j. To-Do List

By Dave Shute

To Do List: Basic December Itinerary      To-Do Lists: All Other Itineraries

Summary    To-Do List    Sat    Sun    Mon    Tues    Weds    Thurs    Fri    Sat    Sun

Basic Itinerary

Disney-World-Basic-December-Itinerary-v3-hspYour To-Do list for the Walt Disney World basic December itinerary follows.

(For To-Do lists for other itineraries, see To-Do Lists: All Other Itineraries.)


(Note that a travel agent, such as Destinations Florida, can do almost all of this for you, for free. If you use Destinations Florida as you travel agent through a link for this site–like this one–then they share a bit of the pixie dust they get from Disney with me.)

1. Confirm your budget, planned dates, kids’ development paths 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. 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, which the new WDW website no longer allows you to do), or click here to use Disney’s online system. (Note: if your dates are beyond what the online system permits, see this.)

  • When the page opens, click “Book Vacation Packages”
  • Add your dates, party size and age of your kids
  • Set up your basic package:
    • Click “Advanced Search”
    • Click “I know the Resort I want.”
    • In the drop down menu that appears, click to open, and scroll to pick your hotel
    • Click “Dining Plan”
    • Click “Continue”
    • Wait
  • Fix the options–a page will open that has selected several options for you, most of them wrong. You will need to fix in each section, and update the sections as you go.
    • At the top of the page you will be put into the most expensive room. Click the button for the least expensive instead. (The views aren’t worth it for first time family visitors, except Animal Kingdom Lodge visitors should always pick a Savannah view)
    • Click “Update” and wait
    • Click, in the “Park Tickets and Options” section, the button in the upper right that says “Open.”
    • Unclick the “Park Hopper” and “Water Parks and More” boxes
    • Change the number of days in your tickets to 8
    • Click “Update” and wait
  • Click “Ground Transportation” and when it opens, click Disney’s Magical Express, and add your airline info
  • Click “Continue” and wait
  • Click “Select this Offer” at the bottom of the page and wait
  • When the pricing pages shows up, unclick Trip Insurance (if offered)
  • In the “Special Room Requests” section, click to open, then click “Refrigerator”
  • If you are on the phone, tell the reservationist what room you want
    • If a Polynesian guest, ask for a room on the third floor (quieter) in Rapa Nui or Tahiti. (These are 2 of the only 3 buildings with both the largest rooms and balconies on all floors, and are the 2 buildings closest to the Epcot monorail. You are in fact so close to TTC that you can take the express monorail home from the Magic Kingdom–much faster than the resort monorail.)
    • If a Pop Century Guest, ask for a room on the 4th floor (quieter) in the 1970s area. (This is the only building group at Pop Century that does not surround a pool, so it will be quieter at night.)
  • Complete the transaction with your credit card.


Go to the online restaurant reservations page here, set up an account if you don’t already have one, and practice trying to reserve restaurants.

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).

Collect your restaurant reservations together. You will want to do them online in order of hardest to reserve first. This is how they are listed below.


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1 Audrey Bower { 09.09.10 at 9:06 pm }

I love your website it’s really fantastic. I would love to ask you a couple of questions though. I’m in Australia and my kids are 10 and 7 so I’m hamstrung by school holidays to a degree. I’d really love to go to WDW in early April 2011 (2-9 April) but I’m concerned about the crowd levels. It’s also quite expensive at that time. The other option is 24 September 2011. I understand it’s quite hot but we don’t mind that as we’re very used to very hot weather. I want to optimise the experience for my kids as it’s a trip of a lifetime so I’m a bit reluctant about the September option in case of hurricanes. Could you offer any advice on which time you think would be best.
Thanks and regards
Audrey Bower

2 Dave { 09.10.10 at 6:28 am }

Hi Audrey, and thanks for the kind words. Tell your 10,000 closest friends about the site!!

If you look at my page on 2011 Weeks weeks to visit ranked in order, you’ll note that both your weeks are strong and very close–I rank April 2 15th, and Sept 24 16th.

The positives and negatives are just what you’ve identified, except I don’t expect huge crowds the week of April 2, given the late Easter (tho I may be wrong–spring break is a tough time of year to forecast!!).

