Walt Disney World in 2015

By Dave Shute


Walt Disney World in 2015 from yourfirstvisit.netQuestions about Walt Disney World in 2015 are starting to come in, so here’s some preliminary observations on the year.

(They cover just some specific periods, and not the basics you’ll find in Best and Worst Times to Visit Walt Disney World, so check that first if you haven’t seen it yet.)

  • New Year’s Eve is midweek in 2014, so the Disney World holiday season crush will last until Saturday January 3, 2015.
  • Mardi Gras 2015 is the day after President’s Day.  Many northeastern school districts have the whole week of President’s day off, which makes it a bad week to start with.  A few southern school districts have off around Mardi Gras, and they will add even more to the crowds this week.
  • President’s Day itself, February 16, 2015, is almost as early as it can be.  This means fewer low-crowd early February days, but a few more good days in later February.
  • Easter, on April 5, 2015, is in the middle of its range. The weeks before and after Easter will be mobbed, as usual, but there will be good weeks in very early March, and April after the 11th should be great in 2015!
  • Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, is as early as it possibly can be.  This makes me think the week that includes it will be a little less crowded than usual, but it’s still a week to avoid!
  • The Fourth of July in 2015 will be on a weekend, so it will be even more crowded than usual, and the weeks before and after it will be the worst ones in the summer of 2015 at Disney World.
  • Labor Day, September 7 in 2015, is as late as it can be.  Some states have school openings tied by law to after Labor Day, so the end of August will be a little more crowded than it is in years with an earlier Labor Day.  The end of August is still going to be a good time to go to Disney World crowd-wise–just not as good as years in which Labor Day is earlier.
  • Thanksgiving, November 26, 2015, is in the middle of its range.  The week that includes it will be as bad as usual, but there will then be three great weeks at Walt Disney World after it.  Pop Warner week in 2015 looks to be the week beginning December 5.
  • Christmas 2015 is on a Friday.  Some school districts will go on break Monday the 21st, and others Thursday the 24th.  Rough crowds will begin December 19, 2015, but New Year’s week at Disney World–the 26th of December 2015 through January 2nd, 2016–will be a particular mess.


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1 malcolm byrne { 04.23.13 at 3:15 am }

I have 5kids and we r planin a 2 week holiday to disneyland florida
For my 50th b.day
Can i start paying for it now.and aroud how much will it cost for us to go alinclusive.and stay on disney its self.
Kjnd regards mr m.byrne

2 Dave { 04.23.13 at 8:18 am }

Malcolm, I don’t track how Disney reservations and payments work from the UK. Suggests you check with a UK based travel agent, or ask on a UK Disney discussion board like thedibb.com…

3 Erynn { 05.26.13 at 12:58 pm }

We want to come in 2015 for week that also includes Star Wars weekend. We would also like to stay at a resort with the monorail. We would like to have info on packages with airfare, dining & room. We won’t need park hopper since we will stay a week. Any info and payment plan info would help. Thanks so much!

4 Dave { 05.26.13 at 1:50 pm }

Hi Erynn, you won’t be able to book a package until Disney releases its 2015 prices–which likely won’t be until the summer of 2014.

You can book a room well before that–see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/02/21/how-far-in-advance-can-you-book-a-walt-disney-world-vacation/ –but still not anytime soon.

The dates of 2015 Star War weekends won’t be out for another 18 months or so, but I’d guess they will begin May 15, 2015…

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5 Kristie { 07.30.13 at 10:04 pm }

Hey Dave, great site! I’m planning a Disney vacation with my two boys (will be age 4 and 2) and the grandparents. My husband and I have been before but it will be the boys first trip. Trying to finalize when. Would you recommend late Sept/early October 2014 OR mid/late April 2015?

6 Dave { 07.31.13 at 8:16 am }

Hi Kristie and thanks!!

Those are both good dates (so long as in 2015 you arrive later than April 11, to miss the Easter crowds.) The September/October 2014 dates are a little iffy because of being in the peak of the hurricane season…and the boys are a little young…so I’d vote for the 2015 option…

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7 Angela { 08.18.13 at 5:38 pm }

I am looking to do a fun run 2015 and visit Disneyland .. What are/ is the best dates please

8 Dave { 08.19.13 at 7:08 am }

Hi Angela! I’m sorry, but I don’t track Disneyland…just Disney World.

9 Emma { 08.24.13 at 5:53 am }

Visiting walk disney world in march 2015 from the UK! When can we book?

