(Other Itineraries)

By Dave Shute

OVERVIEW: WALT DISNEY WORLD ITINERARIES

If you can’t do the recommended weeks at Walt Disney World:

  • For Disney World itineraries covering all the other parts of the year, see lower on this page
  • For shorter and longer itineraries targeted at the same December weeks, see this
  • For shorter options for the most of the rest of the year, click here
  • To design your own Disney World itinerary, see this

WALT DISNEY WORLD ITINERARIES BY ARRIVAL WEEK

This page provides below links to Walt Disney World itineraries by arrival week. Each itinerary includes links to daily guidance and a to-do list.

Itineraries are revised as Disney releases its calendar—which it usually does monthly, providing it for the next 6 months.

DISNEY WORLD ITINERARIES BY ARRIVAL DATE

DESIGN-YOUR-OWN WALT DISNEY WORLD ITINERARIES

To design your own itinerary, see this.

WALT DISNEY WORLD ITINERARY LINKS



60 comments

1 Lisa { 06.17.11 at 9:54 am }

I want to schedule a 3 night/4 day trip to Disney in December (arriving on 12/1) with my 2 ADULT children. HELP!! What is your recommendations for an itinerary/place to stay/meal plan. I would REALLY like to hear from you. Also, it is possible to squeeze in a trip to Universal Orlando too!!

2 Dave { 06.17.11 at 10:15 am }

Hi Lisa!

See the links on the home page. All of your issues except for your itinerary are addressed there or on the links that start there! It’s at http://yourfirstvisit.net/

For designing your itinerary, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/how-long-to-stay/other-trip-lengths/designing-your-own-walt-disney-world-itinerary/

Re Universal, your Disney trip itself is less than half as long as I’d recommend. That said, you can do anything you want :)

3 Teneall { 09.07.11 at 10:26 am }

Dave,
I am taking my husband to Disney World for his first time (I have been but it was a while ago). It is a surprise anniversary gift. Since both of us work jobs that don’t allow for much time off we are going Thurs 9/22-Sun 9/25. Would you recommend some things not to miss. Like a top 5 list of things to do and places to eat? I love your site. Hope it is still up in a few years, when we have kids I would definitely come longer and use the complete guide! Thanks so much for any help :-)

4 Dave { 09.07.11 at 11:13 am }

Hi Teneall, sounds like fun!

For rides, parades and shows, see the right side of the graphic on this page, especially the underlined items: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/

For where to eat, tell me a little more–are you thinking the finest and most interesting dining, the most romantic dining, the most “Disney” dining (but optimized more for adults than families) or some of all three??

5 Teneall { 09.10.11 at 12:45 pm }

Since we are only going to be there three nights, I was hopingin to have one night of “Disney” dining optimized for adults, and one night of romantic dining for us to celebrate. The third night could be anything :-) I also would you recommend going to the “Mickey’s Not so scary Halloween event” (He loves loves Halloween) If we do that on Friday night my guess would be to eat dinner at one of the places open in the park that night.

6 Dave { 09.10.11 at 3:11 pm }

For romantic dining, try the California Grille at the Contemporary Resort, or Citricos at the Grand Floridian.

For “Disney” dining on the evening of the halloween party try the Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom, but have your meal before or right at the beginning of the halloween party–you don’t want to miss the parade or fireworks…

For something that’s both romantic and Disney, try the San Angel Inn at the Mexico pavilion at Epcot….

7 Teneall { 09.11.11 at 10:15 am }

Thank you so much for your help! And your site has been a huge help, I would have never thought to have an itinerary for a vacation, but realizing we only have a couple days, your site has helped me with planning to make sure we see and do as much as we can on our trip!! :-)

8 Dave { 09.11.11 at 11:25 am }

Your’re welcome and have a great visit!

9 CJ { 10.11.11 at 10:34 pm }

Which itinerary do I use for summer visits?