On the crowds and prices vs hurricanes issue, I tend towards the April week, if you can afford it.

The reason is the uncertainty.

If the April week ends up with higher crowds, you can deal with that by getting to the parks early. But there’s no real way to deal with a hurricane.

It is very very rare for a hurricane to ruin an Orlando vacation. But it does happen, and if this is a once in a lifetime trip, and you can afford to avoid the risk, then that’s what I’d do.

Another way to think about this is to compare the difference in prices for the two trips and ask yourself if you would be willing to spend that amount for a guarantee of no hurricanes. If you would, then April wins.

Hope this helps and have a great trip! Dave

3 Mike { 12.01.10 at 1:23 am }

Great site! I will tell people when they are planning a Disney trip to check it out.

4 Dave { 12.01.10 at 7:05 am }

Thanks, Mike!

5 Sue Gilbert { 05.25.11 at 9:20 pm }

Hi! We are planning a trip there next week…arriving 6/3 and departing 6/10. Already have been disappointed we couldn’t get reservations for any meals with the princesses…what do you suggest on how to visit the park(s), are there any websites or pamphlets on where to go first, etc? Knowing that it will be hot and humid we want to do the most that we can in the mornings and evenings. Also, can you take your own beverages into the park?

6 Dave { 05.25.11 at 10:12 pm }

Hi Sue!

It’s hard to get the princesses if you don’t start 6 months before (when reservations open)…sorry it didn’t work out!!

For an itinerary approach see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/12/06/summer-itinerary-for-walt-disney-world-v2/ It odesn’t fir your dates, but gives you a general idea.

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

I laso recommend the stuff at touringplans.com You can find there ideas on which parks whihc days, and also one and two day plans for each park! It’ll cost you ten bucks or so but well worth it.

Hope this helps and have a great trip!! Dave

7 Dave { 05.25.11 at 10:14 pm }

Ooops–forgot the beverages question. Officially you can’t. However to my knowledge no one has ever been fussed at for bringing bottled water in…

8 Irma { 06.15.11 at 10:59 pm }

Hi there! This website is really great! Thanks for letting me see the many things you can do in Disney. My son won four tickets to Disney World at a perfect attendance rally at his school. I’m going to ask, what do you recommend? Because this is going to be our first Disney trip. We are planning to go in July 20th and finish it off on the 25th. We are very excited! We are flying from San Antonio,TX. We don’t exactly know the flying plans,yet. But, all we know that our airlines is Southwest. We have my son, my other son, my daughter,and I attending. My sisiter and niece with her mother is also attending, but they paying for their own ticket. And what is the best thing to do? Take a regular rental bus to the resort? Or take the Magical Express? And what’s the best agenda for our first day? We are planning to stay at the value resort, Disney All Star Movie Resort. I hope you can help us.

9 Dave { 06.16.11 at 6:25 am }

Hi Irma–I can help, but tell me the ages of your kids first…

10 Kevin { 06.17.11 at 12:39 pm }

Planning a trip to DW oct 2012 and would love to stay in 2 bedroom villa at fort wilderness resort with 5 adults and 2 children 5 and 3. The villas look beautiful and seem spacious enough. My wife really wants to stay at this villa, so my question is, are the villas spacious enough for our party of 7? They are on the pricey side for us, but it may be worth it if enough room and we like the full kitchen and laundry options since we have small children…. thank you and i am sure we will have more questions once our trip gets closer:)

11 Dave { 06.17.11 at 1:44 pm }

Hi Kevin!

The answer kinda depends on the 5 adults and how they want to sleep.

You get three sleeping spaces: a king in one bedroom, two queens or a queen and a full fold out couch in a second, and a fold-out couch in the shared living/dining/kitchen space.

For more, see http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/02/07/review-the-villas-at-disneys-wilderness-lodge/

If this is an awkward fit to the family structure, take a look at the Treehouses: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2009/08/16/review-the-treehouses-at-disneys-saratoga-springs-resort-and-spa/

12 Kevin { 06.17.11 at 1:59 pm }

Thank you! Think the Saratoga resort is a safer bet too! Very pretty too and cheaper.

