Seven Night Walt Disney World Summer Itinerary v2

By Dave Shute


Update: this itinerary will not work for June 2014, and I don’t know yet if it will work for July or August 2014.

Instead of it, use this.

Seven-Night-Disney-World-Summer-Itinerary-v2-11-hspThis Walt Disney World itinerary is based on the eight-night Summer Itinerary, but is one night shorter.

It is designed for the incredibly busy weeks from late May to mid-August, and for most other high-crowd periods (Christmas week, Easter Week, etc.)

The 8-night Summer itinerary itself is jam-packed; this 7 night version, which I don’t recommend but provide due to popular demand, is even more strenuous.

Click the graphic to enlarge it; keep clicking on it when it is open to enlarge it more.

You can adapt it to arrival dates other than Sunday.

For itineraries for the rest of the year, see this. For when to go to Walt Disney World, see this.

See the links below for guidance on what to do each day, and for a To-Do List.



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1 Robinlee { 07.23.12 at 1:56 pm }

Hi Dave,
I’m planning out my days to be at certain parks. We arrive 8/8, but I know we won’t do anything that night. I want to plan our days 8/9-8/15, since we leave on 8/16 in the am. Since the kids will be 7, we will most likely skip Epcot. We will probably need a Free day as well, to just hang out at the resort, and have dinner somewhere. Based on some of your comments, for the ages of the kids, you’ve suggested 2 days for MK, 1 for HS, and 1 for AK. I’m trying to follow along with a couple of summer itineraries, as well as a Wed pm arrival, and 4 days of parks. Any suggestions you could give me as to what parks to avoid on what days? I’ve looked up the EMH for the parks, so I have an idea which parks to avoid on which days. We might possibly have the opportunity to add 1 more day, but not sure at this point.

2 Robinlee { 07.23.12 at 2:03 pm }

Hi again Dave,
I had made reservations at several locations, but I know I will end up changing them. This may be more of common sense, but I’ll ask anyway. Is it better to first decide where you will be that day, and then make dining reservations after? There seems to be so many great places to try and get a reservation at, I feel like I’m doing things backwards. Plus, the boys’ turn 7 on that Monday we are there, and I want at least one of the meals to be extra fun (character, etc)
Thanks again!

3 Robinlee { 07.23.12 at 5:32 pm }

Sorry Dave….
Just wanted to mention that the tix we have are hoppers… we “could” be flexible with am/lunch/pm destinations.

4 Dave { 07.24.12 at 11:31 am }

Robinlee–schedules and crowds are similar enough your week that all you need to do is avoid parks on their EMH days!

5 Dave { 07.24.12 at 11:33 am }

Robinlee its a mix, given how close your dates are and thus how limited dining availability is. If you’ve got some must-dines in the parks it’s OK to schedule for those, though in general it’s better to first ID parks to avoid and then set dining based on that!

6 Robinlee { 07.24.12 at 1:52 pm }

Hi Dave!
Thanks again for your input. I really do appreciate what you have going here! I think I have FINALLY been able to schedule which parks on what days, avoiding the EMH, and allowing times for breaks, etc. AND I’ve been successful a getting reservs at Akershus, Crystal Palace,Ohana, 50′s Prime Time, Tusker House, and Garden Grill Cafe. I also splurged and reserved the Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Desert Party. Have you been to that before?
Thank you, thank you, thank you again!!!

7 Dave { 07.24.12 at 6:06 pm }

Robinlee, that’s great!! You have a wonderful trip, and come back here and let me know how it all went. And no, I’m too cheap for the fireworks dessert party :)

8 Danny { 10.09.12 at 10:34 am }

Hi Dave

I cannot afford the park hopper ticket, but it seems you only have 1 day on park hopping. Which park do you think we should do that day Studio’s or Animal Kingdom?

