The Disney Food Blog is one of my favorite Disney sites; when I heard AJ was releasing a Disney Dining book, I thought it was a great idea and picked up a copy a few days ago. AJ decided to go with an e-book instead of publishing a hard copy. I’ll touch more on that later.
The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is 250 pages of full of strategies not just on dining at the WDW restaurants, but eating at Walt Disney World in a more basic sense. It covers everything from refrigerators and places to buy groceries to special needs dining and the baby care centers. However, the meat of the book is the step by step guide to WDW dining planning. It also includes links to spreadsheets created for the specific purpose of dining planning. In order to cover dining planning adequately, the book also touches on general WDW vacation planning items such as park hours and whether or not to purchase Park Hopper passes.
The DFB Guide answers just about every question about dining a guest might have, from a detailed analysis on whether the Disney Dining Plan is a good deal to the happenings at the Food and Wine Festival. Dining with children is covered in great detail, including a section on restaurants with unique options for children to get away from the pizza and chicken nuggets. Also, the book features an index of every bar and lounge in Walt Disney World, a feature that appeals to the beer drinker in me.
The book’s layout is pleasing; photos (mostly of food naturally) are plentiful and even though the book packs a lot of information, the text is broken up by pictures, top 5 lists, and other side content. Tables, such as one for all the various Character Dining experiences, make comparisons between restaurants easy. Every page in the book is full color; this is especially important with the food photographs.
My only real complaint about the content is the lack of a detailed section for every restaurant in Walt Disney World. While top picks and recommended items are covered in more detail, a chart that spans many pages covers all the restaurants with a brief description. Each restaurant’s name links to a page on Disney Food Blog for more detail. However, this limits the ability to get more details to devices with an active Internet connection; if a guest is at Walt Disney World trying to read up on a restaurant for a last minute change, he or she is at the mercy of a smartphone’s data connection. For those of us with iPhones, that data connection is often flaky. While linking back to Disney Food Blog will provide more up-to-date information, having a bit more information about each restaurant in the book would be highly beneficial in my opinion.
My reaction to this being an e-book is mostly positive; I recently ventured into the world of e-books when I bought my wife a Kindle for her birthday. After purchasing The DFB Guide I downloaded a copy to my computer (the cover screenshot at the top came off my computer) then loaded the book onto my iPhone 4 and my wife’s Kindle.
Here is how The DFB Guide looks in iBooks on my iPhone. Clear, sharp, but a bit small. I can zoom in and out as needed which helps. Everything functions as it should; links function as they should, letting the user fly around the book as needed. This is not a criticism of the book, but of the iBooks app: the app should allow the user to go back to the page where he tapped the link. I found myself lost a couple of times after tapping a link.
Above is how The DFB Guide looks on a Kindle (current generation). I’ll be honest; the screenshot above looks better than the book does on the Kindle’s default settings. Increasing the contrast will help with the display. I also was unable to get the Kindle to follow a link, which makes the more detailed descriptions I’d like to see for restaurants more important. Text that would normally function as links is also a bit difficult to read. However, the Kindle will allow you to rotate the screen orientation.
Rotated, the e-book appears like this; however, the page does not fit on one screen. This means flipping back and forth to read the bottom portions of each column. I was unable to make it any smaller than this. Please note that these formatting difficulties are gripes about the Kindle and not about the content of the book.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. It’s more than just a book about dining; it’s an excellent tool for putting a WDW vacation plan together. Following the five step guide to planning generates a dining calendar that’s easy to follow and also easily loaded onto a smartphone. The e-book format is an advantage for those of us with the equipment to utilize the format; I think iPad users will really enjoy the format. No other resource that I’m aware of goes into this much detail on how to plan dining. I highly recommend picking up The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining at http://dfbguide.com.
All content from The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining © DisneyFoodBlog.com and Cambrick Yard, LLC.
The usual disclosure: I purchased this e-book with my own money and received nothing in return for this review.