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
This book is an
encyclopedic guide full of helpful and sensible information
for all visitors.
NOTE : See also
free excerpts from her book, the
review of the first edition, and a related book review 'Hidden
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 ¾" 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
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
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
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
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
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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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.