Disney SpringsPlanningResortsThe ParksTips

Making the Most of Your Arrival Day at Disney

There is nothing like the excitement of arriving at your Walt Disney World Resort hotel and getting ready to start your vacation. All the magical experiences are waiting for you to discover. When planning your Walt Disney World vacation, there are a handful of ways to spend your arrival day.

We want to share some top ways to spend your arrival day at Walt Disney World. This will help you determine how you want to start your Walt Disney World vacation.


Head to a Disney Park

We will start with the obvious choice of heading to one of the four Disney Parks. If you have a flight that arrives early in the day, consider heading to Disney Parks on your arrival day. Even if your room isn’t ready at your Disney Resort, the fantastic Bell Service Cast Members will hold onto your luggage so you can immediately head into a Park.

If you have been waiting long to get to Disney, you should start your trip immediately by being in a Park. Make sure when making these plans that you take a look at Park hours. For those arriving later in the day, you don’t want to plan to head to a Park that is closing early, such as Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Also, consider transportation delays when making this decision. You don’t want to start your trip feeling rushed or pressured to get to Disney Park. Even if you plan to visit one of the four main Parks, we don’t recommend scheduling anything special that day. Because transportation can be tricky, you don’t want your arrival day to be when planning a dessert party or an After Hours Event. Instead, use that time in the Park to enjoy being in the magic.


Be Productive

Another option for your arrival day is to visit a grocery store to get supplies. If you rent a car, stopping by a Walmart, Target, or Publix before heading to your Walt Disney World Resort is a great way to spend your arrival day.

Getting some essential items such as bottled water, snacks, and anything you might have forgotten to pack right away gets the must-do work out of the way, so once you arrive at your Walt Disney World Resort, you can sit back and enjoy.

World of Disney at Disney Springs
credit: Disney

Visit Disney Springs

If you don’t want to add Park ticket for your arrival day but still want to experience Disney magic, consider heading to Disney Springs. Here you can walk around and visit the World of Disney and many of the other fantastic stores.

Disney Springs has fantastic dining options that you can enjoy, as well as live entertainment. Enjoy bowling at Splitsville or catch the game at City Works. Although we don’t recommend having exceptional experiences booked on your arrival day, you could also see Drawn to Life if you want a unique way to start your vacation. Drawn to Life is the current Cirque du Soleil show at Disney Springs.

Disney Springs is a fantastic way to enjoy Disney magic on your arrival day without purchasing a Theme Park Ticket.

Coronado Springs Pool Area
Credit: Park Savers

Hang at the Pool

Even if your Resort room isn’t ready, you can still use the amenities of your Walt Disney World Resort hotel once you arrive. Pack a carry-on bag with your swimming gear and head to the pool upon arrival. Disney Resorts have fantastic pools and great entertainment for kids during the day.

Start your vacation with some relaxation. Find beach chairs, and enjoy drinks and sunshine while the kids swim away. One of the top experiences for most kids at Disney continues to be swimming, so why not start your vacation with a dip in the pool?

Cozy Cone Pool
Credit: Disney

Explore Your Resort

Often we arrive at our Walt Disney World Resort only to quickly rush off to a Park. Take time on your arrival day to explore your Disney Resort. Get familiar with what is offered and how you can easily navigate between your room and food and other areas of the Resort.

Ask at the front desk to see if there are scavenger hunts or hidden Mickeys that will keep your little ones entertained. Visit the playgrounds or participate in some activities such as tie-dying or pottery.

Disney Resorts offer so much, so make sure you don’t miss out on what is available.

Walt Disney World Monorail

Visiting Other Resorts

Another fun option for your arrival day is to visit other Disney Resorts. Take time during this day to use Disney transportation to explore. Take the Skyliner and monorail around to different Disney Resorts. Enjoy the food, atmosphere, and excitement they all offer.

Each Disney Resort is so unique that it is fun to explore them, and your arrival day is the perfect time to do so.

Have a Good Meal

Finally, take time during your arrival day to have a nice, long meal at one of many fantastic Disney restaurants. Once a Disney vacation starts, slowing down and enjoying the moment can be tricky. Use your arrival day to enjoy a great meal and a slow pace.

Many Disney Resorts have some of the top dining options at Walt Disney World. Visit one of these locations, such as California Grill or Flying Fish, during your arrival day for a nice, relaxing, and delicious meal.

Those are many ways to enjoy your arrival day at Walt Disney World. We hope we provided some ideas on how you can have a wonderful time once you arrive at Walt Disney World.



Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

Related Articles


Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker