By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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Category — i. Itineraries for Walt Disney World

Epcot Day 1 Disney World 2019 Basic December Itinerary

(Note: this is from the 2019 Basic December Itinerary. The itinerary works only for the three weeks beginning the Saturday after Thanksgiving 2019.)

EPCOT DAY 1: FIRST SATURDAY AGENDA

Check in, get settled, and head to Epcot.

Today is the first of your three visits to Epcot. I’ve designed this itinerary with three Epcot visits because there are three key Tier One FastPass+ at Epcot, and you will use one each visit. This lets you sleep in before your next two Epcot visits…

Your plan tonight is to see Test Track, to visit the parts of World Showcase that are most fun in the evening, to sample the Holiday Storytellers, and to check out, if you have time, the holiday decorations in the nearby Epcot resorts.

You want to be on your way out of Epcot by 9.30p, so that you miss the crowds that will depart the park after the 9.30 Epcot Forever show is over. (You will see Epcot Forever on Friday night.)

You should have FastPass+ for Test Track, and you have no scheduled dining tonight.

FIRST THINGS

Arrive at your hotel, following the instructions in your Disney’s Magical Express packet if you are using it to get from Orlando International to your Disney Resort. Check in.

Unless you are arriving late, your room may not be ready, but you can leave your bags. First change into clothes more appropriate for the weather–which your To-Do List reminded you to pack in your carry-ons.

Head to Epcot as early as you can, and at the latest in time to make your FastPass+ at Test Track.

AT THE PARK

  • Go through the turnstiles and pick up a park map and “Times Guide”–a schedule.
  • Head to World Showcase, and while keeping an eye out for your Test Track FastPass+, see the pavilions starting with Mexico and going clockwise.
    • Each pavilion will have some or all of shopping, special exhibits, a ride, a movie, and other special events—such as acrobats in China. Most also will have a Holiday Storyteller.
    • Check your map, times guide, and the pavilion itself, to see what each pavilion has.
    • For scheduled events like the Storytellers, acrobats, etc., sequence what you do when among items that are not scheduled (shops, exhibits, and rides), and bounce back and forth between nearby pavilions, so that you don’t have to wait long for the scheduled item
  • Ride Test Track (FastPass+)
  • Have dinner at a convenient counter service when you are ready.
  • If you have time, head over to the BoardWalk Inn (walk or boat—the walkway and boat are at the International Gateway between the UK and France) and see the holiday decorations in its lobby, continuing on to see those in the nearby Yacht Club and Beach Club, time permitting.
  • Be back in Epcot and headed towards the bus and monorail stops or the International Gateway by 9.30p, so that you miss the crowds leaving after Epcot Forever .
  • Return to your hotel.

BACK AT THE HOTEL

Buy food, supplies (bowls, spoons, etc.) and get refillable mugs for breakfast in your room at your hotel counter service or gift shop, if you did not have time, or a room assignment, earlier. You can also get these in the morning, but crowds in the shops/counter service will likely be lower tonight.

PREVIEW OF TOMORROW

You will spend the first of two days at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You want to arrive by 8.15a. Check with your concierge on transport (likely buses) and what time you should be at the bus stop. Pack spare dry clothes, as you will get wet on Kali River Rapids!

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October 6, 2019   No Comments

Animal Kingdom Day 1 Disney World 2019 Basic December Itinerary

(Note: this is from the 2019 Basic December Itinerary. The itinerary works only for the three weeks beginning the Saturday after Thanksgiving 2019.)

ANIMAL KINGDOM DAY 1: FIRST SUNDAY AGENDA

Today you begin and end your day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which you will return to next Sunday morning. You should have dinner booked at Tusker House as the Rivers of Light Dining Package.

You should have FastPass+ for Na’vi River Journey, Finding Nemo, and Kali River Rapids. Bring spare socks and shoes to change into after Kali River Rapids.