10 Dave { 08.24.13 at 9:50 am }

Emma–500 days ahead. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/02/21/how-far-in-advance-can-you-book-a-walt-disney-world-vacation/ although I have to update that for 2015!!

11 Melva { 09.11.13 at 8:44 pm }

Do you have any dates for the runnung events in 2015. For Disney world?

12 Dave { 09.12.13 at 10:12 am }

Sorry, Melva, I don’t…

13 johnwfc { 10.17.13 at 2:39 pm }

hiya im looking to 30th nov-15th dec 2015 was bit worried about the pop warner cheerleaders is it going to be overcrowded?

14 Dave { 10.18.13 at 7:09 am }

John–the short answer is no. See this for more, and why: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/05/30/pop-warner-week-at-walt-disney-world/

15 Shawna { 10.18.13 at 11:07 am }

So glad I came across this site. I am also planning for 2015 and because its so far out, I haven’t been able to find much insight on it. I’m torn on going the third week of November, being 11/13-11/21 OR the second week of December being 12/4-12/12. I’m having such a hard time deciding between the two. Pop Warner week looks like it may fall durin my December dates? Along with maybe the christmas parade taping? But I haven’t heard of much falling on that third week in November…. Have you? I’m just worried those third week in November dates may be getting to close to thanksgiving and it could be crowded but that might also just be me
Overthinking? Any advice is greatly appreciated! :) our main concerns are, low crowds, nice weather-meaning warm but not hot, possible chance at free dining, and most importantly to see the christmas theming at all the parks.

16 Dave { 10.19.13 at 8:16 am }

Hi Shawna and I’m so glad the site is helping!!

With the late Thanksgiving in 2015, I don’t see it much affecting crowds until 11-22-2015. So your November dates are fine! The only Xmas program you’d miss then is Epcot’s which traditionally fully kicks off the Friday after Thanksgiving. For more on Epcot’s program see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/12/12/the-holidays-around-the-world-at-walt-disney-worlds-epcot/

Your December dates likely will include both the taping and Pop Warner. Pop Warner though is grossly overstated many places as an issue–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/05/30/pop-warner-week-at-walt-disney-world/ And the taping just clots up Main Street and the area in front of the castle–not a huge deal…

The real difference in the two weeks is the Epcot stuff. The November dates will have slightly better weather and slightly lower crowds–but if it were me, I’d go with your December 2015 options!

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17 Casmir { 12.30.13 at 11:41 pm }

In your opinion what is the best 6 Day trip time in January 2015?

18 Dave { 12.31.13 at 7:10 am }

Casmir, arrive anytime in January 2015 after the 19th and you will be fine!

19 jenn { 01.06.14 at 10:28 pm }

Planning first trip to WDW…thinking about mid- late April 2015. How long will we need to stay minimum? Our daughter will be 7 1/2 and our son just shy of 5…was going to book a 5 day hopper plus waterpark & more for a 10 nights in a nemo family suite at art of animation..is that too much? Also debating which dining package if any…


20 Dave { 01.07.14 at 8:38 am }

Jenn it depends on whether or not this may be your only visit. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/how-long-to-stay/ At those ages, if it’s not your only visit, 5 days should be fine–2-3 at MK, one each at HS and AK, saving Epcot for when they are older. I wouldn’t bother wit either a hopper, or with “water parks and more” unless the kids are just wild about water…

21 Lindsey { 01.13.14 at 3:29 pm }

Ok Dave, I need your help. IF you had to pick mardi gras week or Thanksgiving, which would be the better time to go for lower crowds. This would be our fourth time, and we know how to work the parks. Thanks as always!

22 Lindsey { 01.13.14 at 3:29 pm }

This would be for 2015

23 Dave { 01.14.14 at 7:52 am }

Lindsey, in most years Mardi Gras week is not nearly s busy as people fear it is–because hardly anyone actually has it off. However, in 2015 it’s the same week as the week of Presidents Day. The week of President’s Day is always a zoo, and in 2015 I expect will be worse than Thanksgiving Week because of the extra punch of Mardi Gras on top of what is already a wild week…

24 Lottie { 01.20.14 at 3:33 am }


We are trying to choose dates for our 3 week 2015 holiday. There’s only a week in it, but we are trying to decide between 18th April – 8th May and 24th April – 16th May.

We would be spending the first and last weeks of the holiday in WDW, and the middle week split between Universal and a cruise.

