For my thoughts on the re-opening of Walt Disney World, see this.

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

Available on Amazon here.

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

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 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. 🙂

2 Dave { 05.26.15 at 8:14 am }

Cool, Charlie!!

3 Caseyoneill { 06.27.15 at 3:29 pm }

I love wdw during Halloween it’s not too scary

4 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

5 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

6 Dave { 06.28.15 at 5:13 pm }

Hi Stephen and welcome to the site!

7 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

8 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!

9 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!

10 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.

11 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?

12 Dave { 07.12.15 at 10:05 am }

Marcia, see this.

13 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.

14 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.)

15 Dave { 08.16.15 at 9:20 am }

Thanks, Kelly!!

16 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?

17 Dave { 08.26.15 at 4:29 pm }

Yup, I expect it’ll sell out!

18 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?

19 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!!

20 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!

21 Dave { 08.27.15 at 6:46 pm }


22 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

23 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…

24 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.

25 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.

26 Sharon { 08.31.15 at 11:48 pm }

Thanks so much for the advice.

27 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!


28 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

29 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!

30 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!

31 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!

32 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).

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