FastPass+ Itinerary for Lower-Crowd Weeks



By Dave Shute

Below is the (revised mid-May 2014) FastPass+ based Disney World itinerary that replaces my old Autumn-Winter-Spring Itinerary for lower crowd weeks for trips beginning late August 2014.

It does not work all dates, and some dates that it works it needs some little adjustments. Check your week here.

Disney World FastPass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary from yourfirstvisit.net

 It has several differences from the old Autumn-Winter-Spring Itinerary–I’ll get more into the details another time, but here’s the key points:

  • It is built on FastPass+, not legacy Fastpass, takes advantage of multiple features of FastPass+, and as a result has many more sleep-in mornings!
  • It’s simplified.  There’s just one table service meal in Epcot now, rather than two, and Cirque du Soleil and the Gospel Brunch are out.  As wonderful as these are, the cost and complexity they add just isn’t worth it. The net is a much easier trip, and a much less expensive one
  • It doesn’t require a park hopper, but now costs two more ticket days–which is cheaper than a hopper anyway!
  • It avoids Extra Magic Hours (EMH) entirely.  EMH are generally a bad idea, so my past itineraries have used them sparingly for specific purposes. FastPass+ lets me address the purposes for which I used EMH before, so now no parks are visited on EMH days.  This means, incidentally, that the itineraries work both for those staying on and off-site.

The recommended FastPass+ that make it work are in the To-Do List, so you can book them at the 60 day window for FastPass+ sign-ups. Daily agendas are in the links:

This itinerary is a revision of a previously published FastPass+ itinerary.  With the exception of one cancelled meal, all dining is the same, so those who have made ADRs based on the old version are fine–they just have to cancel the Gospel Brunch.  The details of the old version are here.

Thanks are especially due to Josh from 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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80 comments

1 Heather { 01.14.14 at 7:52 am }

When you say that EMH are generally a bad idea, are you referring to both AM and PM? We never do AM EMH, or even go to a park that has AM EMH that day as it tends to be crowded. But we loooove PM EMH. On a related note, do you have itineraries for people who like to sleep in when on vacation? :)

2 Dave { 01.14.14 at 8:01 am }

Hiya Heather!

Both morning and evening EMH attract extra guests from the 30,000 WDW hotel rooms. Those without hoppers then have that as their park all day. MK late close nights with evening EMH on top can be fine and a hoot–e.g. from 1a to 3a–but the rest of the day park will still be busier than on other days…and they aren’t as great as they were when they were three extra hours, instead of two…

And no, I don’t have late-arrival itineraries, but FP+ makes sleeping in so much easier!! You can find late arrival itineraries on TouringPlans.com

3 Michelle { 01.14.14 at 10:51 am }

TouringPlans is paid subscribers only?

4 Lisa { 01.14.14 at 7:10 pm }

Hi Dave,
I can’t wait for Sept. park hours to come out. I’ve been working on my itinerary for Sept. 19-29. Yup 10 days. I want to put in a rest day but there is so much to see and do. How about resting in the parks? Any good tips for that? Also how would you do a 10 day itinerairy? Thank for the helpfull info. Keep up the good work. :-)

5 Dave { 01.15.14 at 7:08 am }

Michelle it has a mix of free and paid content…it’s not my money but I think it is way worth it…

6 Dave { 01.15.14 at 7:32 am }

Lisa, the old approach to a ten day itinerary would be to grab every early morning your family could take, so that you had lotsa headliners at rope drop and thus cut your overall waits, and to add to that as many full days off–without evening restaurant reservations–as you could, to keep yourself sane.

FP+ pays off the more days you can spend in the parks, and thus lets you sleep in more, because rope drop is not as big an issue if you already have a lot of big long wait stuff booked for late afternoon! So I’d aim for 5 early mornings–one at each park except 2 at MK–9 total days in the parks, and one day completely off about halfway in…

There’s a couple of rides notorious for being good settings for naps, especially at MK–but not as good a strategy as using FP+ to limit early mornings!

