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



To-Do List for the 2017 Basic December Itinerary



By Dave Shute

This To-Do List is for the 2017 Basic December Itinerary. For To-Do-Lists for other itineraries, see this.

 

 

A. MORE THAN 180 DAYS BEFORE YOUR PLANNED ARRIVAL DATE

(Note that a good travel agent, such as Kelly at Destinations in Florida at 980-429-4499 or at Kelly@DestinationsInFlorida.com can do almost all of this for you, for free. If you use Destinations in Florida as your travel agent and tell them you came from this site, then they share a bit of the pixie dust they get from Disney with me.)

1. Confirm your budget, planned dates, intended hotel, kids’ development and heights, and your transportation choice and its availability for your planned dates.

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.

  • If you are following my itinerary, you want the hotel you’ve picked for 8 nights, nine day, no hopper tickets, the Dining Plan, and Disney’s Magical Express
  • You also wantto order your MVMCP tickets for your planned date there. These may not be on sale until later May or even later.
  • Itineraries other than mine will have different requirements here

B. 181 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

San Angel Inn at Epcot from yourfirstvisit.net1. 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. Note that the two dining packages–Rivers of Light and Candlelight Processional–may not go on sale until later in the summer.

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 the following reservations in the exact order listed (the two dinner packages may not yet be open for booking at 180 days):

  • 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): Thursday 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
  • Crystal Palace (dining plan, one credit) Second Saturday 6p.  Later is OK, but not a whole lot earlier as you have a late lunch this day
  • Tusker House as Rivers of Light Dining Package (dining plan, one credit). First Sunday 5.30p. You can schedule for as late as Disney will allow you to do so, but not earlier.
  • San Angel Inn as Candlelight Processional Dining Package (dining plan, two credits): Friday 5.45p. Can be earlier but not later.

For any you don’t make online, make them by calling call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463)

D. 60 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

Liking the Name on This MagicBand1. 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
  • First Sunday at the Animal Kingdom: Na’vi River Journey, Finding Nemo: The Musical, and Kali River Rapids. Set Na’vi for 10-11a, Nemo 11.30 to 11.45 for the noon show, and Kali River Rapids at 12:40p
  • Monday 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.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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 1.30-2.30p, as you will need that time for the afternoon parade. (A FP+ time of 1-2p and/or 2-3p is OK, as you can use them at the beginning of the 1p window or end of the 2p 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 the Animal Kingdom: Avatar: Flight of Passage and Festival of the Lion King. Set Flight of Passage for 9.30 to 10.30a, and Festival of the Lion King for 10.30-10.45a for the 11a show.

2. Do online check in, requesting as you do special location points

3. Customize your MagicBands

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.

The 2017 easy Guide

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