Wow, so much has changed!


DIS Veteran
May 4, 2000
I used to go to WDW every year when my daughter was young but have not been in over 10 years now. In skimming through some of these posts, I'm becoming a bit overwhelmed by this new system for wrist bands and fast passes, etc. :crazy: My daughter, now 27, and I want to plan a trip for a cooler, quieter time, if there is a quiet time there anymore. I'm thinking January. Any suggestions on a good time to go that won't be too hectic. I know we will probably need fast passes for the popular rides, but how long will waits be for the most part in January? Any advice to make this transition back to Disney easier would be helpful!! Thanks so much. :flower:


DIS Veteran
Feb 13, 2014
Late January would be good. The International festival of the Arts will be at EP which is fun. Fastpasses are easy to book with your MDE act. You will love magic bands. Makes it so much easier that the paper FP and key to room, etc. Wait times will be reasonable unless the SWGE crowds are still coming as RotR will be open.


Jun 20, 2018
I hadn't been for 10 years in when i went for two weeks in 2015 and I didn't even read about fast passes or ADRs until I got there.

Sure we couldn't get in the hot restaurants booking only a couple a days ahead on the app, and I think we didn't bother with 7 dwarfs mine train and a couple of other things there never seemed to be a short queue for, but we had such a good time we now go every year.

I am not a big planner, I make sure everything is booked ASAP, but I would still be more than happy to go on short notice and just skip those few things that planning ahead makes easier.

Basically the apps give you an advantage, but you don't need them to have a good time in my experience.
  • Gehrig1B

    DIS Veteran
    Sep 15, 2016
    Do learn how to make Fast passes and use My Disney Experience. Yes, you can have a good time with little planning but with just a bit more planning and a little understanding of how the system works, you can do so much more. We go during the most crowded times of the year and do all the most coveted attractions and never get in a standby line of over 20 minutes. We often can get 10+ fast passes in a day.

    Learn how to use the app to get same day fast passes.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 21, 2005
    Absolutely read all you can about how to make FP+ reservations. It will help you maximize your fun!

    Also, make any dining reservations 180 days in advance, even if you aren't sure you will want dinner/sit down meal that day. You can always cancel a reservation the day before if you change your mind. Just don't cancel it the day of or you will incur a penalty.

    Depending on your budget, don't forget to check out the Early Morning Magic/Disney After Hours/dessert parties, etc. All of that stuff is new since you went 10 years ago.

    Have a great trip!


    Adventure is out there.
    Dec 9, 2014
  • igrsod

    DIS Veteran
    May 11, 2010
    Honestly, you will have a great time... don't stress. We go when we plan everything, and we also go when we don't plan much and just wing it. Either way, it's always a great time. We always go with the attitude of enjoying what we get to do, and whatever we don't get to do is an excuse to come back again.

    Mambo Junkie

    DIS Veteran
    Sep 6, 2011
    We went the first week of May and it was wonderful. Also the last week of April, going into May, if not too close to Spring Breaks. Most of the time we do September, but this one got wiped out by the new Star Wars opening up. Still going, though. I have also found that people often change their plans, so just about every restaurant is available withing a couple of days before. They have until midnight the night before to cancel. Last trip (during a very busy time in November - food and wine, marathon, Jersey week), we decided to scrap our plans for the next day and change parks. Using refresh, I was able to get a party of 6 fast passes for Mine Train, Peter Pan, and Splash Mountain. I actually got the 6th overlapping fast pass for Peter Pan the morning of. We are not uber planners and prefer to use a sort of planned, wing it kind of strategy, and it works for us. A lot less stress. I was able to get SDMT fps while waiting for our dining reservation, and the Peter Pan fps while waiting for the others in my party to ride a ride I can't go on because I have motion sickness. You'll have a great time! Just read all the tips that people here are more than willing to share.


    DIS Veteran
    May 11, 2019
    Get the current Unofficial Guide and start browsing Disney blogs (I use mousehacking, disneytouristblog, and some touringplans).


    Just a poser
    May 30, 2010
    I second early May. You may also want to check if your January dates coincide with any major events/marathons. The Jan/Feb season was unusually busy this year.
  • Cinderella822

    DIS Veteran
    May 4, 2000
    Thanks for the tips everyone! I forgot about the Unofficial Guide. I had a few of those years ago. I think that's a great place to start.


    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates



    Disney World Rehabs and Closings Disney World Restaurant Menus