13 Dave { 06.17.11 at 2:20 pm }

Great Kevin!–only the treehouses have this bedroom structure–the rest of the Saratoga Springs resort villas do not…I do prefer the Wilderness Lodge…but only if you fit!

14 Mike { 10.15.11 at 9:15 am }

Hi Dave. I will be making my ADRs on Monday (10/18) and i was familiarizing myself with the disney site today, but i can’t seem to figure out how to enter my confirmation number to let me book >180 days without clicking on the “i want to use my disney dining plan” link. Right now i just have a room-only reservation booked through Small World Vacations. Should i just click this link to associate reservations with the disney dining plan anyway since i do plan to eventually add the dining plan or will Disney block me since i don’t yet have a dining plan. Is there an easier way on line to enter my resort confirmation # without doing this?


15 Dave { 10.15.11 at 12:24 pm }

Mike– have you set up a Disney online account and associated your hotel res confirmation number with it? See this: http://www.themouseforless.com/tripplanning/dining/ADR.shtml The fallback is to do your ADRs over the phone–but you will still need your hotel res confirmation number…

16 Carol { 10.24.11 at 9:26 am }


Love your site! We are planning on going to WDW, staying at the polynesian on March 3-10, 2012 (Saturday to Saturday). Our son loves anything Star Wars…when do you suggest we visit Hollywood Studios to do the Jedi Training? (I’m using your 7 night itinerary and it says Hollywood Studios on Monday…would we miss the Star Wars weekends then? (unsure if it’s on during spring or summer…WDW’s site is unclear).

17 Dave { 10.24.11 at 10:28 am }

Hi Carol!

While Disney has not yet announced Star Wars weekends, in the recent past they’ve been late May and early June.

For Jedi training, arrive at the park before it opens and head straight to the sign-up area. Right now sign-ups are in the “Sounds Dangerous” area, but double check with a park cast member when you arrive! Then pick up the itinerary form there…

18 Shannon Williams { 11.18.11 at 10:36 am }

First of all I want to say this site is AMAZING!! Second of all, just looking for some tips..of course, like everybody else :) We are traveling to Orlando December 14th trough 21st with my family and my brother family(4 adults and kids range from 7 to 16) A little info, my brother and my husband do NOT do well with crowds, they have no idea what we are getting them into ;) We are going to spend two days in Disney and the rest at other parks(universal/sea world). What two days and what two parks do you recommend? We will go to for sure MK one day, we are not as concerned about the special Christmas celebration as it costs more $$, just looking at low crowd days. I was thinking to try to get in Disney at the beginning of the week like the 15th and our second day to be the 17th before the Christmas crowds start showing up.
Thanks for the help,
Florida Bound From Minne-SNOW-ta

19 Dave { 11.18.11 at 10:58 am }

Hi Shannon!

Couple of things:

Target your non-Disney days over Sat/Sun/Monday, as the non-Disney parks tend to be less crowded then.

See MK for sure, and honestly you could spend both days there. Avoid the 15th at MK (it has special morning hours for Disney hotel guests, which yield greater corwds later in the day), and don’t worry about going on an Xmas party day, as that tends to drive crowds down.

I’d do MK the 16th, and it or another Disney park the 20th, and non-Disney parks the other days. I don’t expect the heavy Xmas crowds to start showing up until the 22nd.

It’s hard to suggest a second park given your kid’s age range…but either Animal Kingdom or Hollywood studios would work…

The key to avoiding crowds is to arrive at the turnstiles well before the parks open…

Thanks for the kind words about the site, and I hope this helps! Dave

20 Lacey { 01.19.12 at 9:26 am }

My husband and I will be going to Disneyworld at the end of September 15-22 for seven days before the festival. No kids. Its my first time to Disney. My husband went when he was 5 but doesnt remember it. :( We plan on staying at Pop Century and having our day “off” at Sea World. What would you suggest for two adults and what would you skip? Would you recommend the dining plan still? Thanks.

