When you start planning your Disney vacation, you’ll be inundated with a lot of information!

It might be hard to decide which advice to listen to and which suggestions to incorporate into your vacation.

The first part of this article will introduce the best books for planning and preparing for your Disney vacation while the second part will include some of the best books for entertaining yourself and your family while you’re on vacation.  Of course, you will want to check out Disney fan sites like this one, but sometimes having a physical book in hand is a good idea, too.

Planning Guides

1 – The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, by Bob Sehlinger

This book is available in both paper back and kindle, and offers over 800 pages with details on everything Walt Disney World, including height requirements, dining tips, and resort maps. If you buy the kindle version, you’ll even get free monthly updates. The authors also maintain a website- touringplans.com- with both free and paid content. The best thing about this book is that it considers many opinions. On the downside, it is not very portable at 800 pages. It’s also pretty plain with very few pictures, so it may not be entertaining enough for the child audience.

2 – The Complete Walt Disney World is written by Julie, a former cast member, and Mike Neal

This book includes colorful photographs and fun information about history, wait times, and where to find characters. Information ranges from basic to advanced, so it’s appropriate for the new fan or the Disney veteran. It’s a good-sized book, so I would only suggest carrying it with you in the parks if you have a backpack or a stroller.

Guidebooks can help you plan the details of your next Disney World vacation.

Guidebooks can help you plan the details of your next Disney World vacation.

3 – PassPorter’s Walt Disney World: Unique Travel Guide Planner, Organizer, Journal, and Keepsake by Jennifer Marx, Dave Marx, and Allison Cerel Marx

This book, written by , is shorter than the others at 362 pages, but it includes some unique stuff. Besides the typical vacationing information, this book has 10 days worth of journal pages for you to fill in and places to put keepsakes like photos, hard tickets, game cards, etc. These authors also maintain a website. It includes good information for most travelers, but the Unofficial Guide… is my favorite in this category.

Activity Guides

4 Imagineerng Field Guides

These guides are most appropriate for adults because of the trivia information, are actually separated into four editions: one for each park. Each book includes backstories and details about conception, development, special effects, architecture, and much more. I love that each attraction gets attention while explaining how it fits in the park as a whole. While I wouldn’t suggest reading these books cover to cover, they are great for your time in the parks. While you’re waiting in a queue line, pull out your Field Guide and read about that attraction or others close by.

5 – Hidden Mickeys: A field guide to Walt Disney World’s best kept secrets

This book is 302 pages of Disney magic. Steven M. Barrett provides clues and hints for finding even the most hidden Hidden Mickeys and even explains the rules for finding and reporting these little gems. If you find one, you can report it on his website so others can find it, too. If you’re having trouble finding a hidden Mickey noted in the book, you can visit the website for even more help and pictures. It’s fun to compete with yourself or with friends and family to see who can find more or who can find the most difficult ones. Since each of the Mickeys is given a point value, it’s easy to keep track.

Looking for Hidden Mickey's is fun. PS - This isn't a Hidden Mickey.

Looking for Hidden Mickey’s is fun. PS – This isn’t a Hidden Mickey.

6 – Lots to do In Line

There is a Walt Disney World version and a Disneyland version, and each one has a variety of trivia questions including multiple choice, yes/no, and true/false. There are even scavenger hunt-type questions. FastPass queues have separate sections, and there are also pop-quizzes that require you to recall details after you’ve passed a certain spot. The questions are easier than the advanced information found in the Imagineering Field Guides, so Lots to do In Line is great for kids and families. If you’ve taken the kids out of school to visit Disney World and you need to provide some educational materials to get the trip school approved, this is a great way to teach kids to be careful observers. It’s education in disguise!

Do you use Disney guidebooks, or just online sources for your trip planning?  Favorites?

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