By the co-author of the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook ever -- The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit.

Now available in PDF format!—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

FastPass+ Itinerary for High Crowd Periods at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

Update December 2015: There’s an updated high crowd itinerary.  If you have not yet set your park days and dining, you should use the updated one–it’s better!

Below is a Disney World FastPass+ based itinerary for the higher crowd weeks of the year.

FastPass+ Itinerary for High Crowd Weeks from v4

FastPass+ recommendations are all in To-Do List for this itinerary. Daily instructions are here:

Thanks are especially due to Josh of easyWDW. With his permission, I picked the targeted park days based on both my own practices and his daily park recommendations.

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1 Danny { 01.30.14 at 9:41 am }

Hi again Dave, Have you heard anything about FP+ limited to one headliner per day at MK and AK? If you didn’t I doubt this will happen because MK has many many headliners and AK most rides are about even.

Just to give you an idea, I would maybe make a bit of changes in some FP+ stuff,

First Saturday: I think FP+ for Soarin, Living with the Land, and Turtle Talk with Crush is a good idea, because you say FP+ headliner target on this itinerary is for illuminations, but on another page of your site I remember reading that you said illuminations isn’t very much worth an FP+. So I was thinking maybe the first day people could focus on the Seas, Land, and Imagination Pavilions, and then illuminations after dinner.

First Sunday: I am not too sure about this one, but I would suggest FP+ for Toy Story Mania as you put for headliner and the other 2 can be great movie ride and star tours.

Monday: I think this day FP+ would be good for Test Track as headliner and then Mission Space and Spaceship Earth, and the first ride at Rope Drop could be the Sum of All Thrills in Innoventions because as I recall most people don’t begin with innoventions.
And then they could do the east side of future world including Test Track, Mission Space, and Spaceship Earth, and then tour the world showcase, when they are ready for break they could ride Ellen’s Energy Adventure as its a good ride to take a break on because its 30-40 min.

Tuesday: hmm, you also wrote fantasmic is only worth an FP+ if its 2 full days, I would say do Rock Coaster as headliner, and then Tower of Terror, and then maybe any other ride, because I was thinking sunset blvd is good to do that day, so they could ride rock coaster and tower of terror with FP+ and then see fantasmic after dinner.

Wednesday: I would recommend Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Enchanted Tales with Belle on this day, and maybe either go to dumbo, under the sea-little mermaid, or winnie the pooh at park opening, and fantasyland could be the goal this day.

Thursday: for FP+ I think Everest, Kali, and Nemo show are good choices because they are long waits, like for example after lunch they could see the next flights of wonder show, and then have a ride on everest, then see the parade, then stroll through maharajah, after that 5pm nemo show with fp+ and then end with Kali River Rapids with FP+.

Friday: I’d suggest Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, and Tomorrowland Speedway for FP+, and begin the day with Astro Orbiter, and that day the goal can be for tomorrowland

Second Saturday: I’d suggest FP+ for Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Haunted Mansion, they could start with jungle cruise with adventure rides, and then go to frontierland and ride the rides there and liberty square, and then they could see the 3pm parade that will replace the dream come true parade that day, and then as you said dinner at CP, and then main street electrical parade, and wishes.

Second Sunday: I’d suggest the Lion King Show, DINOSAUR, and Primeval Whirl for FP+ and then start the day with Kilimanjaro Safaris, and then stroll through Pangani, then see the lion king show, and then lunch, then ride primeval whirl and dinosaur, and tricera top spin, then if there is time explore rafiki’s planet watch, but skip it if there is no time, and then head for home.

I hope I gave you some great ideas here. Because I planned that way so far for my trip in august.

2 Danny { 01.31.14 at 5:34 am }

Hi Dave, as you can tell from many post, my family and I have been going back and fourth on the disney trip we have in august, and we need to come to a conclusion soon so we can start making ADR’s. So I decided to skip HS as I have been before and I was kind of disappointed. So I was wondering could you maybe tell me a good itinerary with 6 nights and 7 nights skipping HS, or how many nights do you recommend? After I maybe see 6 and 7 nights I could decide which is better.

3 Dave { 01.31.14 at 6:54 am }

Hi Danny! There’s lots of ways to do FastPass+, and I must have read dozens. Your sis as strong as many! I’m OK with mine. My suggestions about Fantasmic and Illuminations were both for if you’d be at the parks two days, not two “full” days. I’d do neither with just one day in the respective parks.

Honestly I have no idea whether or not MK and AK will move to tiers, and thus my itineraries assume that they might.

It has nothing to do with “balancing” or number of headliners–it’s just a question of 1. supply and demand, and 2. correlation (the more correlation among tier 1 choices, the n more effective tiering will be).