21 Dave { 01.19.12 at 10:47 am }

Hi Lacey, for what to do, see the right side of the chart on this page: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/

The scoop on the dining plan is this: if you would do, on average, a sit-down meal every day, and are willing to commit to which restaurants when well ahead of time, then it saves a bit of money. If you won’t do that amount of sit-down, or aren’t willing to commit to which places to eat when soon, it’s likely not a good deal…

Most couples enjoy sit-down meals together…others can’t stand the fact that it creates hard-to-move tentpoles in your schedule…but if you try to play it by ear and decide where to eat and when when you are there, you may find that all the best and most fun dining spots are booked…(Note you can book restuarants without using the dining plan…it’s rather that if you are unwilling to book them, then don’t get the plan.)

Does this help??

22 Anonymous { 04.30.12 at 9:47 pm }

We (husband , daughter 9 and son 2 )are travelling to Florida from London on the 4th May 2012.For the first few days we are in a conference in Ft.Lauderdale.On the 10th we plan to drive to WD for 2 days 1 night.Please suggest how should we go about? I kno

23 Dave { 05.01.12 at 1:59 pm }

Hi, given how little time you have and the ages of your kids, I’d just spend two days at the Magic Kingdom

24 Candy M { 06.14.12 at 11:22 pm }

First, this site is great. We’re planning our first trip to Disney World (2 adults, 1 kid age 9). We would like to arrive the Sunday or Monday after Thanksgiving 2012 and stay for 4 nights, 5 days (that’s all we can afford). So, I have two questions: (1) If we arrive in the early afternoon on the first day and leave in the morning on day five, shouldn’t I just buy a 4-day pass? Sounds like common sense but I want to make sure that I understand how the passes work. (2) Given that we will only have 3 1/2 days for play, what should we definitely plan to do? I’ve checked out your site and have seen the itineraries but I must admit, I’m totally overwhelmed!!! I can’t afford a travel agent as our budget is tight (but perhaps I should consider this – may be worth it the first time). Also, I don’t wont to stress out over a vacation. A list of must see places or things to do would be very helpful. Thank you!

25 Dave { 06.15.12 at 9:51 am }

Hi Candy coupla things:

First, because of how Disney front-loads the price into the first three days of a ticket, the per-person added cost of a 5 day ticket compared to a 4 day ticket is just ~$11. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/06/03/disney-world-ticket-prices-2012-to-summer-2013/ So I’d go with 5 day tix. See also this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2009/12/16/planning-your-walt-disney-world-budget/

Second, for the must sees see the image on this page: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/

Third, BTW, a travel agent is free–they are compensated by Disney for their Timex, not by you. However, you can’t turn all the decisions over to them–you still have to make the basic ones yourself, and then they can help you refine them and execute them…

Hope this helps!

26 JJ { 08.27.12 at 1:12 pm }

Dave- Traveling to DW from 2/23 to 3/2 with kids (ages 7 and 4). Have read a lot of recommendations to tour with the kids early (at park opening) and in the morning and then return to the hotel to take a break (for naps etc.) at some point. Then returning to the park. Seems like a good idea–our kids can’t last all day without some rest– but I think they would enjoy some of the evening activities…

We are staying at the Contemporary. My question is– does leaving the park mid-day for a break and then returning work for AK and HS? Seems like we are going to need to take a bus there/back and not sure of communting times. Plus, both those parks have shorter hours (AK closing at 5, HS closing at 7).

Is taking mid-day break and returning to the hotel feasible for those parks? Thanks!

27 Dave { 08.27.12 at 1:30 pm }

Hi JJ! For kids that age, I do agree with all those who suggest park/break/park, but you are right, during short-hour weeks for AK that’s a trick (HS is a little easier, as some of it likely will be too intense for your kids’ ages anyway–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/ )

I think the way to handle it is to build your days at those two parks so that you see what’s really important to you all first–using the link above to help…so that you can leave for good whenever you need to. FYI, the 3p parade at HS is lame, and I am one of many who’s also not that impressed by the 3.45 parade at AK…

28 JJ { 09.05.12 at 5:57 pm }


Thanks for your help. Another question. Arriving on 2/23. Had planned to do EP on 2/24 and then AK on 2/25. But, I just discovered that there is a Princess Half-Marathon at (or near?) EP on 2/24. Generally, I am trying to avoid long lines. What do you think? Should I switch those two days around? Or maybe the impact of that race isn’t too great? Would appreciate your advice….