10 Dave { 10.12.11 at 8:37 am }

Hi CJ! Use this as a starting point for June-mid-August: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/12/06/summer-itinerary-for-walt-disney-world-v2/

Once Disney releases its calendars for these dates (usually six months ahead or so) I post any changes here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/basic-itinerary/alternative-itineraries/

11 Brian { 01.23.12 at 9:20 pm }

Hi! We are going to Disney on October 13, but I can not find the link to your recommended itinerary. Please help!

12 Dave { 01.24.12 at 7:56 am }

Hi Brian, I will be posting October itinerariess after Disney puts out the Ocotber operating schedule…around two months from now…

13 Taria { 02.21.12 at 10:34 am }

When to they start putting up Christmas lights? This is my first time, so I don’t really want to go when they will be this.

14 Dave { 02.22.12 at 6:22 am }

Hi Taria, the Christmas program starts going up in early November, and is fully in place by the Friday after Thanksgiving

15 James { 03.27.12 at 11:09 pm }

Dave,
We are leaving for DW on 4/21/12. When do you think you may have your updated itineraries ready? Thanks for the great site.

16 Dave { 03.28.12 at 5:50 am }

Hi James–the updates won’t be out for months, but the current ones work pretty well!

17 Happy Fourth Birthday To YourFirstVisit.net | Military Disney Tips Blog { 04.15.12 at 6:07 pm }

[...] the best time for you to go to Disney, Dave recommends what to do once you are there. Check out his itineraries and dining [...]

18 February 2013 { 07.21.12 at 11:21 am }

I am going on a first trip in February 2013. I don’t see a suggested itinerary for February above. Which itinerary would be best to follow?

19 Dave { 07.21.12 at 2:43 pm }

Hi, the February itineraries will come out after Disney releases its Feb calendar, which should be very soon…

20 Beth { 08.11.12 at 1:52 pm }

I didn’t see an April itin. We are traveling with one daughter that will be 5 by April 13 and I am lost as to how to plan.

21 Dave { 08.12.12 at 7:54 am }

Hi Beth!

I won’t publish April itins until Disney posts its April operating hours, which will be 5 or 6 weeks from now.

However, based on past Disney practice, for the weeks beginning April 6, this one will be pretty close, if not dead on: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/basic-itinerary/alternative-itineraries/itineraries-for-the-rest-of-the-year/v2-of-2009-autumn-winter-spring-itinerary/

22 Janine { 08.18.12 at 10:32 am }

Hi Dave We’re doing our first trip to WDW from Australia at a similar time to Beth but arriving Sunday 7th April to 13th. How would we amend the itinerary you suggested above? Also do you think it is worth hiring a car or is it reasonably easy to hire a taxi for the times when it might be needed to get to dinner etc? Finally, would you think Cirque du soleil appropriate for a 3 year old? Thanks so much for your insights.

23 Dave { 08.19.12 at 8:36 am }

Janine, the itinerary (like all those on this site) is designed for kids 8 or older, so if the only kid you are bringing is three wouldn’t use it…If you are staying at a WDW hotel, hiring a car is convenient, but not necessary–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/02/28/renting-a-car-at-walt-disney-world/

