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The Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation

The Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation is written by Steven M Barrett who is probably better known for his “Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets”. This is the 10th edition and the book is updated each year.

Steven Barrett is passionate about Disney, as well as The Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation, he is also the author of Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets, Hidden Mickeys Go to Sea: A Field Guide to the Disney Cruise Line’s Best Kept Secrets and Disneyland’s Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to the Disneyland Resort’s Best-Kept Secrets.

Some of the main complaints of people visiting Walt Disney World are the costs, the crowds and the heat so this book helps you to mitigate these things.

The first chapter gives advice on planning your vacation with topics such as when to go, the advantages of staying on site, getting there and getting around, what to bring with you and details of the various ticket pricing options. A table summarises each on site restaurant with location, cuisine, whether they serve breakfast, lunch and or dinner, price range and overall rating.

The next four chapters cover Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. For each of the parks, there are suggestions of attractions with minimum waits, warnings about attractions that may frighten young children, where to find the least crowded rest rooms, best resting places and a few hidden Mickeys.

If you are determined to be first on either Space Mountain or Splash Mountain in the morning, then there are suggestions on how to get there ahead of the crowd.

Each of the rides and shows are described in detail and are rated for entertainment value and there is also an idea of how long each of them will take to help you plan your day. There are also loads of tips about best lines when there is more than one queue, whether to use a FASTPASS, best seating areas, best time of day to visit, photo opportunities, height restrictions etc.

There is a short chapter on the Downtown Disney area and the water parks and then ideas of other less well known activities you can do within the Walt Disney World Resort.

For hardened Disney fans there is a photo quiz with over twenty black and white photos that you have to identify their location

Format: Paperback
Page: 272 pages
Publisher: The Intrepid Traveler, 9th edition
Date: September 16, 2010
ISBN: 1887140913
Size: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches

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Compared to something like the official Birnbaum Disney guidebooks and the Disney “bible”; the Unofficial guides to Walt Disney World, this is a slim book running to 272 pages. For example both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are covered in less than one page between them. The book is illustrated with half a dozen black and white maps and a scattering of monochrome photos.

The tag line of the book is “Don’t Waste Time in Line” and its major strengths are the comprehensive touring plans of each of the four main parks. Steven’s philosophy is a wait of more than 15 to 20 minutes is too long.

For the Magic Kingdom there are a total of 18 flexible touring plans. There are two separate one day plans for adults and teenagers; one if you are staying on site and visit on an Extra Magic Hours day and one for non Extra Magic Hours visits. There are then similar plans for families with young children and then for seniors who may be looking for a more relaxing (and less scary!!) visit.

If you have more time to spare, then there are a whole series of plans for two day visits following the same split in terms of Extra Magic Hours and type of age groups.

The one and two day plans for Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom (one day plan only) follow a similar pattern with separate plans for different age groups.

Overall this is a good primer for people who may not have visited Disney before and are looking for ideas on how to get the most out of their visit. New for 2011 is a “How well to you know Walt Disney World?” photo quiz.

Note that most guide books are re-published annually so you can often pick up a bargain if you don’t mind the previous edition.

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