Basic December FastPass+ Itinerary

By Dave Shute

This Walt Disney World itinerary is designed for the three weeks following Thanksgiving.

Note that if your arrival date is 12/6/14, you need to swap Monday and Wednesday in both the itinerary and To-Do List, as HS closes early 12/10.

Disney World FastPass+ Basic December Itinerary from

If you aren’t going one of those weeks, see Other Itineraries for alternatives the rest of the year, which are published about six months ahead.

You can enlarge the basic itinerary by clicking it. For a PDF, click here.

As with the other itineraries on this site, there is also a detailed page for each day of your vacation, with specific instructions for that day. Find them here:

Moreover, a detailed To-Do List covers all the steps you need to undertake–including reserving dining and booking FastPass+.


The basic itinerary was designed to meet several goals: to ensure that you

  1. See the best that Walt Disney World has to offer
  2. See the parks in the order that works best for kids (essentially Epcot first, as it is potentially the most disappointing, and the Magic Kingdom last, as it is likely to be the best loved)
  3. Avoid unnecessary waiting, by using FastPass+ and other tactics…
  4. Have as much time off, and as few early mornings, as practical
  5. Avoid unnecessary spending–for example, the basic itinerary does not require you to buy the “Park Hopper” option, saving you more than $200

If you can’t do the Basic Itinerary, see Other Itineraries for alternatives for both the December week and the rest of the year.

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1 Carrie { 06.05.14 at 12:12 pm }

hi Dave,
We will be going to Disneyworld with 12 people (ages 1 to 70), from December 6 – 13, and using your December itinerary as a basis for our own itinerary. However we have to modify it a bit. We will get to the park before it opens each day, which is not what you recommend, but works best for our young kids and their grandparents. We will not stay late, except maybe one night to see Illuminations. Our main goal is to avoid crowds and long waits. We will not do MVMCP on this visit but will return when kids are older. I’m trying to get our schedule worked out so I can make a few dinner reservations next week.

So, my questions are:
1) I have looked at your basic itinerary and the EMH for the parks. Do you see anything wrong with this itinerary?
12/6 Sat fly in and meet for dinner, no park
12/7 Sunday MK (leave by 7)
12/8 Monday HS Is it possible to see Fantasmic and then Osbourne afterwards, both on the same night?
12/9 Tuesday MK (leave by 7)
12/10 Wednesday Epcot (if we see Illuminations and leave right afterwards, will it be a nightmare with the crowds all leaving at once?)
12/11 Thursday AK
12/12 Friday MK (leave by 7)
12/13 Saturday some people fly out early, some will visit a park. You recommend MK, but won’t it be very crowded on this day?

2) You suggest visiting some of the lodge Christmas decorations in the evening, which I would like to try. Can we just drive up to the hotel and park? On our last visit in April 2013, we noticed at AoA where we stayed that they have a guard and gate and you have to say you are staying at the hotel to park there. Do they let people park and visit the hotels that are not guests just to visit and see the hotel?

We love your site!
Thanks very much!

2 Dave { 06.06.14 at 7:46 am }

Hi Carrie and thanks! First, your dates overall look fine! Second, yes you can see Osbornes after Fantasmic. And yes, MK will be busy on Saturday–all my itineraries have a compromise somewhere. Yes, Epcot departures are always a zoo right after Illuminations. There’s too ways around that: if you have two days at Epcot, use your tier 1 FP+ one day for Illuminations. The viewing area for the FP+ puts you as close to the buses as anyone. Second is to see them on EMH night–but the park is overall more crowded that day…

Whether or not you can park varies depending on how crowded the resort is…

3 Chris { 06.27.14 at 12:10 pm }

This may seem like a dumb question, but how does one adjust the provided itinerary if you are not arriving on Saturday?

We hope to arrive Monday, December 1st and depart Tuesday, December 9th.

Would I simply start our itinerary on the Monday and proceed from there (with arrival and departures adjusted accordingly). Or would I count the first Saturday as my Monday and proceed from there?


4 Dave { 06.27.14 at 12:33 pm }

Chris that’s a great question. The itineraries are tuned to exact operating patterns and offerings that vary by day of the week. So “First Saturday” in fact means “Saturday,” not “Day 1.”

Here’s how to revise:
Arrival Monday: Do First Saturday
Tuesday: Do as written
Weds: Do Monday
Thursday-Saturday: Do as written
Sunday: Do first Sunday
Second Monday: Do Wednesday
Second Tuesday: Do second Sunday

5 Ed { 08.21.14 at 9:51 pm }

We are going to Disney staying at Shades of Green. We will arrive November 29th or 30th, but the rest of our party will fly in on Dec 1st. You do not have any days on your itinerary that shows getting to the parks early. We were there in may a few years ago and it was so crowded if we arrived after 10am. Are the crowd levels so low the first two weeks in December that it is not necessary to arrive early? Additionally do you suggest the MVMCP for children that are 8 and 3 years old?

6 Dave { 08.22.14 at 11:43 am }

Ed, no it’s not that–it’s that with the use of FastPass+ over this full itinerary you can do almost everything great without the kind of early mornings that the old Fastpass system required…

7 Heather { 08.26.14 at 9:05 am }

We have no kids, flexible dates on when we can arrive but check out will be Wed. Dec. 3rd. We would like to ride all the rides and go to all the parks, can we just adjust the basic Itinerary, what should we leave out? We will be driving, brining a microwave, can we take food/snacks to the park, we’re both training for fitness shows so we can eat poorly and eat every 3 hrs! Thanks!

8 Dave { 08.27.14 at 7:52 am }

Hi Heather! This itinerary isn’t that flexible–in it days are days, so “Monday” means “Monday,” not day 3. You will be best off starting with the plans at the end of Chapter 6 of our book The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit and then adding to them the various Christmas program items.

9 Elaine { 09.03.14 at 6:24 am }

Our family (3 adults, one 9 yr old daughter) have never been to DW and here is our itinerary for 12/9-13/14. We are staying at Bay Towers at the Contemporary Resort. What do you think?
Tues, Dec 9 – arrival 12:30 – Magic Kingdom, dinner, Xmas Parade
Wed. Dec 10 – Magic Kingdom
Thurs. Dec 11 – Hollywood Studios, then Downtown Disney in evening
Fri. Dec 12 – Epcot
Sat. leaving 5:00 p.m. – leisurely morning, Disney Boardwalk before leaving

We do not want to be jammed packed and exhausted as we are sure to return….:)

10 Dave { 09.03.14 at 8:37 am }

Elaine, a couple of thoughts. First–on the 9th, you can’t see the christmas parade unless you have bought MVMCP tickets. the park closes at 7 for everyone without party tix. See this:

Second, Friday will be busy at Epcot, so I’d swap Thursday and Friday.

And third, staying for the evening show Fantasmic at HS is a much better choice than Downtown Disney

11 Elaine { 09.03.14 at 9:47 am }

Thank you Dave for your help :) Elaine

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