By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Finding Your Way Around This Site

By Dave Shute

This page is part of a series on navigating this site.

On this page you’ll find help with finding stuff on this site.


This site was designed so that first time visitors to Walt Disney World could build a great trip from looking at and following the instructions on just one page–the home page.

The home page also has links for building a trip if any of the instructions can’t be followed, and the promise of the site is to rank order your next best choices, to make planning easy, fast, and sound.

First time visitors may also benefit from looking at How to Use this Site.


Another way to get into broad topics such as Where to Stay or When to Go is to use the links on the left side.

The left side links in red contain the core advice for the topic.

The links under the red links–especially the ones titled (More)–present all the key pages on the site on that topic.


If you want to learn more about specific items like the Dining Plan, FASTPASSSES, current discounts, the Wilderness Lodge, etc, the fastest way to get to them is to use the search box in the top right.

Just type in what you want to learn about and hit search.

Some other resources for specifics include the FAQ page and the Site Map.


The best way to get a full sense of the scope of the site is to look at the Site Map.

I build most of the Site Map by hand (the category section at the end is automatic) and do not include all of the more than 900 pages of material on this site–but it’s still the most comprehensive guide to the specifics of the site.

The (More) pages in the left side links are also a good way to see what’s available by topic.


Some material doesn’t fit well into the basic architecture from its cross-cutting or family specific nature. Clicking these links will get you to special sections:


Frequent visitors to the site will note that over the last 6 months I’ve simplified the site navigation.

The site used to have three lines of links at the very top, twice as many links on the left side, twice as many links at the bottom, and a whole blog-style navigation (with a different architecture!) on the right side.

This was in addition to the top and bottom navigation that each core page typically has!

I put all these links in because I didn’t want visitors to miss what I saw as key information, and because I can’t predict in advance what leads people to come to the site. (Visitors have come using more than 140,000 different searches topic!)

However, I got strong advice from people I trust to cut and simplify the navigation.

It was potentially overwhelming to first time visitors–defeating the purpose of the site of making first trips to Disney World as simple to plan as they can be–and repeat visitors would possibly lose the forest for the trees.

The fix for first-time visitors was to ruthlessly cut navigation. I may have not cut enough…the list of Top Ten pages on the left side may be unnecessary…

Key to the fix for returning visitors was developing the (More) links on the left side. These pages are currently ugly, but pretty comprehensive.

My next step is to hire a WordPress developer* to create context sensitive sidebars.

When this is done, when you are on a page related to “When to Go,” then the navigation will show many of the links currently in the More on When to Go page. This will allow me to cut a lot of the navigation that’s at the bottom of pages.

There’s some plug-ins that try to do this, but all the ones I’ve tried have led to inconsistent results…so I’ll have to hire somebody…

I’d love to hear your navigation suggestions–use the comment form below!

*The site is built on a WordPress platform, which allows a technical idiot like me to keep it going…



1 Joe { 07.21.11 at 4:53 pm }

Amazing site Dave, we 2 adults, 2 daughters 13-11, are planning our 2nd trip back for either November 1-6 or perhaps Oct 30-Nov 5 – what is the impact of the Halloween activities on crowds. Also would appreciate your thoughts on somewhere reasonably priced where we can cook some basic meals, pasta breakfast, etc – last time we broke the bank and stayed at the Beach club

2 Joe { 07.21.11 at 4:55 pm }

on other thought best date and amount of time for a trip to see Harry P, my little one is a HP fanatic


3 Dave { 07.21.11 at 6:36 pm }

Hey Joe and thanks!

I like your earlier dates a bit more.

You avoid Jersey Week with them, and there’s no material effect of Halloween on crowds other than Halloween itself at the Magic Kingdom.

For more on Jersey Week see this:

There’s special halloween parties many nights in your period–for them, see this:

At WDW itself, there’s no Disney hotel that’s both reasonably priced and also has facilities for you to really cook. For that, you’d have to stay off-site. I don’t track off site hotels (too many of them!!) but have some thoughts here:

If just a microwave and fridge will help (and I get a lot of savings just out of a fridge–covers 90% of my breakfasts and lunches) see the Family Suites at All-Star Music

Hope this helps and have a great trip!!

