Wonders of Walt Disney World Book Review

The Wonders of Walt Disney World: Your Guidebook to Uncovering Secrets, Stories & Magic by Aaron H. Goldberg

I’ve always wanted a guidebook to Walt Disney World that went beyond the average travel book. You know, one that also delves into the history and details of the parks and resorts. With The Wonders of Walt Disney World: Your Guidebook to Uncovering Secrets, Stories & Magic by Aaron H. Goldberg, we finally have a book that ties so much together in a simple layout that is chock-full of tips, secrets and advice for everyone.

You can go from zero to nerd in 350 pages.

The Wonders of Walt Disney World Video Review


The Wonders of Walt Disney World Review

The book is for first-time travelers to Walt Disney World, seasoned veterans and everyone in-between. Heck, even I learned a few things from Aaron that I haven’t heard before.

The Wonders of Walt Disney World features a sublime cover design by Rob Yeo.

So, Aaron offers a guidebook that covers every attraction, restaurant and shop in all of Walt Disney World. Nothing new, except how he treats the subject. Aaron has a great style that is easy to read and he seasons the text with tidbits like hidden Mickeys and hidden details. It’s obvious that Aaron has a real love for the resort and wants to make sure that you enjoy your visit. The end of each chapter, or park, basically, is a re-print of Trip Advisor reviews and ratings. At first, this through me off, but I realized that this was a pretty great service to provide the readers, because the Trip Advisor reviews offer more depth and commentary. It’s a quick way to look at attractions and restaurants, at-a-glance, and decide on what to do.

There are photos and maps in The Wonders of Walt Disney World that help tell the story. I’m sure that Aaron would be the last person to call himself a professional cartographer, but the simple layouts will help you navigate the parks and environs. And it’s cool to see the details and secrets mentioned before your visit.

There is a separate section for the resorts and restaurants (located outside the parks, as well as a section on Disney Springs. Aaron offers tips on these as well as any backstory or secrets. (You know about John Lennon and the Polynesian, right?) Again, the Trip Advisor ratings are a nice addition.

I ran across a few issues with the typesetting and nomenclature that I spoke to Aaron about. To his chagrin, he used editors that weren’t as familiar with Disney. He mentioned that trying to find and correct when the editors fixed something that wasn’t incorrect was a big task.

So, the coolest thing about the book is the amount of research Aaron has done and he has the citations and bibliography to prove it! I loved running across the little citation numbers and then flipping to the back to see where the information came from. This is so important and adds so much value to the book for future historians. Also, he got Rob Yeo to design the cover and it’s perfect!

With The Wonders of Walt Disney World, Aaron has been able to combine the best of a travel book, a history book and Internet ratings to offer a title that offers something for every one.

I wish I’d written this book. Seriously.

Title: The Wonders of Walt Disney World: Your Guidebook to Uncovering Secrets, Stories & Magic
Author: Aaron H. Goldberg
ISBN: 978-0692968956
Release Date: January 23, 2018

Are you going to buy The Wonders of Walt Disney World?

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FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the author for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Going to Magic Kingdom Guidebook!

Going to Magic Kingdom: A Guide for Kids & Kids at Heart by Shannon W. Laskey

Going to Magic Kingdom is the third release in the astounding Going to Guides travel series. And there’s no hyperbole, here; Laskey has created a unique and charming series of guide books that are designed for kids but will be adored by anyone who loves Disney theme parks.

Laskey uses her individual art style to create a visually stunning work that will enchant any reader. Characters and attractions featured on every page that pay tribute to the original work, but in Laskey’s style. I really can’t say enough about how engaging the book is.

Besides the artwork, Going to Magic Kingdom stands apart from every travel guide through the attention to detail that Laskey offers; it’s detail that is going to appeal to kids that are planning their first trip or thinking about their last one. She relates the Magic Kingdom to her intended audience through anecdotes and interesting tidbits about the lands and attractions.

Every attraction in the Magic Kingdom is discussed, including the potential fear factor. Laskey includes a bit of trivia, including the year opened (and sometimes a pretty cool timeline). She also adds information about key imagineers that worked on the ride or were instrumental in theme park history. But seeing Laskey’s artwork representing the attraction and characters are the true stars of the book. Seriously.

My photos of the pages can’t do any justice to the book. You really have to see it in person!

Additionally, there are activities while waiting in queues, like photo finds, word games and coloring sections!

I remember the days when planning a Walt Disney World trip meant buying the dense and unwieldy Unofficial Guide or the semi-charming Official Guide. Now kids can watch endless POV videos YouTube without a lot of history or thought going into the planning. With Laskey’s Going To Magic Kingdom book, kids and parents can plan a vacation that offers interaction and family time; not just while reading the book, but also in the park.

