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There is nothing more exciting than arriving at Disney World at the start of your vacation! But, between getting to the hotel, checking in, and unpacking, it’s easy for your arrival day to get away from you before you can do anything fun. So, to make sure that doesn’t happen, here are some tips to help you best spend your arrival day at Disney World!
Now, you may think that you should head to the parks as soon as possible on your arrival day. But, this isn’t necessarily the case. Unless you arrive early in the morning, you may end up wasting time and money by going to the parks the day you get there. Instead, save yourself a little money and do one or more of these things instead!
Explore Disney Springs.
Disney Springs is a dining/shopping/entertainment district at Disney World. It is definitely worth a visit on every trip, but it can be difficult to take the time to get over there once you get into the groove of going to the parks every day. So, go explore Disney Springs on day one. It’s one of the best ways to spend your arrival day at Disney World.
Once you’ve checked into your hotel and gotten settled, head over to Disney Springs. Shop for souvenirs, take some photos, have a nice dinner, and get into the Disney spirit.
Then, when you wake up the next morning, you will be ready to head to the parks.
Check out your hotel.
Another way to spend your arrival day at Disney World is by checking out your hotel. This is a great thing to do if you are staying at a Disney hotel. All of them are well themed and ooze that Disney feeling. Sometimes the Disney theme is very obvious, while at other hotels, it is done in a more subtle way.
You can find lots of cute photo opportunities hidden throughout the hotel grounds at all of them. Plus, there are some great entertainment options at the resorts, so be sure to check out what’s available at your resort hotel.
Speaking of hotels, be sure to check out the pool! Swimming is a great thing to do on your arrival day at Disney World. Kids love swimming. And it’s even more fun when you are on vacation!
The Disney pools are all awesome. They complement the theme of the hotel. And at the deluxe and moderate resorts, the pools all include a slide.
Luckily, it is usually warm enough in Florida to go swimming most of the year.
Do some resort hopping.
Did you know that you are not limited to just checking out your hotel? You can check out all of the Disney resorts, even if you are not staying at them.
You can explore the grounds, shop in the resort gift shops, and eat at the restaurants. The only thing you can’t do at a hotel you are not staying at is use the swimming pools.
I highly recommend checking out the various hotels at Disney World, especially during the holidays. They all decorate for Christmas, but the decorations fit into the theme of each hotel.
Play miniature golf.
Looking for something a little more competitive to do on your first day at Disney? Head over to either Fantasia Gardens or Winter Summerland and play miniature golf.
This is one of our favorite things to do outside of the parks. It is so fun! I love that it’s never crowded. There are lots of great photo spots too.
Take a ride on Disney transportation.
Disney World has its own transportation system. It includes the monorail, boats, buses, and the Skyliner gondola. For something to do when you first get there that is fun for the kids and relaxing for you, take a ride on one or more of these.
You could ride a complete loop or you could take a ride to do some resort hopping. Either way, it’s a great way to start your vacation!
My son loves riding the monorail at Disney World. We usually take it to dinner on our first night on property.
Stroll the boardwalk.
Another fun thing to do on your arrival day at Disney World is to stroll the boardwalk. Head over to the Boardwalk Inn. Take a walk around the boardwalk and take in the ambiance.
Grab a snack at the Boardwalk Bakery. Relax as you watch the sun go down over the lake. Enjoy time with your family.
Watch the fireworks from outside the parks.
Did you know that you don’t have to be in the parks to see the fireworks? One of my favorite things to do on our arrival day at Disney World is to watch the fireworks from outside the parks.
To see the Magic Kingdom fireworks, head to the Polynesian Resort, Grand Floridian Resort or Contemporary Resort. You can watch the fireworks at Epcot or Hollywood Studios outside of Boardwalk Inn, Yacht Club, Beach Club, Swan or Dolphin hotels.
Go for a bike ride.
Another option for your arrival day is to take a bike ride. You can rent surrey bikes at either the Boardwalk Inn or Port Orleans Riverside. Then you can take a ride with your family around the resort.
This would be a fun way to spend a few hours with your kids.
Have dinner at a resort restaurant.
The last idea for what to do on your arrival day is to have dinner at one of the many resort restaurants. All of the moderate and deluxe hotels have one or more table service restaurants in them. You will find some of the best and most popular restaurants at Disney World are located in the resorts.
Start your vacation off right by making a reservation for dinner at one of these resort restaurants for your first night. This will allow you to have a delicious meal and enjoy the company of your family as you discuss the fun that awaits during your vacation.
Your arrival day at Disney World can be stressful. So, instead of trying to rush to get to the parks, save yourself some money and do something outside the parks instead. This list includes some great ideas of things to do to get your vacation started off right! Enjoy!