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There are Walt Disney World guidebooks that you read because
they give you amazingly accurate info about how to properly navigate this 43
square-mile resort (EX: "The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2012"). Then
there are those WDW guidebooks that you pick up because they have lots of great
photographs ("The Complete Walt Disney World 2011") or cool behind-the-scenes info ("Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World's Best Kept Secrets").
And then there's "Mousejunkies!," Bill Burke's hilarious
how-to travel book. Now in its second edition, the main virtue of this 488-page
paperback isn't that it actually features "More Tips, Tales and Tricks for a
Disney World Fix: All You Need to Know for a Perfect Vacation." But - rather - it's
because this book will make you laugh. A lot.
Copyright 2011 Travelers Tales. All rights reserved
"And why is that?," you say. Because - to be blunt - Bill Burke
is one funny SOB. I mean, who else - when touting the obvious superiority of
the Samoan over Tonga Toast when it comes to choosing the very best breakfast
to have while dining at the Polynesian Resort's Kona Café - would have folded
this supremely silly passage into their restaurant review:
Will there be those who scoff at this subjective
proclamation? Surely. But there were those who said man could not reach the
moon; that the Red Sox would never win the World Series; that I should probably
wear pants in public more often.
You see what I'm saying? "Mousejunkies!" is serious fun
because Bill Burke doesn't take himself all that seriously. This book's
downright irreverent tone is clearly established in the foreword when this
longtime Boston Herald feature writer describes the Disney-ized décor of his
home by saying that " ... it looks like Mickey Mouse threw up in my living room."
"Mousejunkies!" author Bill Burke and his daughter Katie in their family's Disney-filled living room. Copyright 2011 Travelers Tales. All rights reserved
Which isn't to say that Bill takes a backhanded approach when
it comes to describing Walt Disney World. No, Burke's deep, long-lasting love
for the place is obvious. Which is he's been back to the Resort dozens of times
Which puts Bill in a somewhat unique position when it comes
to offering touring advice to first-time visitors to the Magic Kingdom:
There are essentially two ways to approach this park:
1. At a
leisurely pace, enjoying the details.
2. Go! Go!
Go! Go! Eat! Go! Go! Blister! Spend! Argue! Collapse.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
Don't worry. If you pick around the punchlines, you'll find
that there is actually good practical advice in this travel book. The sort of info
that you're only going to get from ...
Well, Mousejunkies! People who have gone to the WDW Resort year after year
after year. Which is why they know all of the very best places to eat at the
Resort, not to mention the fastest way to cross an extremely crowded theme park
(A word of warning, though: Attempting to replicate the Cote Pace while moving
from one side of Epcot's World Showcase may result in light-headness, shortness of
breath, and/or your badly chafed thighs suddenly bursting into flames).
Perhaps the very best thing I can say about "Mousejunkies: More
Tips, Tales and Tricks for a Disney World Fix: All You Need to Know for a
Perfect Vacation" is that - after you
finish reading this thing - is that not only will your sides be sore for
laughing, but you'll also be thinking "Man, that sounds like fun. I should really
go book another trip to Orlando."
Which is just the feeling that Bill Burke hoped to inspire
when he initially began writing this now-revised-and-expanded paperback. As
Bill says at the close of his book's foreword:
Photo by David Roark. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.All rights reserved
I hope you laugh and maybe learn something about Walt Disney
World. Most of all, I hope this book transports you there. Because every
Mousejunkie needs a fix now and then.
So if you're looking for a laugh-filled alternative to your
standard WDW travel book, then "Mousejunkies!" is definitely a paperback that you
need to pick up.
I bought this book. Well written. Very funny.
However, the so called "mousejunkies" aren't close to the experts on Disney World they are so enamored with calling themselves. Which as someone who knows WDW inside and out......became a bit annoying.
Plus, some of the constant complaining about the heat got a little old. Yeah, it's hot in Florida, is that a surprise?
All in all though, I enjoyed the read.
I got the first edition after seeing it recommended here some time ago. Yeah, there were a few laughs, but I agree with Jeff B that the accuracy left a lot to be desired. And there were serious holes in their coverage of the parks.
I wasn't really impressed.
I found it refreshingly different than the other Disney books. Read it as additional information to the in depth books that are out there. Its alot of laughs and reminds me of my own experience of falling in love with a place I forgot about since my childhood and found again as an adult with my own children in tow.
I just finished reading Mousejunkies 2nd Edition and found it hilariously enjoyable. What I enjoyed the most was the was the author suggests a touring philosophy, meal reservations and what to expect at each park. The thing I hate most with Disney touring guides are the pages of unnecessary history or the same bland ride information. Give me the skinny! I loved the tips and suggestions that this book provides. After reading Mousejunkies 1 my wife and I immediately scheduled our 2nd honeymoon and followed Mr. Burks advice to the letter and it was the best vacation I have ever had. Now I am planning to take my 4 kids with us next summer for another WDW vacation and we will be using Mousjunkies 2nd Edition as blueprints for a fantastic vacation.
PS Many readers are not ready for the Florida heat and humidity. Burke gives fair warning about the weather and advise on how to stay cool. This is need to know information that can save a family vacation. Don't underestimate the Florida heat!