How many guides to Disney World can there be? There are official and unofficial, avant-garde and vegetarian, some for idiots, some for grown-ups, for kids, for Mickeys, for $$$$, for nada, etcetera. Who cares? Pack ‘em up!
This reviewer has been visiting the park since it opened in 1976 and part of the experience is getting on your knees at the bookstore, perusing, purchasing, and finding out a thing or two from a new guidebook.
Did you know, for example, that much of the furnishings at the Animal Kingdom Lodge are handcrafted, mostly in from Zimbabwe; or that at Sid’s One-of-a-Kind in Hollywood Studios you can get an apartment lease signed by a movie star legend. Or how about this one: that the Disney complex employs 350 chefs and 300 sommeliers, serving more wine than any other site in the entire U.S. Welcome to The Little Black Book of Walt Disney World.
In the first section, the chapters are organized chronologically, as in booking tickets, choosing a hotel, getting there, and seasonal events. Following are four chapters devoted to the four different principle parks in the resort: the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Beginning with a “Snapshot,” Gindin swoops over the theme parks, casting a long glance and handing out traffic warnings. “If you’re interested in the thrill rides,” she says about Hollywood Studios, “make them your first priority. Head straight down Sunset Boulevard to get a FASTPASS for the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster or The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Zip over to Star Tours for a FASTPASS when you’re done.” After the bird’s-eye-view, Gindin heads out on foot, pointing out the rides (titled in red), the food (in blue), and shopping (yellow).
Favorite spots get a “Top Pick!” sticker and some enchanting detail. For “Splash Mountain” she writes: “”Every rider’s picture is taken during the final plunge. Disney takes many measures to avoid posting images of women who lift their shirts at that time, which earned the ride the nickname ‘Flash Mountain.’ Violators are escorted out of the Magic Kingdom immediately.”
Final chapters cover Downtown Disney and Recreation—Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, as well as fishing, golf, tennis, boating, and other opportunities. Onsite resorts, camping, and nearby hotels are listed and reviewed in the last chapter.
The Little Black Book of Walt Disney World is a guide for single adults, parents, and even teenagers visiting the resort for the first time of the fiftieth time. Well organized and small enough for a purse, it provides the “skinny” as well as a “gee whiz” or two for those moments when you just have to sit down and put your feet up.