When Steve Birnbaum launched this guide in 1981, he made it clear what was expected of anyone who worked on it: The book would be meticulously revised each year, leaving no attraction untested, no snack or meal untasted, no hotel untried. First-hand experiences like these, accumulated over the years, make this book the most authoritative guide to the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.
Our expertise, however, is not achieved by being escorted through back doors of attractions (although we would enjoy that). Instead, we wait in lines with everyone else, always hoping to have a Disney experience like that of any other guest.
While Walt Disney World has vastly expanded, and so has our knowledge of the most popular vacation destinations on the planet. On some occasions we've encountered sweltering weather and swelling crowds, times when even the happiest of travelers can turn into Grumpy for a moment or two. Had we known then what we know now, we could have spared ourselves some trying experiences.
In one case, a staffer waited more than an hour to get on an attraction. Standing in line with a notebook, she was asked by another guest if there was a quiz at the end. When she explained what she was doing, he expressed surprise to learn that she was waiting with the masses. But that's always been our strategy. We believe the best way to gather useful advice for a Disney park guest is to be one. Over and over again!
—Jill Safro, editor
"A nice complement to Birnbaum's Walt Disney World for adults, this slimmed-down version, 'by' kids as well as for them, is ideal for getting children involved in family vacation planning. . . . Because the kids' enthusiasm is contagious, readers with a visit to Disney looming large won't be able to put this down."—American Library Association Booklist
"The Official Guide is also the best."—The New York Times
One of "10 Gift Ideas Theme Park Fans Will Love . . . While giving a Disney vacation is a gift out of most people's price ranges, you still can help loved ones plan for their next theme park vacation. The best Disney guidebooks are from Birnbaum's, and [release] ahead of the New Year. . . . The guidebooks offer everything from tips on how to maximize your park experiences to restaurant reviews."—International Business Times