7 Lynn { 01.16.14 at 8:50 am }

Hi Dave! Thanks for these revised itineraries! I have two questions. We’re early risers and will be staying onsite. Would there be any advantage to catching as many morning EMHs as possible and hopping to the recommended park mid-morning? I read that is a popular strategy and I’m thinking it’d be getting more out of the $ we’ll be paying to stay on property, but we’ve got children who will be ages 8 and 6 when we visit. I’m afraid hopping will be too overwhelming for them and sticking to your itineraries’ recommendations would be helpful. I’m not sure if we’ll be taking mid-day breaks back at the resort. What is your opinion? Thanks in advance!

8 Lynn { 01.16.14 at 8:58 am }

My second question: We will likely be staying 8 nights Friday – Friday. How would you change the 8 night itinerary for a Friday arrival? Thanks!!

9 Dave { 01.16.14 at 6:28 pm }

Lynn, if you wouldn’t be leaving the park anyway, I wouldn’t EMH/hop too often with a 6yo. You just waste time walking and on transport.

But spending the full day at a morning EMH park works better under FP+ as you can book your FP+ for later morning and early afternoon, do a lot of rides from 8-10 or so and not have to wait a lot, plus keep the flexibility to collapse and get a nap mid afternoon (which is why you book the FP+ late morning/early afternoon). You just have to be careful not to book FP+ for rides you’ll see the first 90 minutes anyway.

10 Dave { 01.16.14 at 6:29 pm }

Lynn, not to be a math nazi, but Friday-Friday is seven nights! Clarify for me if 8 nights or seven, and I can help

11 Lynn { 01.16.14 at 8:19 pm }

Sorry, Dave! By Friday to Friday I meant Friday night through Friday night, check ing out Saturday morning. Thanks! And thanks also for the input on morning EMH/hopping and FP+.

12 Dave { 01.17.14 at 6:42 am }

Got it, Lynn–but I forgot to ask you, what is your arrival date?

13 Lynn { 01.17.14 at 8:24 am }

Arrival date is Friday, May 2. Thanks!

14 Dave { 01.18.14 at 9:53 am }

OK Lynn! Do “First Saturday” on your arrival Friday, noting that becasue of evening extra magic hours you’ll be able to stay at Epcot later than it indicates. Then do on your first Saturday all of what’s shown as Wednesday, plus also the evening part of Second Saturday. On Wednesday do what’s shown as Friday, and on Friday do what’s shown as Second Saturday mornings!

Note that I haven’t completed the daily details of this itinerary yet, but am targeting doing so by the end of Feb, so you’ll have the missing specifics you’ll need for e.g. the rest of your FastPass+ by your 60 day mark when you can book FastPass+…

15 Jessie { 01.19.14 at 11:10 am }

Hi Dave, thanks for all your updates- love reading them as always! We just booked our trip for May 4-8th. We’ll arrive MCO by noon and stay at Contemporary. Plan for Epcot on Monday 5/5, waterpark on 5/6, & MK on 5/7. If we want to try StarTour & TSM at DHS, should we try going on our arrival day for 1/2day, or is it better to go on Epcot day? We have hopper tickets. Thank you for your advise!

16 Dave { 01.20.14 at 6:26 am }

Jessie, you can only get FastPass+ for one par per day. To see TSM, you need ot either show up at open or use FastPass+. The same is true for a key ride or two at Epcot, though, too, so I’d do HS on your arrival day with FastPass+ for TSM and Star Tours.

17 jane { 01.21.14 at 5:51 pm }

Excited that your itineraries are out for end of August so I can start planning our WDW trip in detail! We are travelling from the UK with our boys (10 and 7 and nearly 48 inches!). Friday 15th – Friday 29th (but planning on spending 3 days in non Disney parks).

I’m exciting about the planning but also quite daunted by all the decisions that need to be made in the next few weeks so your site has been invaluable.

A couple of questions:
We get to Disney on a Friday but travelling from the UK would mean that we would not want to do anything much but sleep on our arrival day. So Saturday would be our first full day – how would you revise the itinerary to accommodate this?

Friends tell us that the jet lag means that we could be up very early on our first few days. I understand why you advise against using the early EMH as the parks get much busier but we may be up at 5 am anyway! Would this change things?

Thanks!

I’m exciting about the planning but also quite daunted.

18 Dave { 01.22.14 at 7:45 am }

Hi Jane! First, the itineraries start on Saturday (in them, “First Saturday” means “Saturday,” not “Day 1,” so you’ll be fine spending a day recovering. Second–getting you on the 5a wake ups–sure, do morning EMH. Schedule your FastPass+ for early afternoon, and plan to nap the rest of the afternoon….

19 Gregory Wallace { 01.28.14 at 8:24 pm }

I am planning on arriving Tuesday August 19band departing on Wednesday Aug 27. To complicate matters another couple is meeting us on the 20th and staying until the 24, so that may require us to alter our itinerary a bit. What do you recommend we follow for those days?

20 Dave { 01.29.14 at 8:00 am }

Gregory, are you bringing kids, and if so, what ages?

21 Gregory Wallace { 01.29.14 at 2:01 pm }

Age 2 and 7

22 Dave { 01.30.14 at 9:18 am }

Gregory, at those ages I’d thin out Epcot. To accommodate the other couple, I’d plan on two days at MK and one at each of the other three parks the 20th-24th. Do MK on the 20th and 23, HS the 21st, AK the 22nd, and Epcot the 24th. For the rest of your visit, just return to what your kids liked best from the 20th-24th!

23 Michelle { 01.30.14 at 10:17 am }

here’s another question – when i book all my FP+, it only allows me to book for Me,my husband and daughter. My son is free since he is under 2 so he isnt allowed to be checked off…. will be still be allowed on rides that are not height restricted without actually having his own FP+ reservation???

24 Dave { 01.31.14 at 6:55 am }

Yes, Michelle, he’ll be able to come along!

25 Gregory Wallace { 02.03.14 at 7:35 am }

I was looking to do fantasmic on the day we arrived Tuesday August 19th. Historically the show is on Tuesdays. Is this still true?

26 Gregory Wallace { 02.03.14 at 8:24 am }

Also am I better off seeing Illuminations from a restaurant seat?

27 Dave { 02.04.14 at 9:06 am }

Gregory, for a couple of years now Fantasmic has been back to its nightly schedule.

Maybe one night every couple of months, when HS closes at 6 for a private party, it’s off, but you can pretty much count on it any night otherwise. On 8/19 it’s scheduled for 8.30p–see this: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/DTA-Domestic/pdf/ParkHours/WDW_Operating_Calendar_aug.pdf

28 Dave { 02.04.14 at 9:07 am }

Gregory, there are very few spots from restaurants you can see it from, and all are hotly fought for. So I wouldn’t count on getting one…

29 Katherine { 02.04.14 at 2:51 pm }

We are planning to honeymoon at WDW arriving Sunday, August 31 and departing Sunday, September 7…I believe the six or seven day park hopper option would work. This is our first time to WDW. We are looking for an affordable Disney resort to stay at. We were thinking of Disney’s Caribbean Resort. What is your opinion on that? As well, what itinerary do you recommend using? In addition, we want to avoid character dining, what dining places can you recommend. We were thinking of getting deluxe dining as it’s offered as the same price right now as the basic dining package. Finally (I apologize for the lengthy message, I love your website and have so many questions) what extra honeymoon type this can you recommend and what days on the itinerary do you recommend to do them? Some sort of boat cruise with fireworks may be nice , I think maybe it’s offered with Illuminations? Anyways, your opinion is greatly appreciated!

30 Katherine { 02.04.14 at 3:03 pm }

Oh I forgot to mention, I have celiac disease and must only eat foods that are gluten free. Do all the restaurants at WDW offer good food options for me? Last question for now, promise.

31 Maria Evans { 02.04.14 at 9:49 pm }

We’ve booked our vacation 9/21-9/27 ( I know not ideal dates but airfare was a little over $200 more per person for mid-late October dates :-/) I was wondering when you’d have a September’14 itinerary?? I need to make my dreaded 180 ADR March 25 and Im at a lost fof what days I need to make what!! Plan on 1st day dtd 2nd-6th in parks MK 2xs all others 1x! Your site has helped me so much but Im still so lost!!!

