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

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Alternative Shorter and Longer Walt Disney World Itineraries for the December Weeks

By Dave Shute

Note: as of late August 2017, these have all been updated. Use the comment form for questions if the update messes up your plans!

This page presents alternative itineraries for trips during the recommended weeks in December. See this page for alternatives for the rest of the year beyond the recommended December weeks.


The first two are shorter than the my recommended Basic Itinerary; none of these is recommended, as they make your vacation too much of a sprint, and present increasing risks that your family will miss some of the best of Walt Disney World.

The last alternative is is one day longer, and will be a more relaxing trip than the basic itinerary for those who can afford the money and the time.


See this for a seven night trip arriving Saturday

See this for a seven night trip arriving Sunday


See this this for a 9 night, 10 day trip


…use the approach on this page.

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1 Tara { 07.23.12 at 5:19 pm }

Hi Dave!
I was hoping you could give some advice on the itinerary for our dates. We are arriving on Tuesday Nov 27 and leaving on December 4. We get in around 3pm on the 27th. It is three of us, two adults and a 6 year old girl. First time visit! We are staying on the property too. Any help would be great! Love your site, thanks for all you do to help us first timers!!

2 Dave { 07.24.12 at 11:36 am }

Hi Tara and thanks!

You can adapt this itinerary, starting with what it labels as “Tuesday”…and then starting over at the beginning when your week rolls over:

3 Tara { 07.23.12 at 5:33 pm }

Also, we would like to do VMCP. I was thinking on that Tuesday the we arrive.

4 Tara { 07.24.12 at 12:31 pm }

thanks Dave! I really wanted to leave Disney with a bang. Do you think it would be ok to do MK on the Monday, Dec 3?

5 Dave { 07.24.12 at 6:03 pm }

Sure! It’ll be a little more crowded than say 12/4…but you’ll still have a ball!

6 Tara { 07.24.12 at 12:36 pm }

Here is what I was thinking:
Nov 27-Arrive-MK-VMCP
Nov 28-MK
Nov 29-HS
Nov 30-Epcot
Dec1 -AK
Dec 2-HS
Dec 4-Ohana breakfast and DTD, Leave
Dec 1-AK

7 Dave { 07.24.12 at 6:05 pm }

Looks great Tara. Have a great trip, and let me know how it went!

8 Sylvia { 07.28.12 at 7:30 am }

Hi Dave; We will be at Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek on December 19 pm until December 27th includeParadd. Because it’s our second time to WDW; we don’t want to do AK and US. We would prefer keep some days fopr other sites as Universal, Legoland, Sea World. We have a little boy of 8 years old. What sould be the itinery you would suggest to be an approx 3 days into WDW as Epcot and MG. It,s sure I want to see 25 Xparade and I heard about and other one that should be great too. One stop on December 21th but where should we buy tickets; should we reserve? The other one is it on December 24th. Something to be seen on December 24 th night? We want to see most without losing anytime…. Thanks for your help^.

9 Dave { 07.28.12 at 8:17 am }

Sylvia, I’m not quite following you…but starting the 22nd that’s the busiest time of the year, so get in as much before then as you can… see this:

10 Sylvia { 07.29.12 at 10:40 am }

Thanks Dave. We were looking to see much of parks into that period of time without waisting time…. But we can’t change the period to visit….. I know it’s the worst period of the year! I’ve you heard about a XMas Parad on December 24th evening? Where can we purchase the tickets for the other Parad ending on December 21th (Mickey Very Merry….)? Thanks 🙂

11 Dave { 07.29.12 at 5:01 pm }

Hi Sylvia, there’s an xmas parade every night starting the 22nd, with nothing special on 12/24. See this page for links for the Xmas party:

(Some people think that since there’s a TV show the 25th of a Disneyland and Disney World xmas parade (not the same as the parade referred to above), that they can see this parade xmas day… however they tape it at the beginning of the month)

12 Gail { 08.03.12 at 9:18 pm }

Hi, my family , mother -70 years , husband and I, children ages 9 months. 7 years and 13 need ideas for a 5 day trip to WDW. We want to go to Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, Epcot and some fireworks. Any suggestions?


13 Dave { 08.04.12 at 5:10 pm }

Hi Gail…by Universal Studios do you mean Hollywood Studios? Univerdsal is owned by Universal, Hollywood by Disney.

