By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



Meet Dave and Josh and get your 2017 easy Guide signed Saturday 1/28 at Epcot. Details here!



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Category — The easy Guide

Meet People Who are Good at What They Do, and/or Dave and Josh, in Late January

MEET THE AUTHORS

Co-author Josh and I will be doing a meet-up and book signing Saturday January 28 at Epcot.

Meet Dave and Josh 1-28 at Epcot at 1pWe’ll be outside the main pyramid in Mexico on the right from 1p to 2p (or until the crowds go away) and would love to say hi and sign your copy of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017.

For your own copy of the 2017 edition of the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever (ever!), click here.

PRO BOWL AT DISNEY WORLD

That’s the same period that for the first time the Pro Bowl will be in Orlando, with many festivities in Disney World, especially at ESPN but also at Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs.

Cleveland Browns at the Pro Bowl from yourfirstvisit.net

Here’s the current scoop on what’s going on with the Pro Bowl at Disney World:

Pro Bowl at Disney World from yourfirstvisit.net

To actually see practices or the skills showdown, go here to get tickets.

Pro Bowl Event Tix at Disney World from yourfirstvisit.net

The tickets are free and are just a way of limiting access to capacity. Note that Saturday the 28th is already sold out, so just come to the meet-up. You don’t need tickets for the “Pro Bowl Experience” fan zone.

In addition there’s a parade of players Friday at the Magic Kingdom—no details yet—and something at Disney Springs, possibly late night player sightings at Raglan Road or, more likely, STK.

Younger son and I will be doing most of these experiences so we can review them for you in case you want to try them out next year. (Older son can’t make it because he’s too busy BECAUSE HE WON A TICKET TO THE SUPER BOWL.)

It’s hard to say what impact the Pro Bowl and associated festivities will have on the parks that week—the best guess is little, except for Friday at the Magic Kingdom and the roads around ESPN Wide World of Sports. (We’re at Art of Animation most nights, so are theoretically within walking distance, although I don’t recall any sidewalks on Victory Way.)

The Pro Bowl fan events and practices at ESPN and parade at Magic Kingdom obviously makes a Disney World visit a little more attractive that week for some football fans, and if it gets the rep of being fun, may make that week a bit more of a target next year. That’s’ why I’m going—to see for myself so I can offer guidance for next year.

ALTERNATIVES TO EPCOT’S FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

Over that weekend I’ll also be seeing Epcot’s new International Festival of the Arts, which occurs Fridays to Mondays until February 20th. This looks, so far, more promising than I’d thought it would, and after the visit I’ll let you know what I think.

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However, you can do your own Festival of the Arts at home—grab some Triscuits and pimento cheese, and settle down with a copy of The Walt Disney Film Archives.

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Wildly expensive at 135 bucks on Amazon, this huge (I put the playing card on it for scale, and had to reorganize one of my bookshelves to fit it), 14 pound book is the most beautiful book on the classic animated films you’ll find, and despite the tiny type, my favorite Disney-related book in years.

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I’ll post more on this amazing book later, but in the meantime, just trust me and get it.

DISNEY AFTER HOURS

Friday night the 27th we’ll be doing the Disney After Hours event, an expensive way to see a bunch of Magic Kingdom rides with hardly any waits.

Not something I’d recommend for first-timers, this event is well worth it for returning visitors who can stay up through it, especially on nights Magic Kingdom closes at 8p, or if they’ve otherwise blown their Disney World visit hanging around at ESPN.

Space Mountain at the After Hours Party

Space Mountain at the Disney After Hours Event

It’s currently on the calendar for multiple Thursday and Friday nights into early March—specifically, January 20 and 27, February 2, 9, and 16, and March 2 and 9.

See this for how it went in 2016.

THIS AND THAT

FWIW, also on this visit I’ll be staying in and photographing a refurbed One Bedroom Villas at Kidani, and also, I hope, a refurbed room at the Dolphin.

The 2017 easy Guide

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January 15, 2017   No Comments

Giveaway Winners/Next Giveaway

Here are the winners of the giveaway of the free signed copies of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017–the best reviewed Disney World guidebook ever:

I had planned to pick only three winners on the merits, but the comments were so great is was hard for me to stop at even six!

And if you didn’t win, don’t despair.

  • First, if you book your trip using Kelly B as your travel agent, you get a free copy–plus her terrific and sweet help in making all your arrangements
  • Second, co-author Josh and I will be doing another giveaway later this month, this time of books signed by BOTH of us, thus either doubling or halving their value! Stay tuned, more details to come.

