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

Now available in PDF format!—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

FastPass+ Seven Night Basic December Itinerary, Saturday Arrival

By Dave Shute

Note: This itinerary is just an example!  I will be revising it (if needed) after Disney World publishes its actual schedule for December 2016, likely in late May.

This Walt Disney World itinerary is a shorter variant of the eight-night Basic December itinerary, with a Saturday arrival. It’s designed for the three weeks following Thanksgiving.

There’s also a Sunday arrival variant. If you could do either, the Sunday variant is a better choice.

Disney World Seven Night Saturday Arrival Variant of Basic December Itinerary from

If you aren’t going one of those weeks, see Other Itineraries for alternatives the rest of the year, which are published about six months ahead.

You can enlarge the itinerary by clicking it.

As with the other itineraries on this site, there is also a detailed page for each day of your vacation, with specific instructions for that day. Find them here:

Moreover, a detailed To-Do List covers all the steps you need to undertake–including reserving dining and booking FastPass+.

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1 Jason Hahn { 03.14.13 at 6:07 pm }

We are going to Disney World , December 14-21, 2013, with two young kids (age 5.5 and 7). We are staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I am looking at your Basic December Itinerary Less Second Sunday. We are very concerned that the parks are going to get busier as the week goes on. Any suggested changes to your itinerary that would help us limit the late nights (10 pm back at AKL should be OK), do must see things at the start of the week and make our trip age appropriate for young kids. Also, we plan on returning when the kids are older.

2 Dave { 03.15.13 at 9:42 am }

Hi Jason–don’t worry about crowds that until Saturday night the 21st. Christmas breaks move around more than one would think until one starts tracking them closely for a site like this! Because New Year’s Day 2014 is mid-week, Xmas breaks won’t start til 12/23 in 2013… For the logic behind this, see this page about 2012 whihc had a similar mid-week New Years

The itineraries should be close to dead on for your older girl, but you can use this as a filter to pitch them more towards the younger one:

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3 Danny { 05.09.13 at 10:29 am }

I would move crystal palace to a dinner on tuesday night.

4 Nick { 05.14.13 at 9:58 pm }

Hi Dave,
Greatly appreciate the work you’ve put in on this site! We are planning on taking our 3 kids and my adult sister the Friday after Thanksgiving. We are considering going Friday-Friday (to allow the kids to recover before going back to school the next week). Can I adjust your 7 night itinerary accordingly or are there specific reasons for doing certain things on certain days?
Many thanks,

5 Dave { 05.15.13 at 6:58 am }

Nick, because of day to day variations in Disney’s operating calendar, days mean days–so “First Saturday” means “Saturday,” not “Day 1.” Lemme know how old the kids are and I’ll suggest revisions…

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6 Nick { 05.15.13 at 2:27 pm }

Thank you sir.
Kids are 13, 10, 8

7 Dave { 05.16.13 at 8:06 am }

OK Nick, here’s how to modify it: Do what it shows on Friday evening for your arrival night; do what it shows on Friday morning for your Saturday morning; do what it shows on Saturday night as your Saturday night; and move what it shows as Second Saturday morning on your second Friday morning…let me know if I’ve confused you!!

8 Nick { 05.20.13 at 6:06 pm }

Thanks Dave! Working it through in my head, I think I’ve got it. I’ll marry it to paper to make sure and ping you if I get lost in the translation. Again, VERY much appreciated!

9 Dave { 05.21.13 at 8:12 am }

You bet, Nick!

10 Steve M { 02.27.14 at 7:56 pm }

Is there a specific itinerary for following the basic itinerary less the second sunday and staying at the Wilderness Lodge.

11 Dave { 02.28.14 at 7:11 am }

Steve, I am revising the Basic Itinerary–which applies to only three weeks from Thanksgiving through early December–based on FastPass+. The revision to it, and to the related itineraries like this one, will likely come out in April. None is tied to a specific hotel…

12 tami { 07.17.14 at 12:53 am }

Hi Dave! So happy I found your site! Our family of 7 (kids aged 14, 12, 9, 7 and 6) will be at Disney Dec. 4-9, 2014 and spending 5 days in the parks starting the 4th. Could you please advise an itinerary since we are beginning mid-week? Also, we don’t have park hoppers. Thanks so much!

13 Dave { 07.17.14 at 7:47 am }

Tami, I don’t have an itinerary that fits. The closest is this one:

December itineraries are very different (which is why it’s labeled “Basic December”) because of all the xmas programs. This itinerary assumes not only a hopper, but also that you buy additional tix for the Christmas Party whihc are around $60/each.

Take a look at it and its daily links–especially on the Xmas party day, Tuesday–tell me your reactions, and then I’ll help you come up with something for your dates and budget.

14 tami { 07.17.14 at 9:52 am }

I viewed the daily links and really love how specific and helpful they are. I really can’t expand our vacation to 6 park days, nor do I want to add park hoppers. Wanting to immerse ourselves in Disney, we opted for on-site lodging, and lodging for a 2 bedroom villa took a significant portion of our budget. However, we are so thrilled for this trip we are content with not hitting it all. We might consider adding the Christmas party for 5th or 7th. If I am reading correctly, it would serve as a sort of limited park hopper? Perhaps allowing us to spend the day at one park and finish at MK? I was considering 1 day for each park with final day going back to finish up or repeat favorites at our favorite park – perhaps adding in the Christmas Party to 1 evening. Any thoughts you have are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

15 Dave { 07.18.14 at 7:08 am }

Tami, yes the Xmas party means you can use a ticket day at another park earlier and then use the special party ticket that evening! I would plan two days at MK and one day at each of the other parks. Picking a favorite to return to on your last day doesn’t work so well with FastPass+, as you want to book your rides 60 days out. You can either adapt the itineraries you’ve seen, or add the Xmas stuff to the itineraries you’ll find in my book The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit

16 tami { 07.18.14 at 10:58 pm }

Thank you Dave. Will now spend between now and 60 days prior to trip perusing your site for all the great info.

17 Nicole { 02.03.16 at 3:37 pm }

Hi, after looking at this itinerary and reading the book I see there is a bit of a conflict with your recommendation to avoid magic kingdom during the taping of the abc christmas parade and you number one recommended week and itinerary. Any advice?

18 Dave { 02.03.16 at 5:36 pm }

Nicole there’s a couple of reasons for that, but the most important is that in my book I have a co-author, and on this site I don’t!!

Note by the way–and your comment has reminded me to mark this on the pages, so thank you–that I likely will be revising ALL the December itineraries after the actual schedule comes out (likely in late May).

19 Tom { 05.16.16 at 1:39 pm }

Hi Dave, how would you revise for 6 nights – Arriving 11/26/16 and departing 12/2/16?

20 Dave { 05.17.16 at 7:13 am }

Tom, I will be revising this itinerary after Disney releases December hours (which it should do soon) and can’t answer until then.

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