Top critical review
The Disney Commando's Bible
on January 15, 2002
Those of us who are Disney veterans occasionally have discussions about which is the most helpful guidebook, this book or the Birnbaum Guide (which is semi-endorsed by WDW and thus, say its detractors, doesn't present an accurate picture). While the Unofficial Guide is literally twice the length of the Birnbaum Guide and does present good feedback from Disney vacationers, I've always felt that it takes the fun out of the WDW experience by its concentration on getting on the rides.
Anyone who has been to any of the WDW parks has seen what have been nicknamed "Disney Commandos." These are the people (usually harried parents with small whiny children) who charge through a park like they're on a mission from God to get on every single attraction in the course of a day. The Unofficial Guide does lay out some good game plans for the Commandos, so if your goal is to get on Tower of Terror three times in a day, this is a good book. It also reviews every full service restaurant in WDW, but the reviews smack a little bit of the author's personal tastes. There's also a decent section about visiting the Orlando area, including Universal Studios and Sea World.
The Unofficial Guide does go into a lot of depth, and if you're tackling WDW for the first time you won't go wrong in buying either this book or the Birnbaum book--heck, buy both of them. WDW is not a place like Six Flags where you can just show up. It covers an area the size of San Francisco, so any and all planning you do will help you immensely, particularly if you have kids.