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 2020 – 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 2020 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 2020 – 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 2020 – 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. 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 Walt Disney World for Kids 2020 – 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.
The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2020 – 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 2020 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 2020 -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 2019 – 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 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. 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 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 major 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 gives you a great option for ports where you don’t want to book an official tour. 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 2019 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.
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) – 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 (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 recommended and sold in the onboard shops on Disney Alaska cruises for years. It’s out of print now, but used copies are still readily available (though keep in mind a lot of used copies will not have the great map of the inside passage). 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 can get a good copy of the Handbook, that would be our first choice. If you need a separate map, we like the National Geographic map of the Inside Passage. It has plenty of detail and is printed on sturdy paper.
We have extensive information about Tokyo Disney Resort here, 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!
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.