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What’s New In the 2014 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

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UGonAmazonThe 2014 edition of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World has started shipping! (Get the Unofficial Guide in paperback and on Kindle from Amazon.)

With the Magic Kingdom’s new Fantasyland almost done, changes to Disney’s FASTPASS ride reservation system, and Universal’s construction of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley well underway, the 2014 edition is one of the largest updates we’ve made in many years. To put these changes in perspective, we submitted about 300 typed pages of updates for an 850-page book.

Below is a quick look at many of the important changes included in the new Guide. In addition to these new articles, the front half of the book was edited and reorganized to ensure important topics are covered completely in a single section, instead of over several chapters. You’ll find the information you need faster than ever, and all in one place.

We’ll be rolling out these changes to the website over the next couple of weeks. Happy reading!

Part 1 – Planning Before You Leave Home

  • Coverage of Disney’s new My Disney Experience website, including navigation tips, how to make FastPass+ reservations and dining reservations.
  • Updates on selecting the time of year for your visit, including recommendations for least-crowded months and specific weeks.
  • The latest analysis of Disney’s Extra Magic Hours schedule and advice on how to best utilize these perks if you’re staying at a Disney resort.
  • New strategies for “park-hopping” (visiting more than one park per day).
  •  An expanded Walt Disney World 2014 Calendar, including how events such as runDisney races, Star Wars Weekends, Food and Wine Festival, and holidays will affect crowds. Specific recommendations on when you’ll find the least-crowded Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party events.

Part 2 – Time and Money

  • The latest Disney ticket price and what’s included in Disney’s various admission options; tips for where to find savings on theme park admission; how to plan for future price increases.
  • A new, detailed section on Disney’s new RFID-enabled MagicBand wristbands, used for admission media and payments, including how RFID technology works and the privacy implications of in-park location tracking.
  • A new, detailed section on FastPass+, the update to Disney’s FASTPASS ride reservation system, including what’s the same and what’s going to be different. How FastPass+ will affect your waits in line, and tips on which attractions will most benefit from FastPass+.
  • Tips for partial days at the theme parks, including how to take advantage of FastPass+.
  • For users of our touring plans, a new section describes how to use your mobile phone to update your touring plan while you’re in the park, if something unexpected happens and you need to regroup.
  • The latest on Disney’s park-opening procedures in “What to Expect when You Arrive at the Parks”, including variations for holidays.

Part 3 – Accommodations

  • Updates to the section describing Disney’s free Magical Express airport-to-hotel bus service.
  • Tips on how to find discounts at Disney World hotels.
  • Our new list of the best Disney-specialist travel agents.
  • A sneak peek at Disney’s new Grand Floridian Villas, including a diagram of the room layouts, amenities, transportation, dining and more.
  • How to improve the performance of Disney’s free WiFi service at your hotel.
  • An updated Reader Report Card for the Disney resorts, including surveys asking “Would You Stay Here Again?” and “Would You Recommend This Hotel to a Friend?”
  • Updates to the review of Disney’s Grand Floridian resort, including pool and water play area construction.
  • The latest on room refurbishments and potential upcoming construction at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
  • Updates to the Wilderness Lodge, Bay Lake Tower, and Contemporary resort reviews after their 2012 refurbishments.
  • The latest on how Disney classifies room views at the Yacht Club and BoardWalk resorts.
  • Insider tips on the differences between Disney’s All-Star Resorts, such as which one has the best food court and bus service. Also, the single best room to ask for at the All-Star Resorts.
  • An update to our Art of Animation review, now that the resort has been open a year.
  • Updates to the chart of additional fees charged at the Downtown Disney resorts, which can be $20 to $45 per day.
  • Complete rewrites of the reviews for Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel, Portofino Bay and Royal Pacific hotels, plus a look at the Cabana Bay resort scheduled to open in 2014.
  • A look at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando, scheduled to open in 2014.
  • Updates to more than 60 off-site hotel ratings and rankings.

