Recommended Guidebooks and Books for First Time Visitors to Disney World
By Dave Shute
RECOMMENDED GENERAL WALT DISNEY WORLD GUIDEBOOKS FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS
Because you have this site, you don’t need any of the books below. But they are affordable luxuries!
Their best use, for families whose visit is largely based on this site, is for the trip home, to pass around and use as aids to memory and discussion of the trip.
If you do buy and read one before the trip, follow this tip: do not read the descriptions of the rides themselves.
Doing so both kills the suspense of a ride and lessens the wonder you otherwise would feel from experiencing a ride without knowing what’s next!
- Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa’s The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2014, the single best source of planning information about Walt Disney World. For a review, see this.
- Jennifer, Dave and Allison Marx’s PassPorter’s Walt Disney World 2012 is another good choice, nicely balanced among topics, and is especially suited to those who like to create and organize to-do lists. Reviewed here.
- Julie Neal’s The Complete Walt Disney World 2012 has the best photography and most detail on the rides and attractions of any guidebook. Reviewed here.
RECOMMENDED SPECIALIZED DISNEY WORLD GUIDEBOOKS
For those with special needs, and those looking for accommodations beyond the typical, the following two books can help:
- For those looking for suites, concierge floors, and the like, Cara Goldsbury’s The Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World Resort overstates the case (luxury at Walt Disney World is mostly relative to other Disney choices, and not comparable to luxury in world class hotels), and gushes a bit, but is still a good information source, especially on room options
- For those with special physical, health, mobility, or other challenges, Deb Wills and Debra Martin Koma have done the world a service: PassPorter’s Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line: Easy Access Vacations for Travelers with Extra Challenges
OTHER GREAT DISNEY WORLD BOOKS
From all the other great Disney World related works, I suggest the following:
- Neal Gabler’s wonderful biography: Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination
- Lee Cockerell’s Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney–distilling leadership strategies from leading the parks and resorts at Disney World
- Lou Mongello’s Audio Guide to Walt Disney World – Adventurelandand his Audio Guide to Walt Disney World – Main Street, USA
- Charles Ridgway’s memoirs of his time as Walt Disney’s PR guy: Spinning Disney’s World: Memories of a Magic Kingdom Press Agent
- Buzz Price’s memoir about being Disney’s strategic and operational consultant: Walt’s Revolution!: By the Numbers
- Anything by David Koenig, but especially Realityland: True-Life Adventures at Walt Disney World
- Scott Donahue’s Walt Disney World Peak Seasons: Maximizing your Disney Vacation