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

The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2015

By Dave Shute


Save dozens of hours in line, thousands of dollars, and vast regrets by using The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2015 from Theme Park Press to plan your next Walt Disney World visit.

From the renowned authors of the Number 1 bestselling best-reviewed Disney World guidebook in history, The easy Guide 2015 takes you by the hand through all the key Disney World decisions—some that you probably didn’t even know you had to make—in the simplest, most straightforward, and shortest way possible.

Josh and I between us have unmatched experience with the Disney World rides, parks, restaurants, and hotels, and tremendous tested judgment from our years of helping more than ten million visitors to our websites and

The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2

Together, we’ve written the best Disney World guidebook ever—combining sound advice with easy, simple steps. Don’t believe us? Look at the reviews of the 2014 edition…there’s more than a hundred, 95%+ five-star.

We designed The easy Guide to be short and sweet. It is, on purpose, the shortest major Disney World guidebook out there. We offer all the key guidance in less than 300 pages, with 11 point type—about half reviews, and half explanation and guidance. It’s really, really easy and fun to read and use.

In our book we offer a couple of different ways to get at the decisions you need to make.

  • First, we simply give you our best judgment—go one of these weeks, stay at one of these hotels, use one of these touring plans.
  • But for those who won’t, or can’t, follow these judgments, we also give you everything else you need to make these decisions for yourself, if you want to. We offer…
    • The best and most up-to-date hotel reviews.
    • The best and most up-to-date ride reviews.
    • The best and most up-to-date dining reviews.
    • The best, most frank and most straightforward discussion on when to go–and why.
    • Week rankings.
    • Charts and floor plans for those who prefer visuals.
    • Incredible daily park plans.


Honestly, these days you don’t need a guidebook. Our sites will do, and have helped millions. But The easy Guide is a new and different thing, a book that represents our best joint judgment, while our individual sites present our individual thoughts. So the book is a different thing, and an affordable luxury.

Some people will be happy planning via our sites. But the web can drive you crazy… Any good book has a tighter organization than any good website, has a more natural and logical flow of topics, and has a more consistent treatment of its material.

And you know what else is great about a book? You can scribble on it, dog-ear or fold over pages to remind you to return to them, cross out what you disagree with and scribble an exclamation point next to what you like, and circle key points. Try that on your iWhatever. It travels with you wherever you go. After all, you are neither a gadget nor an interface.

But wait—what if you want to be a gadget? Well, if you buy the paperback version, we’ll give you the Kindle version for free. Since we’ll be updating the Kindle version over the course of 2015, you’ll never be more than a few weeks away from the most updated guidebook there is. Plus Kindle versions are so easy to search…


The easy Guide 2015 is completely updated, has some expanded material here and there—for example, on the Disney Vacation Club resorts–and has more and better graphics than the 2014 edition.

Jim's Gem's from The easy Guide

Moreover, for 2015 we’ve added fun vignettes from Jim Korkis, the dean of Disney historians, called “Jim’s Gems.” For more on what’s new for 2015, see this, and more on Jim, this.

The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney Visit 2015. Keeps you sane, keeps you laughing, buy it now!


(Note: some defective copies shipped through 11/21.  If you got one, see this for how to get it replaced!!  For other changes and updates, see this.)

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1 McCoy { 11.19.14 at 4:41 pm }

I bought the luxury paperback version. How do I get the Kindle version for free? (Didn’t see it as an option…maybe coming soon?)

2 Dave { 11.19.14 at 4:59 pm }

Yup will be soon! The Kindle version take a few days to percolate through Amazon’s wizards. When it does come out, then click to it, and you should see something like “Get the Kindle Matchbook”

3 Christine { 11.19.14 at 5:58 pm }

I bought your book before my August trip and I agree–it was really nice to have all that information in book form! I appreciate all the work you put into it!

4 Dave { 11.20.14 at 11:36 am }

Thanks, Christine!!

5 Rae Crook { 12.29.14 at 4:41 pm }

Hi Dave,
I have been recommended your site as the best way to plan our upcoming Disney trip. We are travelling from Australia & arrive on Wednesday night the 1st April 2015, we are staying for 9 nights @ the Orlando reunion resort. We have already worked out that we will need a car as the shuttle is too far away from the resort & then takes close to 1.5 hrs each way back & forth. We are also wanting to fit in a couple of days @ Universal & some shopping of course, we had planned on buying an 8 day pass so that if we were to do something else on a particular day we could always finish with a Disney visit if that was what we needed to do. We do understand that we will be rushing to fit it all in but that is why we have a carribean cruise booked for after our hectic 8 days in Orlando… My question is that the itineraries look great, but all start from a Saturday. Is the best way to use these itineraries to find the day that you do start (in our case Thursday 2nd April) & work from there? or do you have another suggestion? How do you also recommend fitting it all in? Any help would be appreciated. We will be travelling with our 2 Adult daughters 20 & 21. Thanks Rae

6 Dave { 12.30.14 at 9:53 am }

Ouch, Rae–that’s one of the most crowded and expensive times of the year. My itineraries are ties to specif days and their patters, so “Monday” means Monday, not “Day 3.”

