By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Required September, October and November 2012 Itinerary and To-Do List Changes

By Dave Shute

The Autumn-Winter-Spring Itinerary and its associated To-Do List work fine for most of the time in September and October.

However, each week needs a minor change:

  • For a 9/1 arrival date, because of a special event at the Magic Kingdom on 9/8, swap Thursday evening and the evening of the Second Saturday in both the itinerary and the To-Do List
  • For arrival dates of 9/8, 9/15, 9/22, and 9/29, and for 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, and 10/27, and 11/3 a change in the typical Extra Magic Hours patterns means that you need to swap Wednesday and Friday in both the itinerary and in the To-Do List.
  • The rest of November does not require these changes


1 Matt { 03.19.12 at 1:32 pm }

Dave, Fantastic site! Thanks for all the valuable info you provide. We have an 8 and 4 year old and will be arriving at MCO on 10/13, leaving early afternoon 10/20. 2 questions. First, should we still try to do the Saturday dinner and evening at Epcot, or should we just get an early start Sunday? If we take the night to basically get settled in, what in the initial Saturday eve itinerary would you recommend moving to another time? Also, we want to make sure to leave a free evening for the not so scary Halloween party, but I know they don’t do that every night. Is there a way to have an idea this far ahead what would be a good night for that…and is there other itinerary juggling you’d recommend to make it happen? We’ll be staying on site (art of animation) and have the magic your way plus dining and park hopper. Thanks!!!

2 Dave { 03.19.12 at 1:43 pm }

Thanks, Matt!

Unless your 8yo is a. a daughter and b., a huge princess fan, you can actually skip the first Saturday night entirely. Kids the age of yours are so un-interested in Epcot that the Friday will be more than enough…if she is a. and b, then switch the Friday Epcot dining for the First Saturday Epcot dining but still take Sat night to settle in…

My current estimates of which nights the Halloween Party will be on are on this page:

3 Lisa white { 04.21.12 at 9:54 am }

Are your itineraries current? Also what will park hours be w/o 10/13, too soon to know?

4 Dave { 04.21.12 at 10:01 am }

Hi Lisa, they are mostly current–I don’t revise them due to temporary closures, for example. You can find October hours on Disney’s website. For how to get to them see this

5 Melanie { 05.29.12 at 10:11 pm }

We are coming in on Oct. 25th around 3pm. We are staying at the Beach Club Villa’s for 7 days. My kids are 9 1/2 boy- 6 girl. We are eating at Chef Micky’s on the 26th pm and Royal Banquet at 9:45 am. What else do you recommend?

6 Dave { 05.30.12 at 8:48 am }

Hi Melanie–all the basics are in the material that begins here:

It’s not an exact fit to your days or length, but you can edit it to suit. Note that days matter–Sunday is Sunday, not day 2–which makes it harder to edit…

Also, there’s a couple of special events going on then–see this:

7 Debi { 07.14.12 at 6:29 pm }

Your site has been extremely helpful in my preliminary planning for our family vacation I’m planning with a 2/9/13 arrival….with a 10 yr old (non-princessy girl) and a 7 yr old boy. Is it too early to know what (if any) special events are planned in order to select an appropriate itinerary? Which itinerary should I use as my basis? I appreciate your guidance. Thank you!

8 Dave { 07.15.12 at 9:07 am }

Hi Debi and thanks! I should have more specific thoughts on Feb in a few weeks on this page: But if you can’t wait, unless something changes a lot the AWS itinerary is a good start for planning–see this:

9 Debi { 07.15.12 at 6:47 pm }

Thanks, Dave! I have plenty of time to wait for the February 2013 specifics, so I’ll check back. However, at quick glance, the only thing that looks like I might need to change is the 8 pm dinner at Rainforest Cafe after Cirque de Soleil. There’s no way that my kids will want to wait that long to eat….we’ll probably just grab a snack on the way back to the room instead. However, I’d love to take them there….how would you recommend fitting this in elsewhere? I am planning on the Sunday 2/17/13 departure date.

As an aside, I’ve been able to figure out all of the abbreviations among the comments (i.e. WDW, MK, HS…) but not EMH. As it seems this impacts crowds and itinerary, what does it stand for….I’m drawing a blank!

10 Dave { 07.16.12 at 7:24 am }

Hi Debi, check back with me on the Cirque question after the feb itins are confirmed…and sorry about all the abbreviations! EMH= Extra Magic Hours, see this:

Also on this topic, see this:

11 Claire { 09.25.12 at 8:10 pm }

Dave, I am an intense vacation planner (intense!!) who has very little time off each year so I work very hard to make sure to I do things right. We live in Calif. and did a 6 night/5 full day stint at Disneyland/DCA over Xmas 2010. We had everything planned to a T and in spite of the ridiculous crowds, we had a great time. That has been our only Disney park visit. Now we have 4 or 4 1/2 days at WDW Nov 8-12. We feel we are old pros about the MK rides and fastpass, but wary about how much time to allocate to Epcot, DHS and AK, given our limited amount of time. Our kids are 9 and 6 (favorite rides: coaster, Tower of Terror). I will make lunch and dinner reservations for each day, so need to plan out accordingly. Will Epcot rides be okay on Sat Nov 10th, even though there is a food and wine festival?

12 Dave { 09.26.12 at 8:39 am }

Hiya Claire!

Epcot is the most distinctive place compared to DL/DCA, but is intrinsically less fun for kids the ages of yours (especially the 6yo). I’d spend a morning and evening there, with the morning focused on the rides in Future World and the evening on touring around World Showcase, dinner, and seeing Illuminations–which will be at 10p your night. F&W means World Showcase will be mobbed, but has little effect on ride wait times.

AK is the next most distinctive and deserves a full day.

There’s lotsa overlap between DHS and DL/DCA–but based on what your kids like, it’s worth a morning and evening at least.

That leaves a day for MK, and a morning–if you go 4.5 days–to return to your favorite!

For help prioritizing rides and such, see this:

13 Dana { 10.14.12 at 9:22 pm }

Hello, we are coming with our 10 year old girl. We come to Orlando 11/6-early M -0. What do you suggest we target? We have done the princess thing…. No need to do that again 🙂 thanks

14 Dave { 10.15.12 at 4:16 am }

Hi Dana I’m not quite following your question–“early M -0”?

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