Laskey captures the emotional and nostalgic essence of the Magic Kingdom through her illustrations and layout.

Simply stated, the Going to Guides are the best travel books on the market for Disney theme parks. Laskey captures the soul of what visiting a Disney theme park is and presents it in a style that will relate to kids and adults. I know I gush, but the books, especially the Going to Magic Kingdom book, exemplify how a work can be artistic and provide valuable (and fun) information about traveling.

Title: Going to Magic Kingdom: A Guide for Kids & Kids at Heart
Author: Shannon W. Laskey
ISBN: 978-0-9912954-9-4
Release Date: November 7, 2017

Are you going to pick up a copy of Going to Magic Kingdom? Have you read any of the Going to Guides?

FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

My Disney Library: Dark Side of Disney by Leonard Kinsey

The Dark Side of Disney by Leonard Kinsey completely revolutionized the Disney travel guide. The book also launched one of the most successful Disney-related publishing houses known for high quality and smart publishing.

Check out my review of the first edition of the book, here.

Don’t forget to stop by our site and leave some Disney Geek love!


Guide to the Magic for Kids by Tim Foster

I received a review copy of Tim Foster’s Guide to the Magic and I’m finally cracking the spine, so to speak.


The book is really well-laid out and looks like a fantastic guidebook for young children and tweens to use before, during and after their Walt Disney World vacation.

A full review is coming soon!


Lots To Do In Line: Disneyland, a Book Review

A Book Review of Lots to Do in Line: Disneyland by Meredith Lyn Pierce

Since the beginning of time (July 17, 1955), the biggest issue that Disney and guests have struggled with is what to do while in the queue for an attraction. In most cases, the wait to board an attraction can be 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the season. The Imagineers have always done a great job of themeing the queues to make it a more enjoyable wait, but sometimes it is hard to just stand by and wait.

Meredith Lyn Pierce has written a fantastic and handy book to take with you to Disneyland that will help alleviate the anticipation and restlessness that can accompany waiting in queues. Lots to Do In Line measures 4″ X 9″ and will fit easily into a backpack or bag. It is a great size for holding while in line; it won’t interfere with other guests’ enjoyment of the area and it is easy to access

The book is divided into two major sections that cover Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. The focus of the book is presenting trivia questions about the queue of each attraction at both parks. Every attraction (at the time of printing) is presented with anywhere from three questions to over fifty, depending on the length and details ascribed to the queue. In order to dissuade thoughts of cheating, the answers to the questions are at the end of the chapter on each land.

In order to provide more variety (and for things to do while walking or waiting outside of queues), Meredith has created a scavenger hunt for each park. The scavenger hunt will have your party looking for random elements throughout out the park, but not in the queues. Some are well-hidden and some are more well-known. It is a great way to have the kids looking around and finding details they many not have seen before.

Meredith also suggest that you collect things while in the park. Not that she is recommending that you take things, but that you note when you see things that can be grouped together, like character t-shirts or a specific type of shoe. It is a way to engage all the different people in your group, especially the younger children. They can look for something easier to spot and keep track of it throughout the visit.

The book is a nice addition to your touring plan of Disneyland. It is easy to carry around and will offer hours of enjoyment and fun while waiting in lines at Disneyland. Meredith also asks for your help in updating the book at her site http://www.lotstodoinline.com/.

Intrepid Traveler provided a review copy of the book.

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Disney ebooks for the Amazon Kindle

Did you get a Kindle device over the holidays and are you looking for some great ebooks?

There is a lot of Disney-related content out there and I want to share some with you. You can fill up your Kindle for your next vacation or start to build your electronic Disney library.

Travel Guides to Walt Disney World


The Dark Side of Disney Book Review

The Dark Side of Disney by Leonard Kinsey, a book review

I review one of the more risque travel guides to Walt Disney World. Is this book for you? Read on to find out more.

The Dark Side of Disney by Leonard Kinsey. 2011. 158 pp.

Subtitled the Anarchist Cookbook of Disney Travel Guides, the Dark Side of Disney truly takes you where no other guide dares to go and dares you to go places you’ve never been. While reading The Dark Side, I was reminded of a quote that I am paraphrasing from Morris Day and the Time’s seminal work, Jungle Love:

This book ain’t for everyone, just the sexy folk!

Surprisingly, Kinsey offers fairly sage advice considering the types of activities that the book discusses. He wants you to have fun visiting Walt Disney World, but he also wants you to be smart. Kinsey elucidates on some semi-nefarious things to do at Walt Disney World while reminding you that certain things can get you permanently banned from property.