29 Dave { 09.06.12 at 7:09 am }

Hi JJ, yup I’d switch. The half ends in Epcot, and likely a lot of families will be there to meet their runners, which will increase Epcot crowds…

30 Liz { 10.21.12 at 3:10 pm }

Hi. My sister and I are planning our 1st trip, dates are 6/7 (AM) – 6/15 (AM) 2013. We plan on stayin at the Art of Animation, we have dining plan (quick/table service) and the park hopper, without water park. My kids are 14 and 15, since this is our fist time and we cant change the dates due to school, so you think it would be tter to skip the park since you mentioned a “first timer” shouldnt go when its busy and just plan for when they are out of school in 2016 when our dates would be more open? Any help would be great. We are bigDisney fans and can do Disneyland with our eyes closed, we know all the tips and tricks but with WDW, we are lost!!! HELP

31 Dave { 10.22.12 at 6:51 am }

Hi Liz! I’d do it now, before they get too old! That week, while not good, is at least better than later-summer weeks…

32 Maureen { 10.25.12 at 9:05 pm }

Hi Dave. We have finally booked our trip for April/May 2013! Your site has been my planning bible. I’ll be making my dining reservations this weekend online. We are doing the Disney Plus Dining Pkg (1 quick service, 1 table service and 1 snack). I have a couple of dining events that are beyond our table service credits, such as the Fantasmic Dining Pkg that I have added to our itinery. We intend to pay cash for these. Do you know if I can book these online when I am booking all my other ADRs that are covered within the dining plan? or do I have to call for these? I can’t test it our myself as I am blocked from reserving until the 180th day. Thanks so much for your insight and advice.

33 Dave { 10.26.12 at 9:48 am }

Hi Maureen, yes you can book them online! And I’m so glad the site has helped!

34 Karen { 10.29.12 at 9:31 pm }

Hi Dave, Just found you site and finding it very helpful. My husband and I will be going 12/9 thur 12/15. Have always wanted to see WDW dressed up for Christmas. Planning on parks but also want to see the decorations at the resorts. Any tips on how to get the around to the resorts (car, monorail, bus, etc…) , whats best to see at night and daytime, and what to skip.
We are staying at the Carribbean.

35 Dave { 10.30.12 at 7:54 am }
36 Janet { 11.01.12 at 3:05 pm }

Hi Dave…We are taking our 4 & 5 yr. grandchildren to MK (1 day) and AK (1 day) what days would you suggest. I noticed the crowd calendar has changed since the summer. Thanks.

37 Hannah { 11.07.12 at 8:47 am }

Hi Dave,
I am a single mom wanting to travel to WDW with my 6 y.o. son during xmas 2012. This will be our first trip. I have some points that may take care of air. And, of course, want to economize the trip. What are some and more of your suggestions? Please comments.

38 Dave { 11.07.12 at 10:26 am }

Hannah, if you mean Christmas week or the week after, those are very expensive and enormously crowded times to go! If you mean earlier December, that’s a good time. There are no particular deals out there right now. For some budget examples, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/what-to-budget/estimating-budgets/designing-your-walt-disney-world-vacation-to-a-lower-target-budget/

39 Sahil { 11.21.12 at 10:20 pm }

Hi Dave, thanks for all the fantastic information on your site…., I have a quick question on WDW. I want a romantic getaway with my wife and we are exploring two options – the week of Dec 16 or the week of Dec 26. What do you suggest ? Also, we are thinking of a 7 day trip and want a vacation at a leisurely pace. no rushes. what kind of itinerary do you suggest. we are more into theme parks and rides, good romantic dinners and less into nightlife.

40 Dave { 11.23.12 at 3:14 pm }

Sahil, the week of the 26th is the most crowded week of the year, so the week of the 16th would be much better. Much of the best dining will be already booked, however–for both weeks. All my itineraries are for (fairly rushed) family visits, but you might find some options here: http://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/touring-plans

41 Suzie { 04.06.13 at 2:39 pm }

Hi Dave, I’m closing in on my 180 day window, and have a question. When I originally heard about the 6 month lead time, I thought it was exactly 6 months prior to the day I wanted a reservation (meaning that I would need to book Cindy one day, and Chef Mikey on another day). Looks like that’s not the case. Does the system open up for an entire week at a time? We arrive on October 12th (which is a Sat). According to your site, I should be prepared to book everything on April 15th. So will I be able to book Cindy for 10/15 and Mikey for 10/18 all on April 15th? That makes it easier for sure! What if I didn’t make my reservations through Disney? Does that matter? Sorry if I’m not following this…. Thanks! Suzie

42 Suzie { 04.06.13 at 3:01 pm }

Sorry, to clarify, a family member booked us at his WDW Timeshare resort. I do have the confirmation number for the reservation. As long as I have that number, does it matter if I make the reservations, versus my brother-in-law? I know he’s not getting up at 5:50AM!

