Some of you might have noticed I have a bit of a crush on Walt Disney World. You may have also noticed I have had a bit of a love affair with Disney’s food. One of the blogs I love to follow is the Disney Food Blog (DFB). When I heard blogger AJ Wolfe was writing an eBook about Disney Dining, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Now that I have, I’ve reviewed it for you so you know if this is a good fit for you.
Some of you might be hesitant to download an eBook instead of a “real” book but let me assure you, this is a top-quality book. It looks just like a “real” book on your screen and is professional yet still readable. For those unfamiliar with ebooks, this one does include links both to ebook pages (via a table of contents and in text) and also webpages. The photos are phenomenal, just like you’re used to seeing on DFB but really the best of the best
While using it on my iPhone’s eReader meant I lost some formatting (mostly because my eReader is a bit lacking) I was able to find key information and add bookmarks that I could check during a future trip.
This eBook is perfect for both Americans and International Travelers. It stays relevant for international tourists by including relevant booking, tipping, and food info for those beyond US borders. While the book contains tons of information for new visitors, it also remains relevant to the infrequent ones. Because it’s an eBook, AJ is able to include some of the newest updates from Disney, like Le Cellier’s recent switch to a Signature Dining location for dinner. This book also deserves a special shout-out to any guest with dietary concerns. This is the all-in-one-stop for finding the best advice out there on how to work with Disney on your diet.
The 5-Step Guide to Stress-Free Dining Plan
AJ’s big selling point in the book is her 5-step guide. Without revealing too much, here’s the ideas and how the eBook goes beyond the usual Disney book:
- Budget: The book includes a great way to calculate if the DDP is right for you
- Calendar: Gives a shout-out to another great Disney site, TouringPlans
- Personalize: You might not forget about allergies or celebrations and DFB hasn’t either.
- Learn: There are so many restaurants to choose from that it can be hard to research them all. This book has done all the research for you.
- Reserve: The book walks you through the booking process so you don’t miss out on your top choices
What I Loved
I loved how easy it was to read an eBook and how integrated it was with the web. The book comes with DFB Guide Worksheets that are phenomenal. The Calendar is a perfect way to keep tabs on all your reservations and dishes you might have read about on DFB. There’s a budget sheet, brainstorming sheet for itinerary planning, and a booking sheet.
This book uses a glossary to wean you into the Disney World. Many users head to sites like DisBoards and don’t realize Disney has its own language. This is the perfect way to decipher the lingo.
Not only does the book made good use of graphics (like charts and checklists), it also has its own versions of TravelHyper’s own Deal Breakdowns. It’s a great way to compare savings when multiple deals are being offered. The sample itineraries for food with suggested food options and pricing are a nice touch. DFB did a great job not leaving vegetarians or large families out either.
I have to say I’m impressed by the great suggestions on varied kids’ menu options. So often during our trip we saw parents book a restaurant for themselves without realizing children were only being offered chicken or burgers. Thankfully, DFB knows where the real treats are. There’s also amazing advice for the character buffets including choosing a meal by character.
This is clearly a book about getting you the best value for your dollar. While AJ is indeed selling you a book, she doesn’t make money off of whatever meal plan you purchase so there’s no incentive for her to rip you off. Her budget tips rely on some of the best sites on the web and her own personal experiences to get you the most bang for your buck. Whatever price you pay for the eBook, you’ll be saving far more than that if you listen to her advice.
What I’d Want in Another Book
- An expanded budgeting worksheet. The less math on my end the better!
- A calendar showing the seasonal price increases
- More info on the Disney Food & Wine Festival-prices, how it works, and how full you’ll get
- Even more integration with the blog. I bought the book because I love the blog so much and infrequent blog readers might have missed an amazing post that the book could have featured.
- For restaurants, I’d love to see links back to Disney’s own restaurant page so I could make an ADR after reading your restaurant description.
- A full page devoted to your cupcake guide. The website photos deserve more promotion in the book!
- Disneyland! Can you promise me you’ll use the profits of this book towards eating at Disneyland and writing a book on that? I need to expand my own Disney repertoire.
What I Learned
Even an old pro like me has something to learn from this book. Beyond the really helpful chart (on page 191) featuring alternative restaurant choices, I found out there’s a special character meal bus to take you to parks if you have an early reservation. I also know more about how to celebrate a special event at Disney than I ever did before. Hint: If you want to have a splashy Disney proposal, this book lets you know how to get Disney’s help.
- Pages: 250 formatted in a PDF. Though the page count might seem daunting, there are a lot of charts and pages of restaurant reviews so it’s not all text
- Price: $18.95 but there are frequent savings opportunities and it has a 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee
- Where to buy: DisneyFoodBlog
- The DFB Guide to WDW Dining: Steps to a Stress-Free Personalized Plan by AJ Wolfe is highly recommended by this blog and should be purchased by anyone looking to book a Disney trip.