MORNING PLAN

  • Arrive at the turnstiles 45 minutes before open
  • At open, head to and ride Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • See Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
  • See Na’vi River Journey (FastPass+)
  • Explore Pandora
  • Have an early lunch
  • See the noon Finding Nemo: The Musical (FastPass+)
  • See the Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • See Kali River Rapids (FastPass+)
  • See the 1.30p UP: A Great Bird Adventure
  • See it’s Tough to Be a Bug
  • Optional: ride the Wildlife Express train to Rafiki’s Planet watch and see its petting zoo and veterinary and conservation exhibits
  • Head back to your hotel for a nap and/or time at the pool

EVENING PLAN

  • Be back in the park in time for your Tusker House Rivers of Light Dining Package dinner.
  • See Rivers of Light –be in the Dining Package line no later than 30 minutes before show start
  • If the park is still open, explore Tree of Life Awakenings and Pandora: World of Avatar after dark
  • Ride, if you wish, Expedition Everest and/or Kilimanjaro Safaris (if operating) after dark
  • Head back to your hotel

PREVIEW OF TOMORROW

Tomorrow you begin your visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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October 6, 2019   No Comments

Hollywood Studios Day 1 Disney World 2019 Basic December Itinerary

(Note: this is from the 2019 Basic December Itinerary. The itinerary works only for the three weeks beginning the Saturday after Thanksgiving 2019.)

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS DAY 1: MONDAY AGENDA

You begin your visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios today, and complete it on Wednesday.  The schedule is a bit fluid, as opening hours may vary quite a bit, as does interest in some of the special features at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. So you have some options…

You should have FastPass+ for Indiana Jones at 2.45p for the 3.15p show, 4p to 5p for Tower of Terror, and 5p for the 5.30p Frozen Sing-Along.

AT THE PARK

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage from yourfirstvisit.net

  • Arrive at the park and be through security and in line for the tapstiles well before the park opens. Right now I can’t tell you how early, but I would aim to be at the tapstiles an hour before open.
  • Enter the park, enter Galaxy’s Edge, and if your date is after December 5, ride Rise of the Resistance, then check the lines for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and ride it if the wait seems tolerable. (You’ll see it Wednesday if waits are too high today.) If arriving before December 5th, ride Smugglers Run.
  • Exit into Toy Story Land, and ride Toy Story Mania.
  • When you get off Toy Story Mania, check the waits for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  If they look OK, head to it and ride it.
  • What happens next depends both on how early you got into the park, and which of the options in the next bullet you wish to pursue. A late park opening and wanting to do many of the options in the next bullet means continuing in the park and working through them; an early open and/or not having an interest in any means you can head back to your hotel and take a nap. You can also put some of the options off til Wednesday.
  • The next general point in your itinerary is to be outside of Indiana Jones by 2.45p.  You may wish to return to the park earlier–or even stay in the park–if  you wish to wander more in Galaxy’s Edge, have bookings at Oga’s Cantina or Savi’s [lightsaber] Workshop, or if you want to see some of the minor attractions in the park–e.g. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, Walt Disney Presents, Disney Jr Dance Party, or Star Wars Launch Bay
  • See the 3.15p show of the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular Show (FP+)
  • See Tower of Terror (FP+)
  • See the 5.30p Frozen Sing-Along (FP+). As soon as you tap in, check for FastPass+ availability for another ride
  • Have dinner
  • See the holiday show projected on Tower of Terror
  • Be in line for Fantasmic (the first show, if two are scheduled) no later than 60 minutes before show start, and see Fantasmic
  • If the schedule permits, head back to the Chinese Theater area and see the Wonderful World of Disney Animation and then the last show, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM.

 

PREVIEW OF TOMORROW

Tomorrow you begin your visit to the Magic Kingdom.

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October 6, 2019   No Comments

Magic Kingdom Day 1 Disney World 2019 Basic December Itinerary

(Note: this is from the 2019 Basic December Itinerary. The itinerary works only for the three weeks beginning the Saturday after Thanksgiving 2019.)