Part 4 – Spas

  • A review of the new Senses Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian resort. (Spoiler Alert: we think it’s the best in Orlando.)
  • Updates to the review of Mandara Spa at Portofino Bay.
  • We went back to the Ritz-Carlton Spa for a re-review, and we compare it to Disney’s Grand Floridian.
  • A preview of the changes coming to the new Senses Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.
  • A new review of the Waldorf Astoria Spa.

Part 5 – The Disney Cruise Line

This chapter is almost completely rewritten, expanding to 18 pages in the 2014 edition.

  • Updates to the list of ports and destinations served by DCL, including the new 2014 itineraries.
  • A comparison of DCL to Royal Caribbean, its closest competitor, including prices, staterooms, service and amentities.
  • A new section on cruising with kids, including how Disney is adapting to recent trends in the cruise industry regarding more space per ship for kids’ clubs.
  • How to choose the right Disney ship, itinerary and shore excursions, including recommendations for first-time cruisers.
  • Updated overviews of each ship, including our rankings of the best and worst Disney ships (and why!).
  • A new overview of Disney’s staterooms and amenities, by category, including a description of bathroom configurations, verandah options and more; a list of amenities found in each room.
  • Our recommendation for which stateroom to choose for your family size, and the pros and cons of the various decks.
  • A new section on dining, including a detailed description of Disney’s rotational dining system, plus reviews of counter-service, buffet, and sit-down restaurants. Specific advice on which restaurants to try and which restaurants to skip, by ship.
  • Summary of the changes coming to the Magic after its 2013 dry dock.
  • Recommendations and reviews for entertainment on the ships, including stage shows, variety acts, movies, and family activities.
  • Reviews of on-board children’s activities, including the programs for young children, ‘tweens, and teens.
  • Sports and fitness options on each ship, including a review of the best treatments at each ship’s spa.
  • An update on Disney’s gratuity policy.
  • Where to find the best deals on Disney cruises.

Part 6 – Walt Disney World with Kids

  • Updated hotel recommendations for families traveling with children 12 and younger.
  • New stroller company recommendations and price comparisons with Disney’s strollers.
  • Updated “Fright Potential Chart” with new Fantasyland attractions.
  • Updated “Hail Mary Pass” and “Switching Off/Baby Swap/Rider Swap/Rider Switch” coverage for new and refurbished attractions.
  • A simplified, comprehensive chart of where to meet characters for free in each of the parks.
  • Updated advice on character meals, including when to go and which meals are best for meeting characters.
  • Updates to Disney’s policy regarding unaccompanied children in the parks; child-care center changes.

Part 7 – Special Tips for Special People

  • Expanded section on weddings, commitment ceremonies and vow renewals.
  • Where to find the new “standing ECVs” (electric scooters you can stand on) for rent in the parks, and off-site rental places that can save you money.
  • Updates to the sections on special dietary needs, including allergies, vegetarians, vegans, pescatarians, and kosher meal requests.
  • More locations for Friends of Bill W. meetings.

Part 8 – Arriving and Getting Around

  • Updated driving directions, including best exits, based on latest construction for I-10, I-75,and I-4.
  • Updates to taxi, shuttle and towncar rates, and an analysis of how many passengers it takes to reach the break-even points for each.
  • An updated section on Disney’s free Magical Express bus service from the Orlando airport to your Disney resort, including how bags are handled when going to and coming from your Disney resort. Answers to frequently asked questions about storing medication, strollers, wheelcharis, clothing, etc., for immediate use when you arrive at the resort.
  • A new section on how to find the best rental car discounts.
  • Updates to our readers’ rental car agency rankings.
  • New coverage of Fox Rent A Car and their Fiat 500s.
  • GPS coordinates and addresses for theme park, water park, and Downtown Disney parking lots.
  • An updated Disney Transportation System commuting times chart, showing you the average and worst-case travel times between your resort and Disney’s destinations. More than 600 bus trips were times for this update.
  • Updates to the operating hours of Disney’s transportation systems, including bus, boat and monorail.

