To-Do List for FastPass+ Itinerary for Lower-Crowd Weeks
By Dave Shute
A. MORE THAN 180 DAYS BEFORE YOUR PLANNED ARRIVAL DATE
(Note that a good travel agent, such as Destinations in Florida, can do almost all of this for you, for free. If you use Destinations in Florida as you travel agent through a link for this site–like this one–then they share a bit of the pixie dust they get from Disney with me.)
2. Make your plane reservations, if flying. Make any other needed transportation arrangements.
3. Create your My Disney Experience account here and add your family members to it
4. Set up your hotel and tickets. Call 407-939-7675 (preferred, because this allows you to tell the reservationist which building at your resort you wish to be in), or click here to use Disney’s online system. (Note: if your dates are later than what the online system permits, see this.)
- If you are following my itinerary, you want the hotel you’ve picked for 8 nights, nine day, no hopper, no “water parks and more” tickets, the Dining Plan, and Disney’s Magical Express
- Itineraries other than mine will have different requirements here
B. 181 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE
Decide whether on your first night you’ll be dining at Akershus or the San Angel Inn. Akershus is a princess meal–you’ll have another princess meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table on Wednesday. If you really like princesses, do Akershus; otherwise, San Angel Inn is the better choice.
Login to your MyDisneyExperience.com account, click the “Things to Do” tab at top right, under Dining hit “Make Reservations,” and practice trying to reserve restaurants (hint: use the search box at the upper right).
This may well drive you crazy, but the site works better than it used to…and is likely the only way you can get your Cindy reservations done! (as the site opens up a new reservable day at 6a, whereas the phone reservation line opens at 7a).
Collect your restaurant reservations together. You will want to do them online in order of hardest to reserve first. This is how they are listed below.
C. EXACTLY 6am EST, EXACTLY 180 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE
(For an 180 day calendar, see this).
Be on the restaurant website by at least 5:50am EST, and have your Cindy reservation all set up on the page. Keep refreshing, as you will be let in as soon as Disney’s system decides it is 6a.
Make as many of the following as you have patience for (try to get through at least Chef Mickey’s), in the exact order listed:
- Cinderella’s Royal Table Lunch (dining plan, two credits): Friday at 11a or later if you can; earlier than 11 only if your sole option…
- Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue (dining plan, two credits): Friday 6.15p show. The later time will keep you up later than you need to be, OK if all you can get. Avoid the earlier time–it’ll cut into your park time too much
- Chef Mickey’s (dining plan, one credit) Wednesday 11a. Later is OK, but not a whole lot earlier–no earlier than 10.30a
- Crystal Palace (dining plan): Second Saturday 6p if you can; earlier OK, but not later
- Akershus Banquet or San Angel Inn (dining plan): First Saturday 7p. No later, but earlier is OK.
- 50’s Prime Time Café (dining plan): First Sunday 6p. Can be earlier but not later.
For those you don’t make online, make them by calling call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463)
D. 60 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE
- First Saturday afternoon and evening at Epcot: Tier One: Illuminations. Tier Two: Spaceship Earth and Mission: Space. Note that the Illuminations FastPass+ may not be available until closer to your arrival date—if not available, make Test Track your Tier One instead, and try to change it to Illuminations later. Set the Tier Two times for when your travel plans permit you to be in the park. If one is impossible to set at a good time because of your travel schedule, leave it as is—Disney requires you to book three FastPass+.
- First Sunday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Tier One: Toy Story Midway Mania. Tier Two: Star Tours and Frozen Sing-Along. Set Toy Story Midway Mania for 1.30-2.30p, Star Tours for 2.30 to 3.30p, and the Frozen Sing Along for after.
- Monday at Epcot: Tier One: Soarin. Tier Two: Turtle Talk with Crush and a third of your choice. Set Soarin for 10.30a-11.30a, Turtle Talk with Crush for 12.30p to 1.30p, and the third for right after. (At park open, head for Test Track.)
- Tuesday at the Animal Kingdom: Kali River Rapids, Expedition Everest, and DINOSAUR. Set DINOSAUR for 1-2p, Expedition Everest for 2-3p, and Kali River Rapids for 4-5p.
- Wednesday at the Magic Kingdom: Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, and Jungle Cruise. Set Space Mountain for 12-1p, Buzz Lightyear for 1-2p, and Jungle Cruise for 3.30-4.30p
- Thursday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Tier One: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Tier Two: Tower of Terror and Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Set Voyage for 12.30-1.30p, Tower of Terror for 2.30-3.30p, and Rock ‘n’ Roller for 3.30-4.30p.
- Friday at the Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Enchanted Tales with Belle, and the Haunted Mansion. Target Seven Dwarfs for 1-2p, Belle for 2-3p, and the Haunted Mansion for 3.30-4.30p. (At park open, head to Peter Pan.)
- Second Saturday at the Magic Kingdom: Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Wishes. Set Pirates for 10-11a, and Splash for 11-12. (At park open, head for Big Thunder Mountain.)
- Second Sunday at the Animal Kingdom: Kilimanjaro Safaris, Festival of the Lion King, and a third. Book the first available show for Festival of the Lion King, and book Kilimanjaro as close to it as you can. At park open, head to either Expedition Everest or Kilimanjaro Safaris, depending on your actual experience Tuesday.
2. Do online check in, requesting as you do special location points
E. NOTES ON PACKING ETC. BEFORE YOU LEAVE
1. Bring your MagicBands in your carry-ons
2. If you use Disney’s Magical Express, you do not need to collect your bags at the Orlando airport unless you arrive late in the evening/at night or are an international traveler. Disney will get them for you and, eventually, deliver them directly to your room. Your bags may arrive hours after you do; so, depending on the weather forecasts, have a carry-on with an appropriate change of clothes for Orlando weather on Saturday, as you will almost certainly go to Epcot on Saturday before your checked bags arrive.
3. Follow the instructions in the Magical Express packet you will receive in the mail regarding both tagging your bags pre-departure, and where to go at the Orlando airport to find your transport to your resort.
4. Bring a copy of your room reservation, confirmation numbers and any tickets for special events you may have received in the mail.
5. Pack breakfast utensils, as they are not always available in the gift shop: bowls, spoons, napkins
6. When you arrive at the hotel, look for the special “On-line Check-in” line, and get into it.