In 2013 we went 27th April – 20th May and really noticed the crowds starting to build up over the last 5 or 6 days. However, I’m a little worried about residual Easter crowds and the weather maybe being cooler (we like high 20s/low 30s C).

I’m leaning towards the earlier dates at the moment (partly because it means we can book our cruise now and don’t have to wait for the late 2015 dates to be released!)

Do you have any advice or is it really swings and roundabouts at that time of year?


25 Lottie { 01.20.14 at 4:25 am }

Do you know what, don’t worry! Just found your rankings by week and weeks 8, 9 and 11 have pipped weeks 8, 9 and 12 to the post. Looks like we’ve chosen a pretty good time of year to go :)

Thanks for this amazing site!

26 Dave { 01.20.14 at 6:41 am }

Thank you, Lottie :)

27 Lucia { 01.29.14 at 8:34 pm }

I just came across your site and I love it!
I am planning going to WDW on 2015, since that is the last year before my son starts kindergarten and it will be easy to go on low crowd weeks (we were at WDW last summer and my husband made my promise we won’t ever go in the summer again).
I looked at the week calendar and we were thinking either end of april or october. We are trying to balance nicer weather with costs. My husband will prefer the “comfortable way” , but we want to do as comfortable as possible within a more reasonable budget. Do you know if the free dining plan ever covers october?

28 Dave { 01.30.14 at 9:12 am }

Lucia, there’s been free dining for at least part of October since the recession. I myself doubt we will see it in 2014, but I hope I am wrong! Both dates are among the nicest times to go (so long as Easter is not late–which it is in 2014, but not in 2015.)

29 Lucia { 01.30.14 at 2:44 pm }

Have you ever been to the Mickey not so scary Halloween party?
does the fact that the party takes place some nights in October mean that if you don’t go you have to leave Magic Kingdom early?

another unrelated question, my husband does not stay if there isn’t a fitness center, I guess that the Polynesian is out. Wilderness lodge seems to have a good one, and it seems to be cheaper to get a one bedroom villa there than a standard room at the Polynesian, is that right? I personally love a boat ride to Magic Kingdom, do the boats stop running earlier? how long does the bus take from Wilderness lodge to Epcot? IT seems like a Villa at wilderness lodge has a good balance of space and convenience at a lower price tag that staying at the Polynesian
Thanks again

30 Dave { 01.31.14 at 7:22 am }

Hi Lucia!!

Yes I’ve been to the Halloween Party a bunch of times! See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/09/24/review-mickeys-not-so-scary-Halloween-party/ And yes, if you don’t have a ticket, you will have to leave.

Poly guests get to use the fitness center at Senses, near the Grand Floridian…it is a walk, though…

The one bedroom BR villas at WL are about $100 more expensive/night than standard Poly rooms. See this: http://www.mousesavers.com/2014-disney-world-resort-room-rates-season-dates/

Don’t understand your question about boats–stop running earlier than what?

The Epcot bus ride is ~15 to 20 minutes…

31 cheryl { 01.31.14 at 1:33 pm }

Hi planning on florida summer 2015 is it true that it wil be disneys 60 th year anniversary ???

32 Lucia { 01.31.14 at 8:12 pm }

Hi Dave,
thanks so much, this is so helpful! Wish I had known your site before my last visit (which was a total disaster). I am a Disney lover and enjoy going no matter what, but I learned last year that my husband is anti-crowds, anti-lines and anti-heat-and-humidity (we went on the 4th of July Holiday).
Next time we are doing a more “comfortable” stay at a less crowded time, but we are still on a budget so it will require some smart planning to achieve that.
I think my LO will enjoy trick or treating at Disney so much it may be worth the extra $$, is the 200-300 you mention in the page per person? How often is the party offered? How far in advance does Disney releases the date and let you make the reservations (so I can coordinate it with all my dinner reservations 180 days in advance)?. I will probably have to make reservations for lodging about a year in advance, since I am planning to rent DVC. I guess the rates I was looking for were for renting DVC points at: http://www.dvcrequest.com/
I am now debating whether to do a one bedroom Jambo house or wilderness lodge villa. We will likely rent a car anyway. I like the convenience of Wilderness better, but read some reviews online saying that the rooms badly need renovation and are nto worth the extra $$, so now I am not sure I want to stay there. My LO is a Lion King fan, so he may enjoy the theme at Jambo house more. I have always stayed off-site, so I guess I will be closer to the parks no matter what.