MAGIC KINGDOM DAY 1: TUESDAY AGENDA

Today you have the early morning off, and then in the late morning begin your visit the Magic Kingdom.

You should have FastPass+ for Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain.

 

You should have breakfast or lunch scheduled with the princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table. You have dinner at Fort Wilderness’s Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue.

MORNING

  • Sleep in and eat breakfast in your room
  • Arrive at Magic Kingdom in time for your Cinderella booking–or if it is later, by 11a

AT THE MAGIC KINGDOM

At Magic Kingdom today your goal is to begin seeing Adventureland and Frontierland while fitting in your meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table, and the afternoon parade. You will then end your day at Fort Wilderness’s Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue.

The To-Do List did not give specific times for today’s FastPass+ (Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain), because of the need to fit them around your dining reservation.

So you will need to adjust the sequence below based on your actual meal and FastPass+ times, and also interrupt it to be in position for the afternoon parade near Pecos Bill’s by 15 minutes before it starts at 2p.

  • Enter the park, grab a times guide, and confirm the time of the afternoon parade
  • Have your meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Go to Adventureland and ride Pirates of the Caribbean (FastPass+)
  • Walk through the Swiss Family Treehouse
  • Do Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • See the Enchanted Tiki Room show
  • Ride Splash Mountain (FastPass+)
  • See the Country Bears
  • Ride Big Thunder Mountain (FastPass+)
  • Look for a fourth FastPass+ on your phone if you’d like to return to a ride from today or earlier this week.
  • Fit into the above seeing the afternoon parade (find a spot near Pecos Bill’s by 15 minutes before it starts–2p starts are now typical this time of year)
  • Revisit rides from today or earlier this week
  • Around 5p, head for the main entrance and look for the boat docks right in front
  • Take the boat to Fort Wilderness (not the Wilderness Lodge), and follow the crowds to the Hoop-Dee-Doo area, and check in for the 6.15p show.
  • See Hoop-Dee-Doo!
  • Ask outside for the best way to get back to your hotel.  Most likely you will return by boat to the Magic Kingdom, and catch a bus or monorail there.  But special buses may be running…

PREVIEW OF TOMORROW

Tomorrow you complete your visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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October 6, 2019   No Comments

Hollywood Studios Day 2 Disney World 2019 Basic December Itinerary

(Note: this is from the 2019 Basic December Itinerary. The itinerary works only for the three weeks beginning the Saturday after Thanksgiving 2019.)

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS DAY 2: WEDNESDAY AGENDA

Today you return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to complete the visit you began Monday.

You should have FastPass+ for Slinky Dog Dash for 2p to 3p, Star Tours for 3p-4p, and 4.30p for the 5p show of Beauty and the Beast.

The flow of the day depends on what you were able to complete on Monday. If you have seen all of Galaxy’s Edge that you wish, rode Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and either completed or had no interest in the optional items from early Monday afternoon, then you need not arrive until it is time to use your 2p Slinky Dog Dash FastPass+.

Otherwise follow the steps below.