43 Dave { 04.06.13 at 5:52 pm }

If the timeshare is one of the DVC properties (tell me what it is and I’ll tell you, if you ar enot sure), then as soon as you hit 180 for your arrival day, you can book that day and the ten days following! You MAY have to log-in to the site as him, though…so be prepared for that, and have his username and password…

44 Suzie { 04.06.13 at 6:36 pm }

Yes, we are at a DVC property. Old Key West, with a wait list for Beach Club. Sounds like I should plan to use him username and password to be safe. Thanks Dave!

45 Dave { 04.06.13 at 7:45 pm }

You bet Suzie, and good luck with the dining reservations!

46 Mike { 05.14.13 at 1:04 pm }

Have the rules changed? I could only book online the first day of vacation, not the rest of the trip.

47 Dave { 05.15.13 at 6:42 am }

Mike, there’s been systems problems with this, on and off, for a coupla months now…

48 Mandy W { 06.08.13 at 11:21 pm }

In reference to the above conversation: the system is still having problems. I was up at 5 a.m. Texas time on Friday to make our 180-day reservations and the system did not allow me to book anything further than the first day of our vacation (in spite of the fact that we are staying on Disney property), as Mike said above. Thankfully, a call at exactly 6a CST to WDW-DINE got me all of our reservations, including at Cindy’s! Made me nervous there for a minute. I hope they get that glitch ironed out for everyone soon!

49 Dave { 06.09.13 at 8:59 am }

Thanks Mandy…sure is a pain…

50 Luis { 06.25.13 at 1:29 pm }

Hi Dave! when using the rider switch or child swap, do you have to make the regular line? Or you can skip the whole line (and time) by doing the rider switch or child swap? Tks a lot!

51 Dave { 06.26.13 at 7:04 am }

Hey Luis, you are in the regular line until boarding.

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52 Federico { 08.09.13 at 7:44 pm }

I am from Argentina. We are going to Disney next 11th september.
We, as latinoamerican, have the chance to get quick plan for free if we go to one of the disney hotel. I have a question: with the pass (once a day, no hopper) can we go to the water park? I mean, one day, instead of going to Magic Kingdom we go to Typhoon Lagoon…Thanks for the site, it is awesome!!!!

53 Dave { 08.10.13 at 8:07 am }

Hi Frederico! The standard tickets give you only theme park entrance. You can’t use one of their “days” for the water parks. For the water parks, you either pay cash at the gate, or get the “water park add on” to your standard tickets. For just one water park visit, it’s much cheaper to pay cash at the gate.

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54 Federico { 08.14.13 at 10:14 pm }

Thank you so much for your answer!!!
I have only one more question to ask…
I bought the quick service dining plan and i wonder if we can make a reservation for a restaurant. I mean if it is included in the plan i bought.
If I look for that kind of restaurant, i can only find 4 restaurant that accept Quick Plan. In this case i wanna go to Bongos Cuban Cafe. May I use the credit of the plan to eat there? or will i have to pay for the dinner?
Sorry for my english!!! as i told you, i live in Argentina, so English is not my native language!!

55 Dave { 08.15.13 at 7:38 am }

Federico, no. The only restaurants you can reserve are the table service restaurants. If you eat at Bongo at a table with a waitress, you will have to pay cash.

