Book Review: Along Interstate 75 by Dave Hunter

“The ‘must-have’ Guide for your drive to and from Florida!” This is how Along Interstate 75 is billed on the cover and I can say from personal experience that it’s that and so much more.

Type: Soft cover

Pages: 206

Publisher: Mile Oak Publishing Inc.

ISBN: 978-1-896819-198

When my wife and I were planning our first drive down to Florida in 2007 we felt a little apprehensive. We hadn’t driven that far into the States before and had no idea how to plan hotel stays and how to find out what to see along the way. Of course, every State has a Welcome Center as you cross the border, but we wanted to do some advanced planning.

We were used to using Birnbaum guides for planning our itinerary at Walt Disney World, and so we checked the travel section at our local book store for similar travel guides. We found Dave Hunter’s Along I-75 and have never looked back!

With 19 years of publication behind it this guide is quite probably the most comprehensive tourist guide of its kind. Part map, part guide-book, it really does have everything the traveler needs to enjoy the drive between Detroit and Florida and back again.

This publication also doubles as a history book. If the drive is starting to bore you simply have your navigator (spouse/travel companion) read from the many white pages and enjoy hours of interesting stories about the people and events that happened all around you along the I-75.

But the main use of this publication is as a map. As mentioned, there are separate pages for going to Florida from Detroit, appropriately with yellow borders (for the sun you know!) And another set of pages for traveling back.

Speed limits, speed traps, exits, alternate routes, gas and food, entertainment, and trivia are all found on each and every page.

The key feature is the ‘upside down’ orientation. If you place the publication on your lap, you can follow the route from the bottom of each page to the top, mimicking the forward direction of your driving. Each page covers approximately 25 miles or 30 minutes of driving time. So if you want to eat in 2 hours, simply turn four pages ahead and check to see what restaurants are available in that area. Want to stop for the night in 4 more hours time? Turn 8 pages ahead and pick your favorite hotel.

Every vacation must come to an end and you eventually have to drive back to Detroit from Florida, so you simply follow the blue pages home again. Blue for cold. Snow. And depression!

Review: I can’t imagine a more comprehensive but easy to use guide! It is one of the few publications out there that deserves a full 5 out of 5 Stars. I’d give it more if I could!

We hope to put this 19th Edition to good use early next year as we once again take to the American highways (the I-75 specifically) to visit our happy place in Florida. In case you’re wondering, our happy place in Florida is Walt Disney World. Duh!

WDW 25th Anniversary Guide & T-shirt

I love finding unusual items for my collection, and when I saw this Special Edition release for the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, I just had to have it:

12″ x 12″ Presentation Box

One Anniversary Guide and T-shirt (medium)

This is from perhaps one of the most vilified promotions in WDW history. It included the hated Birthday Cake Castle, as pictured on the cover of the Anniversary Guide.

1971-1996

I for one wish I could have seen the Birthday Cake Castle in person, if for no other reason than to say ‘I was there!’ ‘I saw it!’ But my trips to WDW would bracket this promotion.

Let’s have a look at the contents of the Anniversary Guide. As we do, I’ll point out the new attractions that were offered for this promotion:

New: Hunchback of Notre Dame – A Musical Adventure

New: Remember the Magic Parade / ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter

New: Ellen DeGeneres Universe of Energy / Honey I Shrunk the Audience

I hear that as of 2016, the Honey I Shrunk the Audience attraction will be discontinued. Not perhaps the worse news?

I’d also like to mention that Epcot had some new Streetmosphere acts in the form of Stilt Birds and Moving Statues for 1996.

New: Toy Story Parade

New: Blizzard Beach

It’s also interesting to note that at this time, 1996, WDW had three water parks, as River Country was still in operation. Discovery Island was also open and the two attractions were advertised as two great places to be visited in one day.

New: Planet Hollywood

Old: The Disney Village Marketplace

Character Dining chart and map

WDW Maps: Three Parks (no Animal Kingdom yet)

Back Cover

I hope you can take the time to enlarge the above pictures and enjoy a look into the past of WDW as it was found in 1996!

But this great box set also contained a very nice t-shirt with the promotional logo and a special surprise on the back:

Autographs from four Big Celebs!

         

Mickey Inc. Made in the USA

I haven’t worn this t-shirt (it wouldn’t fit anyway!) instead choosing to leave it with the set. I enjoy opening it up from time to time for a look into the past of my favorite Disney park!