To-Do List for Basic December FastPass+ Itinerary
By Dave Shute
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.
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
1. 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).
2. Collect your planned 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).
1. 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.
2. Make as many of the following as you have patience for (try to get through at least Crystal Palace), 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): First Sunday 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) Second Saturday 6p. Later is OK, but not a whole lot earlier as you have a late lunch this day
- Crystal Palace (cash): Second Saturday 1p if you can; a little earlier or later OK, but not much later
- Akershus Banquet (dining plan): First Saturday 6.30p. No later, but earlier is OK.
- San Angel Inn as Candlelight Processional Dining Package (dining plan, two credits): Thursday 5.45p. Can be earlier but not later.
For those you don’t make online, make them by calling call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463)
3. Go to the site for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and order tickets for your family for Tuesday
D. 60 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE
- First Saturday afternoon and evening at Epcot: Tier One: Soarin. Tier Two: Spaceship Earth and Maelstrom. Do Spaceship Earth for when you expect to be able to arrive at Epcot, then Soarin for the next, and Maelstrom before or after dinner
- First Sunday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: DINOSAUR for 12.30-1.30p, Expedition Everest for 1.30 to 2.30p, and Kali River Rapids for 4p-5p.
- Monday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Tier One: Toy Story Midway Mania for 1-2p. Tier Two: Star Tours for 2.30-3.30p, and Indiana Jones right after.
- Tuesday at the Magic Kingdom: Big Thunder Mountain 1-2p, Splash Mountain 2-3p, and Jungle Cruise 3-4p.
- Wednesday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Tier One: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster for 4-5p. Tier Twos Voyage of the Little Mermaid for 1-2p, and Tower of Terror for 3-4p.
- Thursday at Epcot: Tier One Test Track at 1-2p. Tier Twos Mission: Space (12-1p) and a third of your choice.
- Friday at the Magic Kingdom: Design in order around your Cinderella lunch time, e.g. Peter Pan 1-2p, Enchanted Tales with Belle 2-3p, and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 3-4p.
- Second Saturday at the Magic Kingdom: You will revise these FastPass+ the night before based on what you wish to re-ride, but start with Splash Mountain 2-3p, Peter Pan 3.30-4.30p, and Space Mountain 4.30-5.30p.
- Second Sunday at the Animal Kingdom: Kilimanjaro Safaris 10a-11a Festival of the Lion King 11a-noon and a third ride of your choice.
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.