Star Wars Day Star Wars and Disney

This year the big news this year is of course that Disney has doubled down on Star Wars. Long a fixture at Walt Disney World with the Star Tours ride, Disney opened more – including a store, a meet and greet, and a projection/firework show shortly before our visit in 2015. Now they are working on opening a Star Wars land in both Disneyland and Hollywood Studios (personally I think they ought to have a whole park to themselves) scheduled to open in 2019.

Star Wars characters at base entrance
Photo of Stars War Land – Courtesy of Pauly Tee

Links

I don’t have a great story to share this year so how about some links?

60 Facts About the Star Wars Universe for Star Wars Day courtesy of Mental Floss

All We Know about Star Wars Land courtesy of Variety

Previous Trundlebed Tales Posts

May the Fourth Be With You – I Love You More Than Star Warsa great song

Saving Star Wars May the 4th

That Time the Government Built a UFO May the 4th

Giant AT-AT walker outside Star Tours at Walt Disney World
AT-AT Walker (my favorite thing at Star Tours) – courtesy of Pauly Tee

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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Travel Times Part 2 Disney Books

Before you check out my Disney Books podcast, check out what my friend Disney lover Richard Simms recommends for Travel Times podcast listeners and the first podcast of looking ahead (there is some strange audio at the beginning on this one, but I think it’s still OK) to my Disney trip.

Note that this was recorded well before I did the post so I put the current editions of these books in the descriptions below.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2015/10/10/travel-times-disney-world-part-2-books

Walt Disney World
WDW 2017

Disney in December, BABY!

Also my opinion, I read these through except things I knew for sure like cruises or Universal

Website Subscriptions

The main trust of today’s podcast is books, but there are lots of websites. While there are a lot of free websites out there others require subscriptions for access or full access. I would recommend subscribing to all of these.

Touring Plans – It gives you information about rides, menus, and optimized touring plans that you can readjust “optimize” at any time as life might interfer with your premade plans. Purchasing the Touring Plans book listed before gives you a discount on the website subscription.

Kenny the Pirate – Just the best information on character appearances that is always up to date.

UPDATE  WDW  Prep School still has its amazing podcast and a free website, but since I recorded this I also have a subscription section. I haven’t subscribed yet, but since everything else they do is top notch and my favorite, I’m sure this will be too.

Books

Birnhaum Guides. Birnbaum’s 2017 Walt Disney World: The Official Guide. Disney Editions, 2016. ISBN 1484737776

Birnbaum’s the Official guide **** MUST BUY ****

Coupons mostly if staying off grounds or have a lot of out of park time

It gives the party line, things Disney expect you to know about

Compact for easier carrying than others

Meal section most useful especially character meal chart

Also special tours section

You want most current, comes out towards end of September so frozen in August of previous year (so this year’s 2017 book was frozen in August 2016). For trips after September hold out for the next year’s or get both.

Marx, Jennifer, Dave Marx, and Alexander Marx. PassPorter’s Walt Disney World: The Unique Travel Guide, Planner, Organizer, Journal, and Keepsake. 19th ed. Ann Arbor, Michigan: PassPorter Travel Press, 2016. ISBN 158771163X ****MUST BUY****

One of two I would consider a must by, skip the section about accommodations if you’ve made yours already and dive into the stuff about the parks. Although it doesn’t start quite as basic as I’d like to see it for someone who knows nothing about the parks, it gives a lot more basic information than any of the other guide books I read. It has just beautiful maps by far the clearest and most useful I’ve seen in any book. The name labels are on the buildings so you don’t have to flip between a numbered list and the map to figure out what is what.I also liked the routes and walk times that were included to give you a good idea for routes. The descriptions were fairly straight forward and what opinion there was was given in one voice so you could decide if you agreed with it or not. Another nifty feature is that they highlight changes made from the previous edition so you can see what’s changed right away.

Downsides include its format (a plastic spiral that constantly was twisting out, an especially poor choice for a book they encouraged you to carry around and to rearrange and take pages out of it – a binder format would have been a far better choice), the fact that it really didn’t have many charts and what charts they did have were very detailed so there wasn’t much in the way of quick summaries, and that towards the end of the book they were kind of heavy on advising buying other titles from them both in paper and as e-books. Also be aware that the last quarter of the book is taken up by hard cardboard pockets (one for each day of your trip) that they encourage you to use while touring.

Be aware the new edition comes out in December so late in the year information may be out of date towards the end of the calendar year. I caught several things that I knew weren’t true anymore just from my other research.

Sehlinger, Bob and Len Testa. The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2017. Birmingham, AL: Keen Communications, 2015. ISBN 1628090669

My friend Kelly really loves this resource and it has a lot of information, but it’s not one of my favorites. Personally when I read a how to book from an expert I want their opinion and the constant second guessing and quotes of opposite opinions from various readers get on my nerves. But if you want a well rounded set of opinions on absolutely everything, this is the book for you.

One of the positive things is that it rates attractions with advice on different age levels. They give advice and tips how to do it. There are lots of useful single color maps of things like resorts and highway approaches in addition to main park maps and charts and still more that are black and blue. At 848 pages it’s by far the largest and most comprehensive of the books I got. However, there are large sections on Disney Cruises and Universal Parks which explains some of the extra length.

***** I’d say this is a maybe buy. If you want lots of details and a lot of extra opinions, plus detail maps, lists and suggestions for various ages, you’ll want to buy the book. If you want a single voice that you can figure out if you agree with or not, this probably isn’t the book for you. In addition this same group of people put out a subscription website called Touring Plans. The website was a lot more useful to me than the book. If you can only do the book OR the website, do the website in my opinion.

