Book Review: Birnbaum’s 2017 Walt Disney World for Kids: The Official Guide

Birnbaum’s 2017 Walt Disney World for Kids: The Official Guide is now available for purchase. I’ve already reviewed Birnbaum’s 2017 Disneyland: The Official Guide and this one is geared for kids visiting Walt Disney World. Birnbaum’s offers official guides from Disney.

For the same reasons as I recommended the Disneyland version, I recommend Birnbaum’s 2017 Walt Disney World for Kids: The Official Guide as a souvenir guide with some decent information – including what rides might be scary for kids, or height requirements. Some of it the book has good details, but some not as good as it should be (which I’ll talk about in a minute). And I’d take attraction ratings with a grain of salt. Like…Stitch’s Great Escape is listed as a “Really Cool, Don’t Miss” attraction, but Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and the People Mover are listed as less cool than Stitch. While I believe these are based on ratings from kids, I just would say do everything and make up your own mind. As a kid I loved the People Mover and Enchanted Tiki Room and I still do.

When a book is sent for publishing, that isn’t the end of changes at the parks. Since Birnbaum’s 2017 Walt Disney World for Kids: The Official Guide was sent to publishing, changes include the ending of the Main Street Electrical Parade, the closing of Stormstruck and Sum of All Thrills at Epcot and also Shark Reef at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. Rivers of Light is listed as a must-see show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, but it hasn’t even opened. And the 30 minutes it says to arrive early for the show that hasn’t started yet? You’ll need more time when it starts, just based on the temporary show that filled the summer slot.

What I’d prefer to see with the book for 2018 is a little smaller typeface (a point or two) and add some extra details to the book. Like, when it mentions Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, it tells kids they can sit in the lobby and listen to the band – and then it mentions that there is “a cool splash zone too” at the pool area. Personally, I’d not mention the band and I would say that the “splash zone” is Alice in Wonderland themed. For Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, the “interactive splash area” is pirate themed, and I’m not sure why that isn’t mentioned. And the book mentions that Disney has more than 200 topiaries, but doesn’t mention that most of those are not out year round. It shows Tick Tock Croc as a topiary, but that is only for the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, when topiaries are abundant. The also book says to try not to squeeze the movies in Epcot’s Canada, France and China all in one day. It really isn’t a big deal unless its been a long day and you don’t want to stand for the Canada and China movies.

I’d apparently write some of the book differently. But Birnbaum’s 2017 Walt Disney World for Kids: The Official Guide does have fun photos, an autograph section and information about Walt Disney himself – plus some good information too. The book is maybe iPad sized, easy to carry in a backpack.