Your best bet is to instead use the more portable daily plans that you will find at the end of Chapter 6 of my book–see

7 Disney lover { 12.30.14 at 2:21 pm }

Hello I will be visiting disney world spring break, which for me is April 6-12 my family and I are looking at disney beach club and Polynesian because last time we stayed at the art of animation and would love to try something new. I’m confused about the beach club resort though. When you talk about the yacht club and beach club do you mean they are connected or the same hotel? Or is it that they only share pools?

8 Dave { 01.01.15 at 9:36 am }

Disney lover, they are different hotels in the same building with the same pool.

9 Ralph Turner { 01.07.15 at 12:17 am }

We are planning a trip to Orlando the week of 4/3-4/10. That is the only time we have. We would like to visit Disney parks for 3-4 days and Universal a couple of days.This is our first time there. We have three teenagers. Any advice would be appreciated.

10 Dave { 01.07.15 at 7:33 am }

Ralph, other than “don’t go then” my core advice begins on the home page:

11 Marisa { 01.12.15 at 10:43 am }

Hi Dave,
I was wondering what the ideal itinerary would be for my family’s Disney vacation. We’re going for 6 days (8 total, but 6 days in the parks) at the beginning of June. It will be 1 senior citizen, 4 adults, and 1 child (he’s 40″). I was wondering what attractions we should make sure to see and what our timeline should look like. Also although EPCOT might be alot of fun for the grownups will it hold the attention of a 6yr old boy for 2 days or should we plan only 1 day and maybe grab a day at Universal (he loves harry potter)? We are grabbing fast passes but I was led to believe they were for the day, but from your site it seems like I can only use them for certain rides?
Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

12 Amy Stallbaum { 01.12.15 at 8:09 pm }

How do I buy the 2015 guide book

13 Dave { 01.13.15 at 12:45 pm }

Marisa, I’d plan 2-3 days at MK, and one day at each of the other parks.

I don’t have an itinerary on this site that will work (they are all longer and aimed at older kids) but you’ll find lots of great options at the end of Chapter 6 of The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2015.

14 Dave { 01.13.15 at 12:49 pm }
15 Danielle { 01.14.15 at 3:19 am }


First of all, thankyou for such a great website. I am planning a trip to the US and Caribbean for my 40th birthday (we are from Australia) with my husband and 2 kids ages 7 and 4.

We arrive in Orlando on the 14th May and are looking at hitting the theme parks from the 15th. We then depart Orlando on the 22nd May which means we will have 7 full days there.

Ideally we would like to visit Universal studios and Legoland in addition to Disneyworld so I’m not sure how to fit it all into an itinerary. I guess my question is if we can only do 2 or 3 of the Disneyworld parks, which ones would you recommend and on what days.

Thanks in advance – from the land downunder!

16 Dave { 01.14.15 at 1:49 pm }

Danielle here’s parks to avoid by day:

May 15: avoid Epcot and HS
May 16: Avoid MK and HS
May 17: Avoid AK and HS
May 18: Avoid AK and MK
May 19: Avoid Epcot
May 20: Avoid HS and AK
May 21: Avoid MK

With the ages of your kids, I’d avoid Epcot–and also be skeptical about Universal. Universal tends to be best Sat-Mon…

17 Danielle { 01.14.15 at 6:54 pm }

Thanks again Dave. I have to admit I was freaking out about what to do and when. Your advice has made it so much easier! Another 2 questions for you (sorry to be pain!) .

1. Is it best getting the hopper ticket or the base ticket?
2. Are tickets cheaper at the gates or pre-purchased? (I have read differing opinions to this, thus adding to the confusion)

We are staying at the Hyatt Regency Orlando (not sure if that makes any difference to anything!!).

Thanking you again!

18 Dave { 01.15.15 at 8:13 am }

Danielle, both these answers are for Disney: the base ticket is cheaper and usually works just fine! There’s no price difference, but you want your tickets well ahead of time so you can set up your FastPass+.

19 Megan { 01.15.15 at 2:39 pm }

Hi Dave!

In your opinion, which week would be better for a first time visit, we have to leave on a Friday due to my husband’s work schedule. The Friday 11/6/15 or the Friday 11/13/15? One is the tail end of Jersey week and the latter is getting pretty close to the Thanksgiving crowds! We would be staying 9 days, leaving the following Sunday, so my question is, which is better in your opinion? 11/6/15-11/15 OR 11/13/15-11/22/15? Thanks!!

20 Danielle { 01.15.15 at 4:33 pm }

Thanks again Dave. FYI I bought your book on Amazon. Thought it was the least I could do 🙂

21 Dave { 01.15.15 at 5:31 pm }

Megan, this is a pretty close choice. You will probably get better airfares the earlier week, and on the odds it will be a little warmer.

22 Dave { 01.15.15 at 5:34 pm }

Thanks Danielle! Post a review on Amazon if you get a chance!

