Independent Guide To Walt Disney World 2016 Review

Independent Guide To Walt Disney World 2016 Review

As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Sean @DisneyDayByDay

We love Walt Disney World and are lucky enough to be able to visit many times a year.   We don’t need a guidebook, do we?   Yes we do!   Walt Disney World is changing all the time and there are always ways to do things better so we were excited when we were asked to take a look at the Independent Guide to Walt Disney World 2016.

The Independent Guide to Walt Disney World is conveniently available in both print and ebook editions.   The book is part of a series by Independent Guidebooks which also has books on Disneyland and other theme parks.   One of the unique features of the Independent Guidebooks series is that the books are updated throughout the year and printed on demand, so when you buy the book you will have the latest published version. This is perfect as there are many changes at the Disney parks throughout the year and this book will always have the latest information.

As with many of the Disney guidebooks this book is filled to the brim with tons of Disney information, there are over 30 different chapters, but don’t let that overwhelm you, the author does a great job keeping it simple and on topic making it easy to flip to a section and get what you need quickly or spend time exploring the book from cover to cover.

The Independent Guide to Walt Disney World 1- DisneyDayByDayAll Disney vacations begin with planning.   We get asked all the time how to make sure you have a successful Disney vacation and one of our answers is to plan.   And that is exactly where this book begins.   How are you going to get to the Orlando area?  Once in Orlando how do we get to the Disney parks?   Where should we stay?   Should we buy the dining plan?  All these questions are answered by the first few chapters which gets you well on your way.

In planning two of the biggest questions are – Where should we stay and What tickets are best for our vacation?   The Independent Guide to Walt Disney World walks you through each of the hotels including all on The Independent Guide to Walt Disney World  2- DisneyDayByDaysite hotels and a few of the non-Disney hotels in the area.   Each hotel section gives you details on the location, theme, and most importantly the dining options you will find at the resort making your selection much easier.   The other question is what ticket should I buy, I loved the simple chart presented in the book making it easy for you to choose what is best for your vacation.   Beyond the chart the book walks you through the details on the different tickets and the benefits of each.

The book goes on to visit each of the Disney Parks describing all of the attractions including any height requirements or restrictions  and even the timing between shows for show style attractions or the loading time which gives you a good idea of the wait you may have.   All of this information will allow you to maximize the time you have in the parks.   If you haven’t been to the parks in a few years or if this is your first time you will want to read chapter 12 a couple times as this goes into detail on MyMagic+, this technology is the heart of your vacation and ties everything together.  I found the authors description of this to be spot on and easy to understand.

But the book doesn’t stop with the parks and hotels, it takes you outside the parks as well.   There are sections on the water parks, Disney Springs, and even comparison between Walt Disney World and Disneyland.   Overall we found the book to be an extensive look at everything at Walt Disney World, but written with just the right amount of detail making it a great guide to plan and use while on your vaction.   If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World we highly recommend you pick up a copy and leave a review if you like what you see.


WDW – Animal Kingdom

WDW – Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom
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Attractions   |   Dining   |   Parades   |   Special Events   |   News

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Overview

Opening in April of 1998, Animal Kingdom is the forth of four parks at the Walt Disney World Resort.    At 580 acres it is also the largest park, Magic Kingdom could fit within Kilimanjaro Safaris itself.

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Getting Around

The Animal Kingdom is made up of seven areas arranged in a pattern similar to a Magic Kingdom’s spoke and wheel.   The center point being the Tree of Life where all others areas branch from :

  • Oasis – the main park entrance housing guest services and many animal exhibits as you make your way to the center and the Tree of Life.
  • Discovery Island – welcome to the center hub of the park.   Home to the Tree of Life
  • Africa – Jambo, and welcome to Harambe Africa. Here you can venture out on a Safari and explore the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch – hop aboard the Wildlife Express Train and make the short trip over to Rafiki’s.   Along the way you will get to see some of the backstage areas where the animals are kept and cared for.   Step inside Conservation Station to see how the Walt Disney Company is supporting conservation efforts and get a view of some of the veterinary facilities.
  • Asia – added to the park in 1999, this is the home of the Yeti and Expedition Everest along with Kali River Rapids and the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
  • DinoLand U.S.A. – is all about Dinosaurs.   Head into the Dino Institute and head back in time to help bring home a Dinosaur.   Also be sure to visit Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama designed to look like a roadside attractions of the past.
  • Avatar: World of Pandora (old Camp Minnie-Mickey area)- this area was announced in 2011 and was expected to be a $400 million addition to Animal Kingdom.   Many bumps have occurred along the way but the last update was this was still in the works and The Lion King show is currently being moved to an area behind Tusker House Restaurant to accommodate.

