By The Toy Story Fanatic Devo
Books and Covers
I like to think I plan trips to Disneyland pretty well. Trips are sometimes a long time away from each other so when I do have an opportunity to go I try to cram as much important stuff into my days as possible. Here’s the problem though: there is no way to plan for every eventuality. I find many times that I’m over planning and stressing myself out to come up with a dozen backup plans for when the Matterhorn line takes longer than I hoped or when Star Tours breaks down. again. and then I find myself having to re-arrange plans on the spot and maybe getting a sub-par experience.
The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2018 edition, compiled by Seth Kubersky and company, claims a lot of things on the cover by itself. It claims that 6 million guides have been sold before it, it claims the latest scoop on the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, and it claims to have so much pertinent information inside that it will save up to 4 hours of standing in line per day. That’s quite a promise.
There’s another thing on the cover worth noting the suggested price tag of $20 USD (well, $19.99 I guess, but whatever).
So the question comes down to this: is it worth it?
Now before we hop into this fully, I’d like to make it clear that I am not being paid by the Unofficial Guide. I did receive a free copy of the book to review but every observation and thought expressed here is mine and mine alone.
On with the show
What is it?
The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland is a comprehensive log of tips, tricks, hints, and ideas on how to make your Disneyland vacation as smooth as possible. This includes detailed information on every hotel in reasonable distance from the parks, restaurants within the park itself, and statistics on attractions. The book also gives a lot of information on pre-trip planning and ideas on what to trek with you in the parks.
There is also an impressive collection of schedules in the back based on scenario and circumstances. These are where the most time is boasted to be saved and gives a pretty solid promise of being able to hit all of the biggest attractions int he shortest amount of time.
Is the Book Effective?
It certainly works hard to deliver on its promises. I hopped into the attraction statistics/ information and checked out the two rides I care about most- Toy Story Midway Mania and Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Now what I found in this book astonished me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been by Indy and found the ride to be broken down and somehow they managed to peg down how long each breakdown takes to fix. That is unbelievable and that bit of information by itself would save me at least half an hour of waiting just by itself. The information on Toy Story was just as informative along with tricks on how to get the highest scores possible.
I continued through the list of my favorite attractions and found that the same care and detail was given to each ride and show. The information was well-organized and I had no trouble finding information quickly and effectively.
Lodging and food were all organized and given the same care. What I really appreciated was a checklist of sorts for information you need from the hotel before you book and that was mind-blowing to me. A lot of the ideas they presented such as asking when renovations last occurred or how old the hotel is are things I hardly think about until I find myself in a nasty, roach-infested motel room and I have a squirrel eating my cereal. But with this guide, not only would I be able to keep my cereal, but I’d also probably pay less for a better room.
Let’s address the “unofficial” part of the title. Whenever I see the word “Unofficial” in front of anything, I get scared. I’ve been burned by too many “unofficial” articles about more Indiana Jones movies and supposed Video Game Console releases that I find I don’t trust anything unless it comes from the official source. Let me tell you why this isn’t the case here.
When I was younger and planning my family’s first trip to Disneyland, we received an “official vacation planning” VHS tape. On it was a bunch of information talking about the park, hotels, restaurants and the like. Thing was, none of it was detailed and they didn’t dare talk about what restaurant was better or which hotel had the cleanest room, and Disney never would say those things. To do so would imply that not everything is perfect or created equal. This is where the book gets its biggest advantage.
Because it’s “unofficial”, the editors and writers are free to give a “comprehensive critical appraisal of Disneyland”. Meaning that when the food sucks at Paradise Pier hotel, they will tell you so (however, Paradise Garden Grill is pretty good. See D’Land Diva’s review of the restaurant). This kind of “unofficial” benefits the reader directly and should not be a hindrance on anyone’s opinion of the book.
We asked at the beginning of the book is worth the extra $20 dollars. I say it’s worth much more than that in practice. The information in this book is a time saver and could potentially save your vacation from utter destruction. It’s small enough to be portable in the park when it’s time to change plans and there are also some pre-set plans on how to get the most out of your day based on statistics and experiments Science Rules!
This book comes highly recommended by me and I plan on using it quite extensively when it comes to my next vacation plan.
If your planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Devo CabDisney reviewed the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2018.
And just for you guys and gals, we are going to be giving away a copy of this book! My good friend Pixie Dusted Diva has the details below. Take it away!
GIVEAWAY: Would you like to win a copy of this Unofficial Guide for yourself?? Great news, we’ve partnered with the Unofficial Guides to offer one lucky Tips from the Disney Divas and Devos reader a copy of their own Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2018. First, you will need to sign up for the Unofficial Guide newsletter here. Then use the Rafflecopter link below to confirm your entries. You will need to “LIKE” each of the Facebook entries for those to count. All entries will be verified. The winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond. GOOD LUCK!
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*Disclaimer: Liliane Opsomer from The Unofficial Guide series provided me a complimentary copy of The Unofficial Guide Disneyland 2018 to review. She also generously has allowed Tips from the Disney Divas and Devos to give away a copy of another Unofficial Guide book to our readers. I received no other compensation for my review, and my opinions are completely my own.
Also, all of the copyrights for the photographs used in this article belong to Liliane Opsomer and are being used with her permission.
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