9 Dave { 10.09.12 at 11:40 am }

Hey Danny, in this summer itinerary the hop day comes after you’ve already had a day at each of HS and AK. Given that, I’d leave it unplanned, so that you can return to whichever of these you thinks needs more time, having already started to experience them the days before

10 Danny { 10.09.12 at 1:03 pm }

Hi, I have already been to both parks. I liked AK more, so I will go there. In this case, do you recommend leaving HS the day before or just stay the whole day?

11 Dave { 10.09.12 at 1:18 pm }

If you can bear it, stay the whole day for Fantasmic!

12 Danny { 10.12.12 at 1:02 pm }

Hi Dave
Is it important to check out on the last day before entering magic kingdom? I think its just better to do it after. Why do you think its good to do it before?

13 Dave { 10.12.12 at 1:46 pm }

Danny, you need to be out of your room by 11a…

14 Danny { 10.12.12 at 2:27 pm }

Oh. Thanks A Lot. I didn’t even no that, is that for every hotel or just the ones you have listed. I am staying at all star movies resort.

15 Dave { 10.13.12 at 1:04 pm }

Hi Danny pretty much 100% of hotels has a check out time. All WDW ones do, and it’s 11a. WDW hotels (like others) also have a check-in time. For most WDW it’s 3p or later, but for a few–not Movies–it’s 4p. The gap between the two is what lets them clean a room after a guest leaves and before the next one enters…

16 Danny { 11.01.12 at 3:19 pm }

Hey Dave

I am looking at your itinerary, and it kind of makes more sense to me, to do downtown disney on monday after magic kingdom and see the 6:00pm cirque du soleil, and do hoop dee doo revue, on wednesday after animal kingdom. It seems more sense to me, because you will get more sleep. What do you think about this? I want to do my trip that way, do you think that would be fine?

17 Dave { 11.02.12 at 6:07 am }

Danny, that’s a great idea! It should work fine. Be sure to leave enough time for travel from the parks to the two shows

18 Danny { 11.02.12 at 6:51 am }

Thanks so much, so in this case, what time do you recommend leaving magic kingdom? You said in another part of your website that you need to be in cirque du soleil 30 min before the show. Also what hotel do you recommend for us to change busses at? And how much time should I leave between animal kingdom depart and hoop dee doo arrive? I want to see the 8:30pm show, so what time do you recommend me to leave animal kingdom?

19 Dave { 11.03.12 at 7:11 am }

Danny to get to DTD from MK, walk to the Contemporary and take a bus from there. The walk and bus ride together will take about 30 mins, and add another 30 for filled or just-missed buses, so count on an hour of travel time. For Hoop from AK, take a bus from AK to Fort Wilderness, then an internal bus at FW to the Settlement, where Pioneer Hall is. Ride time in the two buses will be ~30 minutes, and add another 45 for delays/missed buses, totaling 75 minutes of travel time.

20 Danny { 11.03.12 at 7:44 am }

OK. Thanks

21 Flash { 12.20.12 at 1:33 pm }

I tried to post before, but I don’t think I was successful. We are traveling in June, arriving on a Tuesday and I can’t get my head around how to change this to fit that schedule. This is our first trip to Disney, a family of 4 with a 9 year old and a 12 year old. Thanks for your help!!! This site is awesome for us newbies! Flash

22 Dave { 12.20.12 at 1:55 pm }

Flash, your post worked, and I responded–it’s here:

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23 Danny { 02.09.13 at 1:36 am }

Hi again Dave

I think on tuesday your actual plan for epcot is kind of a little tight. Do you think I will be able to complete all of this in one day? I want to check with you because I used personalized touring plans and put exactly what your plan said and said that its tight. So what do you think? Should I still follow it? I just am worried that I won’t complete everything that day.

24 Dave { 02.09.13 at 2:18 pm }

Danny, my plan includes the extra time from evening extra magic hours…which is what makes it do-able…

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25 Danny { 02.10.13 at 11:22 am }


Thanks, I did not know that. That does make it more doable. But also the morning seems tight to. says that With everything in the morning I should get done by 4:45pm. Is that what you planned to get done by 4:45pm from the morning? Thanks for ensuring me about the extra magic hours.

