Unofficial Guide Books

Wiley publish the Frommer’s Guide Book series, the “For Dummies” books and the popular Unofficial Guide book series. The Unofficial Guide books cover Florida, Walt Disney World, other Orlando attractions, Disneyland California and cruising as well as other worldwide destinations and topics.

The Unofficial Guides to Walt Disney World books work on the principle of one major book, which they call the “Big Book”, namely The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World which covers everything at a certain level of detail.

They also then publish a number of additional books, each of which specialise in one particular area with more detailed information:

  • The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids focusses on planning a family vacation taking the needs of children of various ages into account
  • The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups concentrates of adult only vacations (last published in 2009)
  • Mini-Mickey: The Pocket-Sized Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World distils the information down into a truly pocket sized book especially for short-term or last minute vacationers
  • The Unofficial Guide Color Companion to Walt Disney World serves as an illustrated guide and keepsake

The main books are revised and updated each year and the Walt Disney World editions for the following year are generally published around August/September time. Some of the “smaller” titles are only updated every other year.

As well as Walt Disney World, Wiley also publish:

  • Beyond Disney: The Unofficial Guide to Universal, SeaWorld and the Best of Central Florida covers all the other parks and attractions in Orlando and the Central Florida region
  • The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando
  • Universal versus Disney: The Unofficial Guide to American Theme Parks’ Greatest Rivalry
  • The Unofficial Guide to Florida (last published in 2003)
  • The Unofficial Guide to Florida with Kids (last published in 2004)
  • The Unofficial Guide to Cruises (last published in 2007)
  • The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line
  • The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland

Click the links below to read our own book reviews.

If you are not bothered about having the very latest edition, you can often pick up a bargain by buying the previous year’s edition.

The Unofficial guides are renowned for their authoritative unbiased views.

Florida

There are two books on Florida in general, though they have not been republished in a number of years; The Unofficial Guide to Florida and The Unofficial Guide to Florida with Kids.

Walt Disney World Resort

There are five books on the Walt Disney World Resort itself plus another on the other Orlando theme parks. The main Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World guide covers just about everything and there is an edition with kids in mind, The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids.

Like the Birnbaum books, if you are specifically visiting without kids then you might want to consider The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups which focuses on attractions and activities more suitable to adults but this book has not been updated in many years.

If you do not want to lug an 800 plus page book around with you, there is also the pocket sized Mini Mickey : The Pocket-Sized Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and the new Unofficial Guide: The Color Companion to Walt Disney World with over 550 full colour photographs.

For the other Orlando area attractions, there is Beyond Disney: The Unofficial Guide to Universal SeaWorld & the Best of Central Florida and a new addition, The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando.

Disney Cruise Line & Disneyland Resort

For anyone contemplating a cruise, then there is The Unofficial Guide to Cruises which covers cruising world wide, not just the Disney Cruise Line. as well as the The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line. There is also a book on Disney’s other US theme park, Disneyland in California, The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland.

Unlike the Birnbaum guide books, the Unofficial Guides with the exception of the new Color Companion, do not have many colour illustrations but there are the occasional cartoon plus touring guides and maps.

If you are looking for an “official” guide book then you should consider the Birnbaum books, alternatively, there are also various books from Fodor (Fodor’s Gold Guides), Frommer (Frommer’s Complete) and PassPorter.

Other pages of interest