By the co-author of the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook ever -- The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

(Other Itineraries)

By Dave Shute


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


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.



To design your own itinerary, see this.



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

For designing your itinerary, see this:

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 }

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:

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:

Once Disney releases its calendars for these dates (usually six months ahead or so) I post any changes here:

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 }

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 | 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:

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:

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:

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 }


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 }

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! 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 }

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:

Also take a look at this:

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?

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:

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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:

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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 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:

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 }

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: 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: 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

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

For your other questions, start here and work your way down!

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.

61 Matthew { 05.03.14 at 9:44 pm }

Hi Dave, In one word your site is “amazing”. My wife and I along with our 1,4, and 7 year old will be staying in the Animal Kingdom Villas from 10/17/14-10/24/14. We have the 7 day park hopper and the dining plan with the snack, counter service, and table service. We arrive in the middle of the afternoon on the 17th so we figured we would stay at the resort for the rest of day and I reserved dinner at Boma. We want to do the Donald Duck Tusker House breakfast at Animal Kingdom and then Fast+ the most popular rides. We also want to do Fantasmic one night. We were planning on doing AK 1 day (or less),HS 1 day(or less), Epcot 1 day(or less), and MK 2 days and a visit to DTD. What days do you recommend we visit the parks. Thank You for any advice you can give me.

62 Dave { 05.04.14 at 11:39 am }

Hi Matthew and thanks! Here’s the scoop your week:
10/17 Avoid Epcot and AK, great at MK.
10/18 Avoid Epcot and HS, great at AK
10/19 Avoid Epcot and HS, fine everywhere else
10/20 Avoid AK and MK, great Epcot day
10/21 Avoid Epcot
10/22 Avoid MK and Epcot
10/23 avoid MK
10/23 avoid Epcot and AK

63 Mandy { 05.05.14 at 12:00 pm }

We just booked for April 11-18, 2015- Which itinerary should we use. I love your site! Thank you!

64 Dave { 05.05.14 at 5:20 pm }

Hi Mandy and thanks! I publish itineraries about six and a half months ahead–when Disney publishes it’s operating calendar for the relevant month. When April 2015 is out…which won’t be for a while!–recommended itineraries will be here:

65 Mandy { 05.05.14 at 9:10 pm }

Thank you!

66 Marisa { 05.08.14 at 1:10 pm }

Love your site!! I’ve been to Disney many times, this will be my husbands second visit, first time on Disney property. We arrive 10/27/2014 and leave 11/5, staying at the swan. We have a 1 year old and a 7 year old (will turn 8 while we are there). We want to do not so scary Halloween (thinking on Halloween), and food and wine As we aren’t doing a typical su-sa trip any pointers would be great. Also, is there anything special for it being my sons birthday?

67 Dave { 05.09.14 at 7:44 am }

Hi Marisa and thanks!

First on the birthday, see this:

Your dates crowds ebb and flow based on MK closures. If it closes at 7, crowds are low there and high elsewhere–especially parks with EMH. When MK is open late and has the full slate of evening shows, it’s just mobbed.

Food and Wine clots up World SHowcase in the evenings and weekends

The 27th avoid MK and AK
The 28th avoid Epcot
The 29th avoid MK and Epcot
The 30th should be fine everywhere.
The 31st avoid Epcot and AK–MK will be crowded 4p and on
The 1st avoid MK and HS and Epcot
The 2nd avoid Epcot and HS
The 3rd avoid AK
The 4th avoid Epcot
The 5th avoid Epcot

68 Linda { 05.18.14 at 5:49 am }

Hi Dave,
Our trip is booked for May 2015 for 2 weeks in Orlando. After a few days on I-Drive we arrive at Disney WL on Thurs 21 May for 9 nights with Dining Plan. During our stay it will be Memorial Day and I’m wondering if the Spring/Autumn/Winter itinerary is the one to use/adapt? Will it be a High Crowd itinerary we need (you currently have that week as crowd level 9)? We will need to adapt it as we want to do 2 days in HS so our boys can enjoy one of the Star Wars days and we will also need to research some alternative meals, don’t think they’ll want to do Cindy! Feel I need to make a start on itinerary soon as it’s obviously rather complex!!
Thanks, Linda

69 Dave { 05.18.14 at 10:33 am }

Linda, you can use my high crowd itinerary for that week as a starting point! Most people think I have overstated likely crowds that week…

70 Linda { 05.20.14 at 1:13 pm }


71 Shannon { 07.23.14 at 2:48 am }

Hi Dave!

This site is incredible and I have literally spent hours reading each and every page while writing down tips along the way. Thank you for the countless hours you’ve put into yourfirsttrip.:)

My hubby, myself, and our 8 year old daughter are staying at The Polynesian 11/14-11/19 for our first (hopefully not last) Disney World trip from California! Still working on flights and are considering:

1. taking an overnight flight leaving LA on Thursday night 11/13, landing Friday 5:20 am Orlando time so we can maximize our time on Friday. Other option is flying Friday morning 11/14 landing at 4:00 pm. Would you recommend the overnight flight?

