Mini Mickey: The Ultimate Disney World Travel Guide

disney world Learn how to avoid the crowds

This weekend my family and I engaged in an activity along with many others across the country: raiding the clearance sales at Borders. I’m devastated at the mega-bookstore’s demise, but that didn’t stop me from seeing what books I could obtain.

Before I made a separate trip to the store with my mother, she gifted me with three books she’d bought there earlier in the day (thanks, Mom!) They’re all unofficial guides to Disney World. Between them the three contain myriad tips on taking a Disney vacation: how to find the best savings, how to navigate the parks, where to find hidden tidbits around little-traveled corners, and more.

The first book I’ll review today is “Mini Mickey” by Bob Sehlinger. It’s part of a travel series called “The Pocket-Sized Unofficial Guide,” and this one pertains to Walt Disney World. In terms of layout it’s the same as most travel guides, organized in sections looking at restaurants, hotels, and attractions. The book reviews each on a five-star system.

Being a guide to Disney world, “Mini Mickey” is a little more detailed than that. It gives price ranges for restaurants using actual monetary amounts, not just more or less fork symbols representing the amount of money one should expect to spend there. In addition to such reviews of hotels, restaurants, and attractions it offers tips on how to get around Orlando. I mean it when I say Orlando and not Disney World.

Thanks to this guide I know something invaluable that I never would have realized without it: just how big Disney World and Orlando are. I’ve seen the Google Earth map of Disney World, so I did know in theory how big it was, but I guess because I’ve never thought in practical terms about going to Disney World I never realized how much travel is involved just in getting from one of Disney World’s parks to another.

Naive me assumed that it would be like the smaller theme parks I’ve attended, where I could take a simple walk from the roller coaster section over to the water park. Not so; Disney World is huge, and the sheer travel from one section to another is part of the reason why even Disney World suggests taking at least one day to explore each park. I always thought that was just greed, execs trying to make families spend as much time in each of the parks as possible.

“Mini Mickey” gives tips on where to stay based on what you want to do, covering both Disney and non-Disney hotels. It also explains the best route to take to get where you want to be.

The book is chock full of such fantastic information. It covers when and where to go to Disney World, where to stay based on what you want to do, helps you evaluate whether or not you want to do all of your eating and sleeping at the parks or not, and even covers many of the non-Disney aspects of your stay. You want to stay outside of Disney? It has details on grocery stores in Orlando, in case you plan to cook your own meals.

If you want to go to Disney World but have no idea how to plan the trip, then you want this book. You could find most of its information online, but not all in one place as well organized as “Mini Mickey.”

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*(This image by Allie_Caulfield is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.)