32 Dave { 02.05.14 at 2:34 pm }

Oh Katherine, I’m sorry, but I don’t have much to say about honeymoons, but here’s some other thoughts:

For your hotel, I think among the moderates that Port Orleans French Quarter is the most romantic–see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/06/26/the-most-romantic-walt-disney-world-resorts/

For suggested dining, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/where-to-eat/dining-alternatives/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-dining/

33 Dave { 02.05.14 at 2:39 pm }

Katherine, Disney is wonderful with food issues. See this https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/special-dietary-requests/ and also check out this great site http://www.allergyfreemouse.com/

34 Dave { 02.05.14 at 2:52 pm }

Hi Maria! My September stuff will be out shortly after Disney publishes its September calendar, around the middle of this month!

35 ShannonE { 03.16.14 at 9:10 pm }

Hi Dave! I love your site. We just booked the Sept special. We are local so we are only staying for 3 nights (9/10-9/13). We are staying at the Contemporary and going to MK for 2 days (9/11 & 9/12). We are eating at California Grill night of arrival (sounds funny being a local) and Cinderella’s Royal Table on 9/11 at 7pm. That’s all the meals we have planned.
My daughter will be turning 3 and this trip is all about her and the princesses. There are no other children to please, so with that being said, what should we FP+ and when?!?! Thank you!!

36 Dave { 03.17.14 at 7:55 am }

Hi Shannon and thanks!!

I focus on kids 8 and older, so don’t have much to offer you. You’ll find suggestions aimed at younger kids here: http://www.easywdw.com/category/cheat-sheets/

37 KE { 03.17.14 at 10:27 pm }

Shannon-

We went in December with two 2yr olds and a 6 yr old…

Enchanted Tales w/ Belle, Little Mermaid ride, and Princess Meet & Greet (StoryBook Hall) are great bets for your princess! FP+ all of them and if stand-bys aren’t so bad, then do the ride/experience multiple times or switch to another FP+ choice at the kiosks.

I cannot put into words our experience at Enchanted Tales with Belle. All the adults in our group cried (even the men) watching our kids interact and become a part of the show. True Disney magic!

38 Dave { 03.18.14 at 7:18 am }

Thanks KE!!

39 Mark W { 03.18.14 at 11:59 am }

Excellent site Dave. I have our first family visit to Disney from UK this October, arriving Tuesday 7th October in the evening and leaving on Wednesday 15th October (to go to Clearwater for a few nights recovery!). Given jet lag we’ll go straight to bed on Tuesday so Wed 8th will be our first day. 3 kids – boys aged 8 and 6 and girl aged 4.5yrs. No dining plan since I found a great deal on conciege at Grand Floridian so will do breakfasts and mid-afternoon rests/snacks there and choose where I spend $$ on other dining. Have 8 day park hopper tickets including water parks (since we will do that at least once I suspect). My questions are which 2 or 3 dining experiences would you focus on securing 180 days out with this family/trip set up? Also anything to avoid planning wise (suspect we’ll do at least 2 days and possible one evening at MK, 1 day AK, 1 day HS and some time at Epcot and try and rest in afternoons so we get some evenings without the kids (and us flaking out). Much appreciated. Mark

40 Dave { 03.19.14 at 7:16 am }

Hi Mark and thanks!

With those ages I’d aim for the classics–some or all of Chef Mickeys, Crystal Palace, Hoop Dee Doo Revue, 1900 Park Fare at GF.

The key your dates is that while overall resort crowds are low, Epcot and MK can be wildly crowded on certain days. See this for why and how to avoid such crowds: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/04/30/crowds-and-walt-disney-world/

41 Stephanie { 03.22.14 at 1:28 am }

Hello Dave,
Our first visit is Oct 11-18th, kids 5&8 (boy/girl). We do plan to do the Not so scary Halloween as that is a fav holiday and we usually do a family dress up every year. I looked at your itinerary. We will swap the Tues/Thurs as you recommend, and I think we will put the Halloween party in on Monday the 13th. Do you think that is an issue to have our first time at MK at the Halloween party?
We are there 7 nights, so I have to cut a day off the itinerary as well. With the ages above what would be better the Hoop-Dee-Doo review or the Crystal Palace?
Lastly, have you updated the 7 day itinerary to FP+ yet?
Thank you for all your help in my planning of this trip, I really appreciate it!
Stephanie

42 Dave { 03.22.14 at 2:51 pm }

Hi Stephanie, it’s fine to see MK at a Party for the first time!

