Bob Jacobs, a fan of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, recalls his first visit to Walt Disney World. Let’s join him on his journey back in time.
I’m sure you have memories of your first trip to Walt Disney World. Who doesn’t? BUT…do you have memories about the first time you used the Unofficial Guide?
I do: it was 1992. The guide was 418 pages, cost $11, and was worth its weight in gold! We lived in Wisconsin, had never been to Florida (let alone Walt Disney World; and in that pre-internet world the only way we could gather information for planning was in print. From this book, in particular.
It had everything you could want: maps, hotel ratings (plus phone numbers and rates), how to get there from the airport, and, of course, Touring Plans, which we studied to maximize our time in The World.
We arrived late one day in February, rented a car, and checked into our hotel. We decided there was still enough time to make our first visit to the parks. So following a suggestion in the guide, we headed to EPCOT, saving the Magic Kingdom for the next full day.
I’m so glad we did! Today, nearly 30 years later, our children still remember the awe and wonder of walking up to Spaceship Earth that night for the very first time. The music! The lights! And yes – the magic!!
It may sound funny, but they remember most rides that are no longer there: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Cranium Command and Body Wars, the Monster Sound Show, and Backstage Studio Tour.
And boy, do they remember the Hoop Dee Doo Review, mostly because we almost missed it! We fell asleep back at the hotel after a busy day of touring. We woke up less than a half hour before we were to check in at Pioneer Hall! We scrambled to get up, get ready, get in the car, and drive to Fort Wilderness, and without GPS or Google Maps, it was a thrill ride all its own!
In the end, we had such a great time that when we arrived home, we started to plan (and save for) our next trip. Two years later, we were back! And one of the reasons it was such a memorable, fun, and terrific trip was because of the advice and counsel the Unofficial Guide offered us.
Since then, we’ve gone more regularly – and always with a copy of the Guide. For us, it’s truly indispensable!
Bob Jacobs still lives in Wisconsin, where he recently retired after working for 22 years as an Editorial Director and writer for a well-known clothing catalog company. He and his wife, Cristie, have four children, seven grandchildren, and a cocker spaniel named Penny the Dog.
Bob also has an impressive collection of Walt Disney World guidebooks, including the very first one! Read all about it here.
If you enjoyed this blog check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, or to plan your family’s trip to Orlando, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.