To-Do List for 2016 Basic December FastPass+ Itinerary
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.)
1. Order the Disney World planning DVD. Click the image below to order yours from Disney.
3. Make your plane reservations, if flying. Make any other needed transportation arrangements.
4. Create your My Disney Experience account here and add your family members to it
5. 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.
- 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 Chef Mickey’s), in the exact order listed:
- Cinderella’s Royal Table Lunch (dining plan, two credits): Thursday at 11a or later if you can; earlier than 11 only if your sole option…
- Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue (dining plan, two credits): Monday 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
- Akershus Banquet (dining plan): Lunch Tuesday, as close to noon as you can get it.
- San Angel Inn as Candlelight Processional Dining Package (dining plan, two credits): Friday 5.45p. Can be earlier but not later. (Candlelight Processional booking won’t open for a while.)
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
1. Go to your MyDisneyExperience account as soon as a minute after midnight and set up the following FastPass+
1. Go to your MyDisneyExperience account at 7am and set up the following FastPass+
- First Saturday evening at Epcot: Book just one, Test Track, for 6-7p Tier One: Frozen Ever After.
- First Sunday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Kali River Rapids 1-2p, Rivers of Light (keep checking for its opening date and book your FastPass+ for it as soon as it opens for them), Kilimanjaro Safaris (latest available; you may later have to move it to book Rivers of Light)
- Monday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Toy Story Midway Mania noon-1p, Star Tours 1-2p, Frozen Sing-Along 3.30 show
- Tuesday at Epcot: Frozen Ever After 12.30-1.30p, Mission Space 1.30-2.30p, Spaceship Earth 2.30-3.30p
- Wednesday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Great Movie Ride noon-1p; Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster 4-5p, Tower of Terror 5-6p
- Thursday at Magic Kingdom: Book FastPass+ for Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain. Design the times for them around the time of your reservation for Cinderella’s Royal Table, and don’t set one for 2.30-3.30p, as you will need that time for the afternoon parade. (A FP+ 2-3p and/or 3-4p is OK, as you can use them at the beginning of the 2p window or end of the 3p window without interrupting your parade viewing.
- Friday at Epcot: Soarin’ 11a-noon, Living with the Land noon-1p, Turtle Talk with Crush 2p show
- Second Saturday at Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 1-2p, Peter Pan’s Flight 2-3p, Haunted Mansion 3-4p
- Second Sunday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: 10a show of Festival of the Lion King, Expedition Everest 10.30-11.30a, DINOSAUR 11.30a-12.30p
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.