We’re starting work on the 2017 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and we’d love to know what new features, advice, and coverage you want to see in that book. If there’s a trip-planning feature you want, or advice on how to plan some specific part of your trip, this is the place to ask.
The 2016 edition includes @WalleandEve’s suggestion for 4th FastPass+ advice, @brklinck’s and @SecretAgentMinnie’s planning milestone checklist (see the original topic here). So we definitely listen to your feedback.
The other side of this coin is the question “What section do you find least useful in the current book?” In the event that we need to save on page count, what’s the section that you use least often?
As far as new content goes, we’re already planning to cover AK’s Rivers of Light and Pandora attractions, plus the latest on DHS construction, Epcot’s new Frozen and Soarin’ rides, and the completion of Disney Springs.
Thanks very much,
Hey Len, I am always scouting around for unusual/different things to do/eat/drink! I hunted out a cronut, dole whip in Nov and went on the dive quest/ sea Aqua tours. Things to look out for too.
How about touring with children when there is a large age gap between them? Mine are 12 and 5, so trying to optimize touring is difficult. Some more information on the club levels associated with each deluxe resort?
Lastly, I always find it interesting to read about splurges in Disneyworld
I would like to see two discussions, somewhat related.
One is a discussion of the various water based forms of transportation available (ferries), in case people want to use them for transport to a destination or simply as a free activity. I really like the wealth of info in the 3/13/13 blog about all the WDW transportation, and wish some of that were also in the book.
The second item is a discussion of free things people can do while not in a ticketed park. These could be ideas for what to do on arrival or departure days when you don’t want to “waste” the cost of a whole day’s ticket on just a few hours. For instance, we explore other WDW resort hotels, Disney Springs, and ride the monorails. I plan to ride a lot of ferries on our next trip, simply because we haven’t ever done that.
We are like many people who do a lot of research online. As a result, we are probably like many people and refer to the book when the internet is inaccessible - lying in bed at night, riding the GO train, waiting at the dentist’s office, on the plane en route to WDW. With this in mind, I personally love and use the book for three distinct aspects of trip planning:
- Pre-contemplation when trying to figure out what a trip might look like. For this, sections on when to go and general information (especially tables and graphics!) about on- vs off-site, and the beginning-of-chapter overview of parks and trip plans were most useful.
- Planning the trip - I spent hours pouring over the resort comparison tables (very awesome), pool comparison chart, and dining information (those awesome boxes with overall rating, pros/cons, and character:diner ratio - unbelievably helpful). I also enjoyed a good cover-to-cover browse at this time, learning for the first time about such great options as Garden Grocer and stroller rentals, and browsing the TPs at the back of the book. (Starting at the 3rd trip, I didn’t use the book for TPs at all since I used the web site). Perusing the Universal section helped me decide if it was worth a side trip or not.
- En route to the World (airplanes, DME, etc). This was when I reviewed details, like reading about attractions I’d never heard of or looking at maps of WDW to figure out where we were going and review the pre-made TPs from the book. Loved the star-ratings for attractions. We have only ever had the UG With Kids, and I loved its more compact size (compared with the larger tomes around) since it was easy to pop into a purse or small backpack to bring with. I appreciated its relative brevity and am happy to sacrifice content for portability.
The least helpful section was perhaps the part about “Physical Preparation” for WDW (I last purchased the 2013 guide, so this section might be gone now). I think a statement about the importance of activity ahead of time to be prepared for long, long, unimaginably-long days of walking was probably sufficient for us without a full chapter devoted to it.
By comparison, one of the most helpful chapters was the boots-on-the-ground “Ready Set Tour!” touring considerations chapter, that fit in helpful nuggets that I would otherwise never have known.
Sorry so long-winded. Thanks for producing, over and over again, such a great guide!
The pages that I bookmarked are: Getting your act together-gathering information, How to get discounts on lodging at WDW, Dining in WDW, Small-child fright-potential chart,and Logistic preparation.
