You have finally made it to Disney World! Now, what do you do on your arrival day? Some choose to head straight to the parks, however we have other suggestions. Depending on the time you arrive, using a park ticket on your first day (partial-day) is not a good value. Save your park ticket for a full day use, after a full night rest. Instead, consider one of these first day arrival activities.
Disney Springs is a great arrival day destination to get your Disney Vacation started. If staying at a Disney World Resort, busses (or even a boat ride at select Resorts) are complimentary to Disney Springs. Plus, it costs nothing to enter this outdoor shopping and entertainment area.
Head to World of Disney and get a pair of ears to wear during your vacation. Also, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants such as Rainforest Cafe and Earl of Sandwich. Children will love the Splash Pad, the Marketplace Carousel and the Marketplace Express (train ride). Plus, there are plenty of fun photo opportunities and things to do.
Depending on the time of year, a pool day for your first day is a great start to vacation. Use this time to relax after traveling and enjoy the Resorts pool, especially if staying on property. Disney World resorts offer pools with incredible theming, and often have more than 1 pool (a Main pool centrally located and smaller pools spread out at larger resorts such as Port Orleans Riverside). If staying at a Disney Moderate or Deluxe resort, enjoy a water slide at the main pool.
Sure you could explore your own resort or consider Resort Hopping. What is Resort Hopping? Discover different resort theming, photo opportunities and more. An easy way to Resort Hop is to explore the Resorts along the monorail loop, plus you get your first ride – on the monorail with views of the Magic Kingdom. Take a bus to the resort and then hop on the monorail and discover: The Contemporary, Polynesian Village Resort and Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
Bonus, if traveling during the Holiday season see the impressive Christmas decorations of large Christmas trees in lobby and other areas. Plus, find a life sized Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian and a towering Gingerbread Christmas tree at the Contemporary.
Enjoy A Character Meal
There are various Character Meals to enjoy on your first day that do not require a park ticket. This is the perfect way to immerse your group in Disney Magic on the first day without using a park ticket. Get your camera ready and autograph book or item out.
- Visit Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to find 1900 Park Fare.
- Visit Cape May Cafe at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
- Travel to Disney’s Contemporary Resort to find Chef Mickey’s.
- Feel like a princess at Disney’s Perfectly Princess Tea inside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
- The campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is home to Mickey’s Backyard BBQ.
- Find ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort for Best Friends Breakfast.
- Experience the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Disney’s Boardwalk.
- Read: list of Characters found at each of the Restaurants above.
Learn more tips and tricks for your next Walt Disney World vacation. Destinations in Florida can also help you add tips and tricks to your next vacation.