Itineraries

5 Days in Walt Disney World

Are you planning a 5 Day Disney vacation and looking for itinerary ideas?  Here is an itinerary that I used for my recent vacation in the beginning of January.  This itinerary worked out really well, we got to eat at two nice restaurants for dinner, we rode every ride we were looking forward to, and we saw every park’s evening fireworks show.

In this article I explain the ins and outs of the Disney World FastPass+ system.  I also explains how successful you can be by riding popular rides in the first and last couple hours that a park is open.  The rides are generally pretty short and you can get through a bunch of rides without FastPass+ before the parks start getting crowded.

Here is an article where I give recommendations on how to eat in Disney World without reservations.  Of course it’s always better to have reservations, but these tips worked out really well for my husband and I on our trip.

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Now that you’re all caught up, let’s get to that 5 day itinerary.  To help with your planning I’ll list out which rides we were able to ride with minimal wait times in the first and last hours of the day in addition to which rides we used our 3 (or 4 or 5) FastPass+ reservations on.  Pretty much every day we went back to the hotel to relax a little when lines were the longest in the middle of the day.  Disney is an exhausting vacation, even for two adults traveling without kids, so be realistic in your planning.  It’s always better to have extra time than to miss out on something you were planning on doing.  

Below is a list of our day by day schedule in Disney World.  Before you get to the parks I recommend downloading the “My Disney Experience” app to your phone so that you will know up to date ride wait times and that you download maps of the parks so that you’ll know how to get around.  Aside from this, the only real pre-planning we did was scheduling the FastPass+ rides.

We knew we wanted to go to every fireworks show once and we wanted to go out for a couple nice dinners.  We knew we wanted to get up early to be at the parks before they opened but we were realistic in knowing we would need to sleep in a couple days as well.  Here is what we were able to accomplish, I hope that this listing helps you in planning your upcoming vacation!

Day 1: Epcot

Test Track was closed most of the day due to rain, so we went back another day to ride it.  It’s good for you to be flexible when planning to ride Test Track since it is the only ride that I saw close due to light rain.  If it is a “must ride” for you then don’t plan it for the end of your last day in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.

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First couple hours in the morning

  • Soarin’ (as soon as park opened)
  • Sum of All Thrills (no FastPass line is offered for this so do it early)
  • Mission Space

Short wait times (under 30 minutes) throughout the day

  • Turtle Talk with Crush

First 3 FastPass+

  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Soarin’

Extra FastPass+ – After we got through our first three FastPass tickets the two main rides (Soarin’ and Test Track) were out of FastPass spots.  The rest of the rides had short enough lines that it wasn’t worth using FastPass on.

After Fireworks – We left the park early for dinner so we didn’t get to watch the Illuminations Fireworks show.  We came back another night for it.

Day 2: Hollywood Studios

First couple hours in the morning

  • Toy Story Midway Mania (as soon as park opened)
  • Tower of Terror
  • The Great Movie Ride

Short wait times (under 30 minutes) throughout the day

  • Lights, Motors, Action!

First 3 FastPass+

  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  • Star Tours
  • Indiana Jones (I don’t recommend using FastPass for this.  Just get there early enough before the show and you’ll be fine.)

Extra  FastPass+ – We left the park early for dinner this night so we didn’t use any extra FastPass reservations.  We went back to Hollywood Studios after dinner to watch the Star Wars Fireworks show, which was scheduled for the same time as the closing of the park.  No rides were open after the fireworks were finished.

After Fireworks – We took a bus from Hollywood Studios over to Magic Kingdom.  We were able to ride all of these rides in the last 1-2 hours that the park was open since most people were leaving after the Magic Kingdom Wishes fireworks show.

  • Haunted Mansion
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • It’s a Small World

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Day 3: Magic Kingdom

First thing in the morning – We slept in this morning since we were out late last night in the Magic Kingdom.  

Short wait times (under 30 minutes) throughout the day

  • Stitch’s Great Escape
  • Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Buzz Light Year Space Ranger Spin
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic

First 3 FastPass+

  • Space Mountain
  • Thunder Mountain
  • Seven Dwarves Mine Train (see here how I got this reservation)

Extra 4th FastPass+

  • Barnstormer

Extra 5th FastPass+ – After using our first 4 FastPass+ reservations we left Magic Kingdom to go to Epcot (we had Park Hopper tickets).  We wanted to use our 5th FastPass on Test Track since we didn’t get to ride it our first day.  By the time we got to the FastPass+ kiosk at Epcot there were no reservations left for Test Track.  We hadn’t ridden it yet so we sucked it up and got in the regular line for about an hour wait (which was one of the shortest waits we had seen for Test Track).

After Fireworks – We watched the Illuminations fireworks show which was scheduled for the same time as the closing of the park.  No rides were open after the fireworks were finished.

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Day 4: Animal Kingdom

First thing in the morning – We slept in again since we were out late last night.  

Short wait times (under 30 minutes) throughout the day

  • Primeval Whirl
  • It’s Tough To Be A Bug
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
  • Flights of Wonder
  • Festival of the Lion King

First 3 FastPass+

  • Expedition Everest
  • Dinosaur
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris

Extra 4th FastPass+

  • Expedition Everest again

Extra 5th FastPass+ – We didn’t use a 5th FastPass today.

After Fireworks – After Animal Kingdom closed we went back to the hotel to relax for a little.  We went back out to Hollywood Studios in the evening to see Fantasmic (without FastPass).  After the show we were able to ride these popular rides with short lines during and after the Star Wars fireworks show which we had already seen on Day 2:

  • Tower of Terror
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  • Toy Story Midway Mania

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Day 5: Magic Kingdom

First thing in the morning – Our plan was to go straight to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  We got to the park before it even opened.  Above is a picture of the opening ceremony fireworks.  There were so many people at the park before it opened that even though we went straight to the ride there was already a 45 minute wait.  This was short compared to normal but since we had FastPass for later in the day we got out of line and went to other rides instead.

  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Journey of the Little Mermaid

First 3 FastPass+

  • Jungle Cruise
  • Space Mountain
  • Seven Dwarves Mine Train (see here how I got this reservation)

Short wait times (under 30 minutes) throughout the day

  • Swiss Family Tree House
  • Splash Mountain (probably had a short wait time because it was cold and overcast)
  • Tomorrowland People Mover

Extra 4th FastPass+

  • Tomorrowland Speedway

Extra 5th FastPass+ – Magic Kingdom is the only park we successfully used 5 FastPass reservations!

  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

After Fireworks – We already rode everything we wanted to, but it was our last night so we couldn’t waste it!  We ran around riding the more kids-y type rides and had way more fun that we had expected!

  • Mad Tea Party
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Journey of the Little Mermaid (again)
  • Haunted Mansion (again)

On our last day we also made a point to watch the two Magic Kingdom parades, the Festival of Fantasy parade and the Main Street Electrical Parade.  I highly recommend that you make time for them too, as it’s a lot of fun to watch all the characters on their elaborate floats.

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I hope this 5 day Disney World Itinerary has helped you to plan your upcoming vacation.  Let me know how you enjoyed your trip in the comment section below!