23 Megan { 01.16.15 at 9:51 am }


24 CEG { 01.17.15 at 10:36 am }

I was told The Cabins at Fort Wilderness were “pet friendly?” I can not find anything when trying to reserve that says this. Do you know of any pet friendly accommodations inside the kingdom? Thank you for any help you can offer. CEG

25 Dave { 01.17.15 at 3:13 pm }

CEG, they are not. There are several campsite loops at FW that are pet friendly–that’s probably what the person was thinking of–but no cabins. There’s nothing pet friendly in a WDW hotel (or cabin). There is a kennel, Best Friends Pet Care, on site

26 Kaz { 02.02.15 at 6:42 pm }

Hi Dave, your site is great. We, (2 adults and our 7 year old son), have just booked to go to Disney. We leave the UK on 14 August 2015, then join up with the Disney Dream Cruise on 28 August 2015 for a 3 night cruise, returning to the UK on 31 August 2015. We are booked into the Disney All Star Resort. This is the only time my other half and I could get holiday during the Summer holidays. However, I’ve just seen on your website that this is showing as hurricane season. What are your thoughts? Have we made a mistake by choosing this time to go? Do you have any suggestions of an itinerary for our time at Disney? Would you recommend the Disney Photo Pass? We usually take our own photos but just wondered, seeing as this is our first (and most likely our only visit to Disney), if it was worth considering or not? Any other suggestions/recommendations would be greatly received. Many thanks, “one very confused & excited mamma”.

27 Valerie { 02.02.15 at 9:49 pm }

Such a great resource! My sister-in-law sent me an “I’m so confused about planning for Disney” message yesterday. My first response was simply a link to your site. 🙂

28 Dave { 02.03.15 at 6:50 am }

Kaz, I don’t see a lot of value to the photo pass. Late August is stiflingly hot and humid, so it’s not a time I’d go on a cruise. Hurricanes rarely affect a WDW trip–the last time they did so was 2005–but your dates are in the beginning of their peak seaosn, so the risk is worth considering. Frankly, I’m more concerned about stifling weather on your cruise…

Re your WDW itinerary, what dates are you in the All-Stars?

29 Dave { 02.03.15 at 6:50 am }

Oh Valerie, blush… 🙂

30 Kaz { 02.03.15 at 3:09 pm }

Hi Dave, many thanks for your reply. We don’t mind the hot and humid as we’re from South Africa so we’re use to it. My main concern was the hurricanes! We arrive at Orlando International at 18:06 on 14 August 2015 then we go straight to the Disney All Star Sports Resort. We leave the resort in the morning of 28 August 2015 to join the cruise. Sorry – I have another question – would you recommend us getting a dining package? We don’t generally eat a lot at each meal and we’ll probably only do one character meal so I’m not sure if it’ll be better for us to just “buy as we go” or get a package. Many thanks.

31 Tiffany { 02.03.15 at 11:00 pm }

It’s been 15 yrs since we’ve done disney world, we’ve done disneyland multiple times with our 7, 5 and 3 yr old? Do they do stroller passes/swap out adults like DL for families with kids too short to ride? Also I noticed you can reserve fast passes earlier with magic bands we are not staying on the resort so I’m curious can I reserve fast passes prior to my trip, or do I need to buy bands? Are bands worth purchasing if not starting in the disney resorts?

32 Dave { 02.05.15 at 8:54 am }

Kaz, got you on the weather! Are your winters cold? It’ll be nice chnage for you then…

Use this itinerary as a starting point Since your trip is longer, feel free to add off days, making sure to switch day for day. For example, if you take Tuesday the 18th off, then do what it shows for Tuesday on Tuesday 8/25.

Given your family set-up, the dining plan is highly unlikely to save you any money. It can be a comfort thought to get it, as having some of your dining pre-paid removes a source of what for some families is anxiety and contention.

33 Dave { 02.05.15 at 8:59 am }

Hi Tiffany, yes on the child swap front! And as an off-site hotel guest you can (and should!!) reserve FastPass+ 30 days out. You don’t need MagicBands–all you need is valid tickets linked up in your My Disney Experience account.

See this for how FastPass+ works:

34 Kaz { 02.05.15 at 7:48 pm }

Hi Dave, we use to think the winters were cold until we moved to the UK, now we don’t think so!!! Many thanks for the itinerary and advice regarding dining – greatly appreciated. I have two more questions – (I think the answer to the first one is yes but I just wanted to check) – (1) if we are staying in Disney and have 14 Day Park Passes – does this include the 2 Waterparks too? Do you have any recommendations/tips for the Waterparks? (2). Would you recommend us doing any offsite attractions or just staying at Disney?

35 Dave { 02.06.15 at 8:07 am }

Kaz, standard tickets don’t include waterparks. To get them, you have to either buy the “waterparks and more” add-on to the base ticket or pay at the gate. For just one waterpark day, it’s cheaper to pay at the gate; for more than 1 day get the add on. And no, I can barely keep up with the parks and hotels (plus do my real job lol) so I don’t cover the waterparks!!