The 7 night FP+ itinerary is here http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/01/16/seven-night-fastpass-lower-crowd-itinerary-saturday-arrival/

Note that as it does not have you going to Fantasmic on Thursday, there’s no need in it to swap Tues and Thurs!!

43 Lorraine { 03.29.14 at 1:16 am }

Hi Dave,
Love your site it has been very helpful in planning our very first trip to Disney world. We are planning on August 17 til 24, 2014. Your itineraries start on a Saturday but we aren’t arriving until Sunday how do you revise the itinerary to accommodate the Sunday arrival?
Thank you for advice
Lorraine

44 Dave { 03.29.14 at 6:47 am }
45 Stacey { 04.01.14 at 10:22 pm }

Hiya Dave,
We are arriving at night Oct 9th and departing Oct 19th, we have two boys ages 6 and 9. We will be doing fast pass and dining with our package. The catch is two of our days we will be at the Universal parks (Oct 14 and 15th likely when there’s no Halloween nights but not completely sure yet) so which itinerary would you suggest we follow? We will be doing MK, Epcot and HS. No AK or water parks. We would like to have one night in MK for Halloween and one night for Wishes and the parade. Thank you so much, your reviews and website are amazing!!!
Stacey

46 Dave { 04.02.14 at 8:30 am }

Hi Stacey and thanks! As you note, I don’t have anything that’s a good match. Suggest you pick your park days and then use Josh’s cheat sheets to build daily itineraries. His cheat sheets are here: http://www.easywdw.com/category/cheat-sheets/

You’ve got lots of options for your days. In general, avoid parks on EMH days, and avoid MK during the day on nights it has Wishes and the evening parade. You can see the specifics here: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_october.pdf

47 Krystal { 05.12.14 at 11:15 pm }

Hi Dave,

My family and I are arriving on Monday, November 10 and leaving Saturday, November 15th. We were planning to do a half day on the 10th and 15th with travel. We have 2 girls, 2.5 and 4.5 year old, and this is our first visit. We are booked at the Polynesian, which we were warned will be under construction. Do you have any advise on which days we should visit which parks? We are interested in the Christmas party, but I’m not sure which day would be best for that. I would appreciate any help that you can give.

48 Dave { 05.13.14 at 12:22 pm }

Hi Krystal! The 10th is good at MK and Epcot. The 11th, avoid MK and Epcot. The 12th, avoid AK–and this is the best day your dates to see the evening events at MK. Avoid MK the 13th, Epcot the 14th–a good MK day–and avoid HS the 15th. The best MVCMP date during your visit will be the 13th.

49 Krystal { 05.13.14 at 2:43 pm }

Thanks Dave! That’s very helpful. You recommend avoiding MK on the 13th, but that’s the best day fro MVMCP. We weren’t planning to purchase a hopper. Would we be able to enter MK for just the party with the party ticket and visit another park during the day?

Also, based on your recommendations I’m thinking the schedule below. Any specific character events/meals we should schedule given the girls ages and the specific parks? I’ve heard a lot about Be our guest and the Hoop dee doo, but unsure since we’ve never been before.
10th (half day) – MK
11th – AK
12th – MK
13th – HS or Epcot followed by MVMCP
14th – MK
15th – (half day) AK

50 Dave { 05.14.14 at 7:06 am }

Krystal, yes you can use a regular day ticket at another park the 13th, then go to the part yon that ticket later that day! The rest of your schedule looks great!

51 Katie { 05.17.14 at 12:07 pm }

Hi Dave, my husband and I are going to Disney Nov 9-16 (7 nights) I was looking at your schedule and I am not sure how to adjust for one less night. Any suggestions?

52 Vanessa Coleman { 05.17.14 at 1:17 pm }

Hello, We are planning to visit WDW arriving late 9/12/14 and leaving 9/20/14. We have a 4 day park hopper with water park option (military salute). What parks should we visit on which days? We have an 8 yr old and a 5yr old. Thanks!