My guess–and it can only be that–is that the issue at HS is pure demand for TSM. Tiering limits the number of advance FP+ it would otherwise get, leaving more for day of FP+ and standby. At Epcot, I suspect the issue is both demand and correlation.

–AK has two rides with much more demand than anything else in the park, but, so far, ride supply has been adequate enough to not need tiering, and I suspect there’s less correlation–that is enough people who will only ride one of Kilimanjaro or Everest, but not the other, that it’s not an issue so far.

–MK has a ton of very attractive high capacity rides, but it also has twice as many people in it per day, and twice the length of stay, as the other parks…I believe that 7 Dwarfs opening will be interesting…if it’s a hit, we might see tiering…

4 Dave { 01.31.14 at 7:27 am }

Danny, without HS, and without a hopper, 2 ticket days at MK, two ticket days at Epcot, one at AK, one reserved at the end of your visit for returning to a favorite park, and a day completely off mid-visit could work great…

5 Danny { 01.31.14 at 7:39 am }

Is 2 days at MK enough? because you have 3 on here so I was wondering.

6 Dave { 02.01.14 at 10:23 am }

Danny that’s partly why I added one ticket day at the end to “return to a favorite…”–this also manages the risk that you don’t have enough time at one of the parks–most likely, as you note, MK!

7 Rachel { 03.24.14 at 12:58 pm }

Hi Dave (again ;))!
So now that we have our reservation confirmed (Wilderness Lodge), arriving on Sunday 8/10, departing for Royal Pacific on Sunday 8/17 I’m trying to firm up our ADRS. I am happy with everything but a little confused on when/what day we should see Fantasmic!…

I currently have us booked for the dinner show @ Mamma Melrose for Thursday (8/21). We are going to be spending the day @ Animal Kingdom (our only day @ this park). I figured we would come back to our hotel around 3ish to relax/freshen up then head out to HS for dinner/Fantasmic!.
Now, I’m starting to question this….

Our first day there (Sunday 8/10) we will arrive fairly early. We will be traveling from Savannah so shouldn’t be too tired and plan to hit HS as soon as we get there. Initially I thought taking the night off/not having a set ADR would be nice. Now I’m thinking of scheduling our Fantasmic! Dinner Package for this night and giving us Thursday night off…

What do you think? Will Fantsmic! our first night be too much? Should I just leave it for Thursday after Animal Kingdom?

Below is our current itinerary (with scheduled ADRs) to give you an idea of what else we are doing:
Sun 8/10 – Arrival/Hollywood Studios
Mon 8/11 – Epcot/630 San Angel Inn/9pm Illuminations
Tues 8/12 – Magic Kingdom/1125 Chef Mickeys/Celebrate the Magic/Wishes
Wed 8/13 – Magic Kingdom/8am Bibbidy Bobbidy/10am CRT/615 HDDR
Thur 8/14 – Animal Kindgom/6pm Mamma Melorse, Fantasmic!
Fri 8/15 – Magic Kingdom/645 BOG
Sat 8/16 – Epcot/7pm Ohana
Sun8/17 – Check out/Check in @ Royal Pacific

8 Dave { 03.25.14 at 6:50 am }

Rachel, the overall itinerary looks great.

There’s two schools of thought on what to do Sunday night.

One is that you’ll have energy and adrenaline to burn, so take advantage of it–you’ll need the break much more on Thursday.

The other is that traveling saps you, so it’s good to spend your arrival day just getting your nest built, watching a movie at the pool, etc. I’m pretty firmly in the first camp, but it does vary by family and how cranky e.g. Dad gets…

9 Rachel { 03.25.14 at 8:00 am }

Thanks, Dave.
I was leaning towards taking advantage of our adrenaline/excitement and going for it on our first night. My husband is a go getter and will of course play along 😉 That way it will give us a much needed mid week break to recharge our batteries.

Again, thank you SO much. Your site has been amazing and has made this planning process all the more fun!

10 Dave { 03.26.14 at 9:06 am }

Thanks Rachel! Have a great visit and let me know how it goes!

11 Jennifer { 06.08.14 at 8:33 am }

I’m hoping you can shed some advise. My able to book our fastpass in a few days and I’m questioning how I should plan them.
Our first stop is Epcot and here is we’re I’m not sure. The girls and I have breakfast with the princess and the boys are going to soarin as soon as the park opens. I’m going to use the fast pass on test track. Do I book it for after the breakfast or do I do it in the afternoon and have the boys meet us in the world show case and do the rides in the afternoon? We are going in July one of the busiest times to go.
What fast pass must for MK we will be there for 2 days.

This site has helped us so much with planning our trip!!

12 Dave { 06.10.14 at 8:16 am }

Hi Jennifer! For general guidance see this: Your FP+ are best for 10.30a or later, as lines except Soarin and Test Track aren’t bad til then.