Kids the age of your son often enjoy a day at Sea World, and if he’s a huge Harry Potter fan, two days at Universal is worth considering.

36 Kaz { 02.07.15 at 5:59 pm }

Hi Dave, many thanks for all your advice – greatly appreciated. I’m busy using your itinerary to put together one of our own to cover the two weeks we’re there as we’re going to include a few Waterparks days – as I’ve been advised by the people I booked our holiday through that our 14-Day Disney’s Ultimate Tickets (which are apparently exclusive to the UK – buy before you fly!) include unlimited entry to 4 theme parks and 2 water parks, with the freedom to visit more than one park per day – which is great. If we decide to opt for the Quick-Service Dining Plan, (for peace of mind), can we still pre-book Character Meals and just pay cash for them on the day (as I don’t think this plan covers Character Meals)? Wow – I didn’t know there was so much to think about when planning a WDW holiday!!!

37 Dave { 02.08.15 at 11:55 am }

Kaz, you can always pre-book and then use cash for any meal! And got you on the unique tix!!

38 Kaz { 02.11.15 at 6:35 pm }

Hi Dave, do the Disney All Star Sports Resort rooms have a mini/bar fridge in them? I was just thinking about possibly keeping some milk for breakfast and juice etc. in the room.

39 Dave { 02.12.15 at 7:50 am }

Kaz, no mini-bars, but all the Disney hotel rooms have mini-fridges.

40 Kaz { 02.14.15 at 6:44 pm }

Hi Dave, I’m busy putting an itinerary together and was wondering if we should include seeing the Cirque du Soleil La Nouba Show? and if so which day is best to go? I’m also not sure about the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue Dinner Show – is it worth seeing (especially for a 7 year old) as I’m worried a lot of the humour will be lost on him and the show is pretty pricey?

41 Dave { 02.15.15 at 9:52 am }

Kaz, for a seven year old I’d pick Hoop well before Cirque, whihc is VERY sophisticated… See this for more on Hoop-Dee-Doo

42 Kaz { 02.15.15 at 7:22 pm }

Hi Dave, many thanks for your advice & link – we’ve decided to go with Hoop-Dee-Doo (it sounds like a good laugh and a good night “out”). I’ve got another two questions – (1) do you know how long it takes to get to see the Characters if you try and see them in the Theme Parks at their various meeting points? (We’ll be at WDW from 14 Aug to 28 Aug). (2) Would you recommend the T-Rex Restaurant for dinner (our son loves dinosaurs)?

43 Dave { 02.16.15 at 8:15 am }

Kaz T-Rex is fun! The character waits vary quite a bit. Some are available via FastPass+, and the highest priorities among them (and wait times for some, but not all, others) are in our book! The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2015

44 Sue { 02.18.15 at 7:50 am }

Hi Dave,
We are looking at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom as 2 of the parks during our visit. March 19-27. Just wondering the best days to go with the crowds. Thanks Sue

45 Dave { 02.18.15 at 10:20 am }

Sue, that period WDW will be least crowded overall March 22-25. Those days, MK will be best the 24th and 25th, and AK the 23rd and 24th.

46 Kaz { 02.18.15 at 12:54 pm }

Hi Dave, we’ve decided to go ahead with booking T-Rex for dinner on one of the nights we’re at WDW. I received your book in the post yesterday so I’ve been able to research the times for seeing the Characters. Many thanks for all your help – greatly appreciated. I may still have some more questions for you in the future but in the meantime I just wanted to say thanks very much for such a brilliant website and book – I sure wouldn’t have been as prepared for our trip to WDW if I hadn’t “stumbled” upon your website. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

47 Dave { 02.19.15 at 8:29 am }

Oh Kaz you are making me blush!

48 Kim { 02.21.15 at 6:19 pm }

I’m trying to plan a trip well in advance so that we can go all out for this vacation. We will be bringing our 6yr old daughter to Disney World towards the end of April 2016. I’d like to do 7 days 6 nights and would like to visit Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Im looking for the best option for a resort that has nice spacious rooms and activities for my daughter with nice view. Which resort would provide the most for what im looking for?

49 Dave { 02.22.15 at 10:28 am }

Kim, the best fit to what you are looking for is one of the monorail resorts.

50 Andrew { 02.22.15 at 8:22 pm }

Going to Disney Last week of August from 24th to 30th we really want to stay at the Polynesian Resort (were celebrating multiple occasions ) and I have 1 10 year old and 2 3 year old’s so convenience is a must . Do you think the main pool will be completed and do you think there will be a lot of construction going on around that time.
Thanks in advance

51 Dave { 02.23.15 at 7:23 am }

Hi Andrew! Yes, the main pool should be done well before then. The smaller East Pool will begin construction after the main pool re-opens, and there will continue to be minor project around the resort.