26 Dave { 02.11.13 at 7:41 am }

Revised comment: Danny you are right! See comment 28 below…
Hey Danny! Stealing a line from the Muppet 3-D movie at Hollywood Studios, we are both right, but I am especially right!

Tuesday Epcot

See the image–click it to enlarge it. I’ve got all the key stuff in it and it ends around 1p. The difference between this and what you likely did is that I don’t include Innoventions–which most families find worth about 5 minutes, but a select few spend hours on, and that’s probably what TP forecast–and I didn’t include the time for lunch, which could be done back at the pool.

So it legitimately could be tight, but even with lunch many families will be done much closer to 1.30 than to 4.45…

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27 Danny { 02.11.13 at 9:31 am }

Hi Dave

What I did is I included innoventions thinking it would take 60 min, and you forgot living with the land, and circle of life in the land pavilion, and sunshine seasons for 60 min. So you forgot the rides in the land pavilion with living with the land and circle of life

28 Dave { 02.11.13 at 2:39 pm }

Danny you are absolutely correct–the story here is that the first version of this itinerary excluded these three as skippable (see and when I later put them back in I din’t re-calc the times…and then completely forgot that I put them back in…

So I need to noodle over whether to make this a full Epcot day or take them back out or group them in the afternoon as optional…or move them to Epcot Day 1…

Thanks so much for pointing this out, and I’m sorry about my earlier, incorrect, response!

29 Danny { 02.11.13 at 10:10 pm }

Hi Dave
Thanks a lot. I really appreciate all of this. What I did to modify what I will do is make epcot a full
day, because I think I will spend some time touring innoventions, and also really don’t want to miss journey into imagination with figment.

30 Dave { 02.12.13 at 7:32 am }

Sounds like a good plan, Danny!

31 Danny { 02.23.13 at 7:50 am }

Hi again Dave, I looked at the basic seven night december itinerary, and that looks like a better plan for my family, then the summer itinerary. I am thinking about using the december itinerary in the summer, and just removing all the christmas stuff, and adjusting the times to fit the summer time schedules for disney. Do you think that would work? I know this is kind of silly, but the timing, and schedules you have just work better for me, and my family. So let me know what you think about it?

32 Danny { 02.23.13 at 7:52 am }

Oh and also if I have to, I might be able to add an extra night and make it 8 nights, and follow the basic itinerary.

33 Dave { 02.23.13 at 7:58 am }

Danny, the itineraries are tied to specific operating patterns, specific extra magic hours schedules, specific lower-crowd parties, and wildly different base crowd levels that vary between the summer and early December–that is, they are tied to specific days and specific dates.

So you sort of can’t just swap one for the other. Parts will work, but other parts won’t.

If you tell me what you like about the Basic Itinerary vs the Summer itinerary, I can give you some thoughts on how to modify the Summer Itinerary…

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34 Danny { 02.23.13 at 10:09 am }

Dave, I have decided to extend the itinerary to 8 nights, so I also looked at the 8 day summer itinerary. What I like about the basic itinerary is that magic kingdom is split into 1 day from 9:00am-4:30pm, 1 day from 2:30pm-11:00pm, and 1 day from 2:45pm to 12 MIDNIGHT. I like how MK is split, more than in the summer itinerary when MK is 9:00am-5:00pm, and 9:00am-11:00pm with a break in the middle. Can you give me some thought on how to do MK that way. Another Option I though of was following the 7 night summer itinerary, and adding an extra night, and do Magic Kingdom the way you said in the basic itinerary, and then do downtown disney the morning I leave, and do lunch at Rainforest Cafe that day. By the way, I am not interested in Cirque du Soleil, so I don’t need to see that. So does that help you to give me some ideas then?

35 Dave { 02.23.13 at 12:51 pm }

Danny that’s a great example of why I have different itineraries for different times of the year.

During high crowd periods–like the summer–you simply can’t see all the best of MK while waiting in line just a little without devoting three early mornings. If you show up at MK at 2.45 in the summer, most FASTPASSES will be gone and the best rides will have 90 minute plus waits.