4 Dave { 07.21.11 at 6:37 pm }
5 Ashley A. { 10.21.11 at 4:55 pm }


I am new to this site (and it’s wonderful!) Do you have a section on traveling to Disney while pregnant? (What to avoid, etc)? Just wondering!! Thanks!

6 Dave { 10.21.11 at 5:37 pm }

Hi Ashley and welcome! Thanks for the kind words…

I don’t have a section on traveling while pregnant. but there’s a couple of strong ones at See for example this: and this:

7 mominco { 10.22.11 at 5:15 pm }

Hi Dave, Wonderful site been here non stop for a few weeks,I need yr thoughts on my schedule,Family of 4,staying at Polynesian,have the free dining.Arriving wdw Thrusday
27 and checkout nov 3rd.Have tkts for MNSSHP 30th.So thinking of doing Fri-Epcot
Sat-HS,Sun -MK,Mon-AK,Tue Epcot again..did not get the hopper.Kids are older ..middle school.So What do you think of the above ? And where can I find the detailed report on what rides to head to 1st,which FP to get as soon as we get to the park!Thank you for this wonderful comprehensive site!!Many thanks Mominco

8 Dave { 10.23.11 at 9:13 am }

Hi Mominco!

You have picked a couple of morning extra hours days. Those days start great (though you have to get up early) but get crowded later in the day. I don’t recommend shuch days unless you have a hopper and can hop to a less crowded park later in the day. Was that your intent? Let me know whether it was or not and I’ll give you more thoughts.

On which rides to do first, just check one of the itineraries on this site–ignore the order of days and just look at what to do at a park first second third etc…see for example this one and its links:

9 mominco { 10.23.11 at 11:10 am }

Hi Dave Thank you for responding,no we did not get the park hopper that is one of the reasons I need advice ,I can easily change the schedule and do the parks on different days and I would love yr input on that,given the info I have given how would you schedule our days?Would you still visit the parks in the order I have planned ?Also thought I shld mention we are headed to universal(mainly Harry potter) for 1 day!Will chk the link you provided as well!
Thanks Again…mominco

10 Dave { 10.23.11 at 2:26 pm }

Ok I’m gonna give you two version. One is my recomendations, the second is “parks ot avoid.” Doing it this wat because you need to make your dining reservations ASAP, and you may not be able to fit sit -down dinners into certain places on certain days. The parks aren’t all that corwded during free dining, but the sit-down restaurants are!!

Am also not sending you to Epcot for two days because even with kids the age of yours they will want two days at MK!

10/28: HS
10/29: AK
10/30: Harry Potter in am, MK/MNSSHP in pm (you can enter as early as 4p, even though your tickets say 7p)
10/31: off or back to favorite or to Epcot
11/1: MK
11/2 Epcot (stay for evening EMH for illuminations)

Parks to avoid:
10/28: AK, E
10/29: HS, E
10/30: AK, E
10/31: HS, MK
11/1: E
11/2: None

11 mominco { 10.23.11 at 3:47 pm }

Dave,Thank you thank you,thank you this is what I wanted ,also very happy you gave me the parks to avoid .This is a lot of wonderful information!I will take yr new schedule and run with it.I did take care of dining reservations and the restaurants are not in the parks.Forgot to mention that we have been to WDW before when the kids were younger.Many thanks again Mominco

12 Dave { 10.23.11 at 5:38 pm }

mominco, that’s great! Have a wonderful trip!

13 Susan { 11.10.11 at 10:33 pm }

Hello, we are thinking about planning a trip to WDW with our 2 and 4 year old boys and really need ideas about which rides are good for them and they meet the height requirements on…We are planning on going the first week in March 2012 with free dining and would like some suggestions about which dining reservations I should really shoot for. We have a travel agent also to help us.

