone
-Multiple tips for each park and each ride

This is a must have book for any Disney World trip. As expensive as a Disney vacation can be, you want to make each dollar and each minute count. This book will make that happen.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saved Our Trip!!! Aug. 6 2011
By Tim Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Walt Disney World with Kids 2012 is an absolute must-read for anyone even thinking about going to Walt Disney World in Florida. A previous version saved my family's vacation. Having read it before we left, we were able to make the most of our visit after losing a few days to to airline problems. Loaded with tips, tricks and tons of relevent information, this book can change your vacation from great to FANTASTIC! Chapters include "What to do before you leave home", "Choosing a hotel", "Once you get there", "Touring tips and plans", and very thorough information on all 4 theme parks, 2 water parks and pretty much every single ride/venue/restaurant in Disney World. Also included are maps, ride ratings and venue information. Will your 5 year old have nightmares afterward? Is it too baby-ish for the family? This book will fill in all the blanks for you. It also contains Disney Cruise Line information and the same in depth perspective regarding Universal Orlando, Islands of Adventure, Seaworld and Discovery Cove. Kim Wright Wiley has been to the parks over 50 times and probably knows more than a lot of the employees. The book is easy to navigate, interesting and very well thought out from a parents perspective. But don't kid yourself - this is a great source for everyone thinking about a Disney World trip, even if you don't have kids, you can still take your vacation up a couple of notches with the information provided.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No color, no photographs, no nonsense! Jan. 20 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
We recently navigated a trip during Halloween to Disney World with a couple of three-year olds - one little boy and one little girl. This book was a single travel reference both before and during the trip.

During the planning stage, we casually read through this book as we anticipated the trip. There are no photographs or colorful artwork that would excite a child (or adult), no images of Mickey Mouse, and the color palette is limited. Text, text, maps, and text. This guide proved to be rather boring as a casual pre-trip read through.

But as the date approached, information began to become more important than colorful brochures. Fast-pass algorithms, park navigation strategies, child sensitivities, inclement weather strategies, and health considerations. This was good information and I felt like I was reading a Lonely Planet guide before I navigated a difficult third-world country. Walt Disney World with a couple of three years olds... daunting, but this guide gave us confidence.

The day arrived; the SUV was packed. Bleary eyed I guzzled down coffee and loaded the suitcases. Beads of sweat dotted my forehead as I recalled the restless nightmares of taunting mouses and ducks the night before. I forced my hands to release the white-knuckled grip I had on the guidebook and turned to key of the ignition.

12 hours later we pulled into the Grand Floridian: and the guidebook proved useful in navigating the roads and streets when our GPS lead us astray.

We had anticipated we would need to use this book continuously throughout the week, but we discovered that the information had sunk in. We knew the rules of the fast-pass, where to go and when, and what was appropriate and fun for the children. The book was valuable when finding restaurants in the parks, however. The pre-trip planning and read-through of this guide made our visit to the parks a smooth, pleasant, and enjoyable vacation.

If you have small children and are foolhardy enough to enter Walt Disney World in 2012, then you need this guide. You are not going to see vivid imagery and clever marketing here though. No color, no photographs, no nonsense. Just solid analysis and precise advice on navigating the Orlando parks with small children.

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