Designing Your Own Itinerary, Continued
(For the first page of this material, see this.)
DESIGNING YOUR OWN WALT DISNEY WORLD TRIP
If this won’t work, you can design your own trip.
How to divide up and allocate your days
- Decide how many days you can be at the parks—include if you can time on your arrival and departure days, as the cost of tickets after three days is so low that partial days are worth it! Shoot for at least 6 days and 5 nights on site–e.g. four full days and two partial travel days. 7 days and 6 nights is much more humane, if you can do it
- Divide your days among the parks. You have two different issues here: the overall use of your time at the four parks, and the mornings you can dedicate. You need at least four mornings—one at each park—and even better no fewer than five, with the fifth a second morning at the Magic Kingdom.
- For the overall use of your time, very few sources will suggest less than
- At least a day each at the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios
- More than a day at Epcot
- Around two days at the Magic Kingdom.
How to sequence your days
Work through the following five rules in order. You rarely will be able to design a perfect trip unless you have extra off times that you can move around, so do the best you can. You will need to check the Disney calendar while doing this.
It’s easier to work with the individual park calendars. To view a day–for example, to figure out if and when Fantasmic or Wishes is on that day–go to the individual park’s monthly calendar and click within the date you are curious about.
1. Except at the Animal Kingdom, avoid morning Extra Magic Hours —the loss of sleep is not usually compensated by what you can get out of them
2. Have one of your Epcot days be the one that it has evening Extra Magic Hours,
3. Try to have one of your Hollywood Studios days be one that it has both evening Extra Magic Hours and also is showing Fantasmic. (Fantasmic is more important than the Extra Magic Hours.)
This way you can see Fantasmic and Illuminations without being stuck in the crowds departing right after they are over
4. Make sure that one of your Magic Kingdom evenings is a day with the fireworks show “Wishes,” and ideally one that also
- Has an evening parade
- Does not close right after the fireworks.
5. Within the constraints above, try to see Epcot first, and the Magic Kingdom last
See also John Schunk’s Leave it to Genie site if you need more help planning your trip.
FOOD, SHOWS, AND SUCH
Reviewing sections C1-C3 of the To-Do List for the Autumn-Winter-Spring Itinerary will reveal what food, shows, etc., I suggest. You can find it here. If you can’t do, or won’t, do something on that list, see this for various meal options ranked in order.
MORE ON HOW LONG TO STAY AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
- For advice on how long to stay, see this
- For other trip lengths, particularly for the basic December itinerary, see this
- For itinerary design goals and the basic December Itinerary, see this
- For itineraries covering all the other parts of the year, see this
- For shorter and longer itineraries targeted at the same December week, see this
- To design your own itinerary, see this
- For rides that might be skipped, see this
- For a comprehensive guide to rides and attractions, see this