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Birnbaum's 2020 Walt Disney World
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About the Author

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. We also take advantage of Walt Disney World's ambitious (and free) FastPass+ attraction reservation system whenever we can. We'll continue to keep a close eye on it and other additions to the Disney vacation-planning universe, homework we're happy to do for readers like you.
While Disney World and Disneyland have 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

Reviews

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
"The Official Guide is also the best."--The New York Times
One of "10 things I learned from our Disney vacation: If you plan to go, plan ahead. The average American wedding takes 8-12 months to prepare. That's a reasonable baseline for researching, booking, and preparing for a Disney trip, in my limited experience. And take advantage of the information that's available. . . . Birnbaum's Walt Disney World guidebook filled in a lot of other gaps."--NPR
One of "19 great coffee table books for Disney fans"--Business Insider

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