53 Dave { 05.18.14 at 10:26 am }

Hi Katie!! USe this one, but swap Tuesday and Thursday, as there’s no Fantasmic Thursday night that week: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/01/16/seven-night-fastpass-lower-crowd-itinerary-sunday-arrival/

54 Dave { 05.18.14 at 10:28 am }

Hi Vanessa! Here’s parks to avoid those dates:
9/12 avoid AK
9/13 avoid HS, MK
9/14 avoid HS
9/15 avoid all but Epcot–a good water park day
9/16 Avoid Epcot
9/17 Avoid Epcot
9/18 Avoid Mk
9/19 Avoid Epcot, AK
9/20 Avoid Epcot, HS

55 Kelly { 06.04.14 at 12:43 pm }

HI Dave, Thanks for all your hard work on the itineraries! We are visiting Oct. 26th to Nov 3rd. I have mostly followed your lower crowd itinerary, however I have a concern around my 2nd sunday. Wondering what your thoughts are on this? I know weekends at Epcot can be crazy during F&W, but I really want 2 days at Epcot. So my thinking is we would do mostly F&W on the first EPCOT day and focus elsewhere on the Sunday Epcot day. My current plans are below and would like to hear your feedback.

Mon. 10/27 – Epcot
Tue. 10/28 – Blizzard Beach
Wed. 10/29 – MK
Thur. 10/30 – HS
Fri. 10/31 – Free Day – Kids do pirate cruise
Sat. 11/1 – MK
Sun. 11/2 – Epcot

Thanks!

56 Dave { 06.05.14 at 9:10 am }

Kelly, I think your approach to Epcot will work just fine. I’m more concerned about your MK days, as you have chosen a couple of really busy ones. MK will be much better Tuesday or Thursday than Weds or Sat…

57 Kelly { 06.05.14 at 11:53 am }

Thanks for the feedback. I could switch Tuesday and Wednesday no problem. I’m think at that time of year it probably won’t matter what day we hit BB. What would you suggest for Saturday if I try to move MK away from that day? Thanks again for all your help!

58 Dave { 06.06.14 at 7:40 am }

Kelly–moving one should be fine, especially since the reason these dates are busy is because they have the evening program, whihc is still worth seeing! Saturday arrive befroe open, target your FastPass+ for late morning/early afternoon, take a nap, and return for the parade and fireworks.

59 Jeff { 06.09.14 at 10:54 am }

Hey Dave!

I asked before about this, so at the risk of appearing OCD: I’m getting antsy about Sunday 9/14. I had originally planned HS, but when they switched EMH to that day I swapped HS with AK on 9/16. We have an ‘Ohana reservation on 9/16 which fits perfectly with the closing time of AK. Leaving HS early that day to get to Poly is d0-able, but less ideal than just leaving AK when it closes.

Anyway, as always I’m overthinking it, but Touring Plans is still listing a crowd level of 1 for HS on 9/14 despite the EMH, and I’m tempted to just go with it since it’s a (relatively) low attendance period anyway. What’s your experience with Touring Plans crowd levels? Is it still too far out to trust the current prediction?

As always, thanks for the advice!

60 Dave { 06.10.14 at 8:30 am }
61 Pauline { 06.18.14 at 8:28 am }

Hi Dave

Thanks so much – your website is great!

My husband and I are going to Disney January 23rd-31st. How do I adjust the Jan 24th itinerary for the Friday arrival and Saturday departure? Do I still swap the Sunday/Monday?
Thanks again for your help – love, love, love your site.

Cheers

62 Dave { 06.18.14 at 11:08 am }

Hi Pauline–first, ignore swapping Sunday and Monday, that was a mistake and I’ve taken it off! I bet you love me less now…

Do what the itin shows for first Saturday on Friday. Do what it shows for Weds as your first Saturday. Do Sunday-Tuesday as written. Wednesday do what it shows for Friday, do Thursday as written, Friday do what it shows for Second Sat, and second Sat do what it shows for Second Sunday.

63 Pauline { 06.18.14 at 2:23 pm }

Dave,

Nope, still love you!