The actual winning comments:

winner-aimee-9

winner-carla-g-31

winner-isobel-10

winner-jeff-26

winner-leanne-27

winner-marilyn-6

winner-staci-15

winner-tanya-20

The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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January 3, 2017   No Comments

Disney World Guide Book Giveaway!

Hey! This contest is over, and the winners are here.

On New Year’s Day—the first day of 2017—I will pick five winners of signed copies of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, the latest edition of the best-reviewed Walt Disney World guidebook ever published.

From all the eligible comments on this page, I will pick three winners on the merits, and two randomly.

holiday-giveaway-of-the-easy-guide

Eligible comments need to include two statements:

  • One about how either this site, or The easy Guide itself, has actually helped you plan a Disney World trip
  • And, in the spirit of the season, another statement about how another site (or another guide book) has ALSO helped you. The obvious selections here would be co-author Josh’s easyWDW.com and/or a prior edition of our guide book, lol, but your statement could be about any other Disney World site or any other guidebook!

(Note that live links to other sites are OK, but because I get so much spam, they will get held for my approval, so may not show up right away.)

Want a free, signed copy of the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever written? Then page down and add a comment now.

The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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December 27, 2016   34 Comments

Updated Version of The easy Guide 2017!

Josh and I published earlier this week an updated version of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, the latest edition of the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series, ever.

We had kinda hoped that this update would also include a review of Rivers of Light, but that’s still not out…so the next update will cover it.

the-easy-guide-2017-updated

But even so, with this update The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit remains the most accurate, most up-to-date, and most usable guidebook to Walt Disney World that you can find!! Buy it now, or if you bought it already, get your email to us so we can send you the updated version (as a PDF)!

updating-your-easy-guide

(Note that I expect to start sending out the updated PDF to those who have already signed up for the updates later this week).

Here’s some details of the changes we just published:

  • Title, Introduction and Chapter 1 (“How to Use This Book”): minor changes—mostly typos and infelicities. At our August publication date, we dropped the word “First” from the title for the 2017 edition, added content more helpful to returning visitors, and added a free PDF update model. There’s more on these points here and here.
  • Chapters 2 and 3 (“Why Age and Height Matter” and “How Long to Stay”): just minor changes to reflect ride closures since August.
  • Chapter 4, “When to Go”: one of four core chapters of the book, this one also saw just minor changes that add more precision to reflect additional info that’s come out since early August. The basic changes for 2017 are covered here.
  • Chapter 5, “Where to Stay”: another core chapter saw some updates to reflect resort refurb facts and rumors that have come out since August. We also cleaned up one minor floor plan error and one price error. The details of the 2017 changes are here.
  • Chapter 6, “How to Spend Your Time”: the heart of the book, with theme park overviews, itineraries, ride reviews, and touring plans. This section saw the most updates, as there’s new attractions, closed attractions, and a result lots of new and updated material. Josh, who writes 99% of this chapter, also fully updated the touring plans, which may be the most valuable part of the book. The scoop on 2017 changes to this chapter is here.
  • Chapter 7, “Where to Eat”: the astonishing transformation of Disney World dining continues, and here in this core chapter we update both the latest good news (e.g. Flying Fish) and bad news (Liberty Tree Tavern). The overview of 2017 changes to where to eat is here.
  • Chapter 8 and 9 (“Which Tickets to Buy and How Much to Budget” and “How to Get Everything Done”) saw minor changes—e.g. a new four day, four park ticket model, and the renewal of the Armed Forces Salute.

As I noted, we had kinda hoped that this update would also include a review of Rivers of Light, and in fact timed this update, we thought, to include it.

But Rivers of Light is still not operating…so the next update will cover it. Even so, The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit remains the most accurate, most up-to-date, and most usable guidebook to Walt Disney World that you can find!

The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit … don’t plan a Disney World trip without it!

The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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November 26, 2016   1 Comment

Get an Updated easy Guide for Almost Nuthin!

As co-author Josh points out here, we have two bits of news:

  • First, we just published a stem to stern update of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit, and
  • Second, if you use the Amazon code HOLIDAYBOOK, you’ll get $10 off for any order of $25 or more.  Buy two easy Guides, one to give away as a present and one for yourself, and you’ll pay just around $7 for the second one!

the-easy-guide-to-your-walt-disney-world-visit-2017

Find the full scoop in Josh’s post here. Or just buy it here. And those who have forwarded their Amazon confirmations to us will get their updated PDF copies starting late next week!!
The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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November 25, 2016   No Comments

Where to Eat at Disney World

Chapter 7, Where to Eat, is one of four core chapters in The easy guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit—the 2017 edition of the best-reviewed Disney World guide book series, ever. (The other core chapters are When to Go, Where to Stay, and How to Spend Your Time.)