2. The flight home leaves at 5:00pm on the 19th so that would free up the first half of the day until about 2pm. We’d really love to go to all four parks as well as see the Main Street Electrical Parade and the Hoop De Doo Review while there.

3. With that in mind, what parks should we do and on what days??? Help!!!!

Thanks again for all you do,

72 Dave { 07.23.14 at 6:51 am }

Shannon, on 1, I’ve done red-eyes a million times, including weekly for 6 months straight when I had a client in LA, so my answer is no, it’s not worth it. While your trip is already very short, the park time you save will be more than slapped down by the misery.

On 2–have you already seen Disneyland? If so, I like your “see a park every day” approach. If not, I’d suggest two days at MK, which may mean skipping a park–probably Epcot.

Consider on 11/14 seeing Mickey’s Xmas Party. It’s very expensive–details are here: but it puts you in MK for rides and fireworks and the Xmas parade on a night when waits are low. If you can’t then do Hollywood Studios including Fantasmic this evening.

Do Hoop on your Animal Kingdom day, as it has no evening events.

On 11/15, avoid MK and HS–so this is a good AK/Hoop day, although since it’s a Saturday Hoop may be already booked up. If you do HS evening stuff on the 14th, then you can leave HS early on a later HS day and do hoop then

On 11/16, avoid HS–this is a good MK day.

On 11/17, avoid HS.

On 11/18, avoid Epcot and MK

On 11/19 avoid AK.

Hope this helps!!

For specific itineraries in the parks, see my book! The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit

73 Shannon { 07.24.14 at 1:24 am }

Wow Dave! You’ve convinced me that the overnight flight with a recently turned 8 year old is a bad idea. Thank you, as I will not have to learn the hard way!!;) So we will fly Friday 11/14 landing at 4pm. Disney estimated that I’d arrive at Poly around 5pm. With that in mind, here are new questions I’m left with…

1. If we were to buy Mickey’s Xmas Party tickets for that same night (Friday), can we get in the park with our MYW ticket around 6 and then stay for the Xmas party that starts at 7?? Or would we have to wait until 7 to gain entrance to MK?

2. Hoop is booked online for 3 people. Is it likely that I can get a reservation by cancelations? Will calling make a difference? I’ve noticed that there is room for a party of 2. Can I book a party of 2 and a different party of 1 and ask to be seated together when we check in for dinner?

3. We have been to Disneyland many times as we live within an hour of it. I’m sure we’ll love MK and soooo looking forward to it!!:) Not familiar with the other parks though. Is HS an all day park? Same for AK?

Thank you sooooo much Dave!!!

74 Dave { 07.24.14 at 7:07 am }

Shannon so glad you aren’t taking the red eye.

1 While Disney won’t say this publicly, it has always in the past let people holding party tickets in beginning at 4p, so you can just go straight to MK with your party tix.
2. A cancellation is possible but I wouldn’t count on it. And sadly no you can’t reserve 2 and 1 and combine into three. Hoop is one of the few settings at WDW that actually assigns you a specific table.
3 HS and AK are all day parks if you do everything including shows–which I recommend!! But there’s a fair amount of overlap between HS and DCA/DL…so if you skip the HS stuff that’s similar to California it will be less than a day.

75 Donna { 08.01.14 at 5:54 am }


We are booked and ready to go! I have one month to put together an itinerary before I can begin making dining reservations. I was wondering if you will post a February 28, 2015 itinerary? By the way I bought the Kindle version of your book, it’s a wealth of information! Thank you.

76 Dave { 08.01.14 at 7:43 am }

Hi Donna and thanks!!! I’ll be posting an itin for the week beginning 2/28 as soon as Disney publishes March, which it will do sometime around the 18th of August I’d guess…

77 Kati { 09.28.14 at 4:12 pm }

Hi Dave;
I am planning a trip to DW for 2 adults, 6 children (16, 14, 14, 14, 11, and 7) for June 6-19, 2015. Can you suggest an itinerary for us that would include all of the parks including each of the water parks? I am thinking about staying at Port Orleans-Riverside, what is your opinion of this resort? Also what is your ideas about the VIP tours? This is the first trip (probably only trip) for some of the children so I want it to be very memorable. Oh I forgot; two of the children will celebrate their 15th birthdays while we are there.
Thank you for all your help.

78 Dave { 09.29.14 at 7:16 am }

Hi Kati, I won’t release itineraries for June until Disney publishes its June calendar, which it will do in about 2 months.

My resort recommendations are here (in order by type):

VIP tours are not needed…there’s many better ways to spend your money…

79 Angie { 10.24.14 at 11:51 pm }


We are planning our first visit to Disney on Feb 25, 2015. It will be a late arrival on a Wed. We will stay until Wed, March 4th. 6:00 PM flight. 7 nights/ 6 days. Any ideas for itinerary? I have reviewed your Feb. itineraries but not sure if we need to switch days around because Thursday will be our first full day. Also wondering if we should purchase tickets for the final Wednesday of our trip with it only being a partial day. Thanks for your help!