Cheers,

Pauline

64 Kim { 06.19.14 at 3:52 pm }

Dave,
My family is going to Disney October 7 through October 12. Hoping to take advantage of the low crowds. I have a 4 year old and 7 year old. We get up no later than 6:30 am :) I really want to do the Halloween party, which is on the 9th and 10th. Would you recommend going to Magic Kingdom that whole day on the 9th? (possibly going back to the hotel at 12:30-1 for a quick nap before the party).

Here is what I thought
Tues evening: Epicot?
Wed: Animal Kingdom
Thursday: Magic Kingdom
Friday : Hollywood Studios

Thanks so much for your direction.

65 Dave { 06.20.14 at 7:49 am }

:) Pauline

66 Dave { 06.20.14 at 8:00 am }

Hi Kim! Epcot has EMH Tuesday, and MK Thursday, so I can’t recommend those parks those days–especially since there’s little at Epcot for a 4 year old anyway. Since there’s not much at HS either, I’d do HS the evening of the 7th, AK weds as you have it, the party Thursday night (you can enter with your party tix at 4p, so just take the earlier part of the day off) and MK again on Friday.

67 Melinda { 07.03.14 at 5:12 am }

Dave,
Your website is awesome! We are going September 6-13th and staying off property in a house 2.5 miles from Disney. I would love your imput on some schedule and Fast pass ideas. We are arriving mid afternoon on the 6th, so we figured the day would be off unless there is a reason to go later in the evening. I had been told that when you stay off property that you don’t get to stay as late in the parks? Our kids area 7 and 5. We have only bought the not so scary disney park pass for Tuesday, September 9th so far. Our flight leaves early on Saturday the 13th. We had considered just a 4 day pass but one of the days was going to be the not so scary Disney. So, that leaves 3 potential full days. We had decided we would probably skip Epcot and we had originally thought we might use one day for going to Cocoa beach….but it is not a definite. Being off Disney propery 2 1/2 miles away what would you recommend for the ages of our kids and time there, should we do 5 days at Disney and skip beach? Are eligible to have early morning hours if we don’t stay at Disney? So many questions I have…..anything you can advise is greatly appreciated.

68 Melinda { 07.03.14 at 5:29 am }

One more thing, my kids are girls, tall for their age and love great rides….any that they are Allowed to do including roller coasters. I think I read somewhere in all your info about taking them to be part of a show…maybe beauty and the beast???

69 Dave { 07.03.14 at 9:52 am }

Melinda, first yes you can’t go to morning or evening extra magic hours. See this for an example of how those worked last year (this year will be a little different–it’s just an example) http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/09/06/next-week-september-7-through-september-15-2013-at-walt-disney-world/

But I don’t particularly recommend these EMH , so there’s no real loss there.

The parks take 6+ days to fully see (4+ excluding Epcot, which is a fine thing to exclude at those ages…) so I would skip the beach. You can find beaches elsewhere…

You want two days at MK and one each at HS and AK. MK will be quite crowded the 7th and 10th so aim for your second day (treating the party, which you can arrive at at 4p despite your tix saying 7p) as one of your days) the 8th.

The 7th will be much better at Disney’s Hollywood Studios than at AK, so go there then. And go to AK the 10th.

70 Dave { 07.03.14 at 9:54 am }
71 Andrea { 07.04.14 at 12:07 am }

Hello Dave! I am a frequent visitor to your site for all the latest info! Much appreciated! I am a 2-time WDW visitor; once with my husband only, and then with my 2 year old son in 2011. We are planning an early 2015 trip for at least a solid week; either end of February (we were there early Feb over Valentine’s Day in 2011, and early September when it was just the two of us) or sometime in April, after the Easter weekend the 4th/5th. As they have not yet released discounts (dining or room), we are having a hard time deciding when the cheapest option would be for us. Do you suggest calling and booking a bunch of weeks, or waiting for the online booking to become available? Do you know when this should be? I like to compare and see numbers for myself. We are interested in Mod-Deluxe resorts; having stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge 1st, and Port Orleans 2nd. Don’t think we’d be happy at a Value?? Any suggestions or info would be very much appreciated! Thanks for laying it all out there!