13 Shweta { 12.21.14 at 1:35 am }

Hi Dave,

We have six days Disney tickets which we want to use between 25th Dec 2014 to 1st Jan 2015. We are a couple with a 4 yrs old daughter. Do you have any itinerary to suit our days.

For 25th and 26th Dec we will be with a couple friends and their 2 yr old son.
Thanks in advance!

14 Dave { 12.21.14 at 12:31 pm }

Hi Shweta, unfortunately all my itineraries are for kids 8 and older. You’ll find some help, though, in Josh’s Cheat Sheets here:

15 Will { 01.18.15 at 7:56 pm }

Hi Dave,

What an amazing site! It is a masterpiece of planning. Please can you advise what I should do if I arrive on a Sunday evening with my first day in the parks on a Monday as your suggested itineraries start on a Saturday. I am arriving on Sunday 7 June 2015 and will depart on Wednesday 17 June and so have Monday 8th through to Tuesday 16th June available for visiting the parks. I have a six day park hopper ticket for the four main parks and intend to also spend one additional day at Typhoon Lagoon. We are also thinking of going to Universal Studios and Sea World for 1 day each thereby making up our 9 days available to us. We are a party of four – 2 adults and two boys aged 8 and 6. We spend our first 4 nights at The Polynesian and next 6 nights at The Beach Club.

With many thanks in advance,


16 Dave { 01.19.15 at 6:42 am }

Hi Will, and thanks so much for the kind words!!

Besides the issues with dates, this itinerary is also designed for 9 WDW park days. You can’t really fix it for both, so the best bet is to use the itineraries in my book The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2015

17 Will { 01.19.15 at 10:55 pm }

Hi Dave,

Thank you for your reply to my question and I will definitely order a copy of your book. The tricky part I have is that I live in China and wont be able to get it here (or at least it would take Amazon about 8 weeks to ship it and most things I have tried to get them to deliver here have gone missing). I am however going to the UK in a couple of weeks and so will get Amazon to send me a copy there. In the meantime would you be able to advise on which days of the week to visit which parks over that period so that I can make my restaurant reservations?

With many thanks again,


18 Dave { 01.20.15 at 9:13 am }

Will, you life is too complicated lol. You can find similar stuff to the itineraries in the book on the website of my co-author, here:

Here’s parks to avoid by day:
June 7: avoid all but MK
June 8: avoid MK and HS
June 9: avoid Epcot
June 10: Avoid AK and HS
June 11: Avoid MK
June 12: Avoid Epcot and HS
June 13: Avoid HS and MK
June 14: Avoid AK and HS
June 15: Avoid MK and HS
June 16: Avoid Epcot
June 17: Avoid HS and AK

19 Will { 01.21.15 at 1:52 am }

Dear Dave,

You are right my life is currently far too complicated! Thank you for your advice on which parks to visit on the dates that we will be at WDW. I note that you are avoiding parks on the days that they have extra magic hours. Given that we are staying in WDW resort hotels and can make use of extra magic hours would we not want to make use of these or are they still worth avoiding because of the extra numbers of visitors to parks on the days of their extra magic hours?

Thanks for the link to which is very helpful.

Best wishes and my thanks again for all your help,


PS: I have ordered the book!

20 Dave { 01.21.15 at 6:53 am }

Will, yup that’s it. There’s ~30k hotel rooms eligible for extra magic hours. You can imagine how many people, therefore, they draw. Morning EMH is great, but by late morning the park will be more crowded than on non-EMH days. Evening EMH provide little benefit except on nights at MK when park close is sufficiently late that they extend after midnight. With park hoppers, and if you plan to take afternoons off anyway (and thus are incurring no incremental travel time), EMH can be great (begin at the morning EMH park, hop away when it gets crowded), but otherwise I generally direct people away from them…

21 Jennifer { 02.14.15 at 8:57 am }

A question about Fast Passes for Hollywood Studios. We will only be there one day, so trying to decide which of three Fast Passes is most important to have. I’m thinking Toy Story Midway Mania for sure, but then not sure between Frozen SingAlong, Voyage of Little Mermaid and Star Tours, Great Movie Ride.

22 Dave { 02.15.15 at 9:44 am }

Jennifer, yes to TSM, which then knocks out Great Movie Ride, since it is also tier 1. After that, if you don’t want to see Tower of Terror, then Frozen and Voyage are the next best choices.

23 Gui { 02.22.15 at 10:34 pm }

Hi! I’m going to Orlando in March 7, and leaving in March 15. I will enjoy online one day at Magic Kingdom, and would like to know what day do you suggest. Thanks!

