Top critical review
Bland but moderately useful
on 14 May 2011
This book is split into a couple of sections - planning/pre-holiday, and during holiday.
In relation to appearances - this book looks rather dated and slightly old-fashioned, especially when compared to some of the other Disneyland Paris guide books. It is laid out is a easy to follow format but is rather bland and lacks any real inspiration.
In relation to content - this book is fairly good at providing an overview to the booking process and preparation for your visit as well as covering things to do whilst at the Parks. These parts are fairly in depth and whilst I had already booked my holiday, it may be worth a read to first-time travellers who are uncertain about where to go or which hotels to stay at.
If, however, you have been the Disneyland Paris before, I would struggle to find any reason to recommend this as most of the advice centres around places to go, things to see, rides to ride - most of which you would already know.
As good as these sections were, however, I did think that there are a couple of issues with this book. Firstly, it is written in a very prescriptive style and rather then giving you tips and advice, all but tells you how the parks should be done. Whilst this is fine for some people, and the authors do try to address this, it does somewhat take some of the magic away from the fact that you are going on holiday to Disney. It may make more sense if you go with children but as I did not, I felt this tone was somewhat of a let-down.
The second issue I had with this is that whilst it does give advice on things such as hotels, shops and restaurants, I actually felt that this was somewhat limited when compared to a number of on-line travel review sites. These sites often have numerous reviews from people with and without children as well as first-timers and Disney veterans. Because of this diversity I actually felt that the on-line sites seemed to give more rounded and more realistic reviews with how things at Disney actually are now. Of course this would be very difficult to do in a book which is published before some of the developments have taken place but unfortunately that is the competition for a book such as this.
The other issue I had was that there are other guide books which offer similar, and often more inspiring guides to Disneyland Paris including one which also offers money off vouchers for restaurants etc. Whilst this isn't the main purpose of the book, it was nice that this competitor took the time and effort to reward the buyer and I would have liked to see the same thing in this book - one of my friends had this alternative book and the money saved at one of the restaurants actually covered the cost of both this book and their book.
All-in-all this is a fairly well written book with lots of content and advice for visitors to Disneyland Paris. If you can look passed the dated format and layout then it is a good guide book although it is somewhat too prescriptive for my tastes and made a holiday to Disneyland Paris seem almost like hard work and focussed too much on the functional rather than the fun.