Birnbaum Guides

When Steve Birnbaum first published this guide in 1981, he made it plain what was expected of everybody who worked on it: the book would be rigorously edited each year, with no attraction, snack, or meal going untested, and no hotel going untested. This book is the most authoritative reference to the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts because of firsthand experiences like these that have accumulated over the years. Our expertise, on the other hand, does not come from being ushered through back doors of attractions (though that would be fun). Instead, we stand in line with the rest of the guests, expecting to have a Disney experience similar to everyone else's. Where possible, we also use Walt Disney World's ambitious (and free) FastPass+ attraction reservation system.

While Disney World and Disneyland have dramatically expanded, so has our knowledge of the world's most popular vacation spots. We'll continue to keep a close eye on it and other additions to the Disney vacation-planning universe, homework we're happy to do for readers like you. We've met hot weather and swelled crowds on occasion, causing even the happiest of tourists to become grumpy for a moment or two. We could have avoided some traumatic experiences if we had known then what we know now. In one instance, a staff member had to wait more than an hour to ride an attraction.

Another attendee asked her whether there was a quiz at the end as she stood in line with a notebook. He was surprised to find that she was waiting with the crowds until she explained what she was doing. It has, nevertheless, always been our strategy. We believe that being a Disney park visitor is the best way to obtain relevant recommendations.

Time and time again!