Congratulations – you’ve decided to take your family to Walt Disney World. It’s a euphoric feeling. The excitement is crashing over everyone.
But hold off on ordering those matching t-shirts just yet.
Now… the planning begins. Now… the work is ahead of you. Don’t freak out on me. This is why DADventure Disney is here. I can help.
So, where do you start? If you’re asking me, and by reading this story, you technically are – my best advice it to get yourself a copy of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. They have several versions of this amazing book – and yes, the 2020 version is available now, too.
For those of us traveling with littles – I recommend their “With Kids” edition. Why? Following is my review.
When my wife and I made the decision that 2019 would be our year to visit the Mouse with our three little kids (5 and under), I mentioned it to a few close friends. I was (and remain) PUMPED!
In the mail, only a few days later, arrived this beautiful piece of Disney amazingness.
My friend Geoff, out of the blue, ordered the ‘Bible of Disney Planning’ and shipped it to our home. The sentiment was amazing, and the help has proven to be invaluable.
So, what’s inside this book? Everything. Seriously.
Questions about restaurants? It’s here. Questions on how to pick a resort to stay at. It’s here. Kids meals? Scary Rides? Character Interactions? Schedules? Maps? Stroller info? ALL HERE!
When I first sat down with this big book (it’s a hefty 488 pages), I skimmed through sections – not sure what to even look at. This chart caught my eye…
This is a list of all the rides and attractions, across all the parks, and the fright potential for small children. Every big ride and attraction is here. Sure, I’ve been recently and know, for the most part, what rides won’t work for skittish little kids (you won’t be finding us in the Haunted Mansion or Tower of Terror). But, there were a lot of aspects I didn’t think of.
A great example? The Enchanted Tiki Room – pretty mundane right? It was on my list of places to duck out of the heat or rain for a while and see a show with singing birds and plants. Harmless.
What I had forgotten was the thunderstorm that breaks out during the show. Loud volume, flashing lights and simulated explosions. This wasn’t a calm moment at all. Especially if your kids aren’t big fans of thunder (simulated or otherwise).
That’s when I knew this book was special. I turned back to page one and read this bad boy cover to cover. And then I did it again. And then I did it again with a highlighter. And then I did it again with tab stickers. Honestly – if I had studied my books in college this much, I’d be the CEO of Disney, not planning on a quick visit there.
I don’t expect most planning parents to do their planning to the extent to which I am, but I love it. I love the work, discovery and research. I was a journalism major in school and finding the true story beyond the hype was always what interested me.
What did I find most helpful in this book?
Check out details on the transportation, pools, dining and more for each hotel.
What kind of food are you looking for? Price ranges? Will the kids like it? All here.
DETAILED restaurant thoughts.
In fact, this book helped me choose between Cinderella’s Royal Table Princess Breakfast and the Akershus Princess Breakfast. More on this in a later piece!
My biggest stress, coming up soon, is the day I get to make my FastPass reservations. Never did this before thinking of littles. Going to be exciting and you KNOW I’ll share all about it.
Character Meet & Greet Locations.
This may be a bit dated as things have changes, especially with Epcot closing the Characters Spot. But I bet it’s updated in the 2020 book.
And very specific touring plans for each park – even broken down into plans depending on which kind of kids you are visiting with – small children, sleepy head children, teens and so on.
My favorite little pieces are the interjection spots from Bob and other experts with their quick tidbits.
Of course, they can’t tell you everything you’re going to need in 488 pages, but they come really close! If nothing else, The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids gives you an amazing base to start from and then you follow down the rabbit hole to research more details on your own.
Ok, you can go ahead and order those t-shirts now.
I hope you enjoy the DADventure. And as always, please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times!