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



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor



Epcot Day 1: First Saturday FastPass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary



By Dave Shute

EPCOT DAY 1: FIRST SATURDAY AGENDA

FP+ Lower Crowd Epcot Day 1 from yourfirstvisit.netCheck in, get settled if your room is ready, and be at Epcot as soon as you can.

FIRST THINGS

(Note: this is from the FastPass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary. The itinerary works only for certain weeks. See this to see if it works for your dates.)

  • Arrive at your hotel, following the instructions in your Disney’s Magical Express packet if you are using it to get from Orlando International to your Disney Resort. Check in
  • Unless you are arriving late, your room will likely not be ready, but you can leave your bags. First change into clothes more appropriate for the weather–which your To-Do List reminded you to pack in your carry-ons. You can ask to be called or texted later to find out your exact room
  • If your room is ready, and if you have time–you want to be at Epcot as soon as you can–get food and supplies (bowls, napkins, scotch) for your breakfast in the morning, which you will be eating out of your room. Also get (from the counter service restaurant)  “Refillable Mugs,” which you will be able to re-use at your resort for free drinks over your entire stay
  • Head to Epcot as soon as you can

Belle at Akershus from yourfirstvisit.netAT THE PARK

  • Your plan today is to see as many of Epcot’s lengthier attractions as you can to free time on your second visit, see parts of World Showcase that are most fun in the evening, and see Epcot’s park-closing spectacular Illuminations using FastPass+. You should also have FastPass+ for Spaceship Earth and Mission: Space, and dinner reservations for either Akershus or San Angel Inn at around 7p. Those arriving late may have to thin the below to just dinner, World Showcase, and Illuminations
  • Go through the turnstiles and pick up a park map and “Times Guide”–a schedule. Use your Spaceship Earth FastPass+ and then see Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Use your Mission: Space FastPass+ then sample Innoventions East (except for Sum of All Thrills, where the line is likely too long–see it on your second Epcot day).
  • Head to World Showcase, and while keeping an eye out for your dinner reservation at around 7p, see the pavilions starting with Mexico and going clockwise.
    • Each pavilion will have some or all of shopping, special exhibits, a ride, a movie, and other special events—such as acrobats in China.
    • Check your map, times guide, and the pavilion itself, to see what each pavilion has.
    • For scheduled events like the acrobats, etc., sequence what you do when among items that are not scheduled (shops, exhibits, and rides), and bounce back and forth between nearby pavilions, so that you don’t have to wait long for the scheduled item
  • Have dinner at whichever you chose to reserve between San Angel Inn inside the Mexico pyramid or the Akershus Royal Banquet  Meal in Norway at 7p
  • Continue touring World Showcase clockwise until about 8:30p
  • Start making your way to the Illuminations FastPass+ area right where Future World and World Showcase intersect. Hit the bathrooms if needed on the way, as you don’t want to so pause after Illuminations
  • Watch Illuminations, and if you are parked, taking the monorail, or taking a bus back to your hotel, immediately at its end start walking briskly to the park exit (on the far side of Spaceship Earth) to beat the crowds.  The value of your Illuminations FastPass+ is that 1. it puts you in the best viewing spot for Illuminations, and 2. it puts you in the viewing spot nearest the park exit
  • Return to your hotel

BACK AT THE HOTEL

Buy food, supplies (bowls, spoons, etc.) and refillable mugs for breakfast in your room at your hotel counter service or gift shop, if you did not have time, or a room assignment, earlier.

PREVIEW OF TOMORROW

You will spend the first of two days at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You get to sleep in–you want to arrive by noon. Check with your concierge on transport (likely buses) and what time you should be at the bus stop.

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9 comments

1 Lara Gordon { 07.21.14 at 12:56 am }

Hi Dave,
Have your book, kindle and read your website thoroughly too!!! You are the best could not do this trip without you. Will be making our fast pass + selections in the next week or so but just have some questions regarding all that:
1. Can you FP+ rides during MNSSHP as we will be turning up to MK that day for a 4pm BOG reservation and then wondered if I should FP+ some rides after that?
2. How long should I allow for our lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table one day at 12pm and also the BOG dinner at 4pm? So I know when to book FP+ afterwards.
3.Our first day we arrive we are planning on just doing Fantasmic at HS that evening (its a Sunday so now the busiest day at HS but might work in our favour with not so many crowds leaving at end after show). At the moment I have a Fantasmic Dining package at Hollywood and Vine for 5.45pm. Should I cancel that and just do FP+? You say there is no priority seating for FP+ so what benefits do you actually get?
4. The timing of it baffles me a bit – we check in on 28 September so am I correct that we can book at midnight EST on 29 July ?
5. As we have 13 days at WDW I have designed our itinerary on the basis we will get to the parks early (kids get up at 7am anyway) and go back after lunch to resort for rest and swim. Should I therefore make FP+ times from 10am onwards as not worth using them earlier than 10am? I don’t understand what you mean when you talk about making your FP+ times earlier in day then switching them to later in the day without problem as you are already allocated a booking – so if I have a 10 am FP+ and want to change it to 1pm I can do that?
6. Am conscious of getting to parks 45 mins before they open however we are at WL and I understand first boat only leaves for MK at 8.30am? If we take the Disney buses what time should we aim to be on a bus to get us to Epcot, HS or MK? Or do we just take a taxi to take the stress out of being late on the bus?
7.Are the cheat sheets by Josh more up to date on website than in book as I noticed there are some differences to is touring plans from website to book?
8. Finally, you talk on your website about perhaps not FP+ the mine train ride as you miss some of the fun bits of standing in line. Is that still correct? And I notice that you and Josh have different priorities for FP+ with Enchanted Tales with Belle coming 2nd priority for you and only 8th priority for Josh why is that??
Thanks so much Dave, wish we could take you with us!
Lara

2 Dave { 07.21.14 at 8:48 am }

Hi Lara thanks for the kind words and great questions!!