In lower-crowd times, covered by the Autumn-Winter-Spring itinerary, you can do it with two early mornings. The crowd-limited Christmas party replaces one of the early mornings, so that’s why the Basic Itinerary has just one…

36 Danny { 02.23.13 at 1:55 pm }

Well Dave, that totally makes sense. Do you actually know if is aware of when fastpasses will run out?

37 Dave { 02.23.13 at 2:12 pm }

Well, Danny, I don’t know who would have a better forecast. But I don’t know how accurate they are…they are limited by their data, and the more specific the forecast, the harder it is to get right–e.g. it’s easier to predict crowds for a week (like I do) than a day, etc…

38 Danny { 02.23.13 at 10:43 pm }

Hi Dave

Well I guess MK 1 morning can’t be done then. So in this case can you help me modify it so MK doesn’t have to be on the last day? What I was thinking was, because I don’t need to see cirque du soleil, was instead of following the 8 night summer itinerary, following the seven night one, and then just adding that last morning at MK in the extra day I add, and doing downtown disney in the morning before I leave, instead of right after Animal Kingdom. Basically what I mean by my last posts are that the itinerary is kind of too tiring for me to follow exactly, so I am trying to modify it.

39 Dave { 02.24.13 at 10:25 am }

Danny the easiest swap to keep MK from being your last day is switching Wednesday mornings with the last day Morning–or is it that you just need another morning off? If that’s the case, then just narrow what you want to see based on e.g. this

40 Danny { 04.05.13 at 7:25 am }

Hi Again Dave

I was able to extend my disney trip to a 9 night, 10 day itinerary. I see that you have a 9 night basic itinerary, but do you have a 9 night summer itinerary? If you don’t can you help me, stretch out the 8 night summer itinerary to be 9 nights?

41 Dave { 04.05.13 at 10:05 am }

Hey Danny, what’s your arrival date and time? With that, I can help…

42 Danny { 04.05.13 at 1:14 pm }

Hi Dave

My arrival date is tuesday august 4 2015-thursday august 13 2015. I know this is a long time, but I am planning far ahead. I will be checking in at the hotel between 12:00pm-1:00pm. Leaving between 4:00pm-5:00pm. I will not be on a flight. I will be in a taxi, going and coming from a different part of orlando.

43 Danny { 04.05.13 at 1:19 pm }

Sorry, for not saying this in my earlier post, but these are my average dates. I could arrive, and depart, as far as 4 days behind, or as far as 4 days ahead, of the dates.

44 Dave { 04.06.13 at 9:07 am }

OK Danny, got it–your flexibility actually makes it harder to give you a precise answer, partly because the summer itinerary is specifically tied to days–that is “Fist Saturday” is not “Day 1″–Saturday means Saturday!

But here’s the general approach: the 8 night summer itinerary is short on time off, so what you want to do is use your extra day as a mid-visit full day off. Then you’d add back the activities of that day planned in the 8 night itinerary to what the itin shows as the evening of the departure day, and the morning of the next day.

So if you arrived Saturday 8/10 (later August is better than earlier, and Saturday to make it simple…) then step one is to look at bad parks Sunday evening and Monday morning the 18th and 19th. MK is bad the 18th, and HS and AK are bad the 19th. That means the day you wan to skip is an Epcot day–since it’s not bad either day. So you’d take Tuesday off, and do its evening stuff the 18th and morning stuff the 19th. This means you’ll miss evening EMH at Epcot but honestly that’s worth it for the day off.

But it also means you’ll need to buy a park hopper, as you are now in two parks the 18th…

Hope this helps!

45 Danny { 04.06.13 at 11:03 am }

Hi Dave

I am a little confused on what you are saying. Can you put what you mean, in something like this:

Saturday Arrival 8/10:
Sunday 8/11:
Monday 8/12:
Tuesday 8/13:
Wednesday 8/14:
Thursday 8/15:
Friday 8/16:
Saturday 8/17:
Sunday 8/18:
Monday 8/19:

I would understand it better if you put, it like this, because I don’t really understand it. So if I miss Evening EMH at Epcot, will I miss re riding my favorites, or can I re ride them a different time? So can you please explain this more clearly? I am just confused.