52 Mary { 03.09.15 at 11:58 pm }

sadly, only window for a first visit with kids 9 and 10 are weeks of July 13 or July 20, 2015. Will you please comment on what to expect regarding crowds, prices, weather. Perhaps we should just wait till next year to plan better and have a better or cheaper experience? Would rather postpone than spend mega bucks for a less than ideal experience!

53 Dave { 03.10.15 at 8:51 am }

Mary, see the link for July at WDW. Prices are not bad then at the deluxes, but if you are aimed at a moderate or value, I’d reschedule into a cooler, lower-priced, lower crowd time.

54 Adrianne B { 03.14.15 at 2:35 pm }

Just received our Easy Guide as a perq of booking through Destination in Florida. Like a mother asked to pick her favorite child, I’ve gotta say I love the book and your site equally! I’m happy to recommend both to friends and family looking to book a trip to WDW…and strangers…and even enemies. (I might tell the enemies that the best time to go is the summer;)

55 Dave { 03.14.15 at 3:31 pm }

Oh Adrianne I’m blushing!!

56 Jen E. { 03.15.15 at 8:47 am }

Hi Dave, We are planning our Sept 2015 trip. Wevwould really like to take advantage of free dining and would like certain hard to get dining reservations. Should we book a room at a resort that we can change if free dining is offered? Can I make another reservation online if I already have an existing reservation? Thanks so much!

57 Dave { 03.16.15 at 4:14 pm }

Jen, book now if you are committed to going then. That way you get the resort/room type you want.

Then, when/if Free Dining comes out, call to book into it, either cancelling or modifying your original reservation. Note that your resort/room type/dates may not be covered, so have a back-up or tow in mind. Also book your dining asap as it always fills up during free dining!

For more on Free Dining (from last year, but still should be mostly true) see this.

58 kylie { 03.21.15 at 7:06 pm }

I am trying to decide between Carribean and Sports in Decemeber of 2015. Based on transportation convince, which is better? Love this site by the way!!!

59 Dave { 03.22.15 at 10:49 am }

Kylie, Caribbean Beach is closer to all parks except AK, but is more of a pain to get around.

Between the two, I’d pick CB in a heartbeat because its rooms and overall presentation are much better than those at Sports.

Detailed reviews of each are linked to from here.

60 Amy Wall { 03.26.15 at 6:55 pm }

My husband and I are bringing our 3 kids (ages 5, 11, & 14) the week of April 25-May 2, 2015. We’ve been to the main Disney parks before, but my 5 year old doesn’t really remember them (so we want to make this trip special for him). We want to fit in the water parks; however, I’m not finding any crowd calendar for the water parks. Do you have that in your book?

61 Dave { 03.27.15 at 6:57 am }

Amy, no sorry we don’t.

62 Kylie { 03.29.15 at 5:45 am }

Hi Dave, we (myself my hubby and my 17yo daughter) are coming to Disney ( I know beyond exciting )from Oz we are staying at POP century from November 28th till 3rd December. We are wondering when are the best days for which Disney Parks? From the 3rd December till the 6th we are at Cabana bay is it worth getting a three day pass for universal or do you think 2 days will be enough?

63 Dave { 03.29.15 at 9:29 am }

Kylie, I won’t be able to advise until Disney releases its calendar for then, which it should do in a couple of weeks for November, then a month after for December. Re Universal, it;s a question of how many thrill rides you’d like to see. You don’t get front of the line passes at Cabana Bay, so if you want a lot of thrill rides with low waits 3 days will help.

64 Kelly Marion { 04.12.15 at 9:29 pm }

I loved reading all the good things you had to say about Coronado. I feel so much better about booking my trip here.

65 Dave { 04.13.15 at 5:12 pm }

Kelly, make sure you come back and tell me what you thought after your visit!!

66 Ryan { 05.10.15 at 9:07 pm }

My wife wants to go in January when crowds are low. Characters and princesses are a big part of our trip. Small rides like dumbo and such. We would be able to do a 10 day trip. I personally want to Waite till ur #1 week but we would only be able to do 6 days then. And wife says its to far away. Thanks for the great site any thoughts on this?

67 Dave { 05.11.15 at 7:00 am }

Ryan, two question–kids, and if so what ages?

68 Ryan { 05.11.15 at 12:27 pm }

2 girls 2.5 and 5 years old. Thanks

69 Dave { 05.12.15 at 9:39 am }

Ryan, at those ages 6 days is plenty. So you could do either!

70 Archie Lloyd { 05.12.15 at 11:33 am }

Can you give me some ideas on places to go to eat I have a 10 year old grandson who is kind of funny when eating

71 Becky { 05.13.15 at 4:17 pm }

Hi Dave,
Can you tell me if your book will cover trips in 2016, or will you be bringing out a new version for then? I’m (finally!) booked to go in August 2016, I know you don’t have itineraries for that far ahead yet but can you tell me when you will so I can check back here? Thank you so much! What would we do without you? 🙂

72 Dave { 05.14.15 at 7:49 am }

Archie, see this

73 Dave { 05.14.15 at 8:20 am }

We will be bringing out a 2016 version later this year, Becky!!