80 Dave { 10.26.14 at 10:27 am }

Angie, my itins are tied to actual days–that is “Monday” means “Monday,” not “Day 3″–because of different operating and crowd patters by day of the week. You best bet is to pick how many days among each park (tell me the ages of your kids and I’ll help with that), then pick park days, then set up your dining and later your FP+

Your dates, avoid AK 2/25, MK 2/26, Epcot 2/27, HS and MK 2/28, AK 3/1, HS 3/2, Epcot 3/3, AK 3/4, and MK 3/5.

My itineraries are integrated and aimed at kids 8 or older. There’s a different set more usable for different arrival dates and for both older and younger kids at the end of Chapter 6 of my book The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit. Note the link is to the 2104 edition–the 2015 edition will be more accurate for you, and will be out soon.

81 Angie { 10.27.14 at 11:26 am }


The ages of our children are 7, 9, and 10. We were thinking about spending 2 days at both MK and Epcot. 1 day each at AK and HS. We arrive late, so our first day of activities at Disney will be Thursday, 2/26. We could spend 2/26 at any park other than MK? Let me know what your thoughts are on determining which one.

82 Dave { 10.29.14 at 7:52 am }

Hi Angie, on 2/26 either Epcot or AK would be a great choice, and HS will be OK.

83 Michelle { 02.02.15 at 9:12 am }

Hi. Thanks for the great site and valuable information.

Planning our first visit. We will arrive late morning Tues, April 14, 2015 and departing on Tues, April 21. Two adults and a 13 yo boy. Staying off site with rental car.

Due to tight budget, we plan spend one day each at AK and Typhoon Lagoon. Also plan one day at a nearby non Disney park.

What are the best days of the week for AK and TL? Do you recommend we include another Disney park as a must see for a 13yo boy?


84 Dave { 02.03.15 at 6:35 am }

Michelle, most consider MK as the quintessential Disney World park, so I’d pick that over AK in a heartbeat. Those dates, avoid AK the 15th and 19th. The best days at MK will be the 15th and 17th. Sorry, but I don’t track TL…

85 Crystal { 02.03.15 at 11:40 am }

Do you still do the itinerary with Sunday arrival? We are going on April 26th for 6 nights/7days. If I used the one with Sunday arrival would I just move everything forward a day or keep it the day it is?

86 Dave { 02.05.15 at 8:47 am }

Here’s the Sunday arrival itinerary for your dates, Crystal. And it is tied to Disney’s exact operating and crowd patterns, so in it “Monday” means Monday, not day 2.

For separate plans for each park that you can assemble into an overall custom itinerary, see the Cheat Sheets in Chapter Six of my book The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2015

87 Tiffany { 02.08.15 at 10:15 am }

Hi, We are traveling to Disney World Oct 22-20, 2015. Which itinerary should we use? Thank you.

88 Tiffany { 02.08.15 at 10:39 am }

One additional question. I looking at the estimated crowd calendars, I’m thinking of changing the trip to Tuesday, Oct 20 – 26, 2015 instead of Oct 22 – 28th. That way we can take an off day on Sat instead of Sunday to avoid the bigger crowds. I would love your thoughts?

89 Dave { 02.08.15 at 12:02 pm }

Tiffany, I’ll post an itinerary for then after Disney releases its operating calendar for Oct, which it will in about a month.

90 Dave { 02.08.15 at 12:03 pm }

Tiffany, the parks are busiest Sat-Mon, so the more of these days you can avoid, the better!

91 Andrea { 02.24.15 at 9:41 pm }

We are going 10/7 to 10/14. What day would be the best for the Halloween parade with it being Columbus day weekend. Thank you.

92 Dave { 02.25.15 at 1:29 pm }

Andrea, I’m assuming you mean the Halloween Party, as that’s the only way to see the Halloween parade. Don’t know for sure yet. Check with me after the October calendar comes out–it should in a couple weeks.

93 Rachael { 02.28.15 at 1:24 pm }

We arrive on Thursday 26th March 2015, we have 2 children aged 8& 10 we are booked in at discover cove on April 5th, we have Orlando f o flex passes so c z n do disney and universities would also like tom do Kennedy space center can you suggest an itinerary we are staying for 2 wks off site probably in Kissimmee.

94 Dave { 03.01.15 at 3:06 pm }

Rachael, the flex passes don’t cover Disney…See this.

That’s one of the busiest times of the year at Disney World. If you decide to get tickets for it too, see this.

95 Beth { 03.22.15 at 3:49 pm }

Thank you for your website and the information :) I am starting to look into a trip in May of 2016 arriving late Thursday May 19 or on May 20th by lunch. We have avid Star Wars fans in the family and would like to incorporate a Star Wars weekend into out trip; rough idea 7 days ie leaving before Memorial day crowds. Do you have any suggestions re itineraries re this and any other suggestions re Star Wars weekends; boy 10, girl almost 8 and boy 3; first trip for kids. Thank you.

96 Dave { 03.23.15 at 11:41 am }

Beth, sorry to say that Disney changes so often that I won’t have a firm point of view until the May 2016 calendars come out–about 6.5 months before…

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