By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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FastPass+ Itinerary for Lower-Crowd Weeks



By Dave Shute

Update October 2015: For travel in 2016, I’ve published a revised itinerary for the lower crowd weeks in January through May that works better than this itinerary. The new itinerary is here

Below is my FastPass+ based Disney World itinerary for lower crowd weeks.

It does not work all dates, and some dates that it mostly works it needs some little adjustments. Check your week here.

Disney World FastPass+ Lower-Crowd Itinerary from yourfirstvisit.net

The recommended FastPass+ that make it work are in the To-Do List, so you can book them at the 60 day window for FastPass+ sign-ups. Daily agendas are in the links:

Thanks are especially due to Josh from easyWDW. With his permission, I picked the targeted park days based on both my own practices and his daily park recommendations.

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155 comments

1 Hope MacLeod { 10.13.14 at 9:39 pm }

Hi Dave,
We are arriving Feb. 22-27 with a 4-day park hopper for the 23-26th…and staying at the Art of Animation on the dining plan with one sit down a day. We have a 6 girl and 7 year old boy…all first time visitors except me, and I have not been there since I was in college. Since we are early risers anyway I was going to take advantage of the early park hours, but it seems like you do not recommend that. Knowing my family rest time in the early afternoons will be necessary…I was thinking of then entering back into a different park in the later afternoons like 3:00pm…Any tips you might have for us???

2 Dave { 10.14.14 at 9:14 am }

Hope–your approach works just great if a. your kids are early risers, b. you have hoppers, and c. you will be leaving the parks anyway!! I don’t recommend it only becasue most families don’t meet at least one of these criteria!

3 leanne { 11.03.14 at 5:40 am }

Hi dave,
I have planned our trip as above with only some slight changes I was wondering if it would work out better financially to get a dining plan for a family of 2 adults and 2 children. I’m not sure whether I should add it on. Many thank leanne

4 Dave { 11.03.14 at 7:32 am }

Leanne, if both your kids are three to nine and you have many character buffets on your schedule, you can save a few dollars by using the dining plan.

5 Pauline { 11.24.14 at 10:19 am }

Hi Dave,

My honey and I will be at Disney from January 23-Feb 2. The itinerary for this time has us at MK on Jan. 31 and AK on Feb 1. Both these dates have EMH, AK is projecting a 9/10 crowd level for Feb 1st and Splash Mountain is closed Jan 31st but open Feb 1st.
Should I switch these days around and do AK on the 31st and MK on the 1st?

6 Dave { 11.24.14 at 12:03 pm }

Absolutely, Pauline!

7 Tina { 12.22.14 at 12:00 am }

my husband and I are coming for a week before our cruise with our 23 month old son and 18yr old family friend Jan. 25-Feb. 1. So we basically have Jan. 26-31 to explore all there is to see. We are NOT early risers, we get up at like 10 at home. We’ll be on a super tight budget so don’t want to spend too much on eating and buying stuff. Hubby doesn’t really like crowds so it’ll be a challenge for him. I didn’t realize this was such a huge place so advice would be appreciated. My son loves swimming and so do I so water parks might be fun too if the weather is ok. We’re staying at Worldquest Orlando and we have a car rented. Thanks in advance.

8 Dave { 12.22.14 at 8:41 am }

Tina, to avoid having to get up early you need to take advantage of FastPass+, which as an off-site guest you can begin booking 30 days before your first use. To do this, you need a My Disney Experience account linked to valid tickets. All this is explained in my book in Chapter 9: The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2015

9 Chanda { 12.26.14 at 10:08 pm }

Hi Dave-
Our family will visit 4/15/15-4/22/15. Our kids are 14,11 and 8. We will be staying at Shades of Green and getting the 4 day hopper pass + water parks. Any advice you can offer for scheduling our park visits would be greatly appreciated. I’m unsure if we should take advantage of the MK EMH right off the bat on 4/16 or wait and visit another day. We’re interested in possible dinner reservations that allow for viewing of Wishes and Illuminations. I think we will go to Typhoon Lagoon one day- possibly Sat or Sun. Do you recommend visiting the water park on the weekend or weekday? Thanks SO much for the info & advice! Much appreciated!!

10 Dave { 12.27.14 at 8:38 am }

Chanda, there’s no dinner reservations that guarantee Illuminations (Rose and Crown at Epcot is the nearest choice)), and for Wishes only the California Grill at the Contemporary–distant, and not nearly as fun as seeing Wishes from within the park.