14 Dave { 11.11.11 at 10:11 am }
15 Debbie Levy { 01.03.12 at 11:26 pm }

We are planning a trip the first week of Feb 2012 (5th – 10th) … what suggestions do you have for 2 adults with no kid restrictions …. we are looking at following the 5 day plan we saw posted on this site and stay at the Port Orleans French Quarters Hotel.

16 Dave { 01.04.12 at 10:13 am }

Hi Debbie, that’s a great week. For adults, figure 2 days at Epcot and 1 at each of the other parks… See also this:

17 Carmen { 03.29.12 at 11:51 am }

In 2009 we went on an anniversary trip to Universal Studios in mid June. We must have hit a great window because we did not have to wait in line for any rides. Will that be the same case in 2012 for Epcot? We are thinking of going anywhere between June 7-17th. When exactly do the schools let out in Florida in 2012?

18 Dave { 03.29.12 at 12:57 pm }

Hi Carmen, mid June is typically pretty darn busy–see this:

19 Caitlin { 04.30.12 at 3:52 am }

Me and my fiance are going to be visiting Disney World for our honeymoon in September. We will not be staying on the grounds though. We will be arriving the 23rd and leaving October 2. We have a 4 day park hopper and 2 day Sea World tickets. What parks do you recommend we do to avoid the crowds and get the most out of our trip?

20 Dave { 04.30.12 at 10:25 am }

Hi Caitlin!

I’d do Sea World the 29th and 30th, and Epcot the 24th, Animal Kingdom the 25th, Magic Kingdom the 26th, and Hollywood Studios the 27th…

21 sel { 06.25.12 at 5:14 pm }

I was wondering if the Aloha dinner show is worth going to with our 6 yr old daughter.This will be our 1st visit. We are going Dec 2-7 staying at the contemporary with deluxe dining. We have 7 other breakfast,lunch, & dinner charter meetings planned. I just feel like I am planning to many and we would have to stay on a strict schedule and it wouldn’t feel fun it would feel to planned. Also I am taking my DSLR camera can we take our camera in a bag on the some of the rides or would someone have to stay behind. Thanks!!

22 Dave { 06.25.12 at 5:33 pm }

Hi Sel, I’m not keen on the Aloha show, and would skip it. And your camera should be fine unless you’ve got a really long lens!

23 sel { 06.25.12 at 5:49 pm }

Great Thanks for your help!

24 Dave { 06.25.12 at 6:47 pm }

🙂 Have a great trip and let me know how it goes…

25 Jen { 09.11.12 at 12:11 pm }

Very helpful site…thank you! Somewhere on here I saw a simplified map of the hotels/parks but now can’t find it. Can you tell me where it is? Trying to go Nov 24 – 12/1 with a 6,4 and 2yr old. Looks like our best room choices are Art of Animation Cars Suite (least expensive & kids would love theme & we would love the 2 rooms, but looks a little further from where we might be spending most of our time) OR Animal Kingdom – costs a bit more and looks nicer but it only 1 room vs. suite. Any recommendations? Which location/amenities would be better with little kids?

26 Dave { 09.11.12 at 1:13 pm }

Hi Jen! I actually don’t have such a map…though I’m thinking I should!…with kids that age you should focus on MK, and AKL is a bit far from MK–plus it has very small rooms…AofA is OK in terms of distance, but not great.

See this for resort rankings by convenience: It does assume trips to parks other than MK…I don’t have a separate entry for AofA yet–waiting til the last room type opens later this month–but it’s essentially the the same as Pop Century

If you want a kid appealing resort that’s convenient to MK and fits your family well, I’d go with the Polynesian: (note that your 2 yo doesn’t count against room capacity limits if in a crib, but will be a tough fit in a crib in WL and AKL.

Take a look at some of these links and let me know what you think!

