The Unofficial Guide: The Color Companion to Walt Disney World Paperback – Mar 22 2010
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From the Back Cover
560 full-color imagesprove that a picture is worth 1,000 words
A unique visual guide that lets you see how wet you'll get on Splash Mountain® (p. 166), what the crowd conditions are at different times of day in Fantasyland® (p. 34), and how the parks are decked out for various holidays (p. 280).
Pictures of all the attractions, making the book a perfect keepsake.
Reviews of all the Walt Disney World® resorts, including pictures of the guest rooms, swimming pools, and resort themes.
Attractions and resorts rated based on surveys of thousands of Walt Disney World® guests.
Proven, firsthand advice on how to plan and save money on your Walt Disney World® vacation.
The Unofficial series is completely independent. If a restaurant serves lackluster food or an attraction is not worth the wait, we'll tell you.
Check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World®, thebestselling independent guide to Walt Disney World®and the perfect companion to this full-color guide.
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 lives in Birmingham, AL.
Len Testa is the coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, and Britain's Best Days Out. He lives in Greensboro, NC. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
However, it is not a fully comprehensive guidebook. It wasn't meant to be; it's a companion to the regular Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. I knew that when I bought the book (I already owned the regular Unofficial Guide), and I brought both Guides with me on my recent trip to Walt Disney World. While the Color Companion was great to carry around in the parks and use for reference, the regular Guide was often referred to throughout the trip. For example, when we wanted to book a behind-the-scenes tour, or when I wanted to know more about Downtown Disney shopping. The regular Guide is also much more detailed when it comes to planning factors before you leave (for instance, what kind of tickets to purchase). If you know going in that the Color Companion is going to be helpful and informative but not comprehensive, then I don't think you'll be disappointed. But if you're going to try and rely on just this book to plan your vacation, you're probably going to be disappointed. And yeah, it's true that you can skip buying this and just get the Unofficial Guide by itself and have all the information you'll need. But personally, I think the portability, great pictures, humor, and unique light-hearted yet informative tone make this Companion a must-buy.
The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2010 (Unofficial Guides)
In order to keep the book to a smaller size and include a mess o' pictures, much information had to be left out. This book lacks the detailed information that the UNOFFICIAL GUIDE provides. But that's to be expected, after all the reader has to expect to trade out some things for color photos and portability. There's still plenty of good information in this book.
What I didn't care for was the quality of the photos. They just weren't as "alive" as the photos in Birnbaum's (which does the Official Guide for WDW). Also I didn't so much care for the joke pages, which could confuse some people with no prior WDW experience. If you are going to WDW and want to buy a few guide books, here are my top favorites (in order):
1) THE UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO WALT DISNEY WORLD (for a no-holds barred view)
2) BIRNBAUM'S WALT DISNEY WORLD (for the photos)
3) PASSPORTER'S WALT DISNEY WORLD (for your memories)
Have a magical visit!
What I LIKED about this book:
* Lots and lots of pictures - these are especially helpful for those who don't know what any of the park looks like. I go to Disneyland quite often so the pictures of the Magic Kingdom were not really helpful for me, but I loved the pictures at the Animal Kingdom & Epcot as I haven't seen these two areas of the park before.
* Very motivating and exciting to read this book. If you are having a difficult time deciding if you want to go to WDW, this book will help push you over the edge into - YES! I want to go now! If you have already decided to go, I don't think that this book is that helpful.
* Pretty well-organized as far as layout is concerned. I found the headers by each ride useful. These headers include what the ride is, how big of a ride it is, when the best times to go are to get the shortest line, author's rating, special comments (scary for younger kids, better at night, etc.), length of ride, average wait time loading speed and a 1 - 5 star rating per age group. I think this area would be super helpful if you are traveling with a group of varied ages or if you have children with you.
* I felt that the sections on the Animal Kingdom & the Disney Hollywood Studios were excellent. They were upbeat, funny, and made me excited to visit those areas of the park.
* There are some nice sections in the book that include information about Walt Disney's vision of the park, how each section of WDW was conceptualized and conceived and other factual information that I found interesting and informative.
* This book also includes sections on the water parks, Downtown Disney and other activities, such as sports, that you can participate in while you are at WDW. I really had no idea how many other activities were available around the park and found this section eye opening. This made my vacation sound that much more exciting as I realized there is plenty to do if I decide not to go to the park one day for any reason.
Why I DID NOT LIKE about this book:
* There is no pricing information included. All of the guides that I have purchased in the past contain a range of pricing for all of the lodging and the food included in the book. This guide does not. It puts them in categories of moderate, expensive, etc., but there is no actual price range there. I really would have appreciated a range of pricing, even though I know prices vary by season and promotion. This would have been tremendously helpful in planning lodging and if I wanted to dine at any of the special restaurants.
* The authors managed to make a lot of the park sound lackluster and not worth your time. All of the Disney hotels had huge drawbacks and none of them sounded appealing after I read the descriptions. I have several friends who just went to WDW last year and they raved about many of the lodging experiences and details so I was disappointed with this.
* This book is not meant to be used alone as a guide. You could probably get by with it, but one of the first things that the guide states is that you are supposed to use it with one of their other guides. Then, of course, they push their product a lot at the beginning. Mercifully, most of this urging to use their website and buy other guidebooks is limited to the beginning of the book.
* The sections regarding lodging, the Magic Kingdom and the Epcot Center were more factual than enthusiastic. Most of the stuff you are looking for it is there (what the ride is, what happens on it, etc.), but it doesn't make you excited to go on the ride or to see the show. I didn't get excited about going to WDW until I got to the end of the book, where the Animal Kingdom and other parks are featured. I felt like the first half of the book was much weaker than the second half.
* This book waffles between being humorous and being serious. You are never quite sure what you should believe. There are a few fake hotels that they make up and put in the lodgings section. There are also a few pages of food specialties that don't exist. They never let you in the joke, they just already assume that you are in the know. This means that this guide is not at all useful for foreigners as I don't think they would get it.
* This book is not for people who are serious about their food. Descriptions are brief and there are really no pictures of food. I feel like there should have been some pictures of the food so that you can kind of judge for yourself how appetizing something looked. Take out the fake food pictures and use the space for real food!
* What I was missing most in this guide is some kind of designation that showed that a restaurant or a feature/ride was a favorite of the author or the group. The other guides I have read have a little checkmark or an asterisk that shows something is particularly enjoyable or that they highly recommend it. Everything gets a level playing field, but we all know that some things at theme parks are better than others.
I read this book from cover to cover. And I mean that I read EVERYTHING, including the brief food descriptions underneath the restaurants and, at the end of the book, I was still torn and was asking myself "Is this still a good guide to purchase?" Yes and no. If you are trying to decide if you want to go to the park and need some pictures and a quick snapshot of each ride, show or any other kind of experience, then this book is useful and informative, especially if you have kids so that they can look at all the pictures. If you have already decided to go and are looking for 1 guide to take to the park with you, this is not your book. If you are like me and you buy several guides before you go on vacation, read them all, and then decide which ones to take with you on that day, this book is worthy of inclusion. Ultimately, I think that this guide is a good purchase, but it was not inclusive enough for me and was missing some critical components.
The pictures aren't anything special. You can find these pictures anywhere. I had hoped there would be more detailed pictures of the hotels, parks & rides, and restaurants. Hopefully they'll publish a second edition of this book that will live up to the other Unofficial Guides.
My recommendation: Buy the other Unofficial Guides -They're fabulous. If you want pictures, search the internet. This book isn't worth buying.