EMH days are usually busier than non-EMH days so avoid them. Those dates, avoid HS and AK the 15th, avoid MK the 16th, avoid Epcot the 17th, avoid HS and MK the 18th, avoid MK and AK the 19th, avoid MK and HS the 20th, avoid Epcot the 21st, and avoid HS and AK the 22nd.

I don’t track water parks closely enough to suggest good days for them…

11 Rick Baker { 01.09.15 at 3:58 pm }

Booked for 7 days and we’re having a heck of a time trying to decide which parks for which days as the family wants to sneak in a Universal day as well. We’re going to have 7 full days beginning March 1st and our initial thought is something like below. Staying at Beach Club, so we’ll be close to epcot. We don’t have park hopper but are debating adding it on if needed. We’ll have breaks back at the resort to break up some of the days to prevent burnout.

1st SUN Hollywood Studios 9-7, 2 extra magic hours in evening
2nd MON Animal Kingdom 9-7, 1 extra magic hour in morning
3rd TUE Epcot 9-9, 1 extra magic hour in morning
4th WED Universal Studios
5th THU Magic Kingdom 9-10, 1 extra magic hour in morning
6th FRI Epcot 9-9, 2 extra magic hours in evening
7th SAT Magic Kingdom 9-12, 2 extra magic hours in evening

12 Dave { 01.09.15 at 4:26 pm }

Rick, EMH days are usually much more crowded than non-EMH days (except during the EMH period itself) so while you have longer operating hours you also face longer waits.

Those dates,

3/1 Avoid HS and MK
3/2 Avoid AK and MK
3/3 Avoid Epcot
3/4 Avoid AK
3/5 Avoid MK
3/6 Avoid Epcot
3/7 Avoid HS and MK

Universal typically is less busy Sat-Mon and busiest Weds-Fri, so you might want to move it to earlier in your visit.

13 Josh cecil { 02.18.15 at 4:44 pm }

Dave, we are planning a trip to WDW October 10 arrival at night and leaving the 16th at night. We have four kids ages 5,5,4,3 and two grandparents. We will be staying offsite at a Whyndam resort. I have so many questions I don’t know where to begin! How would you suggest handling which parks to visit which days? What kind of iteneray would you suggest? Keeping in mind I’m working on a teacher’s salary????

14 Dave { 02.19.15 at 8:42 am }

Josh, can’t advise on which parks which days until Disney releases its calendar for October, which will be a couple of weeks–ping me back then.

I don’t have on this site any itineraries that short for kids that young. With kids that age, 2-3 days at MK, and a half day at the other three parks, will be more than enough.

You can find plans for each park in Chapter 6 of my book The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2015

15 Bill { 03.16.15 at 1:06 pm }

Hi Dave, great site, I have been digesting all of it over the past several weeks! We have a 4 yr old (girl) and will be arriving on Sunday Sept 20 and leaving Friday Sept 25. We have four days of park passes and thought of visiting them M-T-W-Th. We figured on days at MK, 1 day at AK, and one day at either Epcott (leaning toward this) or HS. I was looking for the magic hours calendar but couldn’t find it. Can you recommend which days we should hit each park? Thank you!

16 Dave { 03.16.15 at 4:34 pm }

Hi Bill and thanks!

First you can find the calendar here, at the bottom of each page.

Those dates, the best Epcot days are the 21st and 24th.
All the dates are fine at AK
If you go with HS (and its better for a 4 year old than Epcot) any day but the 21st.
MK will be least crowded the 22nd. The next best MK day is the 23rd. Avoid it the 21st and 24th.

So this suggests
21 AK or Epcot
22 MK
23 MK
24 AK, HS, or Epcot

17 Krystal { 03.16.15 at 11:56 pm }

Hi Dave great site! I have planned a 6 day vacation to Disney and am staying at port Orleans riverside in Disney. Our dates are May 10-16. My children are 3, 6, and 10. Any suggestions on which parks on certain days and how to plan our park stay as in where to start? We are going to universal for 4 days after also. Thank you!

18 Dave { 03.17.15 at 8:06 am }

Hi Krystal! My stuff on this site is aimed more at your ten year old. You’ll find itineraries more suited to the whole group in my book.