Part 9 – Bare Necessities

  • Updates to the “Medical Matters” section for everything from headache relief to where to find urgent care in and outside the parks.
  • Updated coverage of Disney’s Photopass and Photopass Plus packages.
  • Advice on where to find places to charge your cell phone while in the parks, including advice for portable batteries.
  • An updated comparison of prices at local grocery stores near Disney World, and which grocers to avoid.

Part 10 – Dining

  • Updates to the dining section for Universal’s CityWalk.
  • An updated section on how Advance Dining Reservations work, including new advice for speeding through Disney’s online dining reservation system for hard-to-get reservations at Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table.
  • Updates to Disney’s policies on reservation cancelation and seasonal dining surcharges.
  • Updated list of sample prices for counter-service food, helpful for creating a food budget.
  • Recommendations on the best restaurants for kids; for romantic couples; for coffee.
  • New reviews of the Magic Kingdom’s counter-service lunch and sit-down dinner at Be Our Guest.
  • New “Author’s Favorite Counter-Service Restaurants” for the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
  • New review of Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie at Epcot’s France pavilion.
  • New review of L’Artisan des Glaces Artisan Ice Cream & Sorbet at Epcot’s France pavilion.
  • Updated review of Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar at Epcot’s Italy pavilion.
  • New review of Gaston’s Tavern at the Magic Kingdom.
  • A preview of Morocco’s Spice Road Table restaurant set to open in late 2013.
  • Updated reader ratings for more than 150 counter-service and sit-down restaurants in Walt Disney World.
  • A preview of changes we’re likely to see at the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill, including new menu items and décor.
  • A new review of the food at the Splitsville bowling alley in Downtown Disney.
  • A new review of Monsieur Paul at Epcot’s France pavilion.
  • Dozens of menu updates throughout the chapter.

Part 11 – The Magic Kingdom

  • Information on the new Heroes/Villains parking lot system at the Magic Kingdom.
  • Updates to the Magic Kingdom’s park opening procedures.
  • An update on the Fantasyland expansion construction, including the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opening in 2014.
  • A description of FASTPASS loopholes found at the Magic Kingdom, including which attractions participate and how to take advantage of them.
  • New review of A Pirates Adventure interactive game in Adventureland.
  • A description of the new queue effects at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
  • A new description of Fantasyland’s updated layout, including theming, restroom and phone charging locations.
  • New review for Ariel’s Grotto.
  • New review for the Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station.
  • New review for Enchanted Tales with Belle, including how to avoid long lines.
  • New review of Pete’s Silly Sideshow character greetings, including the best times to go.
  • The latest on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train construction, including scenes, theming and when to go to avoid long waits in line.
  • New review of Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, including when to go.
  • Minor updates to most Tomorrowland attraction descriptions and touring tips.
  • Coverage of Disney’s new nighttime Celebrate the Magic show.
  • Where to find information for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
  • A preview of the new Festival of Fantasy afternoon parade in the Magic Kingdom, scheduled to debut in 2014.
  • An updated “Traffic Patterns in the Magic Kingdom” section showing the effect of the new Fantasyland attractions on guests’ touring habits.
  • Updates to most Magic Kingdom touring plans.
  • A summary of how FastPass+ may change the best viewing locations for parades and fireworks.
  • Updates on most attractions’ “When to Go” times, including which attractions need FASTPASS/FastPass+.
  • Many new Jim Hill anecdotes.

Part 12 – Epcot

  • Tips on where to find Epcot’s alternate security checkpoint, in case the primary one is too crowded.
  • New review of Chevrolet’s Test Track ride and pavilion, including best times to visit.
  • A re-review of Captain EO.
  • Updates to many attractions’ “When to Go” times and touring tips including when to use FASTPASS.
  • Many new Jim Hill stories.

