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Following on from the success of Cara Goldsbury's 2003 book, here now is a greatly changed second edition.

The Disney World complex continues to change and expand, and so this new second edition is a timely update to a great reference work.

 
 
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The Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World Resort

Second edition - new title, new content

Good news - Cara Goldsbury has updated her book 'Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World' and now offers updated and extended information.

This book is an encyclopedic guide full of helpful and sensible information for all visitors.

NOTE :  See also the free excerpts from her book, the review of the first edition, and a related book review 'Hidden Mickeys'.

 

 

One of the true tests of a travel guide book is how thorougly it is updated.  Many guide books get very little updating from edition to edition, and so become increasingly dated, no matter what the publication date might imply.

Happily, the second edition of The Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World Resort has been very thoroughly researched and revised.  It is well worth getting, whether you have the first edition or not.

What the Book Contains

The large paperback book measures 6" x 9", and is " in thickness.  It has 407 pages.

The book is printed onto good quality white paper and includes a 12 page section of color photographs at the very front.  It was published in October, 2005.  The book sells for $18.95 (amazing - $1 less that the first edition, published two years ago), and can be obtained through Amazon at a much lower price.

Eleven chapters cover almost everything from pre-trip planning through accommodations, the different theme parks, other activities at WDW, shopping and dining, plus brief sections on Universal Orlando, other theme parks, and the Disney Cruise Line.  An appendix offers a selection of suggested one and two day itineraries for various scenarios.

What's New and Different

The first edition of Cara Goldsbury's book was published late in 2003; this new book shows a 2006 copyright date but was actually released in October 2005, so it is close to two years after the first edition.

The book now has a new publisher and slightly different title.  But the main difference is, of course, in the content.  Perhaps surprisingly, the book has fewer pages - 407 compared to 510, but this reduction in size is matched by the use of a smaller typeface, so more words are on every page, and a much tighter focus on what is covered.  There is less generic information on the theme parks as such - it is assumed you already know this or will get basic information elsewhere - and more information on restaurants and resorts.

Cara says she's again stayed at every resort mentioned in the book, and dined at least once in every restaurant, so all comments are up to date.

A change in the layout of the second addition is moving eleven pages of one and two day itineraries, with suggestions of what to see and do in the time and at the park choice(s) covered, out of the body of the text and into a special appendix at the end.

Her rating codes have now been augmented by a symbol to denote the very best of the best hotels, restaurants and entertainment.

However, the book no longer rates attractions and rides with a number of stars based on the author's opinion of their appeal.  Whereas the first edition listed all activities in the parks and rated them, the second edition only lists what it describes as 'the very best' of each area, omitting entirely what it feels to be not the very best.

This is unfortunate.  For example, there is now no reference to one of my favorite places in Epcot - the British pub and restaurant.  Is it one of the best dining experiences in Epcot?  No.  But for Anglophiles, it is a nice treat and accurate reminder of eating and drinking in Britain, and Cara Goldsbury does both Disney and its intending visitors a disservice by filtering out things which she doesn't feel to be among the very best.

Much of the text has not just been updated, but also stylistically revised and improved.  The updates are helpful and often important.

Some places have been upgraded or downgraded based on the author's experiences subsequent to the first edition, and the book includes coverage of three more resorts and various new restaurants.

The 'Other Nearby Theme Park' chapter no longer covers Wet 'n Wild - probably no great loss for a book that promises the sophisticated side of Disney, and also no longer mentions the Kennedy Space Center.

If you already have the first edition and are considering your next trip to WDW in Florida, you definitely should get a copy of the new second edition rather than rely on what has become, over the last two years, outdated and incomplete information.

About the Book in General

To read my review of the book in general, please visit the earlier article.  While there have been plenty of detail changes (as discussed above) the underlying substance and worth of the book remains unchanged.

Summary

I liked the first edition of this book.  The second edition is similarly good, and is sufficiently new and different as to fully justify the extra cost of getting an updated copy if you already have the first edition.

The book is very helpful for anyone seeking to plan a better than ordinary experience in the Disney World area.

Available through Amazon at a surprisingly generous discount.

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Originally published 18 Nov 2005, last update 19 Dec 2013

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.

 
 
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