Discounts on Disney Guidebooks
Wondering how to choose the best Disney guidebooks? Read our reviews of the major Disney guides below and through the links below, get great discounts on them, too!
- Best Walt Disney World Guidebooks
- Specialty Walt Disney World Guidebooks
- Disneyland Guidebooks
- Disney Cruise Line Guidebooks
- Tokyo Disney Resort Guidebooks
The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2017 – Of all the guidebooks, the Unofficial Guide is the the most thorough. Authors Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa pull no punches in telling you the best way to organize your trip and avoid hassles and rip-offs. The “touring plans” in this book are excellent and can be a huge timesaver, particularly if you’re visiting Walt Disney World during a busy time of year. The book covers all the basics in depth — descriptions and reviews of all the Walt Disney World attractions, the hotels, the restaurants and more. There is also some excellent information on the two Universal theme parks and SeaWorld. The tone of the Unofficial Guide is humorously cynical. Some people think it’s too hard on Disney: we find it funny and usually right on the mark. This terrific book includes articles by experts about things like how to decide whether to buy a vacation package. Many of the write-ups about the attractions provide fun and interesting background information. There are lots of maps and charts, including a great chart of attendance at Walt Disney World by season to help you plan. All the information is kept updated year-round at TouringPlans.com. If you haven’t bought a guidebook for your upcoming trip to Disney World, get this one. We know you’ll be astonished at the amount you’ll learn. The Unofficial Guide offers frequent online updates that you can print out and add to your guidebook.
The Amazon Kindle edition of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2017 is almost identical to the print version when viewed on a modern tablet like an iPad or other high-resolution device, with some very minor formatting issues that don’t affect readability in any significant way. Most importantly, the tables and figures are all included at high resolution and are zoomable. As a bonus, the Kindle version will automatically get updated on a regular basis throughout the year as new information comes out.
Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World 2017 – This is the official guide, produced with Disney’s blessing. Yet surprisingly enough, it’s a pretty honest and objective book with a lot of great information, and it’s nicely compact (much thinner than the other guidebooks, though the pages are larger). Since this is a Disney guidebook, it does not cover other Florida theme parks and attractions, unlike competing guides. There are a few nice coupons in the back.
Disney Food Blog e-Books – The author and founder of The Disney Food Blog, AJ Wolfe, has compiled her best material about all things delicious at Walt Disney World into critically acclaimed, comprehensive e-Books that cover many different aspects of Walt Disney World dining. Her main book, The Disney Food Blog Guide to Dining at Walt Disney World, is stunningly illustrated and amazingly informative. This annually updated guide can help you save time, money and hassles. You’ll learn what snack and meal choices are available at Walt Disney World, before you go. It also provides excellent planning tools, plus useful tips and tricks that you just can’t find in one place anywhere else. In addition, she has a whole series of specialty guides covering the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, holidays at Walt Disney World, snacks at Epcot and Magic Kingdom, and more! MouseSavers.com readers get 20% off any Disney Food Blog e-Book!
The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids 2017 – Co-authored by Liliane Opsomer, Len Testa and Bob Sehlinger (Len and Bob are the authors of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World), this book is based on survey of more than 12,000 families who answered in-depth questions about their Disney vacations. The book is full of excellent information about how families can prepare for a thoroughly enjoyable Walt Disney World vacation, including detailed information on which attractions are scary for kids and why. As with all of the Unofficial Guide books, this one has excellent information about avoiding crowds and minimizing wait times, and the information is kept updated year-round at TouringPlans.com. The book is designed to be a supplement to the main Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World rather than a replacement. It’s much smaller than the main book and focuses primarily on touring the parks with children.
Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets – This book reveals the locations of more than a thousand hidden Mickey Mouse images scattered throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. Disney’s artists and imagineers have inserted these into rugs, upholstery, ride facades, walkways, and just about anywhere else you could imagine hiding them. Kids absolutely love finding these as they make their way around the World, and plenty of adults have caught the Hidden Mickey bug as well. This guide is slim enough to carry with you, and it can be fun to check the guide during meals and while standing in line. It’s amazing how often we would pull the book out while taking a break and learn there was one visible from where we were at that moment.