74 Courtney { 05.18.15 at 8:33 am }

Thanks for your response! Epcot is mainly for my husband and me. Our daughter loves Nemo so we figured we would do a 1/2 day at Epcot with the Princess breakfast, the Seas with Nemo and Friends, and the Chase card member Meet & Greet. Does MK show their NYE fireworks on the 30th? I had read somewhere that they did so we were planning MK on the 28th and 30th, HS the 29th and Epcot the 31st since we weren’t planning to do a whole day.

75 Dave { 05.18.15 at 5:49 pm }

Courtney, yes on MK fireworks the 30th! Given that your plans look fine…You may have been including this already, but add Turtle Talk with Crush (in the Seas pavilion) to your Epcot plans…

76 Courtney { 05.19.15 at 7:58 am }

Thank you! Do you recommend trying to get a dining reservation in MK on the 30th to give us a better chance of being in there if there would be a phased closure? I’ve been reading about them and they have me a little worried.

77 Dave { 05.19.15 at 1:46 pm }

Courtney, it can’t hurt…plus you need to eat anyway…

78 Charlie { 05.21.15 at 9:56 am }

Hi Dave,

Thanks as always for the info. An unusual question for you: can kids wear NON-Disney costumes? We’re going for Halloween and one of our daughters is dying to be a Powerpuff girl.

79 Dave { 05.21.15 at 11:45 am }

Charlie, absolutely. I’ve even seen folk in Harry Potter costumes!

80 Charlie { 05.25.15 at 7:48 pm }

Thanks Dave! BTW bought your book — love it! Thanks again for all your help, particularly on the free dining tip. 🙂

81 Dave { 05.26.15 at 8:14 am }

Cool, Charlie!!

82 Caseyoneill { 06.27.15 at 3:29 pm }

I love wdw during Halloween it’s not too scary

83 Stephen Casey oneill { 06.27.15 at 3:32 pm }

Halloween is fun in Disney specially mickeys not so scary Halloween party its not so scary not scary at all

84 Stephen Casey oneill { 06.27.15 at 3:34 pm }

My favorite is the haunted mansion but that’s also not so scary it’s scary but not terrorfying

85 Dave { 06.28.15 at 5:13 pm }

Hi Stephen and welcome to the site!

86 Mimi { 06.29.15 at 12:11 pm }

Hi Dave,
Looks like your book will be very helpful… but in the meantime, could you help me out. We haven’t been to Disney in decades. We used to go all the time because my father in law worked there. We are planning to come during our fall break Oct. 4-8 and getting a 3 day pass. We are a family of 12 – kids ages 13, 4, 2, 1. We thought renting a house would be most economical. Any advice? Also – all but one of us are Florida residents. With a FL ticket, does the FastPass come with that? I’m a little confused as to how the FastPast actually works. There’s probably a lot more we need to know – probably need to get your book! 🙂 Any advice is welcome!! Thanks, MImi

87 Dave { 06.29.15 at 12:50 pm }

Hi Mimi, FastPass+ comes with all tix. See this for the full scoop on it.

Offsite will be the cheapest way to go!

88 Paige { 07.07.15 at 9:03 pm }

Dave – we are currently planning to be at HS on October 7 (MK on the 6th and 8th – short trip). I have breakfast reservations and Hollywood and Vine for the 7th and lunch for BOG at MK on the 8th. However, I just realized the Electrical Light Parade is only in the 7th, and I think my kids would love it. They will be 4 and 5. So, I’m debating switching the days with the hopes of getting a BOG breakfast reservation for the 7th 30 days out and skipping Hollywood and Vine (although I know my boy would LOVE the Jedi training and we were hoping to get there early to get a spot). It is also a bit more complicated by the fact that we can select fast passes sixty days out so would need to take a gamble on the BOG. Anyway, any thoughts on that and the 1 day HS plan would be much appreciated!

89 Dave { 07.09.15 at 7:55 am }

Paige, BOG breakfasts are still in test, but are often open 90ish days ahead. It is bookable right now through October 3, so don’t plan on availability at 30 days!

I don’t have a one day plan for HS for kids that young. However, there is one in Chapter 6 of our book.

90 Marcia { 07.11.15 at 6:36 pm }

I’m Planning a trip to Disney and we r gong to Hollywood studio to see frozen. Can you recommend any thing else for a 4 year old girl at that theme park?

91 Dave { 07.12.15 at 10:05 am }

Marcia, see this.

92 Jane { 08.15.15 at 8:48 pm }

Another quick question: can adults wear costumes to the Halloween parties that are not on actual Halloween? Do many adults do that? Thanks.

93 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 08.16.15 at 9:02 am }

Hi Jane – Adults can wear costumes to any of the MNSSHP (not just 10/31) More people dress up than do not. Here is a list of guidelines for your costume:
Costumes Should be child-friendly

Costumes Should Not

-Be obstructive, offensive or violent.
-Drag on the ground.
-Contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another Guest.
-Contain any weapons which resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
-Masks (Masks may be worn, but they must not obstruct vision and eyes must be visible at all times.)