Part 13 – Animal Kingdom

  • Updates to the description of the park’s opening procedures.
  • News on Festival of the Lion King’s move from Camp Minnie-Mickey to Africa.
  • New review of Adventurer’s Outpost character greeting.
  • New review of Wilderness Explorers interactive scavenger hunt.
  • Updates on Animal Kingdom’s Extra Magic Hours schedule.
  • Updates on Avatar construction and how it may affect what’s left of Camp Minnie-Mickey.
  • Updates to many attractions’ “When to Go” times and touring tips including when to use FASTPASS.
  • Updates to the Animal Kingdom’s traffic patterns, considering the likely effects of the closing of Camp Minnie-Mickey and the newest information on the afternoon parade route.
  • Many new Jim Hill stories.

Part 14 – Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Updates to Fantasmic! schedule, seating capacity and preferred viewing spots for the Fantasmic dinner package.
  • Updates to many attractions’ “When to Go” times and touring tips including when to use FASTPASS.
  • Tips on how to get your children signed up for the popular Jedi Training Academy shows.
  • A new review for The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow.
  • Updates on the cancellation of the Studios’ afternoon parade.
  • A new section on the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
  • Where to meet characters for free.
  • Many new Jim Hill stories.

Part 15 – Universal Orlando

If you’re looking for more coverage of Universal Orlando, our upcoming Beyond Disney: Universal Orlando title includes loads of new and updated attraction, restaurant, and hotel reviews from around the Universal Orlando resort. The book also includes SeaWorld and other Central Florida attractions.

  • Updates to Universal’s ticket options and prices; comparison of value with Disney’s theme parks.

    Beyond Disney 2013
    Our Beyond Disney title has more expansive coverage of Universal Orlando.
  • New section on lodging at UOR.
  • Updates on how Universal Express operates for resort guests and day guests
  • Updates to the Universal’s free locker rentals inside the parks.
  • A brief overview of Universal’s new Q-Bot ride reservation system.

Part 16 – Islands of Adventure

  • Expanded coverage of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including traffic patterns and new construction including Hogwarts Express.
  • Best times to visit The Wizarding World for Universal Orlando resort guests and day guests.
  • Updates to IOA’s dining recommendations.
  • A new “Two Parks in One Day” touring plan featuring the best of IOA and Universal Studios Florida.

Part 17 – Universal Studios Florida

  • Coverage of the new Springfield USA area, home of The Simpsons Ride and Kang and Kodos’ Twirl and Hurl spinner ride.
  • Lots of detail around the new Diagon Alley section of the park opening in 2014, including new information on the Gringott’s Wizarding Bank coaster, King’s Cross railroad station, Grimmauld Place, the new Ollivanders wand shop, and more. We also include touring strategies for seeing these new attractions when they open, while avoiding crowds as much as possible.
  • Updated review of Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue.
  • Updated review of The Blues Brothers show.
  • Review of Transformers: The Ride 3-D.
  • An updated section in dining at Universal Studios Florida.
  • Updated touring plans for 2014, including all of the new attractions.

Part 18 – SeaWorld

  • Coverage of the new Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin ride, the largest expansion in SeaWorld history, and new TurtleTrek 3-D theater show.

Part 19 – Behind the Scenes at Walt Disney World

  • Updates to the list of behind-the-scenes tours, prices and hours.

Part 20 – The Water Parks

  • Updates to park hours, prices, and Extra Magic Hours policy.

Part 21 to 23 – Beyond the Parks, Shopping and Nightlife

  • Coverage of the new Disney Springs construction, which will merge together Downtown Disney, the West Side, and Pleasure Island.
  • Updates to the shops found in Downtown Disney, as well as where to find the best souvenirs in each of the theme parks.
  • Updated golf course reviews, prices and hours.

Touring Plans

  • The book’s detailed touring plans now contain advice for how to use FastPass+ in conjunction with the plans. For each step in which we suggest FASTPASS, we’ll tell you the approximate time at which the FASTPASS return window should start, in order to fit in the plan. This allows you to request the correct return time from Disney’s FastPass+ system.If Disney limits the number of FASTPASSes you can obtain, each touring plan also contains a prioritized list, from most important to less important, showing you which FastPass+ attractions to get first. Here’s an example for the Magic Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan for Parents with Young Children:

    Start times for FastPass+: Peter Pan’s Flight 10:15 a.m.; Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin 3:50 p.m.; Jungle Cruise 5 p.m.; The Many Adventure of Winnie Pooh 7:35 p.m.; The Barnstormer and Dumbo the Flying Elephant 7:25 p.m.; Under the Sea 8:10 p.m. Prioritize Peter Pan’s Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Under the Sea if needed.