Caveat lector!

The book is divided into four sections:

  1. Disney World, Done Dirt Cheap
  2. Sex, Drugs, and Rock N’ Roll at WDW
  3. Assorted Tricks, Tips, Scams…and Bugs
  4. Off-Limits Exploration
As can be surmised, this book does discuss many illicit and illegal activities. Beyond that, Kinsey never takes himself too seriously, except when he is talking about his love for Walt Disney World. A love that was cultivated at a very young age by his mother. A lot of what Kinsey discusses is going to resonate in different ways with different people. You don’t have to partake in anything illegal yet you can still enjoy the book. You can live vicariously through Kinsey and his cohorts.

I took the book with me on my recent trip to Walt Disney World during the 40th Anniversary weekend. My friends all expressed a noticeable interest in the book and were more than happy to peruse the text. Since it was a guys only trip (no wives, no kids), we were able to put some of Kinsey’s tips to the test. We did nothing illegal, but we did find that a few of the tips and tricks made the Disney experience more palatable for my non-Disney Geek friends.

Kinsey has a great style and he forces you to look at the parks in a different way. My favorite section was Off-Limits Exploration simply because Kinsey interviews and recounts the Horizons-based exploits of Chief and Hoot Gibson from Mesa Verde Times. (The Mesa Verde guys talk about meeting me and another blogger at D40.) At the time, the guys were just exploring one of their favorite attractions. Unbeknownst to them, they were documenting a Disney classic.

This book may or may not be for you (cryptic, eh?). This is a title I would recommend for someone who has seen it all and is looking for something different. It is also a great read for anyone that wants more than just the regular theme park experience. Or someone who thinks Disney is only for kids.

Are you going to pick up The Dark Side of Disney?

The author provided a promotional copy of the book for review.

Daily Figment 142 – Book Review: The unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

I bought a copy of the 2008 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World way back in September. I didn’t tear through the book like usual, but I read it cover-to-cover, in increments, to soak in all of the details. Honestly, I read it in between other books and whenever I had a spare moment. That is why it took me almost three months. I did skim the sections on Universal–I will go to that park once they build Harry Potter’s Wizarding World and I won’t do much of anything else there (I know, I am such a Disney snob!).

I haven’t read a copy of the Unofficial Guide, cover-to-cover, since around 1997. I have used it, but always for research purposes. The 2008 Unofficial Guide clocks in at 848 pages , which is over a 550% increase in pages since the first edition in 1986 (the ’86 version to the right runs at 174 pages). Wow. Bob Sehlinger has been producing the Unofficial Guide since 1986. He knows what he is talking about! Len Testa joined the team after developing his infamous crowd calendar. Len first appeared as a co-author on the 2006 edition.

If you are planning to visit Walt Disney World, or the surrounding area, within the next 6 months, you need this guide right now!

I am a theme park junkie and I can swear on a stack of Imagineering Field Guides that I learned quite a bit from reading the Unofficial Guide. I won’t go into a lot of detail about what is covered (admission, hotels, vacation homes, eateries and the parks) because it is all there. What I can tell you is that we used small bits of the Unofficial Guide during down times at MouseFest (when Andy forced me to ride and not socialize) and it made a huge difference in how much we were able to do and what we were able to see.

To say the Unofficial Guide is comprehensive is an understatement. The authors have visited, stood in line, eaten, walked, driven, ridden, slept and swam everywhere possible at Walt Disney World and at the other Orlando attractions. If you follow their simple (and sometimes rigorous) touring plans, you will get so much more done–but it will be what you want to do. We preach slowing down and taking in the details at Imaginerding and we wholeheartedly and passionately endorse the Unofficial Guide. Following even just a few of the tips outlined in the guide will make your trip more enjoyable and relaxed.


Yeah. If you can spend a half day, or so, following the touring plans and knocking out your favorite, must-do attractions, you will have more time to slow down and enjoy your time at the parks.

The very best reason to buy the book?

If you purchase the current version, you get a one-year subscription to Touring Plans, the companion web-site to the book. A normal one-year subscription to the site costs $7.95, but if you purchase the book and follow the directions, you can get a one-year subscription for free! The Crowd Calendar is the most amazing section of the site. Based on Len’s computer magic, they provide a crowd prediction level for every single day of the year. It is much faster than waiting for them to answer your e-mail on the WDW Today podcast. They also provide additional and personalized touring plans for each of the parks.

So head to your favorite retailer and pick up a copy today. You will be very happy you did. Smart, intelligent recommendations based on over 20 continuous years of writing the book and the crowd calculator. What a winning combination!