1. No
2. 90 minutes each
3. Guaranteed admittance
4. I think it’s 7/30 at 12.01 a but try the 29th too in case my math is wrong lol
5. You can modify a FP+ to later in the day if a. there is availability and b. you don’t already have a FP+ booked for the period. Since they are unnecessary for most rides before 11a, grabbing the earlier slots, and then immediately changing them to later, makes your day more productive.
6. Take the boat to the Contemporary, which starts running much earlier, and then either walk or take the monorail from there.
7. Yes–for the most updated stuff, either update your kindle or see the items here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/easy-guide-2014-changes/
8. Wait for 7DMT are so long that you should use FP+. On Belle, there’s differences between a. this site, b. Josh’s site and c. the book, as they are aimed at different audiences!

3 Lara { 07.22.14 at 4:59 am }

Brilliant, thanks Dave for all your answers and as usual fantastic tips.
Sorry i’m still just a teeny bit confused on question 5.
When I go online to book our FP+selections do you mean it is easiest to just grab the early times (option A is that right?) and then immediately after I have made all my FP+selections for the entire week do I go back to them on line and alter them to the actual exact times I want which will probably be later or as I do each day do I immediately go back online to change to the right times? Should I not try to get the actual ones I want first time up or is that just not possible the way the online system works?

Some days we want to be out of the park by around 1 pmish so was thinking of doing 11-12, 12-1 and 1-2pm FP+ selections (is that my best preference since before 11am you say is not that important?)

Re question 6, great advice about taking the boat to Contemporary. The first Monorail is not working till 9.30 am when we are there due to its upgrade so we would have to walk it. Any advice on how long to allow for a bus to get us from WL to Epcot and HS for the 45 minutes before opening? Again, can’t do monorail, would taxi be better or is bus still our best bet?

And finally just to clarify: your site and book are aimed at 8-9 years +, so is Josh’s aimed more at younger kids?

Thanks!! And I will be writing an amazing review on Amazon as soon as I get through the booking of these FP+ things!
Lara

4 Lara { 07.22.14 at 5:05 am }

Oh and one more question re Tower of Terror. I went on the old Knots Berry Farm ride when I was about 10 yrs old and was traumatised by the drop to the point where I have since avoided any rides in NZ that drop you from a height as I am terrified I will feel the same feeling. I prefer roller coasters (well the drop on those is just enough for me to bear) I have been reading many reviews on the ToT as I so don’t want to miss out on anything but given you have probably been on this ride numerous times do you think I am going to cope with it (i.e. does the drop in T0T do the same thing as the free fall drop from the parachutes at Knots Berry Farm (assuming you have been on those before!?)
Your advice would be very much appreciated!!
Lara

5 Dave { 07.22.14 at 6:28 am }

Lara I was a little terse wasn’t I lol!

Since you have the book, on FP+ see the middle bullet on page 263–the one that begins Then click ‘Next'”

For the days you wish to leave early, 10.30, 11.30, and 12.30 works just as well!

Great point about monorails–I forgot that. I’d just ask the WL concierge the night before about your best options. From the Contemporary boat dock, MK is a ten minute or so walk. There will also be buses from the Contemporary…Be at the bus stop a little before 8 and you should be fine

This site is for first timers with kids 8 and up; Josh’s site is for everyone, on any visit; the book is for first timers of any kid age…

Looking forward to your review!!!

6 Dave { 07.22.14 at 6:30 am }

Lara the best advice I can give you on TOT is to watch it from outside first. I think it’s more comparable to a roller coaster’s brief sense of weightlessness, but I haven’t been on the Knotts ride for decades..

7 Jill { 09.29.14 at 7:54 pm }

I really enjoy your website and am referring to it daily. I really want to follow an itinerary that you recommend, but the dates of our visit, length of our stay, and lack of meal plan don’t coincide well with the itineraries that I can see. We are going to be in Disney for 6 full days (Monday 11/10 – Saturday 11/15. We do not have a meal plan, will be eating breakfast at our hotel, packing snacks for lunch, and grabbing dinner at the parks. We would like to spend majority of our time in MK, followed by HS, then AK, then E. We are a family of 5 with a 14-yr girl, 12-yr boy, and 8-yr girl. Do you have any suggestions for an itinerary? Any advice is much appreciated.

8 Dave { 09.30.14 at 6:58 am }

Hi Jill and thanks!!!

As you note, all my itineraries are integrated and framed around specific days.

So for daily touring plans you want our book, which has them in Chapter 6: The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit

Those dates,
11/10 avoid HS
11/11 Avoid Epcot, MK
11/12 Avoid AK–this is the best day on your visit to see the MK evening stuff
11/13 avoid MK
11/14 Avoid Epcot
11/15 Avoid MK, HS

9 Jill { 10.01.14 at 7:48 am }

Thanks, Dave! You rock!!!

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