24 Jonathan { 04.22.15 at 4:39 pm }

We are looking at going to DW in November 2015. We are leaving on 11/19 because we have passes to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas. I was trying to figure out what Itinerary to go by. Should I just follow the fast pass+ high crowd for 11/21 or go with the basic December Itinerary. Your site has so much info I am almost overwhelmed, but in a good way. This will be the first time that me and my wife have been. Thanks for the help.

25 Dave { 04.23.15 at 8:16 am }

Hey Jonathan, you want the High Crowd itinerary, but see this for a required change to it. The Basic Itinerary does not work Thanksgiving week.

26 jade { 05.16.15 at 1:35 pm }

Hi Dave,
I’m arriving in Orlando on 24th November from the UK. Which parks would you advise us to visit around the Thanksgiving period in terms of lower crowds?

27 Dave { 05.16.15 at 3:22 pm }

Jade, I need an end date so I know when to stop!

But as a starting point, everything is crowded around Thanksgiving through the Saturday after.
11/24 avoid Epcot
11/25 avoid AK and MK
11/26 avoid MK and Epcot
11/27 avoid AK
11/28 avoid MK and HS
11/29 avoid HS
11/30 avoid MK

28 Marie deC { 05.18.15 at 10:04 am }

Hi Dave! Will be needing advise for disneyworld trip for July29-Aug. 5 2015 trip..arriving…12 noon on the 29th..flight noon on the 5th..will be staying at Disney Animal Kingdom Kidani Village..i had 1 dinner reservation chef mickey on the the 29th at 8pm…i only purschade base park hopper..please help… Thanks!

29 Dave { 05.18.15 at 5:53 pm }

Marie–are children coming too? If so, how old?

30 jade { 05.18.15 at 6:37 pm }

Hi Dave, we will be in Orlando until 8th December.
Thank you so much for your help, it is most appreciated !

31 Dave { 05.19.15 at 1:11 pm }

Got it–continuing the prior list,

12/1 Avoid Epcot
12/2 avoid AK and MK
12/3 avoid Epcot
12/4 avoid AK
12/5 avoid HS and MK
12/6 avoid HS
12/7 avoid MK
12/8 Avoid Epcot

32 Lauren { 05.22.15 at 5:54 am }

Love… Love… Love your site! You’ve done an amazing job of explaining all the details, tips and tricks! I can’t get enough of it!

My family is arriving at WDW around 12:30 on 11/27. I have 7 and 3.75 year old boys. We’re staying at PO Riverside, though 12/6 and like many, I want to minimize waiting is lines as best I can. I noticed that you recommended not starting with Magic Kingdom (I agree that it is the best park), and that for 11/27 you have recommended MK (of course it wasn’t a first day in the itinerary I was looking at). Is there another good option we could try? I think Epcot is open later in the day, (that park is my least favorite so half day might be all we need there). Also wanted to ask if you think it’ll be warm enough for the water parks when we are there? Lastly, is Mickey’ Very Merry Christmas Party worth the cost? Seems like we could do a lot with that much money. Thanks again for this wonderful website!

33 Jade { 05.22.15 at 7:15 am }

Hello Dave,
This is our 3rd time to WDW in the last 4 years but we are going Thanksgiving Week and I’ve never been at such a busy time, plus also new to fast pass+. Can you give me some guidance as to which parks would be the best to visit on which days? We will have days at the parks beginning Saturday, 11/21, and also Sunday 11/22, Monday 11/23, Tues 11/24, Weds 11/25 (5 day tickets). We check out and head back for home on Thanksgiving Day, so the intention is not to do anything at the parks on Thursday. So, this isn’t our first trip, won’t be our last, kids will be 7 and 3 and we tend to not go to Epcot since our kids are so young. We are staying at WL. Your advice is so valuable and appreciated!

34 Dave { 05.24.15 at 10:15 am }

Hi Lauren, and thanks for the kind words!!

11/27 MK and Epcot are good choices, AK is not, and HS is middling. Epcot is not open late that night, by the way, meaning it’ll be less crowded than if it were.

Temps are a crapshoot then–it might or might not be warm enough for the waterparks–see this.

I think MVMCP is a great choice, if you can afford it. See this for a review of the 2104 edition. It’s hard to say if its worth it without knowing what you’d spend the money on otherwise!!

35 Dave { 05.24.15 at 10:39 am }

Hi Jade and thanks for the kind words! The best intro to how to work FastPass+, frankly, is in my book, but see first this and its links.

Those dates–and ignoring Epcot–

11/21 avoid HS and MK
11/22 avoid HS
11/23 avoid MK
11/24 any are OK
11/25 avoid AK and MK

Note that there’s only two good MK days your dates, so grab those and work the rest in around it…

36 Lauren { 05.29.15 at 6:25 am }

Thank you so much for the earlier information! It seems we have a decent chance of getting a day in at a water park and if it’s too cold no worries because there are so many other things to do! We’ll definitely do MVMCP!