You’d want two days at MK and one each at Epcot and the Studios. All three of these parks have terrific and very different evening fireworks–see this:

14 Katie { 08.03.12 at 11:16 pm }

I think I have been doing more research on our trip to Disney than I did for reports due in school! We are planning a week long trip to WDW December 1st-December 7th. We are using the military 4 day hopper passes so we are trying to get the most out of the short time there. What parks do you recommend for each given day starting on Sunday and ending Thursday with a day planned for downtown disney? I wasn’t a huge fan of Epcot so we don’t mind cutting that visit short. Any other suggestion for parades, dining , ect. during that time would be amazing. Thanks you for such an informative website!

15 Dave { 08.04.12 at 5:21 pm }

Hi Katie–first see this about the military hopper. Right now they end in Sept, but word is a new program will be announced mid next week: Second, tell me the ages of your kids. With that I’ll get back to you on suggestions…

16 Katie { 08.04.12 at 6:02 pm }

Thanks for the quick response. We heard about the new program yesterday from our ITT and have a back-up plan if for some reason they don’t renew. Very thankful for Disney’s salute to heros. The ages of children are 7,5 and 1. Not too worried about the 1yr old, grandparents have offered to take him back to hotel for naps =) We were thinking Sun-MK, Mon-Animal w/night at MK, Tues-Epcot, Wed-Studio and Thur-DD….thoughts?

17 Dave { 08.05.12 at 10:03 am }

Hi Katie–first, you wanna avoid am EMH, and also, given the ages, I’d skip Epcot entirely. So here’s my suggestion:

Sun 12/2: MK, as you have it
Mon 12/3: HS
Tues 12/4: AK
Weds 12/5 Back to MK

18 Simone { 03.05.14 at 1:03 am }

Hi Dave. My sister and I plan on taking our children to Disney 1st week of Dec. 2014. Children ages are 4 yr old twin boys and a 5 yr old girl. First time visits for the kids. Conservative budgets for their moms. The plan is 5 days/4nights. Only visiting MK & AK. We want 1 day off. 1) What’s the best itinerary? 2)Best resort? Thanks.

19 Dave { 03.05.14 at 7:59 am }

Hi Simone! I won’t be able to comment on the best days until Disney publishes its calendar for then, which it will do in late May. So check back with me then? Getting 5 into a Disney hotel without breaking the bank is tough. Your best option is the Alligators Bayou section of Port Orleans Riverside. See this:

20 Colleen { 05.13.14 at 8:13 pm }

Hi Dave
My family with consists of myself, husband and 4 children ages 7,5,3, and 15 months will be making our second trip it Disney world nov.30-dec. 7, I’m wondering which itinerary we should follow, I would like a little downtime if possible and I know that we are going to skip going to Animal Kingdom this time around. And was wondering on your opinion of going to very merry Christmas party?

21 Dave { 05.14.14 at 7:11 am }

Colleen, I haven’t published itineraries for then yet. When they are out, you’ll be able to find them here: And yes on MVMCP if you can afford it!!

22 Kevin Meek { 11.22.14 at 8:36 am }

We are arriving on Saturday 11/29 and are flying home on Friday, 12/5, but don’t check in to Saratoga Springs Resort until 11/30 – wife, 5 year old son, 2 year old son, 70 year old grandma and 75 year old grandma. We have 4 5-day tickets. Thoughts on how to give grandparents time to rest, maximize fun for kids without going crazy. I was thinking MK on Sunday + Mickey’s Christmas Party, Epcot, Hollywood, MK again and then Animal Kingdom. Thoughts? Advice?

23 Dave { 11.24.14 at 11:54 am }

Kevin, that looks like a sound schedule! However, kids that age won’t get much out of Epcot–you might consider that as an off day instead…For what to do each day, see Josh’s cheat sheets here –I don’t have anything for kids that young.

24 E Robinson { 06.04.15 at 9:34 pm }

Hi I’m going to arrive on dec 2, 2015-Tues Dec 8 2015. Do you have an itinerary for first timers w 4 kids. We have tickets to Mickey Party on Thursday the 3rd.

25 Dave { 06.05.15 at 8:27 am }

Hi, E Robinson. sorry I don’t–at least not on this site. You can adapt the itineraries you’ll find in Chapter 6 of my book, but they don’t include the Xmas program stuff… Since you already have the party, add time at Epcot for Holidays around the World and perhaps the Candlelight Processional, and at Hollywood Studios for the Osborne Lights

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