Can we be honest, the Disney guidebook market is a pretty hard one to crack into. It is a market where one title honestly dominates the market. The remainder of sales are mostly divided up between big name travel companies and as I have recently seen, but not had the heart to review in most cases, eBooks where good meaning bloggers give the same advice with little production or organization. But one might still be able to find a niche to crack the market.
The easy Guide To Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2014 by Dave Shute and Josh Humphrey targets a specific niches, or two. What if this was your first visit or even worse your only visit to the Walt Disney World Resort? Then you would like have very different questions than many guests since you would not know what you liked or wanted to do. The guide therefore tailors its descriptions and advice to those who have never gone to the parks. With this bias in mind, the text follows a pretty straightforward outline; planning, lodging, touring, and eating with extensive summaries for accommodations, attractions and dining. The text is accompanied by a number of spreadsheets, charts and maps (including links to some of the planning documents) to help someone make he most of their only trip to Walt Disney World.
Shute and Humphrey are honest with their readers, and that honesty impacts how they visit the parks. They do not like getting up early. So instead of a typical strategy of up early, they tend to provide their readers with a plan that allows them to sleep in a little later and get to the park after the gate opens. Now, this is not how I would typically visit the parks. But I can see the merits of their strategy and though I may not consider this as my basic strategy. I can see how my family would apply this in the middle portions of our vacations when we occasionally hit a fun wall. Also they suggest longer trips, especially for those who may not ever be coming back to the parks. I agree that anyone who is Between Disney needs to consider more days than less for cost and experience reasons. Shute and Humphrey are bot clear writers and it is enjoyable to see them even show their different opinions. The two are both knowledgeable with Shute writing www.yourfirstvisit.com and Humphrey authoring www.easywdw.com (note: these were not the well meaning bloggers I was referring to earlier).
The easy Guide To Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2014 is a strong book and does a good job of discussing the topic with its target audience. There are a few improvements I would suggest. Some of the descriptions are not standard, so for example Sum of All Thrills there is no expected wait time, something I actually really wanted to know since I have not experienced this attraction. For some attractions it asks the questions can we handle it, for others this is absent. The biggest problem I had reading is maps. I was reading a paperback black and white copy and for my eyes some of the shading was not clear enough to show me differences in attractions. But I did check with the Kindle version, which has very clear color differences in their differentiation scheme. So my recommendation is to pick up the Kindle version of the book. This would allow the graphics to be fully appreciated and allow someone who has never visited the parks to have this book on a electronic device for easy reference instead of having to carry the weight of this, or any book, through the parks.
I think that The easy Guide To Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2014 is a useful book for those who have never visited the Walt Disney World Resort before. It is clear and well-organized helping one to plan their once in a life visit. And for someone who has not visited Walt Disney World in a few years it helped refresh me on essential information I will need for visiting Disney's second park.
Review Copy Provided by Theme Park Press