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.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor



To-Do List for FastPass+ Itinerary for Lower-Crowd Weeks



By Dave Shute

This To-Do List is for the FastPass+ Lower Crowd Itinerary. For To-Do-Lists for other itineraries, see this.


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

A. MORE THAN 180 DAYS BEFORE YOUR PLANNED ARRIVAL DATE

(Note that a good travel agent, such as Destinations in Florida, can do almost all of this for you, for free. If you use Destinations in 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, intended hotel, kids’ development 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. Create your My Disney Experience account here and add your family members to it

4. 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), or click here to use Disney’s online system.  (Note: if your dates are later than what the online system permits, see this.)

  • If you are following my itinerary, you want the hotel you’ve picked for 8 nights, nine day, no hopper, no “water parks and more” tickets, the Dining Plan, and Disney’s Magical Express
  • Itineraries other than mine will have different requirements here

B. 181 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

San Angel Inn at Epcot from yourfirstvisit.netDecide whether on your first night you’ll be dining at Akershus or the San Angel Inn. Akershus is a princess meal–you’ll have another princess meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table on Wednesday.  If you really like princesses, do Akershus; otherwise, San Angel Inn is the better choice.

Login to your MyDisneyExperience.com account, click the “Things to Do” tab at top right, under Dining hit “Make Reservations,” and practice trying to reserve restaurants (hint: use the search box at the upper right).

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.

C. EXACTLY 6am EST, EXACTLY 180 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

(For an 180 day calendar, see this).

Be on the restaurant website by at least 5:50am EST, and have your Cindy reservation all set up on the page. Keep refreshing, as you will be let in as soon as Disney’s system decides it is 6a.

Make as many of the following as you have patience for (try to get through at least Chef Mickey’s), in the exact order listed:

  • Cinderella’s Royal Table Lunch (dining plan, two credits): Friday at 11a or later if you can; earlier than 11 only if your sole option…
  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue (dining plan, two credits): Friday 6.15p show. The later time will keep you up later than you need to be, OK if all you can get. Avoid the earlier time–it’ll cut into your park time too much
  • Chef Mickey’s (dining plan, one credit) Wednesday 11a.  Later is OK, but not a whole lot earlier–no earlier than 10.30a
  • Crystal Palace (dining plan): Second Saturday 6p if you can; earlier OK, but not later
  • Akershus Banquet or San Angel Inn (dining plan): First Saturday 7p.  No later, but earlier is OK.
  • 50’s Prime Time Café (dining plan): First Sunday 6p. Can be earlier but not later.

For those you don’t make online, make them by calling call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463)

D. 60 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

Liking the Name on This MagicBand1. Go to your MyDisneyExperience account as early as right after midnight and set up the following FastPass+

  • First Saturday afternoon and evening at Epcot: Tier One: Illuminations. Tier Two: Spaceship Earth and Mission: Space. Note that the Illuminations FastPass+ may not be available until closer to your arrival date—if not available, make Test Track your Tier One instead, and try to change it to Illuminations later. Set the Tier Two times for when your travel plans permit you to be in the park. If one is impossible to set at a good time because of your travel schedule, leave it as is—Disney requires you to book three FastPass+.
  • First Sunday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Tier One: Toy Story Midway Mania. Tier Two: Star Tours and Frozen Sing-Along. Set Toy Story Midway Mania for 1.30-2.30p, Star Tours for 2.30 to 3.30p, and the Frozen Sing Along for after.
  • Monday at Epcot: Tier One: Soarin. Tier Two: Turtle Talk with Crush and a third of your choice. Set Soarin for 10.30a-11.30a, Turtle Talk with Crush for 12.30p to 1.30p, and the third for right after. (At park open, head for Test Track.)
  • Tuesday at the Animal Kingdom: Kali River Rapids, Expedition Everest, and DINOSAUR. Set DINOSAUR for 1-2p, Expedition Everest for 2-3p, and Kali River Rapids for 4-5p.
  • Wednesday at the Magic Kingdom: Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, and Jungle Cruise. Set Space Mountain for 12-1p, Buzz Lightyear for 1-2p, and Jungle Cruise for 3.30-4.30p
  • Thursday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Tier One: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Tier Two: Tower of Terror and Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Set Voyage for 12.30-1.30p, Tower of Terror for 2.30-3.30p, and Rock ‘n’ Roller for 3.30-4.30p.
  • Friday at the Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Enchanted Tales with Belle, and the Haunted Mansion. Target Seven Dwarfs for 1-2p, Belle for 2-3p, and the Haunted Mansion for 3.30-4.30p. (At park open, head to Peter Pan.)
  • Second Saturday at the Magic Kingdom: Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Wishes. Set Pirates for 10-11a, and Splash for 11-12.  (At park open, head for Big Thunder Mountain.)
  • Second Sunday at the Animal Kingdom: Kilimanjaro Safaris, Festival of the Lion King, and a third. Book the first available show for Festival of the Lion King, and book Kilimanjaro as close to it as you can.  At park open, head to either Expedition Everest or Kilimanjaro Safaris, depending on your actual experience Tuesday.