24 Patricia { 08.30.12 at 2:35 pm }

Dear Dave;
My third note to you and my “300th” visit. Due to several circumstances the trip I started “planning” in January didn’t get booked until a week ago. Husband and I have been to WDW 4 times. My son has been there 3 times, his wife 2 times, and this will be their daughters first visit. She is 6 years old ( she turns 7 in early November) and is exactly 48″ in stocking feet. This is the first time any of us have stayed on Disney property. We are booked into the Caribbean Beach Resort for 7 days 6 nights; September 30, checking out early morning October 6. We purchased the Deluxe Dining Plan, but it seems we have waited too late to reserve any of the character dinners we were hoping to get. We arrive on a Sunday morning at 9:30 AM. I think we could make it to the parks by 12:00 or 1:00 PM, does that seem do”able”? Son’s family is booked for the “Not so Scary Halloween” for Thursday. I’ve looked at your itineraries, but I am a little confused about the “Extra Magic Hours” that week. Where can I check for updates on those… and would that be pretty reliable for planning purposes? I think you would not be recommending Epcot for the 6 year old and that week will be exceptionally crowded with “Foodies” (like me) it was the place I most wanted to go to for myself. Do you think she, ( 6 year-old ) might enjoy a tour through Epcot, just for the sights and sounds, if she is in her big kid stroller?
Would it be OK to do MK when we get there (say 12:30) Sunday afternoon. I know the Park closes at 7 for the “Not So Scary”, but 7 hours might be enough for the first day. We could catch some pool time, and get an early at the gate start for Monday, if I know who opens early.
We would plan on doing MK again on Thursday till 7 PM; they would stay for the Halloween Party, and my husband and I would probably go “crash” in the hotel. I value your opinion and would like to do the best I can at planning some good stuff, since most of the “dining” I was counting on is unavailable…

25 Dave { 08.31.12 at 7:08 am }

Hi Patricia and congratulations on your 300th visit :)

For the latest updates on EMH and such, you want to go straight to Disney World’s operating calendars, and recheck as your visit gets close: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/03/30/walt-disney-world-hours-of-operation/

For your arrival day…keep in mind that your hotel check-in time is 3p. If a room is available before then, they’ll give it to you, but you can’t assume one will be. So you need to plan your day on the possibility that you’ll check in and drop off your luggage but not have a room til 3p…

It’s possible that the 6yo might enjoy just the stroll through Epcot, but it’s more simple and reliable just to get a baby sitter for her while the adults go to Food and Wine…

26 Brad { 09.04.12 at 3:21 pm }

Dave,

My wife and I are going at the end of April 2013, Friday evening to Wed evening. What parks would you recommend for each day. Thanks!

27 Dave { 09.04.12 at 5:01 pm }

Hey Brad, Disney’s April calendars won’t be out for another couple of weeks, and I won’t have an answer to your question until they are…so come back to your question after September 21?

28 Planning Your 1st Visit Part 4: Planning Your Day or Hey, These Lines Sure are Long? | the Disney Driven Life { 10.14.12 at 11:35 pm }

[...] Some of the best, most varied, and detailed itineraries are available at: Touring Plans Itineraries (subscription required) Here are some free sample itineraries listed by your week of arrival: Free Plans [...]

29 Amanda { 01.08.13 at 11:09 am }

Dave,
HELP! I am SO overwhelmed looking at info for Disney! I feel like a moron reading through alllll the information I am finding. Do you have any quick dos and don’ts for first timers? My oldest is 9 and my youngest will be about 2.5 when we go, I am hoping there will stiff be fun stuff for her to do too! Is mid September a good time there generally? I am hoping for weather that isn’t stupid hot, but not chilly either thanks :)

30 Dave { 01.08.13 at 12:58 pm }

Amanda, honestly the best approach is to start on the home page of this site and work through the points in order! http://yourfirstvisit.net On your specific question, mid-September is hot and in the peak of the hurricane season, but prices and crowds are low.

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31 Nicole { 01.17.13 at 9:39 pm }

Dave,
I tried to post earlier but I don’t think it went through so I’m sorry if this is a duplicate! We are an active duty military family traveling to WDW March 20-27 (Wed-Wed). My husband and I will be traveling with our 3 kids, 2 six-year olds and a 4 year old, and our nanny. We already have flight reservations and hotel reservations at WDW Dolphin. I am looking for help with an itinerary that meets our needs. I was planning on using the military 4-day Park Hopper tickets for the 1st half of our trip but they are blacked out for the 2nd half. I don’t think we can do the meal plan with the military tickets. I have reservations for the character breakfast at Ohana on Thursday and the princess breakfast at Akershus on Saturday. My girls have reservations at the Bippity Boppity Boutique at MK on Friday before lunch. My tallest child is just over 44″ and they are not into scary rides. We definitely want to do the safari at Animal Kingdom. Do you have any tips/ideas or can you point us in the direction of someone who might be able to help? Thank you!