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We—and especially my co-author Josh of easyWDW.com—put a lot into this chapter, as of the more than a hundred options you will be able to dine at only a few restaurants at Disney World, so understanding your alternatives and picking just the right ones for your party are one of the ways you optimize your Disney World experience.

There’s been a dozen major restaurant openings or major-redos in the past year or so, and of these a least half a dozen are profoundly significant. So the 2017 easy Guide, updated as of early August and with more free updates yet to come, is a handy way to sort through all of what’s new to pick just the best for you.

Chapter 7 of The easy Guide begins with the basics of Disney World dining, with a particular focus on suggestions that might make sense for various types of visitors.

chapter-7-of-the-easy-guide-where-to-eat-contents

We then cover a couple of peculiar features of dining at Disney World, Advanced Dining Reservations and the Disney Dining Plan, and after some thoughts on saving money, turn to the meat of this chapter—overviews of dining in the parks, and individual reviews of all the table–service options in the Disney parks, Disney Springs, and the Disney-owned hotels. (See the excerpt above from the table of contents; If you don’t know yet what “table service” means, you really need this book.)

For example, here’s part of the overview of dining at Magic Kingdom, with some thoughts on the new table service restaurant here, Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen:

skipper-canteen-from-dining-overview-from-the-easy-guide

And here’s the full review of this restaurant later in the chapter:

skipper-canteen-from-the-easy-guide

This is an example of the kind of care and detail you’ll find in our reviews. And note that last lines of the first bit “Disney is expected to make changes that make the menu more appealing to the unadventurous.” In fact, Disney just made some changes here, and they simplified the menu much less than we thought they would. (See Josh’s note here.)

Because our is the only major Disney World guide book that offers free updates, buyers of The easy Guide 2017 will get for free the updated versions of the 2017 easy Guide that we’ll be publishing later this year and in 2017, including changes to this text! See the image for how to get yours:

Updating your easy Guide

Disney Springs—the old Downtown Disney—has seen a particular renaissance in fine and fun dining. Josh’s reviews of all the new and re-imagined offerings here are, for returning visitors looking to try something new, well worth the entire price of the book.

Here’s some brief excerpts of a few Disney Springs reviews from Chapter 7:

  • Planet Hollywood: “Planet Hollywood is set to later in fall 2016 with a planetarium theme and new menu, though little else is known about what exactly will be offered.”
  • Paddlefish: “Paddlefish replaces Fulton’s Crab House in the same location in a riverboat on the water and it will be operated by the same company that elevated it into becoming one of the 15 most profitable restaurants in the country.”
  • Morimoto Asia: “Officially helmed by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto Asia opened in October 2015 to great fanfare. The restaurant is sleek and stylish, with impressive chandeliers said to resemble jellyfish.”
  • Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar: “Jock Lindsey is Indiana Jones’ longtime pilot and his bar is ornately themed to his hangar which was recently converted into a bar for the enjoyment of his fellow members of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers.”
  • Homecoming—Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar: “Chef Art Smith is perhaps best known as the personal chef of Oprah Winfrey, but those that appreciate his history with Disney will remind you that he completed a Disney internship as well. Homecoming Florida showcases the state’s fresh flavors with appetizers like house-made pimento cheese hushpuppies served with red jalapeño jelly and deviled eggs.”
  • Frontera Cocina: “Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless, who operates around ten Mexican restaurants mostly in the Chicago area, brings what is easily Disney’s best Mexican restaurant to Disney Springs”
  • The Edison: “Themed to a 1920s-period electric company, The Edison celebrates an era of invention, excitement, and imagination. Much more than just a restaurant, The Edison is expected to bring live singing, dancing, palm readers, contortionists, and a lot more.”
  • The BOATHOUSE: “Offering picturesque waterfront dining, multiple bars inside and out, and a number of diversely themed dining areas, The BOATHOUSE brings upscale cuisine wrapped up in a casual atmosphere to Disney Springs.”
  • STK Orlando: “STK is a significant departure away from anything else at Walt Disney World, blending an ultra-modern steakhouse aesthetic with an atmosphere that resembles more of a Las Vegas club than a traditional steakhouse.”

For the rest of these reviews, and all kinds of great advice on Disney World dining, buy the book!

Ok, that’s it for now. More to come on other changes in the 2017 easy Guide later! Meanwhile, buy the book, OK?
The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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October 17, 2016   2 Comments