May 10, avoid AK and MK
May 11, avoid MK and HS
May 12, avoid Epcot
May 13, avoid HS and AK
May 14 avoid MK
May 15 avoid HS and Epcot
May 16 avoid HS and MK.

19 Karla { 04.02.15 at 8:38 pm }

Hi Dave, I have been planning for our first family trip the August, Husband and I have been to Walt Disney world ,any a times since we where both kids, but it will be the first time for our twins that will be turning 5 on our trip, My dates are arrival 8/22 at around 9:30 am to the airport and I was planning on going to hotel, Coronado Springs and then straight to a park. We leave on 8/27 7 on a 7:30 flight. My kids birthday is on 8/23 and I want to spend that day at MK, but I’m still unsure of what parks to do on the other days. We have 5 day park passes. And definitely want to do 2 days at MK. What would be your recommended itinerary for this time.
Thank you for any help. Disney trip 8/22 to 8/27

20 Dave { 04.03.15 at 8:08 am }

Hi Karla! At that age, you could do a trip focused just on MK. But otherwise, here’s parks to avoid by day then.

8/22 (my birthday!!) avoid MK and HS
8/23 –not a great MK day (Epcot and HS are better choices) but so be it!
8/24 Avoid HS
8/25 Avoid Epcot
8/26 Avoid AK

21 Karla { 04.03.15 at 11:57 am }

Thanks for the reply Dave..
This planning is hard, specially because i want to make this a magical first trip for my children. I am thinking of adding one night to our trip, returning on a Friday, and that would leave a whole weekend for my husband to recuperate from the vacation… LOL!!! should I also add another day to our park passes or just keep it as is and just spend one day in the middle just relaxing at the hotel, pool etc. Also you say MK is bad for the 23, what would be the best place to spend my kids birthday, I had already booked a breakfast at Ohana on that day so they can meet characters, but my plans are still flexible, so I can switch, how many character meals do you think we should do, i would prefer that to spending a whole lot of time in line at a meet and greet. and as of now I don’t have dinning plan, not sure if I will add later, With my calculations I think we will better off paying as we go.
This definitely won’t be our only trip but I want it to be a memorable one as both me and hubby are big Disney World fans. It was a big part of our childhood and we want it to be for our kids as well.
Thank you so much for your help.

22 Karla { 04.03.15 at 12:22 pm }

Hi Dave, me again.. How does HS on the 23 with an early breakfast at Hollywood and Vine sound. I think that would be fun for my kids.
I have switched the itinerary to this not counting yet on the extra night as I have not changed the reservation yet.
8/22 AK
8/23 HS
8/24 MK
8/25 Epcot
8/26 MK
8/27 morning at hotel depart at night.
Sorry for taking so much of your time, and thanks again..

23 Karla { 04.03.15 at 3:08 pm }

Just noticed Avoid Epcot on the 25, so maybe change and do 8/25 MK and 8/26 Epcot.
If I add the extra night I was considering this itinerary
8/22 AK
8/23 HS
8/24 MK
8/25 free
8/26 MK
8/27 Epcot
8/28 travel
Promise this is the last comment!!! LOL (at least for today)
Your Website is great and I just ordered the book!! so I will be sure to read it as soon as I get it delivered.

24 Dave { 04.05.15 at 11:05 am }

Karla this looks great! And on your question of character meals, depends on the kids. Something like 3 is about right, one for Mickey, one for princesses (no Anna and Elsa, though) and one for other characters–e.g. Winnie the Pooh or the DIsney Jr. folk…

25 christina { 04.11.15 at 9:25 am }

Hi! Planning our first family Disney vaca October 2-9th. Getting in evening of the 2nd, therefore park days are 3-9th. Kids are ages 5, 7 (boys )and 9 (girl ). We have not purchased tickets yet but will not do hoppers and are deciding between 5 or 6 day tickets. We have lunch reservations at Be Our Guest on the 3rd currently (really wanted dinner but took what I could get ). We tentatively thought we’d to the parks in this order :
Sat 3rd: MK (BOG lunch )
4th: HS, planning to get here early to sign up for Train to be a Jedi (Beaches and Cream late lunch )
5th: AK (Tusker House dinner )
6th: day off versus 1/2 day at a park? Up for suggestions. Considered MNSSHP but unsure. It’s expensive! (No dining reserved yet )
7th: MK (Crystal Palace dinner )
8th: Epcot (no dining reserved yet )

I’m second guessing Epcot for our last day, but it’s a MNSSHP day so can’t do MK. Do you have other suggestions? We do have dining reservations, but I’m not opposed to changing anything. Would you suggest changing our itinery?