  • A new Magic Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan for Adults.
  • A new Magic Kingdom Selective One-Day Touring Plan for Adults.
  • A new Magic Kingdom One-Day Plan for Parents with Small Children.
  • A new Magic Kingdom Two-Day Touring Plan.
  • A new Dumbo-or-Die in a Day touring plan.
  • A new Animal Kingdom one-day touring plan, taking in to account new attractions and attraction changes.
  • Updates to the Studios’ one-day touring plan to include updated information on Tower of Terror’s FASTPASS distribution.

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Len Testa

Len Testa is the co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and has contributed to the Disneyland and Las Vegas Unofficial Guides. Most of his time is spent trying to keep up with the team. Len's email address is You can also follow him on Twitter: @lentesta.

60 thoughts on “What’s New In the 2014 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

  • wondering if there will be any deals on the animal kingdom lodge for june 2014

  • Any news on the UK release date? Amazon UK was showing this week, but now it’s saying they’re not dispatching for 1-3 weeks? I was hoping mine would arrive in plenty of time before my trip on October 5th, to give me time to read through it all!

    • Same question from me. is still showing as dispatch within 1-3 weeks. Boo 🙁

      • Yay. Posting on this blog works magic. It shipped from Amazon last night. Just hope the postman is strong enough to deliver it 🙂

      • Mine also shipped last night, and is apparently being delivered today!

  • What day does the mid-year revision come out?

      • Hi Len, I am hoping the mid-year revision will be out soon, collecting all the newest FastPass+ updates in one convenient place. I’m planning on buying the kindle version so I will have it with me in the park, but if the paperback comes out first that’s great too! Thanks!

  • Hi Kassi! Yes, the 2014 Guide (including Kindle) includes a site discount. I’d get the 2014 edition because it’s got updated Magic Bands and Fastpass+ information, plus updated restaurant reviews for your trip in November. Thanks!

  • Hi I’m planning a trip to Disney on November 2013. I heard so many good things about you book that I decided to get one. My question is should I get the 2013 guide or the new 2014? Another question is does the guide still coming with the discount for the website? if yes does the kindle version comes as well?

    Tks in advance 🙂

  • I am going to Disney next month and wanted to buy the book. The bookstore only had the 2014 version. Should I just pick up that one or order the 2013 guide online. I will be part of the group that is testing the wristbands and my magic+ So I didn’t know if the 2014 would have more information on that. Also I am traveling with four children ages six and younger. Should I pick up the kids guide as well? Thanks go any advice!

    • Hi Katie! Pick up the 2013 edition, since it covers Magic Bands and Fastpass+ in more detail. The book’s plans also include advice for how to use them with Fastpass+, and has updated information in the “With Kids” section. I don’t think the Kids book is needed too, but let us know if you have any specific questions there. Thanks again!

      • Thank you for your reply! I just wanted to doublecheck that you definitely meant the 2013 version. I saw somebody asked a similar question underneath and you recommended the 2014 book Because of the updated fastpass+ and magicband information in it. Thanks again!

  • Has anyone picked up the kindle one? I can’t decide. I feel that if I get the kindle one I don’t have to take big book around the park. Any thoughts?

  • I’m doing a Mediterranean cruise on the Magic next summer. Should I get the Unofficial WDW guide with its DCL chapter or will there be a separate Unofficial DCL guide?

    • Fabulous choice, Rachel! Which itinerary?

      We’ll have a new DCL book out in early 2014, and DCL content on the website within a month. Those are probably your best bets.

      • Len,
        Is the DCL book you refer to a completely new item to your product line up? I don’t see a current one on Amazon. This will be great for me as I’ve booked my first DCL trip in summer 2014. I hope your book is out before that!

