"My wife and I are taking our five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son to Walt Disney World as a Christmas gift. We are staying in the Art of Animation Resort. I understand that our stay will be during on of the busiest times of the year. Planning to go to Epcot on January 1st, Magic Kingdom January 2nd, Animal Kingdom January 3rd, back to the Magic Kingdom on January 5th and 6th.
We will be able to book FastPasses soon. I am looking for some advice on what activities to book for these passes and how these bookings could relate to possible itineraries. I was hoping to head to the parks early and return to the resort in the afternoon, heading back in the evening. Hope this makes sense. Any advice will be appreciated."
The kids might want to get a FastPass for Dumbo - Photo by Judd Helms
Well, Toby, first I would say, congratulations, YOU'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!
Really, that is a great time to visit. We did a trip January 1st several years ago. We surprised the kids. They were 19 and 24. We surprised them with a trip and took them to Disney World, arriving on January 1st, and we had a great time. Yeah, it was busy for a few days. That crowd pattern, January 1st will be really busy and you'll see every day it will come down a little bit more.
Yeah, it's going to be very busy, but it's still a very doable trip as long as you have a good plan. Now, what I would suggest for you to do first is to go to TouringPlans.com. I'm serious. Go from our touring plans page. Go to the Touring Plans page and do pay and get a subscription.
That way, you'll be able to get into all of their systems and get their plans. They have over 100 plans that are already pre-built, so you can go in and you can choose one of their plans, and they'll tell you right in the plan what FastPasses to book.
The easiest way is to go to TouringPlans.
The second way that you can do it, is to do some research. I would start by going to our FastPass page.
On that page, you will see Dad's really cool FastPass+ cheatsheet which lists all the different parks and which rides Dad suggests you fast pass on in each park.
What I suggest you do is choose the rides you have to do. You really have to do. The rides the kids want to do it. Choose those rides. Make those FastPass reservations first. That's where you start. With the rides you have to do, that you can't miss, that you want to do more than anything else.
Since you're going to be there at a busy time, it's important to get those FastPasses done first. That way it guarantees you don't have to spend three hours in line, four hours, five hours in line for Flight of Passage or Frozen Ever After. Those lines that are just crazy
Make those FastPass reservations first. Those rides that you want to ride most. Make those first so you guarantee that you can ride those rides. Then, when you get there first thing in the morning, you look at those other rides that are in that 'Always a Good Idea' area, and you ride those first. You do those first thing in the morning. That way, you get those busy rides done. The earlier you can get those rides done, the shorter your wait will be.
Anyway, that's how I would build my plan. I would build it around that, and then do the busy rides in the morning.
Don't forget "Dad's Rules for Conquering the Parks. Get to the parks early, ride the busy rides first, use FastPass+ wisely, and have a plan. Those are my four rules for conquering the parks. Just very simple.
Dad's Bottom Line
The bottom line is, figure out what rides you really, your family has to ride. Make those FastPass reservations first.