46 Danny { 04.06.13 at 11:16 am }

I have another question. Could I move wednesday evening in Downtown Disney, to Friday evening? Because I am likely to spend longer at Animal Kingdom, then you have for wednesday morning.

47 Dave { 04.06.13 at 5:31 pm }

Danny–I’m referring to the summer itinerary here: , where the first Saturday is 8/10. Does that help? And on the Epcot EMH conundrum…the easiest answer that makes sure you get to to see lots is is to take all of Tuesday the 13th except the evening off, do the evening of the 13th as written at Epcot, and then take the evening of the 18th off. This also avoids the park hopper issue…

48 Dave { 04.06.13 at 5:42 pm }

Danny come back to me when you’ve reviewed the 8 night itinerary linked above…

49 Danny { 04.06.13 at 11:32 pm }

Hi Dave

That is what i was referring to in the beginning as well. Just the way you said it confused me a little. Now I get it pretty well, So on tuesday sleep in, and be at epcot by 5:00pm. and on monday, do the morning at epcot. Thanks, I get it now. Did you receive my second question below what I wrote? I asked about switching DTD from wednesday evening, to friday evening, it might of not worked. Is that possible though, switching DTD to friday evening?

50 Dave { 04.07.13 at 7:30 am }

Sure Danny, moving DTD to Friday works fine!

51 Danny { 04.07.13 at 11:38 am }

I thought so. The reason why I asked this was because, to make the vacation less tiring, I wanted to change AK, and make it like you have on the 7 night itinerary, one full day, and one afternoon, so in this case DTD wouldn’t work on wednesday.

52 Dave { 04.07.13 at 1:32 pm }

Danny–now I get it.

Just to be very clear–you will do better with two early mornings at AK and one afternoon, like on the 8 night, than by doing one full day and one afternoon.

You’ll face shorter waits and less heat…see the words on the 7 night itinerary right around the image: “I don’t recommend [this itinerary] but provide [it] due to popular demand….”

53 Danny { 04.07.13 at 1:58 pm }

Hi Dave

I missed that part. In this case, yes I will move it back to AK like the 8 night itinerary. The only reason why I though of doing what I said, before, is because of not getting enough sleep. Oh, and I am just wondering, about what I said earlier, that Epcot isn’t doable, do you have the new plan for Epcot published on one of the other itineraries? Because I figured, that Epcot is the same for every itinerary.

54 Dave { 04.08.13 at 6:41 am }

Danny I’m still mulling over what to do–I kinda paused on this when rumors about the close of the afternoon parade at HS came out. If this remains permanently closed–to soon to tell right now–the HS itins become much more flexible and I may be able to get some Epcot time from those…

Epcot Options are to show the first part of the day at Epcot longer so that it matches what I actually tell people to do (and thank you again for convincing me, after a struggle on my part, that I have it wrong!); to cut some of the “skippable” rides to keep it as shown as a day with an afternoon off, to label the “skippable” ones as optional, and move them to the end of the morning…

55 Danny { 04.08.13 at 12:28 pm }

Hi Dave

It is true that the HS parade will not be happening after a certain date, yesterday actually was the last day for it. Check this website:

Also for more help, I am not sure about this exactly, but at epcot, you have journey into imagination with figment skipped. Just to help you, according to most people like the figment ride better than Captain EO.

56 Dave { 04.08.13 at 2:14 pm }

Hey Danny, yes I posted this morning that it’s not on– But there has been no formal announcement from Disney that it’s gone forever and will not be replaced.