PassPorter’s Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line – This book, which was originally titled PassPorter’s Walt Disney World for Your Special Needs, was written by Deb Wills and Debra Martin Koma from the excellent resource website AllEarsNet.com. It’s exceptionally useful for many people planning a vacation at Disney World and/or on the Disney Cruise Line, including some who don’t think of themselves as having “special needs.” Among the issues it covers are hearing and visual impairments, mobility problems, ADHD, autism, dietary issues such as allergies and vegetarianism, many medical conditions from diabetes to epilepsy, pregnancy/breast-feeding, size (tall/big) and age (infants and seniors). One of the best parts of the book is a set of charts for each attraction, which is very helpful for those wondering if they can safely or comfortably ride.
Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World for Kids 2017 – If you have children old enough to enjoy their own Walt Disney World guidebook, this book would make a good gift and help them prepare for the trip. It’s pretty much the same material covered in the regular Birnbaum guide, but designed and written on a level that kids can enjoy.
The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017 – The best overall guide to Disneyland. Includes information about how to save money as well as excellent strategies for maximizing your enjoyment and avoiding long lines. There is thorough information about both Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure theme park, plus coverage of Universal Studios Hollywood. Plus, the information in the book is kept updated year-round at TouringPlans.com.
The Amazon Kindle edition of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017 is almost identical to the print version when viewed on a modern tablet like an iPad or other high-resolution device, with some very minor formatting issues that don’t affect readability in any significant way. Most importantly, the tables and figures are all included at high resolution and are zoomable.
Birnbaum’s Disneyland Resort 2017 -This is the Official Guide, produced with Disney’s blessing. Naturally it tends to glorify Disney a bit, but it provides plenty of useful, in-depth information about the two parks and the three Disney hotels. Since this is a Disney guidebook, it does not cover other Southern California theme parks and attractions, unlike competing guides. There are a few nice coupons in the back.
Disney-Specific Cruise Guidebooks
The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line 2017 – This is the fourth edition of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Cruise Line book. The onboard shows, restaurants, activities and other amenities on each of the four Disney ships are all discussed and rated with the kind of candid style that the Unofficial Guides are famous for. There are plenty of practical tips for how to choose between the different ships and itineraries, pros and cons of the various stateroom types, and how to prepare for your cruise. There is a nice color section at the front with pictures of shows, rooms and public areas. The port adventures available on Castaway Cay are covered comprehensively, and Nassau is covered fairly well, but there are only a handful of specific reviews of other adventures at other ports. (To be fair, it’s almost impossible to cover every port adventure; there are hundreds of them in the Bahamas and Caribbean alone, and they change constantly.) There are good capsule overviews of all the ports of call Disney visits, including tips on food and top sightseeing picks. One of our favorite things about this book is the self-guided walking tours section, which has been expanded in this edition to cover even more ports of call. If you want a deeper look at the various ports, getting individual guide books for each port might be worthwhile, or you could get a broader destination-specific guide that covers the area you are visiting.
The Amazon Kindle edition of The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line 2017 is almost identical to the print version when viewed on a modern tablet like an iPad or other high-resolution device, with some very minor formatting issues that don’t affect readability in any significant way. On an e-paper Kindle or on a small device like a phone, the formatting is not as successful, but you can still get the key content. The tables and figures are all included at high resolution and are zoomable.
PassPorter’s Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call (Feb 2015 edition) – This excellent guide by Jennifer and Dave Marx, the authors of the popular PassPorter’s Walt Disney World, covers Disney cruises in splendid detail. Jennifer and Dave tell you everything you need and want to know, from embarkation to debarkation. They provide helpful pre-planning information including how to decide when to cruise and how to pick a stateroom — there are even detailed deck and stateroom plans. And once you’ve booked your cruise, the book provides a wealth of detail about what to expect and how to maximize your enjoyment. It explains how Disney’s unusual “dining rotation” scheme works, gives excellent information about the ports and shares important tips and tricks. Even if you don’t currently have a Disney cruise planned, this is great armchair reading.