33 Dave { 02.01.14 at 9:52 am }

Hi Cheryl–July 2015 will be the 60th anniversary not of Disney World, but of Disneyland in California…

34 Dave { 02.01.14 at 10:09 am }

Oh–I didn’t realize you were looking at renting points! That does change the equation a lot!

I stayed in a villa at the Wilderness Lodge in December, and a villa at Jambo house last weekend. Both were fine and I saw no “worn out” issues at WL! The floor plan at Jambo is better and convenience at WL is better. If you have a car, pick based on which theme you like better–that said, there’s nothing at Jambo House that shouts out “Lion King.”

Have you considered a family suite in the Lion King section at Art of Animation? See this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/08/19/photo-tour-of-a-lion-king-room-at-disneys-art-of-animation-resort/

The party price is for a family of four–it’s $60-80 per person depending on age and the date of the party and how you buy your tix.

Dates are not announced in time to make reservations at 180 days, a yearly annoyance. But for years now, the party has been pretty reliably in October on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with a couple of exceptions–the first week of the month shows variability, and on Columbus Day weekend, its Monday instead of Sunday/Tuesday, and the week of Halloween itself will vary.

So a Thursday or a Friday is a good bet, except for Halloween week itself when Thursday the 30th is unlikely…

35 Julie Heiden { 02.10.14 at 9:30 pm }

Love your website.! Wish that I would of found this for our first trip in 2012. We are going to be visiting the first week in February 2015 with our two girls, 7 and 5. Hoping to stay 6 nights. Couple of things…I really want to stay at the Polynesian but I would be interested in what you think the construction will be like at that time? Our second option is the Wilderness lodge (loved it our our first visit, but I want to stay at a monorail resort) with bunk beds! Our girls need a little space!
Second…When will the best parks guide/recommendations be available so I can start my planning!
Thanks so much,

36 Dave { 02.11.14 at 7:58 am }

Hi Julie and thanks! Coupla things in response:

the Poly does not have bunk beds;

we should know by the fall what’s up with construction at the Poly, in plenty of time for you to change your hotel if you wish;

and my suggestions for a month don’t come out until Disney publishes its calendar for then, which it typically does about 6.5 months ahead–so I’ll have them out for February 2015 in late July.

37 Beth { 02.24.14 at 9:10 am }


Do you know when January 2015 will be available to book on Disney website?

38 Dave { 02.25.14 at 7:08 am }

Beth, Disney typically opens the website to a year after it has released the hotel prices for the next year, which it commonly does in the summer. You can book thenover the phone now–bit it’s a little complicated. See http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/02/21/how-far-in-advance-can-you-book-a-walt-disney-world-vacation/

39 Anonymous { 02.26.14 at 4:19 pm }

hi dave i would like to start booking a trip to disney in february of 2015 do you know when i will be able to start thanks and great website

40 Dave { 02.27.14 at 8:14 am }
41 Shannon { 03.23.14 at 8:27 am }

Hi Dave – we would like to take our soon to be 10 & 12 year old boys to Disney in January 2015. This will be our first trip. I think we would like to make it as painless as possible – stay on site & visit whichever parks you suggest. We would like to visit for 4-5 days & then rent a car and drive south hoping to find warmer weather in Miami or the keys for another week. Wondering about meal plans etc. nothing fancy – just want to eat & stay on site and avoid driving & major crowds. Thanks for your help!

42 Dave { 03.23.14 at 11:34 am }

Hi Shannon! January at WDW is best after MLK day. At those ages, the boys will enjoy everything, so 2 days at MK and one day at each of the other parks would be the right answer with 5 day tix. Skip the dining plan–if everyone in your party is older than 9, it does not save money.

43 Maily { 03.27.14 at 10:37 pm }

I’m planning a trip to disney world for April 2015. My kids go on vacation April 20th and my plan was to go the week before. April 12th til the 19th. What do you think? I’m also planning on driving down from Boston. Do think that week will be good?

44 Maily { 03.27.14 at 10:42 pm }

Oh and one more question…….what do you think are the best ticket options? How many days should we go to the park.? My kids will be 15 and 7 at time of travel. I also want to do one day at seaworld. My plan was to get a 4 day base ticket but one of my friends said I should get a 2 day or 3 day hopper. Said that everyday in the park is to much

45 Dave { 03.28.14 at 6:43 am }
46 Dave { 03.28.14 at 6:44 am }
47 Shelby { 04.16.14 at 5:03 pm }

Hi, Dave! Thanks for all your info. on Disney World. Do you think they will offer free dining this Fall for October 2014> If they don’t we are thinking of going May 2015 for Star Wars weekend, but really want to avoid lots of crowds if possible. I saw they are adding Star wars dining this year and now have a firework show instead of the Hyperspace show. Have you heard of what they might me doing for Star wars weekend in 2015> I wish they had Star Wars dining year round. Thanks so much!