Epcot is trickier than any other park as it has a ton of attractions that some first time visitors with kids 8 and older just love and some find boring as heck. On this list I’d put Living with the Land, Circle of Life, Captain EO, Journey into the Imagination with Figment, Innoventions, and Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Some but not all of these are on my “skippable” list

This is making me think that I should pull these out of the morning and group them into an optional afternoon…although that would result in extra running around the park…

57 Danny { 04.28.13 at 12:44 pm }

Hi Dave

So as I said in previous posts, about making the itinerary longer, I was actually trying to fit Yak & Yeti TS Restaurant into the trip, since I even found this website. I still really don’t know how to fit it in. Do you have any idea how I can fit Yak & Yeti TS in AK into the itinerary? Also that means I will have to give up one TS, which one would you recommend? I was thinking 50′s Prime Time Cafe. So do you have an idea how I can fit Yak & Yeti into the itinerary? I am also wondering have you eaten there before? And if you have how was it?

58 Danny { 04.28.13 at 1:29 pm }

Sorry I forgot to post this in my previous post. I also would prefer to book a dinner there IF it works out fine in the itinerary. If not lunch is fine.

59 Dave { 04.29.13 at 9:15 am }

Hi Danny, Yak and Yeti for dinner should work great Friday evening. Skipping 50s prime time is fine–but note that there are tow “princess meals” Akershus and Cindy in the itinerary, so skipping one of them is another option. I haven’t eaten at Yak and Yeti yet, but here great things about it…

60 Danny { 04.29.13 at 10:14 am }

Hey wait, I think you forgot that I am looking at the 8 night itinerary, so do you mean sunday evening? And yeah, I am actually replacing akershus with tutto Italia, because of two princess meals. I was actually going to ask that to, have you eaten at tutto italia? So also would Y&Y work could for sunday evening dinner?

61 Dave { 04.30.13 at 7:35 am }

Danny you are right…sorry! Yes, Sunday on the 8-night itin. I’ve eaten at Tutto, and found it overpriced for the value…but my kids (who did not pay for it!) loved it!

62 Danny { 04.30.13 at 9:51 am }

Ok Thanks Dave. Yeah it seems Tutto is overpriced for the value, but I will be on the Dining Plan though.

63 Danny { 08.08.13 at 1:08 pm }

Hi Dave

Haven’t been on this site for 2 months now. I want to ask you, are you familiar with families that can’t really stay up very late? Because We are getting older and can’t really stay up that late. The last full day of our vacation we can stay up to see the parade and wishes at MK, and we can stay up for the 9pm fantastic, and illuminations show. But we really cannot leave the park later then 9-9.30pm otherwise, and still be up for rope drop. Do you have better itinerary’s for people like that. I’d like to see a 7 night, and an 8 night itinerary. I also want to say that we don’t want to take breaks in the middle of the day, and then come back. Better just to stay the full day. I don’t exactly know my arrival time, but it will be sometime between mid july, and early august, next year (2014). We have been before for 2 days, and spent half a day at each park, but didn’t get to see almost anything. We love all 4 parks equally, maybe a slight edge to MK. So could you please tell me if you have a better itinerary for my family?

64 Dave { 08.09.13 at 11:07 am }

Hi Danny, great to hear from you again! These are all great points. But no, I don’t have itineraries optimized for not staying up late…

65 Danny { 08.09.13 at 2:56 pm }

Do you have ides then?

66 Dave { 08.10.13 at 8:02 am }

Well, Danny, the best idea is to go different dates, on low crowd days in the winter. Wishes and Fantasmic can be hours earlier then–e.g. 8p for Wishes and 7p for Fantasmic, because both it gets dark earlier and parks close earlier.

If you are committed to your high-crowd, late night dates, and to not taking afternoons off, then the tricks for you–based on what I guess will be true about Fastpass+, which should be out for your 2014 dates–will be

1. Staying at as high-priced a Disney resort as you can afford (as it seems likely that you will be allowed more Fastpass+ at the headliner/E-Tickets rides the more you spend on your room)

2. Really committing to getting to the parks early–well before they open, and

3. Judicious use of your Fastpass+–assume that you’ll be able to ride one or maybe two headliners first thing in the morning without the FP+, so set your other headliner FP+ for the afternoon, so that you can continue to push on in the morning…headliner waits will still be long in the morning, but better than in the afternoon…

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