They do work… if you are determined to do what is on there planner, and that is it. most of us go to what catches our eyes, or ride something, enjoy it and ride it again. You have to keep in mind, too, that the time of year, and crowds will greatly affect the ability to do those things in that order in that timeframe.
I recommend using the book as a guide, nothing more, nothing less. The authors of these guides have been to Disney many many times. I suggest reading the books, getting a feel of the parks and drawing up your own game plan to suit the needs of your family.