32 Dave { 01.18.13 at 7:29 am }

Hi Nicole, all my itineraries are aimed at slightly older kids who like all ride types, but you can find help here: http://touringplans.com/magic-kingdom/touring-plans?utm_campaign=referral&utm_medium=website&utm_source=yourfirstvisit&utm_content=r1&property_id=1

Also take a look at this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/

You can’t get the dining plan at the Dolphin, as it is not a Disney owned and operated hotel…

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33 Sam { 01.31.13 at 10:26 am }

Hi Dave.
I am trying to create a daily itinerary Trip planned for April 8-13th my boys are 9 and 12 so we will be park hopping. I read somewhere you recommend we avoid parks on the days they have EMH but are there any exceptions to that?
I feel like it would be smart to go during EMH and head to the popular rides and get fast passes and be done before lunch and leave to another park for the other half of the day. What are your suggestions on this any advice is appreciated?
Thanks.

34 Dave { 02.01.13 at 7:15 am }

Sam, yes, that’s a fine approach! I try to design my itineraries to avoid the need for the extra cost of hopper,s but if you have hoppers, your plan is dead on! See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/07/16/park-hoppers-hopping-walt-disney-world/

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35 Peg { 02.03.13 at 5:43 pm }

Do you have any itineraries designed specifically for “jersey week” in November. We are only planning for 5 days/6 nights so the shorter itinerary was the only one I found so far. We have 3 kids, ages, 7, 10, and 12. So looking more for things geared towards the pre-teen set, no princess or disney junior stuff. Thanks for your help. I have been reviewing your site for years to try and plan a trip at the right time for our family.

36 Dave { 02.04.13 at 11:00 am }

Peg, I will be publishing one after Disney releases it own operating calendar for that week–which it will do in later April. When published, you’ll be able to find it here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/basic-itinerary/alternative-itineraries/

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37 Patti { 02.06.13 at 11:41 pm }

Hi Dave – We’re arriving Disney Oct 18 and leaving Oct 28 2013. We’ll be staying in a 2 bedroom villa at Old Key West (additional family will be in a 1 bedroom nearby). We’ll have a total of 5 adults and a 10 year old so most likely we’ll . Using 7-day hopper passes. We plan to have all breakfasts and most dinners in our rooms. We passed on purchasing a dining plan as a result. Any thoughts about that decision? We’d like to schedule 2 really nice dinners (maybe on arrival day and then the evening before we leave). We plan to spend one day at Universal and on another day some of our party will be on a fishing trip. Which itinerary do you recommend for us? What other advice would you offer? Thanks, in advance, for the tips!

38 Patti { 02.06.13 at 11:48 pm }

OOPS! Meant to say “most likely we’ll do a mix of rides (with the 10 year old skipping the more “scary” rides like Tower of Terror).

39 Dave { 02.07.13 at 7:40 am }

Hi Patti, I won’t have itineraries for those dates until Disney releases its calendar for then–which it typically does six months in advance. Meals in your villa is a real money saver, but you want to make sure to see all three evening fireworks shows, see http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/10/26/fireworks-at-walt-disney-world/ You can combine a couple of these with your nice dinners. And breakfast needs to be done early so you can be at the turnstiles before the parks open…

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40 Patti { 02.08.13 at 11:44 pm }

Hi Dave – Thanks for the tip re: fireworks shows! Sorry to bother you, but I have one more question. We’ve locked in our plans and based on your recommendation I requested bldg 62 (63 and 64 as alternates) at Old Key West. My travel agent indicated that this was noted on the reservation BUT we wouldn’t know for sure if the request could be met until check-in :( As you might imagine, this was disappointing news. Any thoughts on whether or not we’ll get what we’ve requested or anything we might do to ensure it? Thanks again for your advice!