48 Dave { 04.17.14 at 9:38 am }

Shelby, sorry but I have no idea what will be up with Star Wars next year. Re free dining in October 14, I doubt it, hope I am wrong, and many others are predicting it at least for late in the month. We may not know for sure til mid-summer…See this for more: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/04/16/the-best-ever-free-dining-faq-in-the-history-of-the-world/

49 Shelby { 04.17.14 at 12:47 pm }

Thanks Dave,
We made reservations with the dates that lined up the last couple of years for free dining. The free dining is a big factor if we can afford our trip. Would it be a good idea to change the dates later in the month> We need a certain room to fit everyone in our party, which is why we are tying to book as soon as we can. Thanks for any advice.

50 Dave { 04.18.14 at 8:23 am }

Shelby, the second half of October is better on all dimensions.

51 Shelby { 04.18.14 at 2:26 pm }

Hi Dave, I have never been there at that time. Why is the second half of the month so much better> (Sorry my question mark key is not working :)

52 Dave { 04.19.14 at 8:27 am }

Shelby, it’s out of the peak of the hurricane season and the fall break seaosn around COlumbus Day. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/03/18/october-2014-at-walt-disney-world/

53 Shelby { 04.19.14 at 4:19 pm }

Thanks for your advice.

54 Dave { 04.20.14 at 9:50 am }

:) Shelby

55 Christina { 05.02.14 at 3:57 pm }

Hi Dave!

Does Disney ever offer any type of room discount or free dining during the month of February or March? We have booked our Disney trip for February 28th- March 7th 2015. Just curious to know if they traditionally offer any type of discounts during that time. Thanks Dave!!

56 Dave { 05.04.14 at 11:10 am }

Christina, there’s been no free dining before August/September for several years now. You will see room rate discounts for that period, I expect.

57 Nikki { 05.05.14 at 2:28 pm }

We are planning to go to Disney World in April of 2015-from like April 3rd to the 11th with my then 5 year old and 2 1/2 year old. It will be a our second trip. We went at Christmas 2014. What do you think about the crowds? Easter is earlier so will the crowds be worse? I tracked wait times on my Disney app during East week of this year, and it didn’t seem that bad, but Easter was at the end of the month. Also, do you think Disney will run room discounts during that time? Thoughts on how to divide up time among the parks? We are going to do the Park Hopper-my husband wants the water park option but I don’t feel it is necessary. We are planning to stay at Caribbean Beach again.

58 Dave { 05.05.14 at 5:31 pm }

Nikki, the earlier Easter will be much crowded, as it will coincide with secular spring breaks, which are crowded into March the last 3.5 weeks of March and early April.

I don’t right now have a point of view on best days, and won’t til Disney releases its April calendar which will be months from now…there may be room rate discounts for arrivals as soon as April 7 or so, but not for pre-Easter arrivals, I think…Adding the waterparks on to the hopper is really inexpensive…it’s about $23/person more to add both than to add just the hopper. You may wanna let your husband win this one, so you can go all frying pan on something that’s more important to you…

59 clare { 05.07.14 at 12:55 pm }

i have booked a holiday from 27th dec 2014 to 10 jan 2015, we are not staying on site,kids will be 11 and 5 is there any money saving tips on dining? and its my mums bday on new yrs eve can I book a character breakfast this day? ive looked on Disney site and it is only up to September at mo. thanks clare

60 Beverly { 05.07.14 at 4:42 pm }

We are a family of 5 looking to visit in April 2015. I have heard mixed reviews about the Art of Animation. We like the extra room, but does it take much longer to get to the parks?
Many thanks!!

61 Dave { 05.08.14 at 7:56 am }

Clare, it will be wildly busy and crowded through January 3. Restaurant bookings open up 180 days before, and New Year’s Eve is the single most busy day of the year, so you will want to make your reservations right at 180 days before–in early July.

62 Dave { 05.08.14 at 8:03 am }

Beverly, what’s your next best option? Among the value resorts, AofA is as centrally located as any–tied with Pop Century.