I have to book my dining tomorrow morning and I had planned that we would go to the parks early, have counter service for lunch and leave early afternoon, go back to hotel for pool, shower and/or nap and then do character meals (or other special dinners) around 6:30pm for dinner. Do you think my young boys will be too tired? They will be 7 and 3.75. My little guy stays up until 10pm most of the time anyway, so I think they”ll be fine but wanted to get your thoughts. Wondering if I should consider lunches for the character meals / table service and have counter service for dinner instead? My goal was not to tie us up in restaurants too much during our park time.

Also, we are staying at PO Riverside for 9 nights and I am trying to grasp what the buses will be like, and how much time is required to get places. Am I better off renting a car? I know the bus is probably better for trips to the MK. And what’s a reasonable price for a rental car? I keep thinking should I put that money toward a more conveniently located or higher end hotel. Any thoughts?

37 Dave { 05.31.15 at 7:25 am }

Lauren, rental car prices vary a ton, but almost assuredly will be much less daily than the price difference of going to a materially more convenient hotel. Given how long your trip is, start without a rental and if the buses drive you mad you can then rent one. There are rental facilities on property, and they will come get you at POR to get your car and drop you off after you return it.

I like your general approx to dining times. It’s a matter of where you want to put flexibility, and I agree with you to keep flexibilty in the parks.

38 Lauren { 06.01.15 at 9:20 pm }

Hi Dave,
Thank you so much for your help! Your advice is invaluable!

You were absolutely right! It is cheaper to rent a car than to upgrade the hotel, considerably cheaper. So in the interest of convenience, I’ve reserved a car and will continue to keep an eye out for cheaper deals. With small children I think we’ll appreciate the convenience of having a car, and we’ll be able to make better use of our time. I agreed with your suggestion to get there and try the buses and then book a car if you still want it, but kept thinking just splurge and get the car…so I did and I feel good about my decision because I used all your cost savings tips and feel like I found a great option.

I booked our dining 180 days out as you recommended (thank you for the recommendation! So glad I did this now!). Unfortunately The Garden Grill was booked on the day we wanted. Actually almost all of the Epcot restaurants were completely booked for November 28 (due to a Food & Wine event that day) so we are going to leave Epcot and go to Chef Mickey’s for dinner instead. They told me to try to reserve the Garden Grill again next week. Do the restaurants typically become available after being booked up during an event like the Food and Wine one at Epcot on 11/28?

Thanks again!

39 Jane { 06.02.15 at 12:10 am }

Hello Lauren, I was reading your comment thread and just wanted to say that we did our first trip with our car and similar age kids and having the car was heavenly. Getting around was so easy, and we were there during a high crowd time. Also, kids did fine with the long days, we just put a few shorter ones in there (one with an in room babysitter on day 3 so they could go to bed early and we could go out–that is great). All the sitter info is on the Disney site. We thought our almost 3 yr old would sleep in the stroller but she only did once the whole week. Too much fun everywhere! :)

40 Jeri { 06.02.15 at 9:31 am }

Thanks again for your recent email response. We ordered your book & should be receiving it soon. Our family of four (girl 6, boy 4) wi’ll be going on our second trip in WDW. We will be staying at Polynesian arriving Sun dec 27 & leaving Sat Jan 2. Can you recommend an itinery for those dates? Also we are thinking of doing the Spirit of Aloha first seating on New Years Eve. What do you think? Thank you again for your great advice.

41 Dave { 06.02.15 at 4:56 pm }

Yay, Lauren!

Food and wine will have been over for almost 2 weeks by the 28th of November. Garden Grill is not nearly popular enough to be fully booked at 180 days, so I suspect there’s a systems glitch…and thus would keep trying!

42 Dave { 06.02.15 at 5:08 pm }

Jeri, for specific itinerary advice ping me back after Disney’s calendar for January comes out, which it should do in a couple of weeks.

You are targeting the most crowded and expensive days of the year–with peak waits exceeding 4 hours on some rides. Are you sure you want to do that??

Spirit of Aloha is so-so, so I don’t particularly recommend it…

43 Lauren { 06.03.15 at 9:25 pm }

Thank you Jane and Dave! I love the babysitter idea! I am glad you told me to keep trying. For the last few days I’ve been checking for the garden grill to open up, and it’s available right now but I’m giving up dinner at Chef Mickeys in exchange to go to dinner at the Garden Grill. Regardless, we do have a reservation to go to Chef Mickeys for breakfast on our last day. What would you do?