41 Dave { 02.09.13 at 2:13 pm }

Hi Patti, all you can do is call a few days before to reinforce your request. Anyone who does any research targets those same 3 buildings, and Disney won’t guarantee anything…

42 Hillary { 02.25.13 at 1:48 pm }

Hi Dave,
My family is planning a trip to Disney for October 27 – November 2 of this year. I know that I need to have my reservations made for Cinderella’s Royal Table, etc. by April 14. Will you have an itinerary for October out by then? Or is there another itinerary I should look at for now to “roughly” plan out our vacation? Thanks for your help!

43 Dave { 02.25.13 at 1:58 pm }

Hi Hilary! I post itineraries after Disney releases the calendar for the month, which it does about 6.5 months in advance, give or take a week.

So since your period overlaps two months, I’ll have a strong suggestion out in later March (when October should be out) and confirmation in later April when November is out–still before your 180 day window which is around April 30…

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44 Hillary { 02.25.13 at 2:28 pm }

Thanks for the prompt response! I will check back at the end of March. (totally read the 180 Day chart wrong, so I have until April 30th to make reservations…) :)

45 Dave { 02.25.13 at 2:30 pm }

:)

46 Sam { 03.13.13 at 4:47 pm }

Hey its me again.
Hope you can offer some direction on this.
Since I have park hopper pass I was going thinking of best ways to use them and was going plan day by doing all Morning EMH and rest mid day and for the 2nd half of the day visit another park later for dinner/ shows/events etc.
I am just not sure how I should schedule them considering park specific crowd levels.
Date of arrival Mon 4.8 – last full day Fri 4.13

Sorry for the length; hope it was clear. Thanks

47 Dave { 03.14.13 at 8:31 am }

Sam that approach should work just fine.

For how to think about picking which parks to go to based on crowds–and where to go on days that have no morning EMH–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/03/14/the-common-sense-guide-to-easter-week-at-walt-disney-world/

It’s not about your dates, but all you need is its principles and the Disney calendar to make your decisions!

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48 Sam { 03.14.13 at 8:56 am }

Great Thanks again. :-)

49 Michael Boyer { 08.11.13 at 10:31 pm }

Dad taking 5 yr old girl during week of May 4-11 in 2014. Staying in Animation Resort. Anyone help with itenarary?

50 Dave { 08.12.13 at 8:41 am }

Hi Michael, I won’t have any specific thoughts on those dates until Disney releases its calendar for May, which it won’t do for a few months…so come back to me then!

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51 Kevin { 08.23.13 at 1:59 am }

Dave,
Thanks for taking care of the firewall issue. ;D

Some background, We live in southern California and have been blessed to have had annual passes to Disneyland since 1988 so we have been to Disney and CA Adventure well over 200 times but have never been to Disney World. My son is now working for Disney Studios and with his discounts it would be stupid not to plan a family Disney World trip.
Here are the details and the question(s);
We will be arriving at the Disney on Friday, 1/3/14 at 8am and checking out on 1/9/14, staying in the Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani (my wife insisted).
The question, when I review your itineraries for 6 days they all assume the first day will be travel but we are flying a red eye and with the exception of a nap will be ready to hit a park between 11 and noon the first day.
Can you suggest how I might adjust the itinerary for the arrival day and eliminate the “travel time” noted on arrival day?
Regarding tickets, at Disneyland and CA Adventure it makes sense to have a park hopper as you can walk between parks in 5 minutes. If we are doing a park a day (per the should we add the hopper feature or not?

Sorry for the long winded post just want to make the most out of our visit to Mickey’s Florida house.
Thanks for the guidance and the website!

52 Dave { 08.23.13 at 7:58 am }

Hi Kevin! Glad you are back on!

Couple of points on the itineraries–

First, in them, days are days. So if the first day of an itinerary is “Saturday”–that means “Saturday,” not “Day 1.” In other words you can’t slide them around for different arrival days.

Second the shorter itineraries only work when their “parent” itinerary works, whihc you can tell from this page: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/basic-itinerary/alternative-itineraries/ Your dates, the parent itineraries needs changes, so the 6 night itineraries don’t work.