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56 Carolyn { 08.30.13 at 7:52 am }

Hi! Thank you for this site!! It’s making the overwhelming task of planning our first trip (a little) easier!! I just hope that all the hours that I’ve put into researching the trip, is all worth it end the end!! ;)

Onto my question…… We are booked (based in your recommendation) 12/7/13 – 12/14/13 at the Polynesian (2 adults, one 6 yr old and one 7 yr old). I have made some reservations and I am working on our itinerary, using your suggestions as a starting point (allowing flexibility). I haven’t seen much info in regards to the water parks. I purchased the park hopper with the water park option and was wondering how you recommend using it. Which waterpark, on which days, at what time?? Any help is appreciated!

57 Dave { 08.31.13 at 10:34 am }

Hi Carolyn and thanks!

Here’s the scoop on the waterparks: while great, they aren’t as good as either more time in the theme parks or more time off, unless your visit is longer than 10 days. Moreover December weather is all over the place–highs can range from 40 to 80. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/high-temperatures-year-round/

What I’d do is reserve a day in the last third of your trip planned to be off. Then, the night before, base don exhaustion and the weather forecast, you can decide the night befroe whether to take it off or spend it at a waterpark…

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58 Suzie { 10.03.13 at 2:57 pm }

Hi Dave, I’m second guessing my plans. We leave on 10/12 and have a 5 and almost 4 yr old. My current schedule has us at the parks for 5 days, but I am buying a 6 day MYW. Sat – Travel / Sun – AK / Mon – HS (lunch Prime Time café)/ Tues -MK (lunch w/Cindy) / Wednesday – MK (lunch @ Crystal Palace) / Thurs – Epcot / Friday – No parks (Chef Mickey breakfast, Ohana’s for dinner). After reading up on HS, I’m wondering if I should drop it, and do a 3rd day at MK. If so, I would move Epcot to Mon, with Thursday as my day to decide between HS or Day 3 at MK. Or, I could leave the schedule as is. We have breakfast with Mickey on Friday, and could visit MK for a few hours after that. As far as our days in the park, I know you recommend taking a break mid-day, and head back at night. I don’t think that will work for us. The kids aren’t napping anymore, and will go to bed by 7pm each night. Our goal is to keep them at the park as long as we can, then once they hit the wall, we will head back to the hotel. The kids love to swim, and we plan to eat dinner at our hotel all nights except for the last night. Thanks! Suzie

59 Dave { 10.04.13 at 12:05 pm }

Suzie, frankly, I’d drop Epcot from your plans–that’s the park with the least appeal to kids the ages of yours. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/03/09/the-comprehensive-guide-to-walt-disney-world-rides-and-attractions/ That way Thursday becokmes your “back wherever” day…

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60 Suzie { 10.04.13 at 1:18 pm }

Thanks Dave!

61 Wendy { 11.19.13 at 1:49 am }

Just a few more days…

What is the best way to get from Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney?



62 Dave { 11.19.13 at 4:37 pm }

Wendy I so hope you have a wonderful time!!!

Disney just ended the experiment of a bus from AK to DTD, so you need to take a bus to a resort and then change their to the DTD bus. Most recommend AKL (I think I may myself somewhere on this site) but Art of Animation is more on the way, and has only one internal stop (AKL has two).

63 Wendy { 11.20.13 at 2:06 am }

I knew you would have an answer for me! I am sure we will have fun – just being there will be wonderful!

I would say thanks again for all the help – but I am SURE I will be back here before I go…


64 Wendy { 11.21.13 at 12:37 am }

OK – 2 days left – do I need to call and confirm all my reservations? I do that when I travel in Europe – do I need to do it for WDW?



65 Dave { 11.21.13 at 7:27 am }

Wendy, I never have. If you have paper copies yo should be fine. On the other hand it can’t possibly hurt!!!

66 Melissa { 02.13.14 at 1:06 pm }

Hello – we have been to Disney World once as a family 3 1/2 years ago. We did the main parks but opted not to do the water parks. Now that we are looking into a second trip to WDW, my daughter really wants to make sure we go to the water parks this time. Can you please tell me the best time of year to visit WDW if we want to go to the water parks (and other parks). Would prefer a time of year where the weather is warm enough to swim (preferably in the 80s) and when the crowds are lower and room rates are cheaper :) Thank you!!

67 Dave { 02.13.14 at 4:23 pm }

September fits the bill on all three dimensions, Melissa!

68 Melissa { 02.19.14 at 1:39 pm }

Thank you, Dave!

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