Choices are: chef mickey’s twice, once for breakfast and once for dinner or;
The garden grill for dinner and chef mickey’s for breakfast.

44 Lauren { 06.03.15 at 9:38 pm }

Just ordered the book!!! Can’t wait to read it!!!! :)

45 Dave { 06.05.15 at 8:17 am }

Lauren, hope you love the book! I would do Chef Mickey’s just once…

46 Lauren { 06.05.15 at 10:54 pm }

Thank you again! I think that makes sense!

47 Lauren { 06.11.15 at 8:41 pm }

Hi Dave,

I took your advice not to do Chef Mickey’s twice. Thank you! The book arrived and I can’t stop reading it! I love it! The helpful tips and tricks are unending! I have a hard time putting the book down! Thank you so much for writing the book and for your recommendations! :)

We are staying at PO Riverside with a Riverview room, 7 day base tickets (which I will upgrade if needed), the Disney dining plan and a rental car. We have two boys 7 and 3, so we’re not planning any princess stuff. We are planning to go to parks in the mornings, have afternoons back at the hotel. We’ll go back out for events and/or dinners. Here are the planned park days and meal reservations we’ve made so far:

11/27 – Arrive / check-in / MK / Crystal Palace 6:30PM
11/28 – Epcot / Garden Grill 5:45PM
11/29 – MK / TREX @DTD 5:00PM
11/30 – AK / Sanaa 5:30PM
12/01 – HS / Hollywood & Vine 11:30AM & 1st Fantasmic Show
12/02 – HS / Sci-Fi Dine-in Theatre Restaurant 6:00PM
12/03 – MK / Tony’s Town Square 6:30PM / MVMCP
12/04 – MK / Hoop Dee-Do Review CAT1 at 6:15PM
12/05 – AK / Tusker House Restaurant 12:00PM / Rainforest Cafe @DTD 6:30PM
12/06 – Chef Mickey’s 8:30 AM / Airport

– Would you recommend changing any of these park day choices or restaurant selections?
– Do I still need to reserve a fast pass+ for Fantasmic on 12/01?
– I was planning to request a table by the windows at Sanaa but upon further thought, it will likely be dark outside at 5:30PM. Is the area lit up or should we consider an earlier time or different dining option?
– Should I try to get Be Our Guest Restaurant (or something else) instead of Tony’s Town Square?
– We have reserved a Riverview room and would like to request a convenient location near the main building, main pool, boats and preferably one of the first bus stops. My older son is interested in the trundle beds, but not sure if that’s enough of a selling point to sway us. Do you have a favorite location?

Thank you so much!

48 Dave { 06.13.15 at 8:01 am }

Lauren!! Great jobs on park days!

On dining, frankly you are over-scheduled. After a few days, dining reservations can become a bit of a burden (especially for the 3 year old) and some days where you don’t have to be anywhere at a specific time can be a godsend. I would drop Garden Grill and especially Tony’s Town Square, as you want to be able to get on the rides right at 7p for MVMCP and your booking is too late. Moreover, consider taking a day entirely off– you have plenty of park time. AK and HS each can be done in a day, and taking the day off after MVMCP would be another good choice.

Only do FP+ for Fantasmic if you keep two days at HS, as it is Tier 1 and Toy Story Mania is a much higher Tier 1 priority.

There’s no room choices at Riverside that optimize everything. The pros and cons are all here.

49 Lauren { 06.17.15 at 9:00 pm }

Hi Dave,
Thank you so much for the advice! I’ve only been to Disney a couple of times and it’s been 13+ years since my last visit. i absolutely cannot wait! I think I am more excited than my kids! Do you think if we arrive at HS on 12/1 and (or) 12/2 at 8:15AM we will be able to get the Jedi Training Academy, or should I keep trying for a breakfast reservation at Hollywood & Vine to get us into the park earlier? My 7 year old is so excited about the Jedi Training Academy but it seems like such a small group of kids get into it….

Do you think a breakfast reservation will even become available either of those days? If so, any strategies around when to check the website? I keep checking but no luck yet.

Thanks again!

50 Dave { 06.18.15 at 8:47 am }

Hi Lauren, most find little value to the rushed breakfast given how early the gates at HS sometimes open. 8.15 should work just fine!

51 Lauren { 06.18.15 at 7:55 pm }

Thanks again!

52 Kristin { 07.01.15 at 1:19 pm }

Hi Dave!

I love, love, love your site and all of the fabulous information you provide. Thanks so much for this valuable resource!!!

We are planning our 2nd ever trip to Disney for 12/27 – 01/02 (I know, worst time possible from a crowd standpoint.) Combining the school schedule (my boys are 12 & 15) and work schedules made that the only time that worked. We are staying at the Pop Century.

