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  1. #1

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    Unofficial Guide to Disneyland..."GREAT" or "Don't Bother"?

    I purchased the book "The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2008" before going on our trip, as I was wanting to make it a great trip for everyone going (15 of us, including 7 children). The information the book provided (ride descriptions, food, hotels, etc.) was great. We followed one of their suggested tour plans "Disneyland 2-day plan with children". We used day two of the plan for our first day and used one of our early entry passes for that day. By the time 12:00 noon rolled around, we had nearly finished the entire plan for that day. We weren't running from ride to ride either. This was on July 8, of this year!

    Now, I must put in a disclaimer. My mom was in a wheelchair for our trip, so standing in line was not a factor for us. However, if we would have had to stand in line, it wouldn't have been for more than 30 minutes maximum earlier in the day.

    So, my question is this: Has anyone used this book (sans wheelchair) and found it useful? Also, if I were going the week before Memorial Day, or the week of Septober (end of September/ first of October), or the first week of December, would the tour plans in this book still be useful considering the smaller crowds during those times?

    It sounds like October is no longer one of the slower times of the year. If so, what do you suggest?

  2. #2

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    Re: Unofficial Guide to Disneyland..."GREAT" or "Don't Bother"?

    Quote Originally Posted by disney-fan-reborn View Post
    I purchased the book "The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2008" before going on our trip, as I was wanting to make it a great trip for everyone going (15 of us, including 7 children). The information the book provided (ride descriptions, food, hotels, etc.) was great. We followed one of their suggested tour plans "Disneyland 2-day plan with children". We used day two of the plan for our first day and used one of our early entry passes for that day. By the time 12:00 noon rolled around, we had nearly finished the entire plan for that day. We weren't running from ride to ride either. This was on July 8, of this year!

    Now, I must put in a disclaimer. My mom was in a wheelchair for our trip, so standing in line was not a factor for us. However, if we would have had to stand in line, it wouldn't have been for more than 30 minutes maximum earlier in the day.

    So, my question is this: Has anyone used this book (sans wheelchair) and found it useful? Also, if I were going the week before Memorial Day, or the week of Septober (end of September/ first of October), or the first week of December, would the tour plans in this book still be useful?

    It sounds like October is no longer one of the slower times of the year. If so, what do you suggest?
    Thats a good question. I would LOVE to experiment between the tourning plans and Ridemax and see which worked better. They seem to think they work well at any time. The thing about RIDEMAX is it's coustom for the crowd levels of THAT DAY. The touring plans are general for any day. Dont' they have a website you can get crowd level info? See for the price of the UOG book you can buy ridemax. I hve read both those books for DL and WDW and they claim they have done experiments giving the plans to people and seeing how they do. They claim they worked well even when crowded. Of course if you have a special assistance pass you dont' need any.
    Janette



  3. #3

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    Re: Unofficial Guide to Disneyland..."GREAT" or "Don't Bother"?

    I have the Unofficial Guide to both DL and WDW and, honestly, I find the guides to be a little too negative towards Disney. IMO, there are better happy mediums between the negativity of these guides and the official Disney spin in the Birnbaum guides.

    As for touring plans, I've never found them necessary. While I'm all for "commando" style vacations, I prefer to move at my own fast pace, not someone else's. What if a line is suddenly unusually short, a ride breaks down, FPs run out, etc. etc... I know many swear by touring plans but they have just never worked for me.

  4. #4

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    Re: Unofficial Guide to Disneyland..."GREAT" or "Don't Bother"?

    BMC (Before Mice Chat) we visited Disneyland less frequently. We always got the latest Unofficial Guide and followed (at least roughly) the touring plans. Nowadays, our visits are more frequent (3-4 times a year), and we tend to go with the flow, especially when hanging out with MiceChatters. We still buy the guide, but now it's just recreational reading--and I recommend it highly to first-time and/or infrequent visitors.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Unofficial Guide to Disneyland..."GREAT" or "Don't Bother"?

    Those books are better than the Birnbaum books, which are just giant advertisements for the parks. The unofficial guide is okay. It is quite amusing and contains these funny comics. Tower of Terror is clearly their favorite attraction.

  6. #6

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    Re: Unofficial Guide to Disneyland..."GREAT" or "Don't Bother"?

    I have pretty much memorized the plans and usually laminated a copy of their map in my pocket when we go. We found they are truly useful.

    Yes, they negative--but that's just their opinion.

    But I like hearing other's views, so I don't mind.

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  7. #7

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    Re: Unofficial Guide to Disneyland..."GREAT" or "Don't Bother"?

    I have heard really good things about Ridemax. That said, I've never used it or felt the need to since I know Disneyland well enough to make the most of my trips. If it was WDW (or somewhere else I have never been) then I would likely invest in it. As to "unoffical guide" not a big fan, but that's just me.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Unofficial Guide to Disneyland..."GREAT" or "Don't Bother"?

    I bought all those books prior to my first trip and honestly, I learned so much more from Micechat. The books didn't have half the info that mc has.




  9. #9

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    Re: Unofficial Guide to Disneyland..."GREAT" or "Don't Bother"?

    I see too many parents yelling at their children because they have to stick to the "schedule" I think people just need to chill out and relax.

    Take your time, enjoy it.

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    Re: Unofficial Guide to Disneyland..."GREAT" or "Don't Bother"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark in the Tuna View Post
    I see too many parents yelling at their children because they have to stick to the "schedule" I think people just need to chill out and relax.

    Take your time, enjoy it.
    Agreed. BUT, these plans take into account time for breaks and meals. So, any parent yelling at their children about staying on schedule doesn't really know how it all works.

    BTW, who's yelling at their kids in Disneyland? They ought to be tossed in the ROA for ruining the "Happiest Place on Earth" theme!

  11. #11

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    Re: Unofficial Guide to Disneyland..."GREAT" or "Don't Bother"?

    I will say "Great". Like the pirates say, the touring plans are more like "guidelines", and deviations are no problem. And, I really don't find the tone of the book to be negative. It tries to be honest and funny.

  12. #12

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    Re: Unofficial Guide to Disneyland..."GREAT" or "Don't Bother"?

    I love the Unoffical Guides...

    They haven't found enough change to require changes due to crowd levels at Disneyland, but they do operate a site (www.touringplans.com) for WDW that will produce custom plans based on crowd levels (For $8/yr...). I used it last year, and really, never spent more than 10 mins in a line, members of my party who decided to stray were convinced once we were almost done touring for the day, and they had only hit 5 attactions.

    I've used the Touring Plans with someone who used ridemax, and they claimed that the Unoffical Guide seemed to work better (and it's a lot cheaper, and it's got more information in a very portable package).

  13. #13

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    Re: Unofficial Guide to Disneyland..."GREAT" or "Don't Bother"?

    Quote Originally Posted by nwray1 View Post
    I will say "Great". Like the pirates say, the touring plans are more like "guidelines", and deviations are no problem. And, I really don't find the tone of the book to be negative. It tries to be honest and funny.
    I agree. I've never found the book to be negative. I've laughed out loud at some of the things they say in the book. I think the negativity comes from feedback that they get from readers that they put into the book, mostly at the beginning. They want to report fairly and honestly about the park and the experiences the readers had using their book, hence the name "Unofficial".

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