2. Do online check in, requesting as you do special location points

3. Customize your MagicBands

E. NOTES ON PACKING ETC. BEFORE YOU LEAVE

1. Bring your MagicBands in your carry-ons

2. If you use Disney’s Magical Express, you do not need to collect your bags at the Orlando airport unless you arrive late in the evening/at night or are an international traveler. Disney will get them for you and, eventually, deliver them directly to your room. Your bags may arrive hours after you do; so, depending on the weather forecasts, have a carry-on with an appropriate change of clothes for Orlando weather on Saturday, as you will almost certainly go to Epcot on Saturday before your checked bags arrive.

3. Follow the instructions in the Magical Express packet you will receive in the mail regarding both tagging your bags pre-departure, and where to go at the Orlando airport to find your transport to your resort.

4. Bring a copy of your room reservation, confirmation numbers and any tickets for special events you may have received in the mail.

5. Pack breakfast utensils, as they are not always available in the gift shop: bowls, spoons, napkins

6. When you arrive at the hotel, look for the special “On-line Check-in” line, and get into it.

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23 comments

1 Mandy W { 01.14.14 at 3:17 pm }

When we used Magical Express for our trip a month ago, we landed at Orlando airport around 5 p.m. Our bags didn’t arrive at our room at Port Orleans Riverside until around 3 a.m. This was much longer than we had anticipated; we’d been expecting 10 or 11 p.m. When I spoke to a cast member about it, she said that when we were ready for bed, we could have called Bell Services and delayed the delivery of our luggage until the next morning. Now, I’m not sure what time it would have been delivered – it might have made it difficult to make it to our first park at rope drop. As it was, though, we were tired and groggy the first day from being woken up in the middle of the night. It definitely didn’t ruin our trip, but it wasn’t a welcome addition, either. I wanted to let everyone know to make the phone call to Bell Services if your luggage hasn’t arrived by the time you are ready for bed.

2 Dave { 01.15.14 at 7:24 am }

Thanks, Mandy!!!

3 Mary { 07.06.14 at 5:03 pm }

My husband and I (in our 50’s) are arriving 10/5 in the early evening and leaving on Saturday the 11th. We have Hopper tickets Monday-Friday. Using the FastPass + Lower-Crowd Itinerary-Six nights, what days should we switch? We have dinner reservations 10/7 at Don Shula’s for our 25th anniversary. Other than that we are open and don’t care about character dining or entertainment for young children. Any suggestions you have will be useful. Thanks!

4 Dave { 07.07.14 at 9:02 am }

Mary, it doesn’t adapt well to being shifted that week. Here’s what I’d do:

10/5–take off, unless you can arrive in time to see Illuminations at 9p at Epcot If so use “Monday” in the itin
10/6 Epcot– use “Thursday” in the itin
10/7 Animal Kingdom, going from there to Shulas (AK becasue it has no evening stuff to miss) Use “Tuesday” in the itin
10/8 MK Use “Saturday” in the itin
10/9 HS USe a one-day HS visit from one of my other itineraries e.g. this one https://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/05/23/hollywood-studios-sunday-fastpass-lower-crowd-seven-night-itinerary-saturday-arrival/
10/10 MK Use “Friday”

Thin or chnage the character meals and you’ll be set!

