Nothing Mickey Mouse About This Disney World Guide

Image of The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2014
Release Date: 
August 14, 2014
Theme Park Press
Reviewed by: 

“I do the obsessive thing for you,” says the author, “so you can go and have fun.”

No one knows more about Walt Disney World (WDW) than Josh Humphrey, and that includes Mickey, Donald, Minnie, and Goofy.

Humphrey’s website attracts 750,000 to 850,000 visitors a month, which translates into 3.5 million page views.

Why? Because Humphrey knows Disney. His website provides an encyclopedic, day-by-day guide to all four theme parks at WDW, “cheat sheets,” reviews, and much more.

His date-specific guidance, running into hundreds of words per day, tells you which parks to visit, what to do when, what to avoid, and how to minimize wait times at the Most Magical, and often Most Sweaty, place on earth.

“I do it for all those people who have not done any planning for their $5,000, $6,000, or $7,000 vacation,” Humphrey says. “Over the busy summer when kids are out of school, both temperatures and wait times at the major attractions are already climbing towards triple digits by 10 A.M. With just a little planning, visitors can save hours in line every day while enjoying cooler temperatures and lower crowds. That’s what motivates me.”

Among Josh’s best tips are arriving before the parks open to beat the crowds, having a good idea about which rides you want to do in the first couple of hours, and taking afternoon breaks to rest when temperatures and wait times peak. Humphrey, who lives 15 minutes from WDW, used to visit the parks three to seven times weekly; now he’s down to a sensible two or three visits a week.

“Now that wait times are posted online,” he says, “I don’t need to be there quite as often. But wait times don’t tell the whole story. I also look at what time the different parks closed the night before, whether there are special events going on, fireworks, or where construction is taking place. Each of those issues affects the way you’re going to experience the parks.”

Humphrey, 29, met his girlfriend at the Magic Kingdom. She works for a theme-park memorabilia company.

Yet there’s nothing romantic about being overwhelmed by the sheer size, crowds, and choices at the four parks that comprise Walt Disney World. Humphrey helps make the whole thing make sense.

Humphrey says he’s made “about $73” from ads on the site. “I’ve enjoyed being independent,” he avers. “I don’t take money or favors so people trust me more.”

He says he made a lot of money selling clothes on eBay, which he put into the market when the Dow was at 6,500. That lets him focus on all things Disney.

“There are not a lot of people who have the experience on the ground that I have,” and after a visit to his website, it’s hard to disagree.

“I’m not on Facebook or Pinterest. I don’t do SEO. I’ve pushed all that away.  That’s part of the charm of the website and what makes it so different.”

His book, The Easy Guide to Your First WDW Visit, coauthored with Dave Shute, picks up where the site leaves off.  

The key to a successful Disney day, according to Humphrey: plan ahead; buy a multiday ticket; utilize FastPass+ to lock up the most desirable rides; and above all, get to the parks when they open.

“Even on the most crowded days,” he says, “you can still get to six or eight rides in 90 minutes if you get there when it opens.

“There are people who can show up at 10 A.M. on a summer Sunday, wait in line for 90 minutes for Splash Mountain, and have the time of their lives. I’m just not one of those people.”

“I do the obsessive thing for you,” says the author, “so you can go and have fun.”