      • Hey Adam-

        It’s a completely new product, and we’ve not yet listed it with Amazon. We’ll have the manuscript and photos done this month. I’m on the Magic’s first post-dry dock cruise, and there are a couple other updates to get done, but the UG to DCL should be a very early 2014 release.

        Let me know if there’s anything special you’d like to see in the coverage. There’s still time to fit stuff in.

      • I’m going on the 4-night Bahamian cruise on the Dream. I guess I’m wondering if the UGtDCL will cover the various ships, itineraries and ports. I’d like if I could open to a section of the book for “4-night Bahamian Cruise” and it tells me what I should do each day, like a touring plan for WDW would, including what to do at each port. Reviews of the dining options from staff and readers. I’m sure you guys will put together some great info. You always do!

      • We’re on the 12 night cruise from Venice to Barcelona. Only 332 sleeps to go!

        Can’t wait to see the new website content and book. Meanwhile I may just have to buy the WDW book as it’s fun to read anyway!

  • I’m travelling over Halloween 2013. If I haven’t yet bought a recent Guide (my last was bought in 2011), should I purchase the 2013 or 2014 version?

    • The 2013 edition will have the most appropriate touring plans for a Halloween trip. Also check out our restaurant ratings on the site if you’ve yet not made ADRs. Thanks!

  • Hi,
    I just got the 2014 book and am excited to go through it!

    In the accommodations section with the room layouts, you say the Port Orleans Riverside Alligator Bayou rooms have a trundle bed. I’ve read a couple places that many rooms have a Murphy bed. Can you request either style?


    • Ah, in looking at this I realize it’s all Murphy beds now. I’ll get the book updated. Let us know how you like them, Kris.

      • Thanks for the clarification.

  • Curious – why is the print version available now but the kindle version not?

    • The Kindle version requires a bit of extra formatting, but it should be available very soon.

  • Just ordered my book over the weekend. Should expect it sometime this week. I’m going to WDW 9/29-10/5. I’ve been using the 2013 edition a lot already. Looking forward to all the updated info in the 2014 edition.

  • I’m planning my trip in March 2014 and currently have the 2013 with kids guide. Should I get the 2014 with kids or just the regular 2014 guidebook.

    • I have the same question. We are going in May 2014 and I thoroughly enjoyed the 2013 with kids guide. We will be going with a 3.5 year old and 5 months old. Do you think we need both guides or would one or the other be fine? Since we already have the 2013 Kids guide, would there be more new info/less overlap if we just got the regular 2014 or will we miss out on useful info that way?

    • Same question here. If we get the 2014 with kids guide, would we miss out on anything in the regular 2014 guidebook?

    • I’d get the 2014 big book. The basic advice for kids won’t change as much as the content for everything else. Thanks for reading the book!

  • Does the park traffic reflect the Pop Warner Championship in December? I want to avoid the crowd. Should we get the 2013 or 2014 if going in December? Did you also do another Photo companion book for 2014? Thanks for all you do, your books made our 2010 trip the most magical trip we have ever taken. So hope to hit Disneyland (already have the book on my Kindle) in Oct. and DW in Dec. But want to know if it is better the first or second week in December. Thanks again!

    • Yes, we’re estimating crowds for Pop Warner in December. We’re planning an update to the Color Companion book next year, too, so let me know if there’s anything specific you’d like us to cover. (And if you have any great photos from the parks!).

  • Got my copy in the mail the other day! Going to Disney World last week of August and already using this to plan our trip. My wife and I have already made our plans on here and are now reading the book to get more tips. I listen to the podcast religiously and just wanted to say thank you Len!

  • This book has been my “bible” for each of our trips going back to 1988. I always get the newest edition, even if it’s only been a couple of years since our last trip … and I always laugh at the same comments. (I’m such a Disney geek)! Plus it helps build the anticipation by reading a little every night starting a couple of months before our trip.