Birnhaum Guides. Birnbaum’s 2017 Walt Disney World For Kids: The Official Guide. Disney Editions, 2016. ISBN 1484737784

*****Buy if have kids the age to read on their own (at least Magic Treehouse series level)

Note that it’s NOT WITH kids, FOR kids. They expect kids to be the ones reading this one.

Colorful, easy to read

Written in narrative format

Rating system scary, dark,or loud

Activities to do

Includes kids in planning

Must say was disappointed in how much our kids like it but I think others would

Touring plans book — Optional

First chapter apologizing for format

Information Disney wouldn’t tell you

System of opinions based on age

Maps not overly clear

Wilk, Roger. Discover the Magic: The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Walt Disney World. 2nd ed. n.p.: n.p., 2015. ISBN 9781505687491 **** Don’t Buy ****

I admit I was on a bit of a Disney book buying binge and I bought this strictly based on its cover. Seriously this is the second most pick me up and buy me cover that I’ve ever seen. If he didn’t design it himself, I want to hire whoever did it for any book I write. Sadly the cover is the best part of the book. The inside clearly says self-published. There are good self-published books, but most of them are crying out for want of an editor and this is no exception.

Apparently Wilk defines insider as someone who has been to Disney on several trips since 2008 as a normal tourist and in those last seven years apparently spent a lot of time in the parks. However, he didn’t learn a lot because you could get absolutely everything else in this book from other guide books. The only exception are his personal opinions which certainly aren’t worth buying the book for. The opening of the book starts with him getting kind of irate at the fact that people posted negative comments on Amazon (which I totally should have read) and seemed especially focused on the fact that people complained that his photos weren’t in color. He seemed to think people didn’t understand that color photos cost more in a book. Frankly to me the photos even in black and white were one of the few pluses in the book because I do have to give him credit that he illustrated more things he was talking about with photos than the other Disney books I’ve read. However, they were nothing special and you could find just as good or better images doing a quick image search.

Note that the edition I got was the second. It seems that according to the interior text it was greatly expanded from the 1st edition which must have just been a pamphlet or something. Also, Wilk has the nerve to have published 3 more books about Disney when he didn’t really have enough to say to fill this one.

*****If it is the only Disney book available to you, it covers the bare essentials of information well enough, but a strong do NOT buy.

Final – Disappointment have to still have your physical Disney credit card to get discount, kids glad to go

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,  LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Travel Times Disney World Part 1

Today we get the show notes from our first Disney World planning report.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2015/06/21/travel-times-disney-world-part-1

There is an entire subculture of Disney trip planning. There are many websites, blogs, podcasts, etc. If you’re wanting a great example take a look at WDWPrepSchool. Look at the blog and listen to the podcasts. She also has an e-book for sale. We got a lot of great tips from there including the suggestions on how to get dinner registrations worked amazingly well.

http://wdwprepschool.com

Learn about:

Magic Bands

Memory Maker – Photo Pass photographers

Differences between Disneyland and Disney World, why we decided to go to Walt Disney World instead

Art of Animation Resort

Me and My Brother at Disney World in 1985
Me and My Brother at Disney World in 1985

All Ears

Disney Dining

Disney Twitter – Character from Zorro – Link to feed

Steps to Planning

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Meals
Touring Plans website – find menus – also has app to optimize your tour plans and gives more accurate wait time for rides than official Disney My Disney Experience App. It’s a subscription website and app, but you get a discount if you buy their book first.

Character Meal List

Top Goals: Castle, Norwegian (for breakfast specifically), Chef Mickeys

Richard Simms – Catch his podcast with me

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Travel Times Disney

Travel Times is a subseries of my Trundlebed Tales podcasts where we get the insider’s view of how to try out something completely different on your vacation whether it’s being a Civil War Reenactor or riding a bike across Iowa or Trekfest, try something new.

Join host Sarah Uthoff as she talks with Richard M. Simms one of the biggest Walt Disney World fans on the planet as he gives the inside story on how to have the most fantastic Disney World vacation. From running a marathon to attending a food festival, traveling with adults or with a family to having a special Twitter account just to share his Disney adventures Richard’s done it all so listen in for the full scoop.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2013/03/02/travel-times-disney 

Me and My Brother at Disney World in 1985
Me and My Brother at Disney World in 1985

Hope Floats from Porthole Magazine
http://www.porthole.com/CurrentIssue/CruisingforaCause.aspx

Disney Trip Discussion Board
http://www.disboards.com/

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-food-and-wine-festival/

Wine and Dine Half Marathon
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/wine-dine-half-marathon/

Gardens of the World
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/gardens-of-the-world

Special Events Schedule
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours

Disney Parks Blog
http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/

Limited Time Magic
http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/let-the-memories-begin/limited-time-magic/

All Ears – Disney Trip Planning
http://allears.net/index.html

Extra Magic Hours – Extended Time for Staying on Park Resorts
http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/planning-guides/in-depth-advice/extended-theme-park-hours/\

Richard added this blog as a recommendation in 2015:
http://www.wdwinfo.com

Mellow Mickey Twitter Handle
https://twitter.com/mellowmickey

Richard’s Crimes Against Civility
Twitter Handle
https://twitter.com/howrudeareyou
Book on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Crimes-Against-Civility-ebook/dp/B006O3JLSE

And his real job Twitter Handle
https://twitter.com/soapsindepthcbs

Another friend recommended:
http://wdwprepschool.com

UPDATE March 22, 2015: I added two links today.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.