Birnbaum’s Disney Cruise Line 2014 – This official guide to the Disney Cruise Line is a very small (almost pocket-sized) volume that offers basic information. The reviews of the various shore excursions are useful and surprisingly critical. Considering that this is an “official” Disney publication, we were surprised to find the authors stating that some of the excursions are not worth the money or not very enjoyable. That’s good to know! This book is nowhere near as in-depth (or as up-to-date) as The Unofficial Guide to The Disney Cruise Line or PassPorter’s Disney Cruise Line, but does have some worthwhile information and it’s inexpensive, so if you’re hungry for info, it’s worth taking a look.
Caribbean By Cruise Ship (8th Edition) – Compared to other books on cruising, the author spends very little space on cruise lines or cruising in general, which is great if you already know what cruise line you’re sailing on. Instead it focuses on the history and lore of the Caribbean and Bahamas, plus in-depth coverage of all the major cruise ship ports in the Caribbean and Bahamas, including all of the ports Disney Cruise Line visits. This is a great guide to help you choose between different itineraries, and figure out what to focus on once you get to each port. The photography is excellent, and the writing is sharp. You really couldn’t ask for a better overall single guide to the Caribbean from the perspective of the cruise passenger. A pull-out map of the Caribbean helps you understand the relationships between the islands, and would be a fun thing to bring on the cruise so the kids can plot your progress with highlighters.
Mediterranean By Cruise Ship (7th Edition) – Like the other books in this series, this book focuses on ports and information, especially about history and sightseeing. It has a short overview of cruising and cruise lines, but spends the bulk of the book on information that will help you figure out what you want to see and gives you useful and interesting background on the places and sights of the Mediterranean. The ports of the Mediterranean Sea have more history packed into them than pretty much any other place on Earth, and the depth and richness of the area is covered well in this book. A great single-book resource for those interested in learning more about the Med prior to a cruise.
Alaska By Cruise Ship (9th Edition) – This is a great book to take with you on an Alaska cruise, Disney or otherwise. Other cruise guidebooks spend much of their available space telling you about the cruise lines, the cruise ships, how to find the buffet, and other basics that are covered in more depth in one of the Disney Cruise Line books listed above. This book assumes you know your way around the ship and cruising and focuses on the ports of call, Alaska history, and the Inside Passage. The pictures and production values are excellent, and it describes the major attractions of each of the Alaskan ports of call in detail, which is a great help when trying to figure out which port excursions to take. A pull-out map shows the Alaskan coastline and the major cruise ship routes, so you can plot your progress and orient yourself.
The Alaska Cruise Handbook (2012 Edition) – This is the book they recommend and sell in the onboard shops on Disney Alaska cruises. It’s a great and very personal guide to the common Alaska cruise routes, written by a sailor who has traveled between Seattle and Alaska hundreds of times on a wide variety of ships. It’s filled with lots of photos, trivia, tall tales and gossip about the places, people and wildlife of Alaska. It’s a bit of a tossup whether this or Alaska By Cruise Ship is a better choice. They both have a nice fold-out map and plenty of information. We’d pick the Alaska Cruise Handbook for those who prefer a more first-person memoir of Alaska and Alaska By Cruise Ship for people who want to focus on practical information and history. The same author also has a newer book that is a slightly reworked version of the Handbook called The Alaska Cruise Explorer. It has bigger pictures and better paper, but is thinner and doesn’t come with the map that’s included in the Handbook. If you only want one, we’d choose the Handbook.
We have extensive information about Tokyo Disney Resort here on this site, based on three visits and substantial research. As far as we know, MouseSavers.com has the best information available in English about Tokyo Disney Resort discounts, and it’s FREE! Click here to read it.
Travelers Series Guide to the Tokyo Disney Resort is the best available guidebook in English that we’ve found (and for a long time the only guidebook in English). This fairly comprehensive book, revised in October 2013, has good coverage of a lot of important stuff at the resort, including descriptions of each attraction, dining location and shop. It also has worthwhile material about the Disney hotels. It doesn’t go into much depth about how to save money (but fortunately you have this site for that) and it doesn’t have touring plans or tips on the best strategies for avoiding lines, though it does list which attractions have Fastpass and Single Rider Lines. It also compares Tokyo Disney to the American parks, which is helpful for those who just want to “hit the highlights” and do attractions that are different from their American versions. All in all, a worthy effort and well worth buying if you’re planning a trip to Tokyo Disney for the first time.