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Ears of Steel: The Real Man's Guide to Walt Disney World

General Information:

Media Type: Book
Type: Guidebooks
Release Date: 2013-11-01

Geek's Thoughts: I found Bart Scott’s Ears of Steel to be an entertaining guidebook, yes I used entertaining to describe a guidebook, and I do not mean just from a geeks perspective but from that of a regular person. I have read more Disney Park guidebooks than I would want to try and count and cannot remember any making me laugh as much as this one. The tag line of the book says it all: The Real Man’s Guide to Walt Disney World. The book is written from the point of view of a man’s man.. translation thrill rides, beer, food, etc.. rank at the top of the list… channel Tim Taylor from Home Improvement and you have an idea of what you are in for. As far as guidebooks go it covers the basics telling you a brief history, vocabulary, then goes into some of the resort options, parks, attractions, and other activities Walt Disney World has to offer. The intent of this book is not to give your a trip planning resource or factoids about the parks. It is to share the perspective of what the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer that meets the "mans" test.


If you are looking for a different take on the parks and an enjoyable read I would recommend giving this guide a look. If you are looking for a comprehensive just the facts guide and trip planning advice this is really not the book for that. If you are looking for a perspective that includes a point of view and some reviews this is an interesting read.

When reading a guidebook I always try to put myself into the mindset of a first time guest, which is harder and harder to do with each passing year and series of trips to the parks, but I still try. I try to see if I knew nothing about the parks, attractions, etc.. What would I take away? This book is trying to present a point of view showcasing attractions that support the storyline. It will give you reviews of many of the attractions and opportunities available to help you figure out what you may want to see/do on your trip.

As I read through the book I was trying to figure out how I would describe it and the best I could come up with it is written in a blog style. Bart conveys the facts but the meat of the book are his opinions, stories, and sidebars. It is this point of view and humor that made this a fun read. I always enjoy hearing/reading about others trips and what they value, do not value. A couple of interesting items that stuck out to me:

  • Epcot is given 5 chapters in the book and thus the most pages covering the park, Food & Wine Festival, and more. He even has a short chapter devoted to Drinking Around the World!
  • He believes Animal Kingdom is more than a “half day park”, which I agree with
  • No mention of the Festival of the Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom but Tough to Be a Bug is.
  • The Magic Kingdom is the last park covered, He gave a very positive review of the now gone Under New Management version of the Enchanted Tiki Room
An advantage I think this book has over most guidebooks is it may age better. Since the author picks and chooses and gives his opinions of the offerings it should have a longer shelf life. One of the flaws of most print guides that try to cover all the details is they are usually out of date before being printed. There is always something new or changed at the parks and because of the long lead time to press things get missed.

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