72 Dave { 07.04.14 at 8:18 am }

Hi Andrea and thanks!!! First I don’t expect any dining deals in 2015 until August or so. Room rate deals are likely for each of your periods, but won’t be announced until much later, perhaps December. 2015 prices and on-line booking should come out soon–perhaps as soon as Weds–it came out the Weds after the 4th the last two years. So I’d wait, as you’ll get real info soon enough. Booking now will not affect your ability to try for a discount if one is announced later.

Honestly, unless you can’t stand the thought of full-sized beds or the absence of a coffee maker, I’d try a value. Since hotels are the main manageable cost in a stay, it’ll be good for you to know if such will work for you or not. If doing so seems risky to you, then do a split stay–start in a value for a couple of nights, then switch to a deluxe or mod for the second half. (Don’t reverse the order, or the value will suffer too much from comparison.)

Both your date targets are fine. The difference will be that April will likely be warmer and prettier, in the full bloom of spring…

73 Amanda { 07.10.14 at 3:41 pm }

I see this is for Sept-13 and on. But What if I arrive Spet 15-22? Please help.

74 Dave { 07.11.14 at 7:17 am }

Amanda your trip is for a day shorter and different days, so the itinerary isn’t really adaptable to that.

Instead, use this one as your starting point http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/01/16/seven-night-fastpass-lower-crowd-itinerary-sunday-arrival/

but
1. Do what it shows for the first Sunday on Monday 9/15
2. Do Tuesday-Saturday as written
3. Do what it shows for Monday on 9/21
4. Do what it shows for the second Sunday on 9/22

75 Pauline { 07.14.14 at 9:29 am }

Good Morning Dave. I really appreciate all the work you’ve put into this fabulous website. You mentioned that the itineraries avoid EMH. For the week of Jan 24th, touringplans is showing EMH at HS on the first Sunday and MK for the second Saturday – is this correct?

Cheers,

Pauline

76 Greg { 07.14.14 at 2:30 pm }

Hi Dave,
Great website and looking for some specific advice.
We arrive in Orlando at 2pm on Friday, November 14th and fly out early morning on Monday the 24th. We have a Kidani Village 1 bedroom through DVC for 6 nights (14th through 20th) so have three nights left to book and were leaning towards using Starwood points on one of their properties such as the Swan. We are staying at the airport the night of the 23rd.
Haven’t bought park tickets yet but I can redeem AirMiles (up here in Canada) for 7 day passes for the family (5 of us total with kids ages 10, 7 and 3) and wondering if that would suffice, or if not, how we could add a couple days onto that if even possible.
I see you also recommend we swap a few days in the itinerary the week of the 15th – is that to accommodate fireworks and/or the Christmas options? I’m not sure what to do with us arriving a day earlier as well.
We are first time visitors so your guidance would be hugely appreciated!
Thanks!
Greg

77 Dave { 07.15.14 at 7:27 am }

Pauline, you are right!! Here’s the scoop: effective July 19, 2014, the routine night for MK evening EMH has shifted to Saturdays (altho there’s still some variations.) See this for more: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/07/10/assorted-disney-world-updates/ I’m not gonna change the itineraries, though, as I put people in MK on Saturdays in almost all my itineraries for multiple reasons!

78 Dave { 07.15.14 at 7:40 am }

Hi Greg and thanks! The swapping of days is to avoid higher crowd days becasue of changes in the “usual” operating patterns that week. Seven days is fine, although my itineraries are for longer, so that you can relax more. Because sometimes there are restrictions on tickets sold through “alternative” means, I can’t really comment on the AirMiles tix and whether you can extend them on site like you could a ticket that you bought directly from WDW.

With seven days and those ages I’d do three days at MK, two at Epcot, and one each at HS and AK. With one more day I’d split HS into two days, and with a ninth day I’d spit AK.

My itinerary isn’t really revisable inot fewer days, but you can still target the parks on the days I suggest (including the swapping) and you can find mix-and-match daily itineraries in my book The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit.

79 Allison { 07.15.14 at 3:14 pm }

Hi Dave,
Im trying to plan a visit for my family in october 2015. Ive been checking the disney site daily, but no dates for 2015 are available for booking yet and no one can give me a straight answer when i ask. Any idea when these 2015 dates will be released?

80 Dave { 07.15.14 at 6:23 pm }

Hi Allison, I keep hearing any day now…

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