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Parades

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Special Events

  • Wild African Trek (call for reservations (407)939-8687

 

WDW – Epcot

WDW – Epcot

Epcot
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Attractions | Dining | Special Events | News

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Overview

Originally named EPCOT Center (Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow), Epcot was Walt’s vision of a better city.   One where everything would work together and all the problems of big cities today would be solved.    After Walt’s death the plans for Epcot changed and became more about the celebration of human achievement.   From Energy and Agriculture to Transportation and cultures across the globe.

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Getting Around

Epcot is made up of two main areas Future World and World Showcase.

  • Future World – Learn from the past and experience our future in technology, energy, agriculture and more.
  • World Showcase  A celebration of 11 countries, experience the culture and cuisine.  (Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada)

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Special Events

 

WDW – Magic Kingdom

WDW – Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom
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Attractions    |    Dining    |    Parades   |    Special Events     |    News

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Overview

Welcome to the “Most Magical Place on Earth”.   Opened in October of 1971 as Walt Disney Worlds first theme park, Magic Kingdom, is a place for all ages to enjoy.   As Walt said, “Where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn together”

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Getting Around

The Magic Kingdom is made up of six areas arranged in a pattern similar to a wheel with Cinderella’s Castle marking the middle (also known as the weenie).   As you find your way to the end of Main Street, USA you will have your pick or paths leading to these areas:

  • Main Street, USA – Takes you back to small town America in the early 1900’s.   Notice as you walk down the street as the gas lamps change to electric.  Enjoy the many shops and dining opportunities along the way and if you are in need of a haircut the barber shop is still operating today.
  • Tomorrowland – A land devoted to the future.
  • Fantasyland – A classic fairytale experience.  Princesses, Knights, Pixie dust and more.   The new Fantasyland area opened in 2012.
  • Liberty Square – Themed after colonial America, in this land you can find the Liberty Bell along with one of our favorite attractions, Haunted Mansion.   In true colonial style you will not find a restroom in this land, but many are close by.
  • Frontierland – Welcome to the wild west and be sure to ride the “Wildest Ride in the Wilderness”
  • Adventureland – Themed to remote jungles of Asia, Africa, or South America, Adventureland takes you through the jungle on a cruise, singing with Tiki birds, and through the middle of a pirate battle.

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Parades  

(check your times guides to verify the time during your stay)

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Nighttime Show

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Special Events

 

WDW – Hollywood Studios

WDW – Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios

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Attractions | Dining | Special Events | News

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Overview

Originally named Disney-MGM Studios(opened May 1989), Hollywood Studios (name changed in 2008) is a park centered around Hollywood and show business in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

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Getting Around

Hollywood Studios is made up of six themed areas.

  • Hollywood Boulevard – Is the main avenue from the entrance to the big Sorcerer’s Hat.   This boulevard is lined with many shops.
  • Echo Lake – As you stroll down Hollywood Boulevard look off to the left and you will see a small oval shaped lagoon.   Surrounding the lagoon is a few attractions, services, and Gertie the Dinosaur.
  • Streets of America – Originally only part of the backlot tour, the streets of New York and San Francisco are now open for pedestrian traffic.
  • Animation Courtyard – This area is the Hollywood Studios home to Disney Animation classic and new.   Be sure to step into Walt’s shoes and explore One Man’s Dream.
  • Pixar Place – Modeled after the Emeryville campus of Pixar Studios this area is home to Hollywood Studios newest attraction, Toy Story Midway Mania.
  • Sunset Boulevard – Home to the thrill rides at Hollywood Studios.   Both Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster can be found in this area.
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Special Events