Am I better off following the high crowd itinerary or the six-night itinerary or a combo thereof as planning guidelines? The crowds will be really high, but we only have six nights, so I’m not positive where to start.

My boys are older, so princesses are less of a thing with them. Additionally, we need to build in an off day to attend another theme park in the Orlando area. So, that really only gives us five days at Disney. :(

My current thought
Sunday 12/27: travel, Epcot
Monday 12/28: Hollywood Studios (Fantasmic!, perhaps)
Tuesday 12/29: off
Wednesday 12/30: Magic Kingdom, dinner show
Thursday 12/31: Epcot, Illuminations
Friday 01/01: Magic Kingdom (Cinderella, Be Our Guest reservations)
Saturday 01/02: Animal Kingdom, travel

I might try for Candlelight Processional Dining (I was told they weren’t available to book yet) If I get them for Thursday, the schedule stays as-is, otherwise would swap Hollywood Studios and Epcot Monday – Thursday.

Basically, I’m looking for any advice on which parks / which days you can provide.
Thanks so much!!!

53 Susan { 07.02.15 at 7:57 am }

Hello! We, 2 adults, have 1 1/2 days at Disney, Sunday, the half day, we are doing Hollywood. How should we do MK and Epcot on Saturday (MK is open till 2 AM). Epcot first w/ fast pass and then to MK? Or MK first, Space Mt., then to Epcot for Test track and Mission, with fast pass, then back to MK? Or ??? Thanks in advance!

54 Dave { 07.02.15 at 6:18 pm }

Hi Krisitn and thanks!! None of the itineraries really fit your visit.

With a couple of exceptions, there’s not much difference across days. I can’t recommend anywhere but AK on the 31st, nor can I recommend MK the 30th. The 30th is a better off day, with MK the 29th.

55 Dave { 07.02.15 at 6:28 pm }

Um, Susan, I’m not sure why you would want to. The parks will be insanely mobbed, and the time you spend going from one to another will just put you further behind the lines. I’d settle on one, arrive well before it opens, and set FP+ there. MK is likely a better FP+ bet than Epcot, as the good Epcot FP+ are likely long gone…

56 Susan { 07.02.15 at 8:42 pm }

Thanks, Dave. I really appreciate your input. I already got FP for a Test Track and Mission Space for 9 and 10. I think I’ll do that and then go to MK. Do you think I will be able to get a FP for Space Mt at 12?

57 Kristin { 07.04.15 at 12:33 am }

Thanks for the input! I will switch MK to 12/29 and 01/01. I think we will be in Epcot on 12/27 and 12/28, with 12/31 as our off day.
Still soaking up all the info on this site!

58 Dave { 07.04.15 at 7:23 am }

:) Kristin

59 Kristin { 07.08.15 at 8:55 am }

Just got the the book in my kindle, excited to read it. I’m interested in opinions on scheduling items…. First,the current plan

Sunday 12/27 travel, Epcot. We land around 1:30pm
Monday 12/28 Epcot
Tuesday 12/29 Magic Kingdom, dinner show
Wednesday 12/30 Hollywood Studios
Thursday 12/31 off
Friday 01/01 Magic Kingdom with both Conderella for lunch and Be Our Guest for dinner
Saturday 01/02 Animal Kingdom, travel home :(

I want to book thenCandlelight Processional Dinig Package. Would Sunday or Monday be better? Part of me thinks Sunday as we only have partial time in the park and could stay focused on dinner and the precessional. If we use counter service exclusively on Monday, the eating times can be more flexible, (my crew doesn’t always like having to “commit” to stopping whatever we are doing to go make a reservation.) The other part of me thinks the kids will be too excited to be there Sunday night and won’t be cool with “only” eating dinner and seeing a show,


Thanks again for all the great info here!

60 Dave { 07.09.15 at 8:14 am }

Kristin, it’s so wildly crowded then that specific park days matter less–though I do like what you have planned. Note that with FastPass+ you can do the dinner, the processional, and also three Epcot rides with little waits on your arrival night, so long as you can get to Epcot by say 4. So I’d do that…

61 Kristin { 07.10.15 at 8:00 am }

Thanks For your feedback, Dave! I know I’m going during the most insane time of the year, so hearing the plan is somewhat workable is great news.

IF we can FsstPass a couple rides on Sunday night, in addition to dinner and the professional that seems like a winning day to me. The rides will hopefully satisfy my crew. Having our fixed dining reservation in Sunday will make Monday a counter service day which I think will appeal to them a lot. We can knock off early Monday evening for some downtime. It is our second trip, so we will likely focus on things we missed on trip one (Cinderella’s castle), revisiting favorites (Space Mountain) in each park. Anything else is a bonus!

thanks again!

62 Dave { 07.11.15 at 9:33 am }

Sounds great, Kristin.