5 Soledad { 08.20.14 at 1:24 pm }

I am travelling with my sister, nieces and children (total 8) and arrive in midday 16 Sep. We have 4 -Day Magic your Way. We do not care about Epcot and we currently do not have reservations for anything. How can I use the FastPass + Lower-Crowd Itinerary and adapt it for us? Thanks!

6 Dave { 08.21.14 at 9:04 am }

Soledad, this is not flexible enough to convert into a four day itinerary. You will be better off using one of the touring plans towards the end of Chapter 6 in our book The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit

7 Leah { 09.15.14 at 7:54 pm }

Now that we’ve decided we’re on AofA for 3/1-3/6/15 (no hopper, dining plan), I’m looking for itinerary help. We’d like to go to Epcot at least one day of the garden fest which begins 3/4th. Typically, we like to get out by 8:30am, hit a park w/no EMH; coord meals either at the park of the day or a resort near, plan an off day for DTD, other down time for visit Ft Wilderness for pony rides/smore’s/ movie night, maybe see the Boardwalk this time/surry bike… It’s our 2nd visit but not since 2010 so a nice gap, much will seem new. Itinerary suggestions/resources? We did well w/brkfst in the rm, varied quick service for lunch w/ late morn Ohana brunch, loved Kona, Sunshine Seasons. Didn’t see Hollywd Studios last time. Look forward to ideas! thanks again! Leah

8 Dave { 09.17.14 at 8:20 am }

Leah, all my itineraries are integrated and lengthy, so they have too much for you. Best for you will be the park itineraries that will be in the 2015 edition of our book, which should be out in 4 to 6 weeks.

Avoid AK the 1st, HS the 2nd, Epcot the 3rd, Ak the 4th, MK the 5th,and Epcot the 6th.

9 Suzanne { 10.17.14 at 8:42 pm }

Wow, all of this is so overwhelming. I’ve only ever spent 1 day at Disney and don’t have a very good frame of reference on planning. We are driving to WDW and will be taking a 5.5 year old and a 2.5 year old.. this will not be our only trip and the 5 year old has been talking about going to Disney for almost a year. Anyway, we are looking at going the first full week of May 2015, but think that given the age of our girls that 9 days will be too long. I’m thinking of something more like driving on Saturday/Sunday, starting the parks on Monday and probably doing 4 full days and leaving on Friday or Saturday. What are your thoughts on how long to go with little girls this young and a good itinerary where we can be sure to see as many princesses/Mickey friends as possible? Thanks for this great site and all of your efforts in providing this information!

10 Dave { 10.18.14 at 8:54 am }

Suzanne, for kids that age, and knowing you can return, you can do almost anything. Four full days is just fine, as is a trip focused pretty much on the Magic Kingdom.

I don’t have itineraries for kids that age on this site, but see the “Character Centric” itineraries in my book The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit

Note that the link is the 2014 edition–the 2015 version will be out soon

11 Michelle { 02.02.15 at 2:20 pm }

Hello. Do you offer itineraries for individual park? As in a strategy for what time to arrive, what to do first, etc? Sorry if I overlooked them. Thanks.

12 Dave { 02.03.15 at 6:40 am }

Michelle, no, on this site I only have the integrated itineraries you’ve already seen. However, you can find exactly what you are looking for in Chapter 6 of our book The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2015

13 Danielle { 03.18.15 at 12:23 am }

Hi we’re going on our first disney vacation as a family of 5 2 adults 2 toddlers and a teenager. We are staying from the 3rd to the 9th. Plan on using our 4 day basic passes Sunday through Friday. Need some help on planning because certain days MK closes for Halloween party so we don’t want to go on those days but also want to go to many character meals please HELP!!

