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Using the Unofficial Guide to Disney

Old May 8th, 2006, 07:44 AM
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Using the Unofficial Guide to Disney

1st trip-only second post on it!

Do lots of people do the unofficial tour plan for adults posted in the book? Will we always be in a mob if we try to follow it? Have you used it and found it really helpful?

Thanks!
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Old May 8th, 2006, 07:51 AM
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I think you have to pick and choose to see what works for you.

As far as crowds, if you go during peak season of course there will be crowds.
 
Old May 8th, 2006, 07:52 AM
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We have used the unofficial guide to Disney several times, starting way back in 1984! The last time was four years ago and I really do think it helps. I will clarify and say that we always have gone with children. The best advice I can give after 6 trips there is to get up and out early. If you stay on the premises, you can get in some sections early--at least you could then.

I can remember the first time we used the guide, if it said "run" we ran. We easily saw everything early and had time to go back and do things over. However, having said that, the park is much larger than it was back then.

On our last trip in 2002, we did use the guide as a suggestion, but found that using the fast passes worked very well. We also stayed inside the park for a week, so we had plenty of time to see everything.

I think the best value the unofficial guide gives is the true "stuff" about individual rides, attractions, etc. You don't get the Disney version as to what is a must-see, etc. Your getting "real people" opinions.

I can't wait to go back. Have a good trip.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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" can remember the first time we used the guide, if it said "run" we ran."

You're not kidding, I have a photo of me in a sprint stance where they drop the rope to head for Thunder Mountain railroad through Adventureland when it first opened a decade ago, and boy was I glad I ran!
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Old May 8th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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Eileen, lthompson has put it well. For first timers, I'd recommend following the tour plans (of course, drop any attraction that you're not interesed int from the plan). After you've been through the park once, I think most people use the plans more as a guideline.

"Will we always be in a mob if we try to follow it?" If you mean, will you be in a mob of people all holding copies of the guide and following the plan, no.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 08:24 AM
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WDW no longer lets you run at the rope drops at the beginning of the day. Cast members walk with the ropes from Main Street (or the other parks' entrances) to the various sections of the parks (and particularly to the popular rides).
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Old May 8th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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I second dsquared post.
The guide was great for a first timers!
The schedules allowed us to get a good preview of our route before we arrived, and to eliminate things we werent interested in. I believe it also gave very good advice about when to get "fast passes". It took the stress off...and made things so much easier.
It also worked very well. We went to WDW in June, and although there were a lot of crowds we did not have to wait in very long lines. We got there early when the book suggested and really felt "ahead of the crowd" all day. In fact, we saw all that we wanted of each park by the early afternoon. That left time to go back to the hotel and relax by the pool during the hottest and busiest hours.
We also found their restaurant recommendations and other suggestions very accurate and helpful. My recommendation would be just use that one guide. Dont confuse yourself with a million books.

PS....we DID get to run in some parks - ie magic kingdom - but not in epcot or mgm.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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I've never used any of the "guides" but just came back from WDW yesterday and whether or not the guides tell you be ready for

FRUSTRATION at the entrances with the "two finger" identification systme for tickets. We had several waits because the machines were not working properly.

Animal Kingdom: consider doing the breakfast or otherwise get there VERY early. We arrived 45 minutes prior to opening; by 30 minutes prior to opening the lines to get in were off to the horizon. Go to the Everest ride FIRST but when you get there collect a FastPass for it and then ride it..this way it will be easier to repeat it a little while later.

EPCOT...depending on which entrance you use..go to the back of the lagoon first and work your way forward. Be prepared to jockey a lot for good viewing position for the evening fireworks display. An alternative is to book a reservation for somewhere like the Rose and Crown for about an hour before the show begins...there are excellent views from that restaurant.

If you have any special places to eat in mind consider booking reservations IN ADVANCE, especially for Chefs de France, etc.

Enjoy your visit.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 11:30 AM
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I used the Unofficial Guide as a guideline a few years ago and most of the tips are pretty good. The best thing you can do is do your research, have a plan ahead of time, and get to the parks early. It always amazes me when I see people walk into the parks and then stand there discussing what everyone wants to do! I will have already ridden a couple rides before they figure it out.

Check out www.allearsnet.com for good info also.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 11:56 AM
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We used the Unofficial Guide at Disneyland and it worked great! Yes, we followed it to the letter. A few people were doing the same, but most don't have a "plan."

For WDW I subsribed to Tour Guide Mike. I think it costs about $20. He has touring plans, too, but there is a lot more info (where to try to sit at shows, "secret" paths, etc. ) With TGM, you understand the "why" of what you're doing, so if you want to vary the plan, you can do so intelligently.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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www.TourGuideMike.com has touring plans, as does www.touringplans.com, which I think is associated with the Unofficial Guide. I've heard a lot of great things about Tour Guide Mike service, and it's recommended by Disney fans if you're going for a week. We plan to use the Animal Kingdom touring guide from touringplans.com when we're there for the first time in a few weeks. If I can get one or more rides on Expedition Everest I will be happy!
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Old May 8th, 2006, 09:32 PM
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I used the guide's tour plan for adults when I visited Disneyland in March, and it works very well. I went with my sister--two adults, no children. We dropped a few attractions we didn't want to see. We saw about 3/4 of our list by the end of the first day. But I wish I'd gone back to the hotel (we stayed nearby) in late afternoon. I was pretty tired by then, and an hour's rest would have refreshed me, and not taken too much time from the "must-sees".

One thing I noticed about the park (not having children myself) was the culture shock of being around so many children, so many strollers, and a lot of noise in the restaurants. Some of the rides are also very LOUD, and you might want to take some ear plugs so you don't lose your hearing.

Check the disboards for more info.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 09:55 PM
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We used the Unofficial Guide generally. We used the Fast Pass extensively, but since FantasyLand had few if any fastpass attractions, we followed his advice and went there first.

Study up which restaurants you might like to eat at. We went to a couple that we really regretted: One in Critter Company was almost exclusively fried foods, except for raw carrots. No side salads or even lettuce and tomato on the hamburger. And it took 40 minutes to get our food and cost us about $40-50.

For dinner, we went to a restaurant we thought was a sit-down place and discovered it was cafeteria style. Imagine lots of small children (including my own) running around with trays full of food. Then to find out once we'd paid that there were no tables inside left. It was not relaxing and we ended up going home afterward -- which defeated the purpose of staying in the park, so we could catch a ride or two more.

Previously, we went to a restaurant in New Orleans Square with bread bowls of chowder -- quite good. We also had good luck on our trip last year with a pizza place in California Adventure. So I know some decent food is out there.

Have fun!
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Old May 17th, 2006, 08:45 PM
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To answer your first question - no, you are not part of a mob all following a touring plan. I once read that only about 10% of WDW guests do any touring plan type research at all. I am a HUGE advocate of having a good plan. We have been to Disney World during peak season (June) on multiple occasions and generally have a maximum wait of 20 minutes for anything. Most waits are shorter. I came back last June and there was a post on this forum from someone who was there when I was (3rd week of June) and they were complaining about very long waits. I think the post had something about Disney losing its magic in the subject line, if you want to search for it. I was sorry they'd had such a disappointing experience. We used tourguidemike.com for our touring plans last year and they were great. We've also used the unofficial guide.

The biggest thing is to be at the right park on the right day so that the park you are attending is less crowded relative to all of the parks on a given day. Then the touring plan puts you at an advantage once you're in the right park for a given day.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 08:49 PM
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TouringPlans.com has a crowd calendar that will tell you which days are better to visit the different parks. I'ts broken down for every single day of the year. Pretty amazing really.
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