63 SusieB { 05.10.14 at 1:01 pm }

We’re at WDW from 27 Dec 14 to 5 Jan 15. Staying at Caribbean Beach with young son (9). any tips for booking dinner/restaurants. Presumably it will be VERY busy!!

64 Dave { 05.11.14 at 4:33 pm }

Susie, you want to book 180 days before your arrival (see this for why http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-your-plans-need-to-be-firm/ )! See this for recommended restaurants: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/where-to-eat/

65 Brian { 05.20.14 at 3:51 am }

Hey, Dave! Great site! Just a quick question… Planning a 4-5 day trip in mid to late May 2015 for 2 adults. We’re looking at staying at one of the value resorts. Which one do you recommend? I’m hoping for a shorter commute to MK. Would it be a shuttle? Also, may be a stupid first timer question, but how do the monorails work? I just think they look so cool and we definitely want to ride in one. Thanks!

66 Dave { 05.20.14 at 8:45 am }

Hi Brian, see this for my value resort recommendations: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/08/04/the-value-resorts-at-walt-disney-world/

Pop Century and Art of Animation are the most convenient among them. All use DIsney buses for transport. There’s three different monorails which are open to everyone to ride. Each has a stop at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) near the Magic Kingdom. One goes from TTC to Epcot and back again. Another goes from TTC to the Magic Kingdom and back again. The third has a similar route to the second, but also stops at three hotels–the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Contemporary.

67 Leigh Ann { 05.23.14 at 3:18 pm }

Hi, Dave. My family is in the early stages of planning a 2015 trip to WDW. We plan to rent vacation club points as there are 7 of us and we want to stay together. I looked at your week rankings and I’m a little worried. Is there really a big difference between the week of May 31 and the week of June 6? I’m worried my kids won’t be out of school in time to go the first week, but I don’t want to face bad crowds the second week. Could you give me some insight?

68 Maggie { 05.24.14 at 10:18 am }

Hi Dave! Just found your site – it’s great! My husband and I are booked at the Boardwalk Nov. 3-12, 2014. I booked these dates to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival. Do you have any idea of the dates of the Osborne Lights for this year? I booked these dates hoping to get to see them too! We also want to plan a trip for the 2015 Flower & Garden Festival. Do you know the dates yet? Thanks for your help.

69 Dave { 05.25.14 at 8:29 am }

Leigh Ann, there is a difference, but not one I’d lose sleep over. Both will be more crowded than is comfortable, but with good itineraries you can make it work.

70 Dave { 05.25.14 at 8:36 am }
71 Pauline { 05.31.14 at 10:30 am }

Hi Dave,
My husband and I are going to Disney January 23rd-31st, 2015 – a Friday through Saturday. Which itinerary would be best for us?

Thanks a bunch – your site is absolutely FABULOUS!!

72 Dave { 06.01.14 at 9:23 am }

Hi Pauline and thanks! I publish recommended itineraries here after Disney posts its calendars: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/basic-itinerary/alternative-itineraries/ January won’t be out for 2-3 weeks, so check that link in a few weeks!

73 Gemma { 06.02.14 at 12:24 pm }

Hi Dave, we are booked for a 2 week holiday starting on the 8th feb, which means we will be in Disney for President day. original plan was do a park one day and take a day off either stay at hotel or go to a water park. Due to your site do you think we should try and do most of the parks in the first less busy week? Are there any special events that Disney do for presidents day that we shouldn’t miss?

74 Dave { 06.03.14 at 6:40 am }

Gemma, crowds will start to build the 12th, so I would definitely bunch your off days to after then. However, with enough park days and FastPass+ you will still be OK after the 12th. Aim if you can for 2 days each (not full days–two days so you can pre-book 6 FP+) HS and AK, two near-full days at Epcot, and three days at MK, one near full.

75 Cassi { 06.06.14 at 5:51 pm }

Hi Dave! My family and I always went to WDW when I was growing up as our annual vacation. Now, I am the parent and in charge of making sure my children have the best time possible and get the most out of the vacation – so this role is very different for me! I am planning to take my twins for their second trip the week of their fifth birthday (April 25, 2015 through May 2, 2015) and will more than likely stay in Art of Animation since the children adored it when they were two.

My main concerns are the crowds during the time frame and do you think the water parks offer enough for five year olds to merit the ticket upgrade? My children love water, but I am hesitant on getting the water park addition. It’s been years since I went to BB or TL (probably when I was 9 and I’m 26 now…) so I am just very unfamiliar with them. Would love to read your opinion on this!

