Birnbaum’s Guide to Disney: Extensive Review

I came back from a Disney trip a few weeks ago and I saved over $300 with an $11 book.  Read on friends….Birnbaum's Guide to Disney

Birnbaum’s Guide to Disney is a long time around guidebook and the only official Disney guide book.  There are a few versions published such as Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Disney for Kids, and more!  Even though this book is exclusively made with Disney’s blessing it’s nicely objective. What I like the most is how visually appealing it is.  

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Let’s go over Birnbaum’s contents a bit.  It truly is a comprehensive guide.

    1. Preparing for your trip
    1. Getting Around
    1. Each theme park has it’s own chapter
    1. Everything Else (waterparks, Disney Springs, and more)
    1. Food Options
    1. Sports
    1. Cruise line
    1. Trip preparation tools
  1. Coupons

There are also a ton of maps.  I am a visual learner so it’s appreciated.

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The book can cost anywhere between $8-$20 depending on the time of year, sale, store, and more.  Even if you pay the highest amount for the book, it’s so worth it for the information alone.  I can’t see anyone who gets this book still having too many questions about Disney World. From keeping track of the price fluctuations I can say that amazon usually has the best price.

What I don’t totally like about Birnbaum’s book is that it’s so similar to a dictionary.  What do I mean by that?  It’s very informational and you can’t really read it like a “story.”  It’s more like a look something up and walk away book.

Birnbaum's Guide to DisneyAlright, alright – I’ll get to the juicy stuff.  You may or may not know that here at PlanningTheMagic we are focused on going to Disney on a budget.  That’s why on my latest trip, and every trip for that matter, I made it my focus to spend the least amount of money possible. Here’s more about the specifics of that trip.

I’m a Disney Vacation Club member so I get 10% off most of these places with just my card but I wanted this method to be readily available for everyone.

Birnbaum has a ton of coupons and that’s why I purchased the book.  

List of a few coupons for 2017

Arribas Brothers – 10% off – Disney themed crystal and porcelain

Free Train or Carousel Ride – With purchase of one ($3.00 Value)

Free Chocolate Bar at Ghirardelli’s

Wolfgang Puck Express – 10% off

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company – 20%

Erwin Pearl – 10% off

House of Blues – 20% off Lunch and 10% off Dinner

Paradiso 37 – 10% off

Harley Davidson – $15 off purchase of $75 or more

WDW Golf – Free Same Day Replay

WDW Fishing – 20% off 2 hour excursion ($30-50 value)

Kids Nite Out – $5 off child care services

Sprinkles –  Free Ice Cream Topping

How could you use them for maximum saving?

Case Study #1

Earl of Sandwich is a place that offers great sandwiches in Disney Springs.  An individual can eat here for about $14.99 including entree, dessert, and drink.  We have 4 adults on this trip bringing us to $60.  Let me break this down visually.

Krystel (me) – $14.99

Lisa (Girlfriend) – $14.99

Papa (Grandpa) – $14.99

Mama (Grandma) – $14.99

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Here’s a selfie for some extra visualization. 

Birnbaum's Guide to Disney

Earl of Sandwich has an eClub, when you sign up you get a free sandwich.  Link here (will open in a new tab so you can keep reading), I’ve signed up for this but Lisa hasn’t, my grandparents share an email address that also has not been used to sign up.  New details:

Krystel (me) – $14.99

Lisa (Girlfriend) – $8.99

Papa (Grandpa) – $8.99

Mama (Grandma) – $14.99

Now we are at $48  

Birnbaum’s book has a 10% off coupon so now we are at $43 (and change!)  That’s about 30% off.  

Think about it this way, if you have done your budget for Disney and know that you will spend about $1000 on food.  Which is probably average, we’ve just saved you $300.

Case Study #2

There a few options when you need to rent a stroller at WDW.  

Magic Strollers – 7 Days – $75img_0161

Disney – 7 Days – $105

Kingdom Strollers – $85

Orlando Stroller Rentals – $105

Magic Strollers seems to be the most cost efficient yet you will find a 10% coupon for them in Birnbaum’s bringing the cost down to $67.50.

Case Study #3

My grandmother is one of those people who likes to go big or go fullsizerenderhome, on top of that, she was convinced this would be her last Disney trip.  With me as a granddaughter…year right.  

Anyway, she really wanted to do Characters in Flight, which is this hot air balloon at Disney Springs. This is us right before we got on.  

When I first looked up the price it said $18.50/each.  No way, that’s $74.  Don’t fret!  Birnbaum’s had a coupon for $10/each and we all rode for $40.  I’m happy we did it but even happier that we saved on the tickets, the ride itself is only like 10 minutes long.   We saved $34, yay savings!

Case Study #4

On a different trip to Disney, back in 2015.  I went into Basin, which is an all-natural store full of awesome looking and smelling soaps. I went in there and spent $80 (I cringed as I wrote that).  Too bad our handy guide book has a 15% off coupon that I did not use. I lose $12.  The good news?  Now we know.

Case Study #5

Wolfgang Puck Express is a little more expensive than Earl of Sandwich but there is also more diversity in the menu.  You could probably spend about $20/person here on a meal.  For a family of 4 that would be $80. But with a coupon, we shall save!  

You made it to the end!  I love that you’re serious about saving money at Disney World and found value in this post.

Birnbaum's Guide to Disney

Almost every decision we make in life has some type of risk. Should I purchase this $10 or $15 book to prepare for my Disney vacation? Will it provide me at least $15 of value?  Birnbaum’s will. I had to purchase the book to find the coupons and hope I can make them work. You have a list of most of them above and a head start.

Any questions?  Or have you used Birnbaum’s for anything good?  Comment below!

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30 thoughts on “Birnbaum’s Guide to Disney: Extensive Review

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    This is amazing! I haven’t been to Disney in such a long time mostly because it can get a little pricey…My family and I are definitely going to use some of these tips! Thank you so much for sharing!

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      Dahlia, glad you like them!! Hope you have a great time

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    This is a nice review of Birnbaum’s Guuide to Disney.Of course what excites me are coupons that can help me save 🙂

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      I feel the same way. I’m pretty well read on Disney so the info is great but I’m really here to save haha

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    i won’t mind the price as long as its useful.. anyway its a book.. and books are also forms of investments

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    That is a good price for the hot air balloon ride. Does it go into the sky or is it tethered.

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    Those coupons! Definitely great information here for how to do it right

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    I love this book! I have two copies from different years and they helped a lot. I might have to get the book for the coupons!

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    Great to know! I’m planning my next family trip to Disney and this is so helpful!

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      Thanks Amy! You have to go. It’s my favorite place. 🙂

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    WOw I’d love to give this book to my friends who love disney. They’re going to be getting a few in their stocking stuffers.

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    Looks like I want to go there with the family and so much fun. I would love to go there

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    I love this!!! Disney is so much fun to go to, I am hoping I am able to take my kids in the next couple of years.

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    Disney is quite expensive. A book like that might help soften the blow.

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    This is timely! I’m going to Disney this year and this came in handy. I’m going to check all of these recommendations when I get there.

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    Wow, this is a magical destination and my son will truly enjoy a day there! I love to go there!

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      Nice! I’m almost jealous. If you don’t want to wait in line I suggest the Unofficial Guide as well. Let me know if you have any questions!

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    Seems like a great way to get some discounts!

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    This is great! I am going to have to share this with my friends that will be going to Disney soon.

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    Any way to save when traveling to Disney is amazing. I have not been in a very long time but would to visit again.

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