14 Dave { 03.18.15 at 8:28 am }

Danielle, what month?

BTW, party nights are much lower crowd during the day at MK than nights without the parties. You’ll see more from 9a-7p… See this for more.

15 Jay { 06.08.15 at 9:40 pm }

I am taking my 7 year old for our first, likely only, trip in mid-August to take advantage of the cheaper rates for a monorail resort. We will have four days. I already have your book! With two days at MK, using day of arrival at AK, I am left with the last day. I wanted to do Epcot and just skip HS entirely, but daughter really wants to see Olaf somewhere. Is he anywhere but HS? I think Epcot seems so iconic I hate to miss it. Any advice on last day? Should we do HS in a.m. and then Epcot in afternoon? I cannot extend my stay due to time constraints for all my vacations. I could probably persuade her away from HS if both is too much for one day. She also wanted a water park, but I think the hotel pool will be a better value for four days! Thanks for any advice. It’s my first trip, too!

16 Dave { 06.09.15 at 7:57 am }

Jay, just HS–which, frankly, is more fun for most 7-year-olds than Epcot…

17 Jay { 06.09.15 at 5:21 pm }

Thanks, Dave. I’ll reconsider going there instead. We have a dinner at Cinderella’s Table planned, so I can probably do without the Akershus lunch I also have scheduled. I appreciate your help!

18 Carrie { 06.29.15 at 4:49 pm }

Love your site! I’m using your lower crowd itinerary for planning. We arrive with my soon-to-be 6 year old boy on Sunday, 8/30, for a 5 day trip, returning late on Saturday, 9/5. Your itinerary doesn’t match up exactly with our dates so I’m interested in your opinion on what I might need to shift around. Particularly, I’m rethinking doing MK two days in a row. We might want to go back to MK on our last day (Friday). I bought the 5D PH but could add a sixth day if we needed it for a half day on Saturday. My son loves water slides, so trying to use that some too.

This is what I have planned so far:
8/30: Travel Day, Polynesian check-in, Chef Mickey’s dinner
8/31: AK, Water Park afternoon, Dinner @ Ohana
9/1: MK, BOG for 8:15 breakfast
9/2: MK, Lunch @ CRT, Very late dinner @ BOG
9/3: HS, EP (flexible, no reservations, rest)
9/4: HS, Fantasmic Dinner Package
9/5: Ohana Breakfast, Water Park, Depart @ 6pm.

Interested in your expert opinion. Thanks!

19 Dave { 07.01.15 at 7:51 am }

Hi Carrie–this looks great to me!

20 Jan Biggerstaff { 09.29.15 at 10:49 pm }

We are taking our 2 grandchildren for their first Disney visit 4/2-4/9/16. Granddaughter is 9 loves princesses and Frozen. Grandson is 4 and loves Toy Story and pirates. Of course they both should see Mickey and the gang. What would you tweak about your itinerary? We have a 6 day parker hopper Sunday – Friday. May also purchase the regular dining plan. Any other suggestions? Thank you!

21 Dave { 09.30.15 at 9:54 am }

Jan, the itineraries on this site are designed for kids 8 and older, and won’t be appropriate for such youngsters!! However, you can find little-kid-centric itineraries in Chapter 6 of my book!

22 JC { 01.30.16 at 12:10 am }

This site is too much!! My question is a clarification request: what does D2 from above mean – “2. Do online check in, requesting as you do special location points”??

Other than that, as of now, only critique of your information I have is that you haven’t mentioned when discussing trade offs that, for instance, you may miss rides in January but are with loved ones and that compensates. Is there a way to get hard copy maps to prior to arrival at the parks?

23 Dave { 01.31.16 at 11:52 am }

JC, When you do online check in, you can click to boxes on a form like this one: Wilderness Lodge Room Request Form

There’s probably a million trade-offs I haven’t mentioned! On the particular one you note, that’s true for every week of the year, so is no help in distinguishing among them.

I’m not aware of a source of official maps but you can print the ones you can find online.

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