Also, we have never purchased the Dining Plan before but have always done multiple character meals, etc. In your opinion, do you think the Dining Plan would prove beneficial to us or should we continue paying as we go? I’ve read so many mixed reviews on the subject – I am having a hard time deciding. It seems like it would be one less thing to worry about though if all of the meals were prepaid.

Thanks in advance! Love your site!

76 Dave { 06.08.14 at 8:07 am }

Hi Cassi! Crowds will be fine then–see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/12/05/disney-world-crowds-in-2015/

Honestly, the kids will never notice if you don;t go to a water park. And if you want to go to one, gate price is less than the add-on price (unless you’ve already decided to buy a hopper–the hopper/waterpark combo is a great price.)

The dining plan used largely for character buffets for kids 3-10 is the only good deal on it. The cash price for these is typically $20+ for kids that age, and the plan itself is less than that per night. So that, plus the “prepaid” lack of worry, makes me think it’s a good idea for you.

77 Alli { 06.11.14 at 1:33 am }

Hi Dave,
Great site! I am currently planning my kids first trip to Disney (ages 11, 4 & 2.5) and I’m wondering about dining plans. My two youngest eat like birds (they can split a happy meal at McDonald’s and be satisfied haha) so I want to make sure I’m not wasting money with them. Is it possible to buy dining plans for only certain people in my party? It will be my parents my husband myself and the kids and we all have different opinions on this. Thanks!

78 Alli { 06.11.14 at 1:34 am }

Oh and we are going 2/14/15 through 2/21/15!

79 Dave { 06.11.14 at 9:42 am }

Hi Alli and thanks! Everyone 3 and older in the same room must be on the same plan. In general, the dining plan saves most for a. kids younger than ten but older than three who are b. going to many one credit character meals. For people older than ten, the dining plan rarely saves money, as should be thought of as a budgeting or pre-payment tool. See the second half of this post (after the free dining stuff) for more http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/04/16/the-best-ever-free-dining-faq-in-the-history-of-the-world/

80 Dave { 06.11.14 at 9:43 am }

Alli, that’s a lousy week in 2015 very corwded, very expensive; see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/12/08/2015-weeks-to-visit-walt-disney-world-ranked-in-order/ Is it your only option?

81 Alli { 06.17.14 at 11:34 am }

I have discovered how awful it will be going this week! it is not our only option, I was just trying to accommodate my oldest child, (who is my step daughter and her mom didn’t want her missing school). But the cost difference and crowd difference are making me think I should just change it ASAP! What week in February-April do you consider to be the best? That’s the month range that everyone on board is able to go. Thank again, you’re super helpful!

82 Dave { 06.18.14 at 10:33 am }
83 Anonymous { 06.21.14 at 5:31 pm }

we will be going by train to wdw in may 2015

84 Christine { 06.23.14 at 10:56 am }

Hi! This is our first trip to Disney for 3 generations :) Our trip is Jan 2-Jan9, 2015, with our first park day being Jan 3. We are hoping to see at least MK and HS Family Light Show decorated for Christmas. I saw that for 2014 the decor stayed up and the Light Show was on until Sunday after New Years, however in this article you say Sat. Will all the Christmas decor be down before Sunday? Any advice for Disney newbies ages 4-55 :)

85 Dave { 06.24.14 at 4:02 pm }

Christine, the Osborne lights should still be on at HS. I don’t expect them to begin taking down decorations til the first weekend in Jan, and it takes them a bit to finish.

On advice…well, that’s the whole site! Start at the home page and work though its topics in order: http://yourfirstvisit.net/

86 mary { 07.14.14 at 4:53 pm }

What do you think it will be like the week of march 2nd? we normally go the week before and love it that week but my brother in law doesn’t get vacation till this week

87 Dave { 07.15.14 at 7:42 am }

Mary, I think the week of March 2nd will be fine!

88 Teresa R. { 07.27.14 at 12:51 am }

Hi Dave,

We are planning a trip to Disneyworld in January–our dates are looking like 01/12/-01/15. We are just taking a short trip to celebrate our daughter’s first birthday. Could you shed a little light on if they typically close down the rides aimed for younger children? We are not interested in any of the more popular thrill rides–we are thinking Dumbo, It’s A Small World–the more baby-friendly rides for her. Any info would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Teresa

89 Dave { 07.27.14 at 9:08 am }

Teresa, there’s no particular rhyme or reason to what gets closed, other than Splash Mountain and the Liberty Belle riverboat, which seem to always see a closure. But likely at most it would be two or three of the younger children rides

90 Emma { 07.28.14 at 6:05 am }

Hi Dave,
Love your site and have bought your kindle!! You are amazing.
We have to book our FP+ in the next couple of days but am struggling with timing.
Do we make them back to back say 11-12, 12-1pm then 1pm – 2pm or should we be allowing time for lunch in there (how long does it take to get a counter service lunch?)