AT THE PARK

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage from yourfirstvisit.net

  • Arrive at the park and be through security and in line for the tapstiles well before the park opens. Right now I can’t tell you how early, but I would aim to be at the tapstiles an hour before open.
  • Enter the park, and complete the visit to Galaxy’s Edge you began Monday.
  • If you did not ride it Monday, ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
  • Check waits and re-ride anything from Monday you want to do again that has a tolerable wait
  • What happens next depends both on how early you got into the park, and which of the options in the next bullet you wish to pursue. A late park opening and wanting  to do many of them means continuing in the park and working through them; an early open and/or not having an interest in any means you can head back to your hotel and take a nap.
  • The next general point in your itinerary is to be at Slinky Dog Dash at 2p.   You may wish to return to the park earlier–or even stay in the park–if  you wish to wander more in Galaxy’s Edge, have bookings at Oga’s Cantina or Savi’s [lightsaber] Workshop, or if you want to see some of the minor attractions in the park–e.g. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, Walt Disney Presents, Disney Jr Dance Party, or Star Wars Launch Bay
  • See Slinky Dog Dash (FP+)
  • If you have any interest, see Alien Swirling Saucers if the wait is tolerable
  • See Muppet Vision 3D
  • See Star Tours (FP+)
  • See the 5p Beauty and the Beast (FP+). As soon as you tap in, check for FastPass+ availability for another ride
  • See Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Re-ride as you wish. If the show schedule on Monday was such that you missed the later shows, head back to the Chinese Theater area and see the Wonderful World of Disney Animation and Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM.

PREVIEW OF TOMORROW

Tomorrow you will continue your visits to Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.

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October 6, 2019   No Comments

Epcot Day 2 and Magic Kingdom Day 2 Disney World 2019 Basic December Itinerary

(Note: this is from the 2019 Basic December Itinerary. The itinerary works only for the three weeks beginning the Saturday after Thanksgiving 2019.)

EPCOT DAY 2 AND MAGIC KINGDOM DAY 2: THURSDAY AGENDA

Today you have the early morning off, and then in the late morning continue your visit to Epcot.

In the late afternoon, you switch to the Magic Kingdom, using your Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets to enter as early as 4p (your tickets will say 7p, but Disney has let party-goers enter at 4p for years).

 

You should have FastPass+ for Frozen Ever After, Spaceship Earth and MISSION: Space. You have no scheduled meals.

MORNING

  • Sleep in and eat breakfast in your room
  • Arrive at Epcot by 11.45a

AT EPCOT

At Epcot today your goal is to see a few rides in World Showcase and the east side of Future World, plus a Holiday Storyteller or two if you’d like.

  • Enter the park, grab a times guide, and check for Holiday Storytellers on the east side of World Showcase you might want to see early this afternoon.
  • Have lunch
  • Ride Frozen Ever After using FastPass+
  • See a Holiday Storyteller or three
  • Ride MISSION: Space using FastPass+ (those with the least tiny bit of motion sickness should ride the “Green”/”Earth” side)
  • Ride Spaceship Earth using FastPass+
  • Exit the park, and take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom

AT THE MAGIC KINGDOM

In the earlier part of today’s Magic Kingdom visit, you’ll be seeing some lower-wait attractions. When the party starts, you’ll be seeing rides in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland until the fireworks, then watch the special Christmas fireworks and the second showing of the special Christmas parade. Exact times are not out yet, so this agenda may be modified a bit in early November.

  • Arrive at Magic Kingdom, go to the special event turnstiles and get your party bracelet. Get both a regular Times Guide and a party map.
  • Head back into Frontierland and get a raft to Tom Sawyer Island. Play and explore.
  • Take a raft back, walk to Liberty Square and ride the Liberty Belle Steamboat
  • See the Hall of Presidents (which will have a show on just a few minutes after the Liberty Belle unloads)
  • Have dinner at a counter service (Columbia Harbor House is nearby and recommended)
  • A little before 7p, head to Tomorrowland.

AT MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY

  • See the Carousel of Progress
  • See Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • See Space Mountain
  • See Astro Orbiter
  • Walk to Fantasyland
  • See Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Ride Winnie the Pooh
  • Make your way to a spot between the Castle and the entrance to Main Street by half an hour before the fireworks begin
  • See the fireworks
  • Stay in the same spot and watch the Christmas Parade
  • Head to Adventureland and see the Jungle Cruise
  • If there’s’ time and you still have the energy, see any special shows that have another performance, or re-ride one of your favorites from this evening
  • Head back to your hotel

PREVIEW OF TOMORROW

Tomorrow you complete your visit to Epcot.

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October 6, 2019   No Comments