27 Jennifer { 01.26.13 at 4:13 pm }

Hi there, I’m travelling in April with 6, 4 and 9 month old! We have the dining plan plus which give us 7 table service meals. My concern is having to leave the resort (Art of Animation) every night. Is there any resorts that we can walk to from the Art of Animation with table service? Any suggestions on how to use up these table service meals? We’ve book our character dining but with a young baby we are concerned that over booking everything will be too taxing. Thoughts? Please & Thank you!

28 Dave { 01.26.13 at 6:21 pm }

Jennifer…frankly I’d re-book and go to the regular dining plan. Otherwise you will either be wildly over-scheduled, or waste a lot of money!

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29 Dave { 01.28.13 at 5:55 am }

Jennifer also I forgot to answer your specific question–there’s no table service dining wihthin reasonable walking distance of Art of Animation

30 Jeff { 02.19.13 at 10:22 am }

Morning Dave! My wife and our two kids (15, 12) will be in Disney March 17-22 and were curious if the MyMagic+ would be in effect yet? We have been to Disney numerous times and love hopping from park to park, but hate that you can never get a fastpass to Toy Story Mania unless you are there when HS opens. We will be staying at Port Orleans and hope that the MyMagic+ is up and runnign by then, so we don;t have to fight to get a pass. Also any suggestions for older kids on an interesting place to eat, since they have grown out of wanting to eat the charachters 🙁 ?

31 Dave { 02.19.13 at 12:42 pm }

Hi Jeff, I really doubt it. The rumor has been that people will give people 60 days notice, and your dates are much closer than that. Moreover, they won’t open it–I expect–during the crowded spring break period, but rather a slower period–e.g later April, or early September… My bet if I had to predict would be it being available for use in early September, for reasons alluded to here:

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32 Jeff { 02.19.13 at 4:28 pm }

Thanks for the information! Looks like I will be doing the Toy Story Dash with the res tof the dads when we visit HS.

Side note anyone ever thought of having a board to trade fastpasses while on park? We have given them away to other families as we leave the park but if we had some for….Buzz and other for Space Mtn that would like to trade I think that would be good to on a web site. Just a thought! Thanks again.

33 Dave { 02.20.13 at 7:02 am }

Hey Jeff, what a neat idea! Never heard of anyone doing it…

34 Dawn Hawkins { 03.07.13 at 5:04 pm }

Hi Dave Sorry I am probably on the wrong part of the site for my query, but here goes anyway. I am trying to find out without much success (all Google searches lead back to UK Ticket Prices) what we would pay for a 5 or 6 day Disney Base Ticket purchased on the first day of our visit this coming December? This will be our 4th visit to Florida and we dont need the 7/14 Pass put together for UK customers and also pretty pricey. Please can you advise the current on the gate price? By the way we have been reading your site for a couple of years now. Brilliant and we have now planned our next trip for 29th Nov for 2 weeks to take advantage of quiet weeks and Christmas Decs. Cant wait. Cheers. Dawn

35 Dave { 03.08.13 at 8:02 am }

Hiya Dawn and I’m so glad the site is helping, and thanks for the kind words about it!

Current ticket prices are here: These will almost certainly go up 3-5% this summer, so if you buy now, you can lock in these prices…

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36 Dawn Hawkins { 03.09.13 at 9:47 am }

Brilliant thanks for the link Dave, thats a great help. Keep up the amazing work, you bring help and happiness to alot of people 🙂

37 Dave { 03.09.13 at 1:01 pm }

Thanks for the sweet encouragement, Dawn!

38 Aubrey { 11.16.13 at 1:47 pm }

Hi Dave! This website is fantastic!
We are planning our honeymoon and can’t decide how long to spend where! We will be in Orlando for seven days starting June 23, 2014. We want to do both US parks, too. Should we do 5 WDW, 2 US, or 4 WDW, 3 US?

Thank you for your help!

39 Dave { 11.18.13 at 7:16 am }

Hi Aubrey and thanks!

I would start with the idea of 4 days at Disney and 2 at Universal. Save your final choice on where to go your 7th day for after you’ve experienced both! See also

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My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2017 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.