Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Disney Guide Books

I was reading over some of the handful of Disney guidebooks that I own.  Admittedly I don't own too many - I'm more interested in the art and mechanics behind the development of Disney theme parks (and theme parks in general) than I am in the comprehensive guides to visiting the parks. 

That said, most of the guidebooks I own or have looked at seem to be all things to everyone.  They try to be so comprehensive - they try to present every single detail that is out there about the parks, resorts, and experiences that are available at a Disney resort.  They almost seem like they'd be most useful to someone who visits often, like, say, an annual passholder who doesn't live too far from the parks.

Most of us probably don't vacation like that, however.  We don't have unlimited time to do everything.  We have 7-10 days (probably more like 7-8 days) to cram in as much as we can do.  Once a year if we're "lucky".  Every other year seems more common, in talking to others who vacation to Florida to visit Disney. 

So a template for a shorter, every-other-year visit would seem to be useful.  I would assume that most visitors want to immerse themselves in Disney as much as they can.  After all, Disney makes it far more cost-effective to spend your entire stay on Disney property.  As you probably know, a single day costs around 90 bucks to just get into a park.  A five day ticket brings the average cost down to something around 55 bucks a day.  Make it seven days for 10 dollars more a day, bringing the average cost down to about 41 bucks a day.  Seven days for a family of four is going to be something around $1150.00.  (A bit less if you have kids under 10, which a lot of Disney visitors do, obviously...but still...) 

So you're spending upwards of a grand for just your park admissions.  Want to add the park hopper option?  It adds almost 60 bucks per ticket and allows you to visit more than one park per day.  Is that something that you would use more than once or twice on your trip?  I know we generally don't.  To me, that park hopper option is nice to have, because there might well be a day we're visiting somewhere other than Epcot but we want to dine at Epcot.  Or maybe you want to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours at two parks, one in the morning and one at night. 

We no longer purchase the park hopper option because we feel it is too much money (almost 240 dollars) for the once or twice we might actually use it.  Of course, you have to decide this for yourself, but that's my perspective. 

And that's the sort of perspective that I would like to get out of a guidebook.  Something that might give me a template for a one week visit.  Well, maybe not now - we've been down there something like seven times over the past 8 years, plus a couple of visits to California, and we have our routine down. 

Heck, I think maybe I'll write it! 


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