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!

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The Best Walt Disney World Guidebooks

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2024 – 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 tear-out touring plans in the back are excellent and worth more than the price of the book, 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. 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 Amazon Kindle edition of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2024 is almost identical to the print version when viewed on a PC, Kindle Fire or iPad, with some very minor formatting issues that don’t affect readability in any significant way. On the classic black and white E-Ink Kindles, it works fine, though some of the images get a little washed out. It’s also readable on a phone, though you can see less of the text at once. Most importantly, the tables and figures are all included at high resolution and are zoomable. As a bonus, the Kindle version automatically gets updated on a regular basis throughout the year as new information comes out.

Birnbaum’s 2024 Walt Disney World – 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 plenty of color photographs, and it’s nicely compact (much thinner than the other guidebooks, though the pages are larger). The Birnbaum’s guidebook includes some coupons in the back, mostly for Disney Springs restaurants and shops. Since this is an official Disney guidebook, it does not cover other Florida theme parks and attractions, unlike competing guides.

Specialty Walt Disney World Guidebooks

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! readers get 20% off any Disney Food Blog e-Book!

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids 2023 – 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. 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. It also comes in a Kindle version that is pretty much equivalent to the print version as long as you have a good tablet to read it on.

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.

Birnbaum’s 2024 Walt Disney World for Kids – This is really a guide aimed at kids, rather than a guide for parents with kids. 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, with plenty of pictures and information to help them decide if a particular ride is going to be something they’d like.

Universal Orlando Guidebooks

The Unofficial Guide To Universal Orlando 2024 – This is absolutely the best guide to Universal Orlando available. Like all the other Unofficial theme park guides, it includes a variety of pull-out touring plans that are worth the price of the book by themselves. The rest of the book is a great, comprehensive guide to just about everything you’d ever want to know about the Universal parks in Orlando. There is also an excellent Kindle edition with high-resolution figures and thoughtful layout that reads very well on a tablet, and OK on a phone.

Disneyland Guidebooks

The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2024 – The best overall guide to Disneyland. The tear-out touring plans in the back are worth more than the price of the book! 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 Disneyland Park, Disney’s California Adventure and the Downtown Disney district, plus a short but useful chapter covering Universal Studios Hollywood. 

The Amazon Kindle edition of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2024 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. On a phone, it’s readable, but the page layout doesn’t work quite as well.

Birnbaum’s 2024 Disneyland Resort -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 Cruise Line Guidebooks

Disney-Specific Cruise Guidebooks

The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line 2024 – The Unofficial Guide, famous for their uncompromising coverage of Walt Disney World and Disneyland, also has a great guide to the Disney Cruise Line. The onboard shows, restaurants, activities and other amenities on each of the 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. The book has a good comparison of Disney vs. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, for those who are thinking about branching out (or find Disney too pricey for their budget). 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 there’s some coverage of Nassau, 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 major ports of call Disney visits, including tips on food and top sightseeing picks. 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 2024 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 a small device like a phone, the formatting is not as successful, but the content is still quite readable. The tables and figures are all included at high resolution and are zoomable.

Destination-Specific Cruise Guidebooks

Caribbean By Cruise Ship (8th Edition) – (Also has Kindle version) – Compared to other books on cruising, this one 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) – (Also has Kindle 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 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 (10th Edition) – (Also has Kindle 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 Inside Passage Companion (2018 Edition) – (There is a Kindle edition of his other Alaska inside passage guide: The Alaska Cruise Handbook) – This is the latest book on Alaska’s inside passage from Joe Upton, who has been writing great books about the inside passage for many years. It’s a superb 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. This book doesn’t have the pull-out map you get with Alaska By Cruise Ship, but if you’d like a separate map, we like the National Geographic map of the Inside Passage. It has plenty of detail and is printed on sturdy paper.

Tokyo Disney Resort Guidebooks

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The Independent Guide To Tokyo Disney Resort 2020 – Also has Amazon Kindle version. This is the most up-to-date book available. It’s a compact, full-color guide to both parks that covers pretty much all the key topics that an English-speaking guest might want to know about the Tokyo Disney Resort. It has good information about getting to the resort from the airport or from central Tokyo, advice about which rides get busy first, charts of busy times of year and holidays to avoid, and many other useful topics. There are good touring plans in the  that will certainly save a lot of line waiting compared to just wandering in with no plan. The physical version of the book is printed on demand, using what appears to be color laser print. The type isn’t quite as sharp as offset-printed books, but it’s entirely readable. If you have a tablet like an iPad or a Kindle Fire, we’d recommend getting this in Kindle form. It’s cheaper and the text is somewhat clearer.