Is it true that once you have used the first 3 FP+ times then you can get another one at a kiosk? If this is the case would it be best to do early times starting from 11am rather than later times? Also we don’t plan to stay late in any of the parks – either leaving after lunch or around 3pm to have time for a swim before dinner reservations at 5.30pmish.

And when you get a FP+ window from 1-2pm for example does this mean you can turn up to the line at 1.55pm or should you have done ride by this time?

And finally, some FP+ lines will have a queue maybe such as Anna and Elsa – in October do you think FP+ time to wait in line for Anna and Elsa will be very long?

Thanks so much!

91 Dave { 07.28.14 at 8:32 am }

Hi Emma and thanks! On FP+ you can do either, and you have the whole window, plus a grace period of a few minutes om either side, to arrive. I wouldn’t worry about fitting lunch in. BTW eat lunch before 11 or after 1 to avoid longer lines. And yes, once you have used your first three, you can book more one at a time. FP+ waits are typically fine but a little unpredictable.

92 Julie { 08.03.14 at 10:55 am }

Hi Dave,

What a great site! My fiance and I are looking into going to Disney World for our honeymoon, in June 2015. We would like to stay on a budget so we were thinking about staying at Pop Century. We know this isn’t the best time to go because of crowds and prices, but want to still look into it to try to make it work. How soon do we need to book a package to get the best price? If we were to wait a few months would the price jump?

Thanks so much for your help!

93 Dave { 08.03.14 at 1:19 pm }

Julie, hotel prices for 2015 are out, and are highly unlikely to jump. Ticket prices are likely to go up between now and then, perhaps as early as Feb…

94 okiekan { 08.31.14 at 10:03 pm }

Once again, we are turning to you for advice. We really enjoy your site and appreciate your thoughts. We have been to Disneyworld several times and stayed at the all star resorts. We are a family of six and take the conservative side of things, and like to avoid the crowds. We have always tried to be at Disney in the fall and have been able to take advantage of the free dining…we love the character meals, the nicer weather, and the low crowds. For the best bang for our buck would you suggest a return trip for September 26 to October 4, 2015 or, do you think the later part of January 2016, would be better (cost, crowds, etc.)? We have never been in January or February, and I do not recall seeing free dining for then, but was told the crowds were low and the cost is a lot less that time of year, allowing you to pay for the dining and keeping your cost manageable. Our kids will be 7, 9, 11, and 15. Thank you so much!!!!!

95 Dave { 09.03.14 at 7:57 am }

Hiya Okiekan and thanks for the kind words!! Yes I would definitely try late Jan. The price difference won’t be huge (although you’ll likely see not only the lowest prices of the year prices but also a room rate deal), but you will note a distinct difference in crowds! There’s been no free dining before August for several years now.

96 Glenys { 11.30.14 at 12:31 pm }

Hi. Just wondering how fast passes actually work. We are booked for July 2015 in a villa outwith the park but are supplied with fast passes as part of the package, and are not entirely sure how they work.


97 Dave { 11.30.14 at 2:33 pm }

Glenys, FastPass+ eligibility comes automatically with all tickets. No tickets, no FastPass+. Then you have to set up a My Disney Experience account, link your tickets and book your FastPass+–which you can (and should) do beginning 30 days before use if you are staying off-site.

All the details on how to use them and what to use them on are in my book–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/11/19/the-easy-guide-to-your-first-walt-disney-world-visit-2015/

98 Cassie { 12.05.14 at 4:46 pm }

Hi Dave! Have you heard any rumblings of another value resort food court refurbishment the fall of 2015? We are thinking Pop, Movies or Music (I know it’s refurb just completed) this time and I really hope to avoid no food court. Thanks! Love your site!

99 Dave { 12.06.14 at 1:47 pm }

Cassie, I haven’t heard anything, but it make sense that Movies will see a food court refurb in 2015, just based on the pattern of Sports in 2013 and Music in 2014. Pop and AofA have different management than the All-Stars, so I have no basis for predicting a refurb at Pop. Your safest choice, of course, is Music.

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