94 Dave { 08.16.15 at 9:20 am }

Thanks, Kelly!!

95 Tiffany { 08.26.15 at 12:45 pm }

Hi guys , we are going November 1st-8th. We are doing the last Halloween party on the 1st. Will this be a busy night for the party since it’s the last one?

96 Dave { 08.26.15 at 4:29 pm }

Yup, I expect it’ll sell out!

97 Catherine { 08.27.15 at 10:26 am }

Dave we are going to WDW the 8th to the 16 th of Sept including MNSSHP when do Halloween decorations go up?

98 Catherine { 08.27.15 at 10:42 am }

Dave would you remove my last name from my prior post it got auto keyed in without me noticing!

99 Dave { 08.27.15 at 6:45 pm }

Catherine, they’ll be fully up for the first party, the 15th. I’d imagine the decorations will start going up a good bit earlier, but can’t give you an exact date. Halloween stuff is already for sale in the Disney World shops!!

100 Dave { 08.27.15 at 6:46 pm }


101 Bobbie { 08.28.15 at 3:37 pm }

We (myself, 2 daughters and 1 granddaughter) will be visiting WDW for the first time the last week of October and have reservations at the Caribbean Beach Resort (Pirate Room). I need a scooter to navigate around. Is there a chance we could switch rooms for a better one if we do not like the room? Our reservations is a deal with “free dining plan” due to a special Disney offer our AAA agent found for us. We were scheduled to have a Princess Room at Port New Orleans, but to get the “free dining” we had to change resorts. Do you know if the resort will accommodate us, if another room is available. I know the agent has requested a handicapped room, but not sure if the “Private Room” will be efficient enough. The beds are the main concern as well. We need queen size beds for the four of us and according to reviews of the resort, I understand the beds are double ones. Forgive me for being so “wordy” asking my question. The closer we get to our vacation and the more I research the resort, I’m a little concerned. By the way, I can’t wait to read your book for WDW 1st visit. Ordered it today. Thanks, in advance, for any advise or thoughts you provide. Bobbie

102 Sharon { 08.30.15 at 1:20 am }

We visited Walt Disney World last year the 3rd week of January and used your information. It was an amazing first trip for our family! We would love to go back in February of 2016 to visit Magic Kingdom again along with Sea World and Legoland. My kids are huge fans of Legos, so I feel like we have to get that in during their ages of 5 and 7. They are out of school the whole week after president’s day week. I see on your crowd calendar that it is a bad time to visit. I was wondering if you had any info on if Sea World and Legoland were also crowded during president’s day week? That would be Feb. 13-20th 2016. We had a thought that we might be able to go to Sea World and Legoland that week if Disney wasn’t worth it with the crowds. Then we could do Magic Kingdom on Saturday, the 20th and Sunday, the 21st at the end of our trip. Then we could head back on Monday and only have an unexcused absence for one day. Does that idea have any logic? Thank you.

103 Dave { 08.30.15 at 8:44 am }

Bobbie, becasue they will be almost fully booked, it would be unusual for them to move you from the room class you’ve booked into another one. If you are deeply concerned about how far the Pirate rooms are from the main pool and dining (there is a bus) or the queen beds, your best bet is to call and try to re-book into a “preferred” room, which–if there are any left–will put you closer, and in queens. This will cost you your free dining, though, most likely…

104 Dave { 08.30.15 at 8:49 am }

Sharon, I don’t track the other parks, but what drives crowds in them is the same as Disney–that is, kids on break–so I wouldn’t expect much crowding difference wherever you are. On average, crowds will be lower everywhere the later that week you go.

105 Sharon { 08.31.15 at 11:48 pm }

Thanks so much for the advice.

106 Mendy { 09.13.15 at 12:55 pm }

Hi Dave!

Read a lot on your website. It’s so helpful! We are going to WDW from Canada arriving on the 5th of december 2015 leaving on the 13th, 2 adults et 2 twin girls of 4.5 years old. I am going to a conference 3 mornings (9-10-11th) and because of that we are staying at the resort where the conference is which is the Grand Floridian (we are getting rates may be 60% cheaper than what is goes for usually) but can’t get the dining package because of that deal. So I was think to book the Art of animation hotel +regular dining plan from the 5th to 7th than the Floridian the reminder of the trip without the dining package. This deal includes one day at the Typhoon Lagoon. Will it be a big hassle to change hotel on the 8th, with checking out of one and in the other?

So I understood that we should skip Epcot?, what about HS and AK?
I was thinking:

Sat 5th: arriving 10 am and?
Sunday 6th: MK?
Monday 7th: AK?
Tuesday 8th: MK?
Wed. 9th : (conference 8 to noon) only half day of?
Thursday 10th: (conference 8 to noon), day off
Friday: (conference 8 to noon) HS?
Saturday 12: Typhoon?
Sunday 13th: leaving am

Not sure about the parade on to schedule that. Already late for booking the restaurants also. Will the dining be very expensive on the days that I don’t have the plan. Can a couple stay in our room for a night (my father will be in Orlando around that time)?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you so much!