63 David { 07.12.15 at 8:20 am }

Hi Dave, quick question on using your DW FP+ High Crowd itinerary. Due to work/school etc we arrive in FL (staying at Buena Vista Palace) Monday 3rd about 2:30pm,so after transfers etc we are unlikely to get into a park until at least 5 . What do you recommend we tweak in the order of the itinerary, or should we just leave as is? We have 1 week and are 2 adults and 13 + 17 year old girls who are more theme park experienced than we are! Any advice would be great! Cheers David (in U.K.)

64 Dave { 07.12.15 at 10:06 am }

David, what month?

65 David { 07.12.15 at 3:16 pm }

August – we arrive in 2 weeks time. I’ve just seen you recommend on the shorter itineraries page that you provide 7 day plan which looks great for a saturday to saturday holiday but you seem to have recommended to another person that for their holiday (Monday to Monday) it is best to avoid your plan and follow an alternative planner for August (on easy WDW site) and choose from recommendations there using their cheat sheets/guides. Is that a recommendation you’d suggest to make for us (arr Monday pm – leave Monday am)?

66 Dave { 07.13.15 at 9:24 am }

David, yes–use easyWDW to pick your days, then either use my daily itineraries or his.

67 Michelle { 07.17.15 at 11:00 pm }

Hi Dave! I’m budgeting for May 2016 so don’t have the schedule of our days yet, but plan to follow your itineraries and shuffle up the order if needed. Will do dining plan. Problem with my budget and personality is that we are probably overscheduled! Need your guidance on which meal ideas to cut! We do have reservation for Polynesian May 18-26.

MK -Travel day. Evening only, no reservation but maybe a fireworks something (kids first time are old enough to watch at 7 and 10)
HS – Sleep in, go for afternoon – Mama Mia or 50s Prime Time, Fantasmic focus (our first time)
AK – Tusker House character lunch, luau dinner at Polynesian
EP – pool day – evening only – Chefs of France and illuminations focus (girls love the Eiffel Tower)
MK – Be our guest lunch, quick dinner
EP – lunch Tutto Italian, dinner at La Hacienda (no pressure for Illuminations) We are big fans of the international showcase.
AK – Pool day. evening only if the evening show has opened. Yak & Yeti and 3 fastpasses before show. I did kick around idea of Sanaa or Boma and exploring that hotel before show.
MK – end with Cinderella Castle or Chef Mickey (leaning Castle due to Tusker House)
Help me cut if this is crazy! We are planning to spend a few afternoons by the pool as well, then return to park for electric parade or fireworks. I am most likely saving Hoop de Doo and California Grill for the next trip.
Thanks! Love your site!

68 Dave { 07.18.15 at 3:41 pm }

Michelle, yes you have over-done it… There’s not a lot I’d say “no” too, you just need to cut a couple of meals. I would not do more than one table service meal in a day very often. The Luau is weak; at the Poly the best family meal is breakfast with Mickey at ‘Ohana. I doubt the evening show will be open at AK then…Of what’s left on your list, Mama Melrose, Tutto Italia, La Hacienda particular are not in any fashion event meals–they are just places to eat…

69 michelle { 07.18.15 at 5:21 pm }

Thanks for the advice Dave. I’ll tweak a bit more! Any Epcot international showcase favorites? We’ve done Marakesh, Teppan Edo, and Via Napoli on previous trips.

70 Dave { 07.20.15 at 9:22 am }

Oh Michelle, it varies so much depending on the cuisine and setting and personal taste. For example my Dad and son love Biergarten, but I’m not a fan of German folk music.

71 Melissa { 09.28.15 at 3:24 pm }

Hi Dave,
I thought I had posted a question about my trip a few weeks ago, but I can’t seem to find it. My family of 4 ( two adults and two 8 years old boy and girl) are traveling to Disney for the first time. We are traveling with another family of 4 and we are actually renting a house in Kissimmee. I understand this is not the best way to do the first Disney trip, but it was more economical for us. We are arriving Friday, November 13th 2015 and will be leaving Friday, November 20th. We have already ordered tickets for the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas show for Tuesday Nov 17th. I was hoping you could give some insight as to how we should approach the itinerary for the week. We were planning on getting 5 day Park hoppers . Any suggestions would be greatly appreciate. Thank you!

72 Dave { 09.30.15 at 9:46 am }
73 Chad { 11.21.15 at 3:23 am }

Just noticed Soarin’ closes for renovations in January, reopening sometime next summer. Messes up the itinerary.

74 Dave { 11.22.15 at 11:58 am }

Yup. Mission Space will be Tier 1 while Soarin is out, so it replaces Soarin…I’ll be publishing an updated high crowd itinerary in a week or so…

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