You’ve planned your Disney World vacation for months and it is finally here! Bursting with excitement, you head off on your adventure and you are finally there – Disney World!!! What do you do on your arrival day? That is a question that many travellers ask and the answer will be different for many. A lot of that depends on what time you will arrive in Orlando and how much of the day remains when you get there.
Here are a few ideas of things to do on your Disney World arrival day:
Explore Your Resort
If you think you might be tired from traveling, then staying put at your resort might be the best option for you. This will give you the chance to get to know the property and figure out where everything is. You can even wind down and spend some time at the pool to recharge for your exciting week at the parks.
The Disney resorts have great amenities and you can take advantage of activities by the pool, the arcade, movies under the stars and so much more. Amenities will vary by resort, but every Disney resort has planned activities and a great pool to keep you busy!
Visit Disney Springs
Once you get started visiting the parks, you find you may get too busy or not have enough energy left to go to Disney Springs. One way to avoid that is to go visit it on your first day before you set foot in any of the parks. Disney Springs is Disney’s shopping & dining location. It’s a great place to enjoy a delicious meal, and do a little shopping. If you go in the evening, then you may even come across some free entertainment. There are often musicians that play outside and you can end up catching a really entertaining set for free.
**If you do want to eat at a table-service restaurant, then make sure to make advanced dining reservations as early as you can.
Go to the Character Warehouse
If you feel like venturing a short way outside of Disney, you can find some great deals on Disney merchandise. There is a Disney outlet store (Character Warehouse) at the Premium Outlet mall just a short drive outside of the Disney gates. The Vineland Premium Outlets are located at 8200 Vineland ave., Orlando, 32821. It’s a great place to stock up on some t-shirts and souvenirs that would normally cost you 2 or 3 times the price in the parks. It will help you save on your souvenir purchases for the entire week.
If you have a car, then it is a short 5 minute drive outside of Disney. If you don’t have a vehicle, then you can use Uber or Lyft for a small fee. The ride will most likely cost you less than $20 USD.
Visit a Park
If you have arrived in Orlando on the earlier part if the day, then don’t waste any time and hit up a park. Why not get started on the fun right away? Even if you arrive mid-day, you can still make an evening of it and catch the fireworks or extra magic hours.
One important thing to note is that you may not want to make any dining reservations on your arrival day if you are flying in. Flights often have delays and you may be at risk of not making your reservation. A missed reservation will cost you a cancellation fee of $10/person.
Book a Character Meal
If you are driving in and are absolutely confident of your arrival time, then take advantage and book a fun character meal for that evening. If you don’t want to enter a park, then there are many character meals that you can do at the resorts. Here are a few:
- Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary
- 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian
- Storybook Dining with Snow White at Wilderness Lodge
All of the character meals above are quite popular so you will want to try and reserve them as soon as your 180 day window opens up.
Watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the Polynesian
Think you have to enter the Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks? Think again! The fireworks can be seen from many of the Magic Kingdom area resorts. One great place to watch them is on the beach of the Polynesian resort. You’ll get to catch the Electrical Water Pageant on the water and see the fireworks all from the same place. They even pipe in the music from the fireworks so you’ll get the full effect.
Play Mini Golf
Did you know that there are two mini golf courses on Disney World property? If you have the park hopper plus option ticket, then you will have access to enter and play mini golf. There is one right next to Blizzard Beach Water Park and a second one next to the Swan & Dolphin hotel.
Head over to Splitsville in Disney Springs and enjoy a fun night of bowling. You can even make a dining reservation and eat dinner at the same time. You’ll get to bowl in a really fun and stylish bowling alley and enjoy dinner all at the same place!
No matter how you decide to spend your arrival day, you will surely be full of excitement and will have lots of fun. Your first day will be the kick off to an amazing time spent at Disney World!
Our preferred travel agency is Click the Mouse. They specialize in Disney destinations and will help you plan out all the little details. Best part is that their services are FREE when you book your vacation with them. Personalized service at no extra cost to you! To get a quote from a Click the Mouse travel agent, simply click on the quote button below and they will be back in touch with you:Get a Quote from CLICK THE MOUSE
Laura is a mom of one adorable girl with a love of all things Disney. She traveled to Disney World with her family in 2010 and was hooked. They have since been a total of over 15 times. With all her knowledge of planning Disney trips, she now wants to share that with others. She loves giving guidance, tips and advice to others planning their magical vacation!