The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017 – Book Review & Giveaway
by Disney Magic Diva
If you are planning to make your first visit to Disneyland Resort, or if you are returning to Disneyland after an absence of a few years, or even if you visit every weekend, there is something for you in The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017. This book provides a wealth of information that helps guests maximize their stay at Disneyland Resort, covering everything from the most efficient order in which to experience attractions to the walking time from area hotels.
The title includes “unofficial” so the reader can rest assured the Walt Disney Company had nothing to do with its content. The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017 is completely the creation of its authors, none of whom are associated with Disney (but all of whom are experts on Disney). The book takes an operations research approach to enjoying a trip to Disneyland Resort; using data to remove as much wasted effort as possible, while at the same time taking into account the very real needs and desires of the guests. This results in a series of “touring plans” that the book claims can eliminate as much as four hours of standing in line from a single day visit. You can learn more about developing a touring plan for your trip by visiting their website, touringplans.com.
This is not like other Disneyland guidebooks. The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017 asks and answers questions that visitors to Disneyland Resort need to know. With input from 1,000 guest surveys yearly to add to their own experience and knowledge base, the authors give us all the foundation for the best possible trip to Disneyland Resort.
At 384 pages, The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017 may seem a little daunting, but for those of us used to the Walt Disney World version of these guidebooks which run in the 800-900 page range, this book is an easy read. The book is divided into seven parts that lead the reader through everything needed to have the best experience possible from a visit to Disneyland Resort. The title of the parts are self-explanatory: Planning Before You Leave Home; Essentials; Disneyland with Kids; Dining and Shopping in and around Disneyland; Disneyland Park; Disney California Adventure; and Universal Studios Hollywood (in addition to the coverage of Disneyland Resort, The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017 includes a chapter on Universal Studios Hollywood and the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter, as well as a touring plan for that park). Numerous maps accompany each section.
The book includes so many helpful tips that it is impossible to list them all in this review, but here is a sampling:
- A comparison of attractions and features of Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort
- A listing of events (and expected attendance numbers) being held at the Anaheim Convention Center in 2017 (this can impact Disneyland Resort crowd size)
- How to compensate for a packed park if you must go on a high-crowd day
- Area hotel ratings and the top 30 hotel deals
- Reviews of dining, both in-park and in the nearby area
- Descriptions and reviews of every attraction
- Quiet places
- Previews of the Star Wars experience and the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction
- Tips for what to pack, how to get there, where to park
- The input from readers: whether discussing an attraction, a hotel, a restaurant, or what to do if it rains, the authors include quotes from readers of previous editions, real people like you or me who have taken trips with their families to Disneyland Resort and applied the strategies of the book . This has a greater impact for me than relying solely on the opinions of people whose jobs are to write about travel and theme parks.
- Hotel ratings: If you cannot afford to stay at the Disneyland Hotel, the Grand Californian, or Paradise Pier, you are likely to end up at a “Good Neighbor Hotel.” These properties are not owned by Disney, nor are most of them affiliated with a national chain. This makes the book’s ratings of these hotels very useful in finding a good value for your family.
- Pool ratings for hotels: As exciting as Disneyland is, those of us traveling anywhere with children know that the time spent at the hotel pool is often a child’s favorite memory. The book rates the pools of all walking-distance hotels on a scale of 1 to 10.
- Attractions that “eat” adults: The authors acknowledge that the adults are sometimes so pre-occupied with making sure the children are having a fun but safe time, that they forget to watch out for their own welfare. A list of attractions that may be problematic for adults is included.
- Waiting line strategies for adults with small children: I especially love the Chuck-Bubba Relay for riding twice in a row without waiting. It’s probably just the name being so catchy, but it also is a great strategy with detailed instructions included.
- Disneyland Resort restaurant ratings: The book breaks down restaurants by categories (counter-service vs. full-service), quality, value, and reader survey “thumbs up-thumbs down” results.
My family has long relied on the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, but we did not purchase the Disneyland version before making our first three trips to Disneyland Resort. We believed that, as expert Walt Disney World guests, and with Disneyland being so much smaller, we would adapt nicely to the original theme park without any need for outside help. We did, indeed, enjoy those first three visits, but now that we have read The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017, our upcoming January 2017 trip has some added luster. This book has given us the means to shoehorn a few more delights into our time at Disneyland Resort, increasing our anticipation and excitement for returning there.
If a Disneyland trip is in your future, I highly recommend grabbing a copy of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017. If your plans are for a Walt Disney World Resort vacation, there’s a guide for that too – The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2017 – and you can read our review here. Or check out the other books in the Unofficial Guide series: The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids, The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line, The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando, or The Unofficial Guide: The Color Companion to Walt Disney World. (Just click on the title to find it on Amazon.)
Or even better, if you’d like one of these guidebooks, you can WIN one! We are so excited to announce The Unofficial Guides have offered to GIVE AWAY a copy of one of their books to a lucky reader. Just enter our contest, and you can start planning your perfect vacation!
And if you’d like just a little more help in booking that vacation, don’t forget to contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel. Her services are FREE and she will help ensure everything for your vacation will be magical!
Disclaimer: Liliane Opsomer from The Unofficial Guide series provided me a complimentary copy of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017 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 their permission.
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