Book Review: Disney’s Adventure Guide to Florida

A FODOR’s Travel Book

Size: 7″ x 10″

Type: Soft Cover

Pages: 64

ISBN: 0-679-00575-7

Distributed by: David McKay Company, Inc.

Date: 1980

Fodor’s Travel is the world’s largest publisher of English language travel and tourism information and the first relatively professional producer of travel guidebooks. Fodor’s Travel and Fodors.com are divisions of Random House, Inc.

Today, Fodor’s has published more than 440 guides (in 14 series) on over 300 destinations, and has more than 700 permanently placed researchers all over the world.

Back in the 1980’s Disney was more charitable with sharing the tourist dollars that flowed into Florida. They produced ‘adventure guides’ like this one to highlight all of the available attractions in the State rather than just Walt Disney World. You can find such cross-promotion on souvenirs like tin trays, to name just one type of item.

Similar images are found on tin trays of the period

So let’s have a look at just some of the attractions featured in this book:

Cape Canaveral

Disney would have a hard time competing with real space vehicles but did eventually try with Mission:Space, a centrifugal motion simulator thrill ride at Epcot that opened in 2003.

Daytona Beach

The Sky Lift pictured here is apparently no longer in operation. Here is what Joe Wittwer had to say about his ride on it in 2007: “This ride scared me so bad. You don’t go over water, just the concrete pier below. It looks like it hasn’t been maintained in decades.” It is probably safe to assume it is gone!

Disney now tries to compete with the natural beaches of Florida with two major water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Disney’s ‘Bucket Ride’ is also gone!

         

High Wire Parrots and Jungle Cruises

I guess at this point you just have to say that in 1980, Florida had it all!

Everglades National Park

Alligators are synonymous with Florida and not always in a good way. But back in 1980 tourist were encouraged to walk along precarious wooden ‘bridges’ and seek them out!

 

Cypress Gardens and Busch Gardens

Cypress Gardens was a botanical garden and theme park near Winter Haven, Florida that operated from 1936 to 2009. It was in 2011 that the botanical garden portion was preserved inside the newly formed Legoland Florida.

Busch Gardens opened on March 31, 1959, as an admission-free hospitality facility for Tampa Anheuser-Busch; in addition to various beer tastings, they had a bird garden and the Stairway to the Stars, which was an escalator that took guests to the roof of the brewery. And that works for me! It has grown over the years and is still in operation today.

Walt Disney World

Other than having Disney characters interspersed throughout the book, this is the only page dedicated to a Disney destination. Just to put it a bit above the rest, the copy reads that “There’s nothing quite like it east of California’s Disneyland.” We can forgive Disney because it is a true statement!

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage was an attraction at the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World from 1971 through 1994. So of all the attractions that could have been pictured on this page, they certainly picked an iconic one!

         

Price: $3.95 US

Review: This was more of a souvenir guide than an actual guide-book. No addresses are given for any of the attractions so it would serve better as a reminder of places gone than a true guide to places that one would want to see.

So judging it as such I would give it a 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

Space Mountain

Your #DisneyMemory of Space Mountain

Space Mountain

I grew up not liking Space Mountain, so it’s quite a turnaround that I have a great #DisneyMemory for this ride!

When I was a kid, roller coasters were not my friend. I didn’t like the speed, I didn’t like the turns, and at the top of my list of ones I didn’t like was Space Mountain.  However, as I got older, I tried other roller coasters, and learned that they are a lot of fun, and have been a fan of roller coasters for years now.  The first time I road Space Mountain was in 2000 with my soon to be wife Cindy, and since it was in the dark, I kept trying to anticipate the turns, and ended up with a splitting headache for my troubles.  So, that first time, definitely not my favorite #DisneyMemory!

However, I gave it another shot in a different visit, and over time, I grew to like Space Mountain a great deal.  My favorite #DisneyMemory from this great attraction comes on June 11, 2012 — which just happens to be the day that Shane proposed to Stephanie — and the day that Stephanie, Shane, Cindy, Kyle, Kerry, and myself rode Space Mountain together.  I’ll never forget because Kerry was very nervous — to this day she still doesn’t like Space Mountain — but she tried it out, and gave it her best effort.  She was actually doing okay — until, that is, Kyle let out a blood curdling scream — and from that moment on, it was chaos!

Such a fun ride, that was, and at 1:30 AM or something like that, it felt like the ride was ramped up to an insane speed, despite the ride being the slowest roller coaster at Disney.  I don’t know what it was, perhaps all of those factors working together, but that day, that visit, that ride, was my favorite #DisneyMemory for Space Mountain.

What is your favorite #DisneyMemory from Space Mountain? Please let us know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!