By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Instructions for Your First Visit to Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute



Follow the instructions that follow for your first family visit to Walt Disney World to save thousands of dollars, and avoid dozens of hours waiting in line, while seeing all the best of Walt Disney World!

Want a second opinion?  Then buy the book! you make great Disney World plans quickly!!1. When to Go to Walt Disney World:

If you can, arrive at Walt Disney World one of the first three Saturdays after Thanksgiving.      More…    Next best dates to go…

2. How Long to Stay:

You can have a wonderful trip spending as few as 5 days. However, if you can, be in Orlando for 9 days–a Saturday through a Sunday.    More…    Going for a shorter trip…

3. How Old/Tall Your Children Should be:

Kids of any age can have a wonderful time at Disney World. However, if this may be your kids’ only childhood visit, consider going when your youngest child is at least 8 or 9, and your shortest child at least 48 inches tall.      More…    Planning for going with younger/shorter kids…

4. Where to Stay at Walt Disney World:

Stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort if you can afford it, or at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort if you can’t.   More…    Next best resort options…

5. How Much to Budget:

You can have a wonderful first visit for $3,000 or less. However, to see all the best of Walt Disney World, budget if you can $8,400 if you are staying at the Polynesian, or $5,300 if at Art of Animation.    More…    Developing a much lower or a different budget…

6. When Your Plans Need to be Firm:

Your plans should be firm at least 181 days before your arrival date.      More…    Planning if it’s already later than that…

7. How to Eat at Walt Disney World:

Sign up for the “Magic Your Way Plus Dining” package. More…    Planning if you can’t do this package…

8. Where to Eat:

The Basic Itinerary tells you exactly where to eat (as do the Other Itineraries).      More…    Next best dining choices…

9. How to Spend Your Time at Walt Disney World:

The Basic Itinerary tells you exactly how to spend your time in Orlando (as do the Other Itineraries).      More…    Other Itineraries…

10. What to do When:

See the To-Do List for an exact list of what to do when to prepare for your trip.       More…    To-Do Lists for Other Itineraries…

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1 Christine Gilbert { 11.11.17 at 9:36 am }

Me again:) are the itineraries available?
Hello Dave! We are travelling to WDW in April 2018 and will be in the parks 5 days between April 11-17. What itineraries can you recommend for then & what Parks should be avoided on which days? TIA

2 Dave { 11.14.17 at 11:39 am }

Hi Christine–so sorry it’s taken me so long to respond–I’m at Disney World right now and have been having fun while neglecting the site!
4/11 avoid MK
4/12 avoid Epcot
4/13 avoid MK
4/14 avoid MK and AK
4/15 avoid HS
4/16 avoid AK
4/17 avoid Epcot. 4/16 will be unusually good at MK, because it clioes early (at 6p) which tends to scare people off.

I have no five day itineraries on this site, but my book has one and two day itineraries for each park.

3 Jan { 11.28.17 at 10:59 am }

Hi Dave. Just wanted to say a big thank you to you for recommending visiting Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party while I was on holiday in October. I had a blast! I followed your plan and toured the park and rode rides until the fireworks and then watched the parade. The only thing I did wrong was down to me and that was eating too much of the sweet stuff!!! I have never seen (or heard) fireworks like that … I fear it has spoilt me for anything else though. Anyway, many, many thanks. I will be back again … currently saving for my third visit. Kind regards to you and your family.

4 Dave { 11.29.17 at 9:17 am }

Hi Jan! So glad you had a great experience, and thanks for writing!

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