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Theme Park Insider Visits Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando

General Information:

Media Type: Book
Type: Guidebooks
Release Date: 2014-11-03

Geek's Thoughts: Last Reviewed 2015 Edition: The 2015 edition of the Theme Park Insider Visits Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando gives you an overview of what to expect when venturing to the theme parks of Central Florida and some tips on how to have a positive experience. In addition to the large complexes of Disney and Universal the book touches on Sea World, Lego Land, and several other central Florida offerings. For the four Disney parks and two Universal parks each attraction or dining location is listed and you get a brief description, height restriction information, a quick gage of wait times (more, less, average), and a readers rating. The readers rating comes from their website reviews and ratings. For the other central Florida attractions a brief overview is given then the top 10 attractions.

The book is an interesting hybrid of sorts. The write ups are a mix of the author�s experience/point of view, Theme Park Insider reviews, straight descriptions, factoids, and mini history lessons. In addition to the specific breakdowns there are introductions for the properties as well as the each park. The format is easy to read and use as a reference later. There is no index but the clear/clean layouts make flipping through to find something relatively pain free.


I enjoyed reading the extended descriptions/blurbs on some of the attractions and would have liked to have seen more of that (since I am a geek and more is always better). I think the decision to focus the book on what to expect and descriptions vs straight planning gives it more staying power. There are sections that include readers picks and advice for making the most of your trip (think tips on how to plan a day) as well as prepare for the trip toward the end of the book.

I found the readers score to be fairly meaningless since you do not know the reader type and most were in the same range so really not a substantial data point in my mind. I would have liked to have seen this broken down by demographic (age/type of visitor/something to give it context).

Another questionable element for me was the top 10 lists. These are always fun to read but the results seemed a little odd to me (I will not spoil it so if you want to see you have to read the book). But let us just say there were some real head scratches in there.

If you are looking for a resource to get an introduction to the themeparks and their attractions across central Florida this book is worth putting on your list to look at. I cannot speak from a newbie or uninformed guest perspective but in trying to put myself in those shoes I can see value to this format and type of book.

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