    And I’ve written before that the Lines app helped us visit 25 attractions and do 2 character meals plus the Wishes Dessert party during our last visit to the MK. (In fact … we didn’t even need to refer to our touring plan … it was that good). And signing up for the email alerts literally saved our vacation plans when I received an alert telling me our planned day to Hollywood Studios (which had been a “best park”) was now changed to a “park to avoid” because the EMH had been changed. Fortunately we were able to change our ADR’s in time and all worked out well.

    I will NEVER go to WDW without referring to this book and without having the app on my phone!

    • Thanks Linda! What did you think of the Wishes dessery party?

  • Is it just me, or is all the new technology (FastPass+) just making it more difficult to enjoy the parks!? I’m thankful that TouringPlan is updating their book and Lines app to keep up with all this stuff, but it even seems to complicate those items. I liked it better when I could simply open the Unofficial Guide book, pick a Touring Plan, and go. That was it. No customizing, no factoring different types of FastPasses, etc. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but sometimes I think it just makes things harder. (And this coming from someone who’s full time job is in technology!)

    • Good point, Adam. I think FP+ is another layer of complexity. And I think it’s (unfortunately) driven by profit. We’ll see how it’s implemented and how it’s received.

  • Woo hoo! Can’t wait for the new book!

  • Hi Len,

    I tweeted your link out out and plan to post in my FB page and my blog for you, too. I like your Touring Plans app, I used it for the first time last year on our annual family reunion trip. There were 25 of us and it was a great tool to use! I plan to renew this fall when my subscription is up. I tell my friends who are headed to the world to check out your products. Thanks, and PS, I really enjoy you and the guys on the podcast. I listen while driving at work.

    Rod Wheaton

  • Will touring plans be updated with better integration with fastpass+ once all the fastpass+ details are totally known and finalized?

    • We’ve already got a lot of support in the book and on the site, and I’m sure we’ll continue to add. In the book, each touring plan now tells you what time to choose for your Fastpass+ reservations, in order to fit into the plan. The book’s plans also prioritize the attractions, telling you which ones are most important to get Fastpass+ reservations for. (There’s an example at the bottom of this blog post.)

      The website’s touring plans have full Fastpass+ support now, including the ability to ask the optimizer what your best FP+ opportunities are.

  • I will Len. By the way, I took all of the new items above and put it onto Amazon’s website for a preview review of the 2014 guide. Hope it helps since you guys deserve it for all your work.

  • Just placed my order with Amazon UK, they have a release date of 2nd September for any other UK readers.

  • Hi Len. You told me at the NYC Meet and Greet that the guide would be out this week and Amazon just updated to show shipment starting August 5th. Just put in my order since I knew there would be updates but, after reading the above, you and Bob seemed to have outdone yourselves. Looking forward to getting the book (although it probably won’t contain any free Papaya King hotdogs inside).

    • Thanks Lou! It was great seeing you at the meet, and thanks for reading the book! Once you get it, let me know if there’s anything you’d like us to add for the mid-year revision out in February.

      • I’m bummed Amazon is showing shipping now, but we still have to wait until the 19th for the Kindle edition.

  • So, we already have the 2013 edition and are heading down in December -will the 2014 edition be of benefit to us?

    • Thanks for reading the book Joe! The 2013 book will be good through December. The big changes are for Fastpass+ and, which we cover here on Let me know if you have specific questions, though – we’re happy to help.

  • So glad this was posted. I was actually going to send an email today in regards to the 2014 edition. I am taking my family(first timers) in February of 2014 and have put off getting a new guide!!!

    I did have a question. Will the Magic Bands be in use by the time we get there in February?


    • Hey Jenn! Disney hasn’t announced anything official, but I expect they would be rolled out by February 2014. We’re hearing that most elements of My Magic+ should be rolled out in 3 to 6 months.

    • I was at Disney animal kingdom Sept 25th through 30 and they used the magic bands. I loved this concept, everything on my wrist so I did not have to remember where I put the keys. We added fast pass to rides and charged to our room quite easily and they had our names on them.


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