107 Mendy { 09.13.15 at 1:15 pm }

Just wanted to add. Nothing is officially booked as of hotel, but there is availability of what I told you.Thanks!

108 Dave { 09.14.15 at 6:56 am }

Mendy your park plans look fine. It’s only a minor hassle to change rooms–DIsney will move your bags for you (check with the concierge the evening of the 7th to figure out logistics). The dining plan will save you money ONLY if you book a bunch of one-credit buffets/character meals, so I would book the meals FIRST, and only then add the dining plan.

For Art of Animation, are you aimed at a family suite? If so, your dad will fit! If you are aimed at a little mermaid room–whihc I’m guessing are sold out anyway–he won’t

109 Mendy { 09.14.15 at 8:04 pm }

Hi Dave!

Thanks for the answer. Actually standard rooms at Art of animation are booked. I think there was a package with the park tickets that I just missed, is that possible?

So it looks like I am going to be at the Grand Floridian for the week and I can’t to the dining plan with the deal I have. I am afraid that it might be quite expensive for eating. But like you said the dining plan is worth it only if you book a bunch of sit down meals, I was planning to do one a day but I might be too late to book that anyway right?

Thank you for everything!

110 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 09.15.15 at 7:27 pm }

Hi Mendy – It’s Kelly from Destinations in Florida. If you sign into you’ll be able to see what is available during your planned dates of visit. Go to “Things to Do” and then from the drop down menu select “Make a Reservation”. You can then pick party size, meal, location, etc and see if anything is available. If you are flexible you’ll often find more options at lunch rather than dinner. And when selecting times, remember to allow yourself enough time to get to your reservation (especially if it’s in a different park or resort).

111 Dave { 09.16.15 at 11:02 am }

Mendy, just to be clear: people ten and older almost always LOSE money on the dining plan. Kids 3-9 come out ahead, but ONLY if they use most of their table service credits on single-credit buffets/character meals, most of which are likely booked up. So it’s no loss!

112 robin { 09.19.15 at 9:10 pm }

will there be a book out the easy guide to your first Walt Disney World Visit 2016

113 Dave { 09.21.15 at 6:49 am }

Very soon, Robin!!

114 MomOf3InPa { 09.27.15 at 10:46 pm }

Hi! We love your site, and want to follow your itineraries. We are going for 7 nights (not 9), for the dates of April 6-13, which is a Wednesday through a Wednesday. How do we modify your 7 night, low crowd itinerary to fit our visit? Have to book meals in 3 days (trip just got moved up so now I’m scrambling)
Thanks in advance!

115 Dave { 09.30.15 at 9:17 am }

Mom, so sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. (My real job has been rough the past few days). Use Josh’s calendar here to pick your park days. My itineraries are tied to exact days of the week (“Monday means Monday, not “Day 3”), modified as noted here, so they don’t flex well to other periods.

However, you can find one and two day park touring plans in Chapter 6 of the brand-new easy Guide, and use those for how to spend the days, once you’ve picked which park which day from Josh’s stuff.

116 Adrianne B { 11.16.15 at 11:12 am }

Dave, I wanted to take a moment to thank you sincerely for providing first-timers with the invaluable resources of your book and website. My family visited WDW in late October and planned according to your suggestions of where to stay (AoA) and which parks to visit (or avoid) daily. We had a terrific time and even though I planned with the intention of this being a “one and done” trip, we are all in agreement that we ought to return (and/or go out to Disneyland). Your tips and recommendations were accurate, straightforward, and honest, and as a skeptic and frugalista, I really appreciate that. I’m consistently impressed with your devotion to answering your readers’ questions here and in the Get Down To Disness Meetings. Just reading the Easy Guide was a fun way to get informed and ramp up the excitement for the trip. I will be recommending your book and site to anyone I know planning a trip to Disney World, first-timer or not. THANK YOU! º0º

117 Dave { 11.17.15 at 11:40 am }

Thanks!! Adrianne!! You really made my day!!

118 mike { 03.12.17 at 10:08 pm }

Dave I was basically at Disney since it opened and I still get things I didn’t know about from yours and Josh’s book thank you for being a blessing to so many people that have no clue how to plan. I have been through the mission to the moon , if you had wings, the sky ride the penny arcade and many other rides and attractions that have given me so many memories. Thank you for all you do

119 Dave { 03.13.17 at 11:35 am }

Thanks, Mike!!

120 Caitlin { 03.22.17 at 8:35 pm }

Dave, My family and I just returned from a spring break trip to Disney World. It was crowded beyond belief, but thanks to your book and website we did everything we wanted to do when we wanted to do it, and we had a great time! I am so grateful for your advice! Thank you so much!

121 Dave { 03.23.17 at 9:45 am }

Caitlin I’m so glad to have helped!!!

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