Thanks so much!

26 christina { 04.11.15 at 9:45 am }

Goodness…my daughter is 10, almost 11 when we travel, not 9. I am pretty sure all my time vacation planning is making me lose my mind! Ha! Ok, anyway, i’d appreciate your feedback, my husband’s is not exactly into helping with any planning!

27 Dave { 04.11.15 at 9:46 am }

Hi Christina! You’ll see extra crowds if you go to MK the 3rd, HS the 4th, MK the 7th and Epcot the 8th. You can do MK on MNSSHP days–in fact it’s recommended. See this

Those dates
10/3 Avoid all but AK
10/4 avoid HS and Epcot
10/5 avoid MK
10/6 avoid Epcot
10/7 avoid MK and AK
10/8 avoid Epcot

28 christina { 04.11.15 at 9:29 am }

Oh, and we are renting DVC points, staying at AKL. 🙂

Thanks!
Christina

29 kira { 04.25.15 at 6:43 pm }

My husband and I are looking for an adult centered trip. We arrive on 11/7 and we’ll leave property around 1 pm on 11/12. We want to enjoy the Food and Wine festival as much as possible. We’d prefer to do AK on 11/12. We are going to get park hoppers. could you help us with what days we should visit specific parks? Will the Christmas decor be out? Thank you for all you do!

30 Dave { 04.26.15 at 10:27 am }

Hi Kira!! From the point of view of waits (i.e. not Food and Wine)

11/7 Avoid all but AK
11/8 Avoid HS and Epcot
11/9 Avoid MK
11/10 Avoid HS and Epcot
11/11 Avoid AK and Mk
11/12 Avoid Epcot

The christmas stuff will be fully out in MK, and partly out in other locales.

31 Hi Dave! { 05.05.15 at 10:37 pm }

Nov 14 arrival on the FastPass+ based Disney World itinerary as recommended. I don’t see worked in there Mikey’s very merry Christmas party.. Am I missing something?

32 Dave { 05.06.15 at 7:40 am }

It’s not built-in but you can add it!

33 Karla { 06.22.15 at 8:32 pm }

Hi Dave. I have finalized our itinerary for August and this is what I came up with.
August 22 Epcot
August 23 HS
24 Epcot
25 MK
26 MK
27 AK
28 MK

We arrive at 9:30am to MCO so plan on going to Epcot right after check in at Caribbean Beach. Realistically what time would I be looking at for getting to Epcot and what Fast pass should I do that afternoon. Should I get test track or soaring or do illumination as fast pass.
The 28 we have a 7:30PM flight so plan on hitting MK in the am. Other days will proably take an afternoon pool break. Then back to park.
Thanks for any advice.

34 Dave { 06.24.15 at 7:17 am }

Hi Karla your park days look great. You should be able to get to Epcot by 1p.

If the 24th you plan to arrive early at Epcot (e.g. 45 minutes before open) then that day see test Track at park open, Soarin via FP+, and use your FP+ the 22nd for IllumiNations.

If you think that either you don’t want to get up so early the 24th (you may really welcome the chance to sleep in…), or may not have the stamina to stay through Illuminations the 22nd–what with an early flight and all– do FP+ for Test Track the 22nd and Soarin the 24th

35 Karla { 06.25.15 at 9:48 am }

Thanks for your response. I had another question. What would be the best place to watch Illumination s from without fast pass. For now I have a fast pass For it on our first night since its the first time for our kids turning 5 during our trip. But for our second day in the park we won’t have the fast pass so trying to figure out an area to watch. Also if we do take a break in the afternoon from the parks what would be the best time to do that. Our kids hardly nap anymore so we might just do the pool. But for one day in MK the only fp I could get for Anna and Elsa was 3-4PM. The earliest. Maybe do that at 3 then go to hotel till 5 and head back? We will have a nice comfortable stroller for the kids so they can rest there.
Any input on how to fit in the break at some parks would be appreciated. Thank you!!

36 Dave { 06.26.15 at 7:39 am }

Karla, there’s tons of good spots to see Illuminations. Just avoid anyplace where there’s an island blocking your view across. In general 1-5 is the best time for a break, but as you note FP+ times (and also closing time, e.g. at Animal Kingdom) can get in the way.

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