My favorite chapter is Get in the Boat, Men! Ready, Set, Tour! Our touring recommendations.
The two chapters I don’t have anything highlighted is the Introduction & Basic Considerations!!
I agree with @mkmuzzy about the water transportation options. I have the 2015 UG and it seemed like there was only passing mention about the many different ferries. We stayed at POFQ in December, and took the ferry to DS several times, and on our last day, we did a resort Christmas decorations tour, and had a lot of fun taking the different boats to the MK resorts and around the Epcot resorts. The boats were a much more pleasant option than buses for most legs of that tour.
I can’t really find anything that isn’t useful, but, with the growing number of attractions at WDW, I wonder if this isn’t the time to spin Universal off into its own volume, rather than having the UG become too heavy to carry around.
Thanks for all that you and the UG folks do.
I would like a universal park to park touring plan . Now that hogwarts express train is open that would be great instead of doing both parks separate
A frequent question here goes along the lines of “OMG - our first trip is in 3 weeks and I just found out about the UG/Forum and I had no idea about all the preparation I should have done! What do I do?” Maybe a section with tips/guidance for the last-minute traveler to help them out - things like useful ADRs that are usually available at the last minute, how to get the most out of the remaining FPPs, and other planning tasks that can be easily done in order to make a more enjoyable trip. (I don’t have a recent version of the UG, so perhaps it is already there.)
Another useful thing would be a “Quick Start Guide” like you get with most electronic gear. The UG can be a bit intimidating to the newbie, so a short overview on how to get the basics done (perhaps referencing certain sections of the UG) might help boost the learning curve. (Again, perhaps it is already there.)
In terms of things to get rid of in order to save space, the planning milestone checklist should be the first to go. Totally useless, and I don’t know who would have suggested such a thing.
We love your guides. We used both the touring with children and the main guide to plan our trip.
One thing I had to research beyond your guides are how to deal with food allergies at the parks. With a child with multiple food allergies, we plan a lot of our trip around where she can eat safely. Information on how to deal with food allergies at quick service, buffet and table restaurants are very different and would have helped us prior to our first trip to DW.
Universal does now have its own UG. I have used it and it is great! It also has the TPs @burfe1501 was inquiring about.
I’d love to see more information on incorporating character meets into your touring plan. I’m not sure how long to block off for them, except for the few that offer FPP.
I would like to see in the book and on the website a planning sheet with an overview of with parks/water parks/activities to do for each day of your trip.
This is interesting, @lsatherton. What would you like the first few items on the planning sheet to look like?
I quest what I was imagine was a high level 14 day itinerary sheet which would be by date that you could then drill down to individual park day touring plans based on crowd levels incorporating Universal, sea world, water parks together with other activities such as Disney springs, rest days
This is a really good idea! I actually was just thinking the other day of the best way to try and figure out what days to tour the water parks on my trip
Len can I sent you a spreadsheet I have put together that could be converted into a table for the guide book?
Hi Len -
Don’t know if these are in the 2016 book, 2015’s Good Book is the latest I own. For the Photopass Memory Maker section, mention which rides automatically update to your Memory Maker account without having to touch your MagicBand to the picture wall. Perhaps more detail on the My Disney Experience app and maybe listing the updates Disney adds frequently since not everyone reads the “What’s New?” content when updating their smart phones; the app has changed so much from my late August 2015 WDW trip. I use the wait times (and submit lots when I’m at WDW) from your Lines app (Excellent app BTW!) However, the Imagineers have added more functionality to their app in other ways, such as Memory Maker.
I have to tell you, I’ve bought and read the majority of the editions of the Good Book since 1993. I’m one of those who read ~90% of the book “cover to cover.” I know you don’t change some of the “standard” text. BUT, some of the “anecdotes from readers” and cartoons in the 2015 book, I first read in the 1993 edition! Some discuss stuff that no longer applies and it could be confusing for newer readers.
You might want clarify the fantasmic dining advice. That’s the only thing that confused me so far.