by Neverland Diva
You could ask five different people what to do on your first day at Walt Disney World Resort and you’ll hear five different answers. Some head straight into the Parks, others head to Downtown Disney or maybe one of the Water Parks. There are so many options; it can feel impossible and overwhelming to choose the right one. Here’s an insider secret, there is no ONE right way! The only way you can go wrong is by not doing what is best for your family. You don’t always know what will and will not work, especially if it is your first trip, so there is some trial and error in getting it “right.” After several trips, with and without kids, the best advice I can offer is to not overdo it on the first day. I have certainly made the mistake of over booking on arrival day and I can tell you that it is not fun to begin your vacation completely exhausted. A vacation at Walt Disney World Resort is busy with lots of long days and excitement, you’ll want to be rested and ready to enjoy every magical moment! So, without further adieu, here is my recommendation for your arrival day!
Use online check-in!
Before you even set food on Disney property, you can begin the check in process! When you are 60 days out from arrival, just log into your My Disney Experience account to begin online check in. At that time you will be asked to provide a credit card for incidentals, make room requests and to provide your phone number and email. When you arrive on site, you can use an alternate and often shorter line and if your room isn’t ready, receive your room number via text! The incredible Magic Band allows you to let yourself into your room, you can even begin charging and using your meal plan right away! If you have all of your luggage with you, no worries, your resort will store your bags until your room is ready! On our last trip this allowed us to head straight to the food court for our refillable mug pick up and lunch!
With all there is to do at Walt Disney World, it can be difficult to make time to get to know your resort. You research, choose the perfect place to stay, why not use check-in day as an opportunity to really enjoy it? Find out where your nearest transportation stop is, explore the gift shop, stock up on groceries and get yourself settled! When you check-in you will be given a guide to your resort, a list of daily activities that might include movies under the stars and campfires with marshmallow roasting! Take some time to find the playgrounds, pools and recreation offerings that way once you begin the amazing adventure in the Parks, you feel like you are heading “home” at the end of the day.
Next stop, the pool you’ve been dreaming about for months!
I pack our swim gear in our carry-ons as luggage typically takes a couple or a few hours to arrive, if you’re using Disney’s Magic Express. In my opinion, unwinding by the pool is the perfect way to shake off a plane ride or a long car trip. If you are so inclined, order up a cocktail, some of the pool bars even have food service! I don’t know about you, but dining outside in the Florida sunshine is pretty tough to beat! I love the music and entertainment offered at the Main pool as it gets the whole family into the Disney spirit! If you need something a bit more low-key, seek out the quiet pool, you can still swim and relax in the sun but without all the noise.
It’s time to head “home”
By now you should be feeling relaxed, probably a little tired but properly sprinkled with pixie dust! Time to head to your room, get unpacked and think about turning in early. You’ve likely already chosen which Park you’ll be visiting as well as your FastPass+ selections, all that’s left is packing your bag for the park! Don’t forget to schedule your character wake up call and prepare to begin your vacation of a lifetime!