Third, Fastpass+ will probably be in place for your dates at AKL. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/08/20/what-you-need-to-know-now-about-fastpass/ That makes your arrival day easier to deal with, as you’ll be able to reserve some big rides months ahead.

Given your DLR experience, becasue Epcot is the park at WDW most different from DLR (and the Animal Kingdom next), I;d aim for a full day in each park, extra time at Epcot your arrival day, and picking your last day of tix based on your favorites during the visit.

And yes, I agree you don’t need a hopper!

Hope this helps…

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53 Giuseppe Leopardi { 01.15.14 at 10:52 pm }

Hello Dave,
we, 2 adults and two teenage girls, 16 and 14, will be disembarking the Disney Fantasy cruise ship and going directly to Disney World arriving Saturday 13 Dec. 2014 and leaving Friday 19 Dec. 2014 in the morning.
Could you recommend a 7 day / 6 night December itinerary – leaving early on the 7th morning to fly to New York. We will be buying a Park Hopper Pass with the Water Parks included.
Ideally staying at the Polynesian or Contemporary Resorts otherwise the Wilderness Lodge.
Kind regards
Joe

54 Dave { 01.16.14 at 7:37 am }

He Giuseppe! My itineraries are based on Disney’s calendar, which comes out about 6 and a half months in advance. So check back in late May, and I’ll be able to help then…

55 Amanda { 01.27.14 at 12:33 pm }

Hi Dave!
I’m trying to plan a Disney trip in November 6 nights for 4 adults and 2 children 7 & 9. We are looking at arriving on a Saturday and leaving on a Friday evening (checking out Friday morning) Our date choices are 11/1 – 11/7 or 11/8 – 11/14. We are trying to keep expenses very low. Any help is appreciated on tickets, itineraries, accommodations, etc.

56 Dave { 01.28.14 at 9:16 am }

Amanda, I won’t have much on November itineraries until Disney releases its calendar for then, which will happen in late April… but the second option will be better than the first–see this http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/10/15/2014-weeks-visit-walt-disney-world-ranked-order/

For your other questions, start here and work your way down! http://yourfirstvisit.net/

57 Tia { 02.28.14 at 3:19 pm }

First ……your site is great! We (husband, 6 and 10 year olds, and I) are planning our first Disney World trip for Oct. 13 to Oct. 17, 2014 (these will be full/non travel days). We want to do a 1-day trip to Universal on one of these dates (mostly for Harry Potter). Do you have a recommendation on what park to visit on Columbus Day (Oct. 13)? I am assuming that will probably be the worst day for crowds that week. We are planning on getting the Hopper pass.

58 Dave { 03.01.14 at 8:32 am }

Hi Tia, and thanks!! Check back with me in a month, when Disney’s October calendar will be out, and I’ll be able to help!

59 Jeff { 04.14.14 at 10:32 am }

I just saw on easywdw that Disney moved the EMH for Hollywood Studios from Monday to Sunday for a lot of September and October. Just wondering what this will do to your FastPass+ for Lower Crowds itinerary.

We are going to be there Sept 13-21 and we already made ADRs with plans to be at HS on Sunday Sept 14, on which HS will likely now be the worst park. We got some good times on our ADRs (a 6:35 for Be Our Guest on Wednesday, for example) and I’m disinclined to mess with them at this point, but just wondered your thoughts.

We have ‘Ohana at 6:30 on Tuesday 9/16. Since we can get to Poly from anywhere we could move HS to that day (switching with AK). I’d lose my Sci-Fi ADR on Sunday and would have to figure out something for dinner that day, but I can live with that. That’s probably my only option without giving up an ADR I really want. Would you make that change or just deal with EMH crowds on Sunday at HS?

60 Dave { 04.15.14 at 8:38 am }

Jeff, yeah that’s a mess. EMH have not changed like that since Disney dropped evening EMH at AK. . I’ll be posting on this shortly, but for most weeks I’ll be recommending just what you are thinking–swapping Tuesday and Sunday.

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