Fodor's Walt Disney World 2014
With Universal, SeaWorld, and the Best of Central Florida
Fodor’s Travel Books
Reader Appeal: Adults and other family members
Genre: Travel Guide
PopFam Rating: A
If you're planning a vacation to Orlando, Florida, anytime soon, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better travel guide than Fodor's Walt Disney World 2014. No, you probably won't need everything in this book, but the sheer volume of information collected here means that everything you need is probably in this book. (Hope that last sentence made sense!)
This Fodor's travel tome bills itself as "Walt Disney World," but it's actually more of a "central Florida" guide with a heavy emphasis on Disney's various theme parks. This is nice because if you want only info about a vacation to the Mickey Mouse Mecca, you'll find it here. If, however, you're thinking maybe you'll sneak out to Universal Studios or The Kennedy Space Center or Discovery Cove, well, that's here too. The book isn't really meant to be read from cover to cover, but if you do, you'll see a natural progression for planning your family's visit to this area.
The first section is basically the "So, what can we do in Florida?" summary overview. This is the place to start if you haven't yet picked out your basic itinerary—and it's a fun section to go through with your kids sitting nearby. Ask, "What do you think of this?" and read out a few options to see how they respond. That in itself is a fun evening for your family. You'll cover Walt Disney World, SeaWorld and Discovery Cove, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, top spots nearby, and seasonal and holiday events in the area. There's even an "If you like...then try..." summary that'll help your crew focus their energies on places that feature activities you know they'll enjoy.
After the overview, there are a few "How do we get there and where do we stay?" chapters. Here's where you'll find help with logistics—various travel opportunities, lodging choices, what to pack, how much to budget, and so on. Your kids will be bored silly by these chapters, but you'll find them invaluable as you plan the necessary details of your vacation. Don't skim over the "Where to Eat" chapter though! Honestly the fantastic restaurant options sprinkled all over this place are just as much an attraction as the roller coasters speeding through the theme parks. You'll be very happy if you take time to really think about unique eating experiences for your family to enjoy on this trip, and the "Where to Eat" chapter will get everyone excited about fine dining to come.
After that, we get into the meat of this guide book, with full, detailed chapters dedicated to specific theme parks and regional attractions in this area. Wonderful! You get spot-on advice about Disney parks (of course) and Universal Studios, but also info about places like the Space Coast (including Kennedy Center), SeaWorld, Aquatica, Discovery Cove, Wet 'N' WIld, and regional attractions in nearby Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Sarasota. If you're planning to rent or bring a car with you while on this vacation, those fun-filled sections will be a gold mine for you.
The book also comes with plenty of maps associated with the various chapters, but the best map of all is the water-proof folding map attached inside the back cover. Feel free to remove this map and spend time poring over it's helpful features (including tags that tell you which exit on I-4 lead to which attractions; so for instance, if you want to visit Disney's Animal Kingdom and ESPN Wide World of Sports, you'll want to get off the freeway at exit 65).
There are plenty of other helpful tips and hints sprinkled all through Fodor's Walt Disney World 2014, as well as sidebar spotlights that give background and colorful information. Still, the best thing about this book is that you can tell the people who wrote it have actually BEEN to Walt Disney World and the surrounding areas, sharing information from their personal experiences, highlighting the good and the bad, helping you avoid the latter and take advantage of the former.
All in all, if you're thinking of taking a Florida family vacation anytime in the next year, your first step should be to pick up a copy of Fodor's Walt Disney World 2014. You (and your kids!) will be glad you did.
Tags: Walt Disney,Walt Disney World,Fodor's,Florida,Family Vacation,Universal Studios,Seaworld,Sea World,Epcot,Mickey Mouse,Orlando,Fodors.com
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