Thursday, January 21, 2010

VPC: The Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation 2010

The very first book that I got when I knew Chris and I would be planning a Walt Disney World vacation was the Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation 2010 by Steven Barrett. I have gotten and reviewed Steve’s latest Hidden Mickeys Guide (which will be coming on my trip of course) but this was my first time with a vacation planner book.

The beginning of the book is all about what to do to get to Walt Disney World, where to stay, tickets to buy, how to budget and so much more! There is a huge list of important phone numbers on property and a list of packing suggestions. Barrett has also brief synopses of the hotels on property and in the section saying where to eat, he has a list of the features at each restaurant, a few suggested ones for each park and a list of the characters at the character meals, but not a large description of the eateries.

After going through all of this, we get to the “Meat and Potatoes” of the book: The Parks. For each of the four parks, Barrett has described and rated every attraction. After the attraction descriptions, he has a set of lists:
  • Attractions with a Minimal Wait (Usually)
  • Attractions that May Frighten Children
  • Least Crowded Restrooms, resting places
  • Especially Attractive at Night
  • And a small list of Hidden Mickeys (of course, I mean, it is Steve Barrett)
He then gives tips on entering each park,navigating the park, and a large list of touring plans. He has plans for adults and teens, families with children, seniors, for Extra Magic Hour (EMH) days, Non- EMH days, for a one day visit and even for a 2 day visit. These touring plans are incredibly thorough and cover a lot.

After the parks, there is a chapter on Downtown Disney and the Waterparks, which give a brief description of the two waterparks and the three areas of Downtown Disney. The final chapter is a very long list of lots of little extras and surprises to add or look for on your Walt Disney World vacation for some extra magic. The end of the book has a little “Where in the World” game where you have to identify the pictures with their locations in Walt Disney World.

If you are looking for a book with a lot of information on eateries and hotels, this is not your book. This book’s main purpose is to help you see the most in the parks that you can. The book is all black and white, so the few pictures and maps in the book are not in color. Those are really my only problems with the book…and they really aren’t even problems!

I think this is an excellent book for first time planners who are not very familiar with the parks. The touring plans will really help you see a lot! My favorite part was the end of the book, where Barrett has the list of things to do and see extra in the World. This gave Chris and I some great ideas of things to do on our trip!

To purchase The Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation 2010, visit your local bookstore, bookstores online or on Make sure to check out all of Steve Barrett’s books, including Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets, which is in its 4th edition. See my blog post on Hidden Mickeys by clicking here.


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