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Things to Do on Your Arrival Day at Walt Disney World Resort

Disney's Magical Express

You’ve anticipated this moment for months and months. You’ve planned. You’ve packed. Your countdown finally reads “0” days to Walt Disney World! Now that you’ve arrived at The Most Magical Place on Earth, what should you do? If your arrival day is a non-park day, here are a few ideas of how to kick off your vacation!





  1. Stop by front desk

This may seem like a no-brainer but with the advent of online check-in and Magic Bands, this isn’t always necessary anymore.  You can complete online check-in via My Disney Experience and they will text you when your room is ready.  Your Magic Band will magically open that room for you. But as with all things involving technology, this amazing service is not without glitches. Many guests are reporting difficulties with the activation of their tickets and dining credits when they bypass the front desk at their resort. For this reason, it is recommended you drop by to “officially” check-in and make sure everything is good to go.

Caribbean Beach Resort Port of Entry





  1. Unpack

That’s right!  Take time to settle in!  You don’t want to live out of a suitcase all week and be scrambling around hunting for your things.  They told you “Welcome Home” when you arrived after all! This one simple act will help you be more relaxed the rest of the trip.

TIP: one way to make packing and unpacking easier is to use packing cubes.  These inexpensive sets help you organize your things and can be put into drawers and on shelves. They can be purchased on Amazon for reasonable prices. Definite game changer!

Nemo Suite





  1. Visit Disney Springs

Disney’s shopping, dining, and entertainment district is a perfect choice for a non-park day!  It’s just enough Disney to get you in the mood.  Visit the World of Disney Store for some souvenirs, grab a bite to eat at one of the 63 dining options, go shopping at over 100 stores, or stroll and listen to the live entertainment.  Visit The Void for an amazing virtual reality experience. See if you can find the live statues for the first characters to meet.  Just hang onto your hat—they tend to get sneaky with guests. You can even hop in an Amphicar for a drive, I mean sail, around the lake.

Amphicar at Disney Springs

  1. EAT!

Disney Springs is not short of dining options.  With 63 options, this is a great spot to grab a bite on your arrival day! They have everything from cupcakes in a vending machine at Sprinkles to scrumptious sushi at Morimoto Asia to the best burger on property at D-Luxe Burger.  One of the most fun places to start your vacation is at Raglan Road! They have delicious food, a laid-back atmosphere, and live music with authentic Irish folk dancers!

Raglan Road

  1. Swim

All Walt Disney World Resort hotels have fun pools! With it being Florida, the weather is typically always good for swimming.  In addition, if you are staying at a moderate and deluxe category resort, you can enjoy pool slides and other water features as well.  Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club even has its own lazy river! Throw your swimsuits in your day bag or carryon so you can change before your luggage has arrived and start soaking up some vitamin D.

Stormalong Bay

  1. Play Mini Golf

Walt Disney World has two onsite mini-golf courses. Check out Disney’s Fantasia Gardens or Disney’s Winter Summerland for a Disney twist on mini-golfing.  If you booked a Walt Disney World package, you will receive a Magical Extras card. Each package will receive 4 mini-golf vouchers on their Magical Extras card. Each voucher is valid for one 18-hole round of miniature golf before 4:00pm.

Winter Summerland GolfFantasia Gardens Golf

  1. Bowling at Splitsville

Did you know Disney Springs has a full-service bowling alley?  Head on over to Splitsville Lanes for dinner and a game or two in a fun, family friendly setting.

Splitsville bowling alley

  1. Rent a SeaRaycer

One of the best ways to see the Magic Kingdom is to zip around Bay Lake on a SeaRaycer! Sea Raycers seat up to 2 guess and are rented for $32 per half-hour. Drivers must be 12 years of age or older and at least 5 feet tall.  Younger guests are welcome to ride along as passengers.  SeaRaycers are available to rent at Disney’s waterfront resorts. Not staying in one of these resorts? Resort hopping is permitted.

SeaRaycer boat

  1. Character Dinners or a Dinner Show

Arrival night is a perfect night for a dinner show! Since dinner shows tend to take more time than regular dining, don’t waste precious park time. Reserve your spot for a non-park day.  Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Luau are both entertaining options to get your family ready for the fun ahead. Another option is to reserve a character meal at one of Disney’s onsite resorts. No park ticket required. What better way to start enjoying the Disney magic than having dinner with Mickey and the gang at Chef Mickey’s? Or perhaps visiting Cinderella and crew is more your speed. Check out 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

Hoop dee Doo

  1. Get in bed early

You’ve got a long week ahead.  You will have early mornings and late nights. You will walk a lot of miles and then some.  Go ahead and get a good night’s rest so that you can start your park days well rested and full of energy.  Have a magical trip!

Poly Bed

Are you ready to create magical memories of your own?  Contact me via email or submit the form below for your free vacation quote! As a College of Disney Knowledge graduate and Senior Travel Planner with Key to the World Travel, the official travel partner of Disney Addicts and Chip & Co., I am your family’s best resource for a stress free, magical vacation!  As a full service agent I am here to help you with all Disney destinations worldwide, Adventures by Disney, and Disney Cruise Line as well as all theme park vacations, all cruise lines, and more! Best of all, my concierge planning services are FREE to those who book their vacations through me! Contact me today and follow me on Facebook and Instagram for travel related news–Disney and beyond.





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Theresa Perry

Travel Planner at Key to the World Travel
Theresa is lifelong Disney lover who was born and raised in South Florida just a short drive from the House of Mouse before moving to Alabama. As a longtime Walt Disney World Annual Passholder, she has now given a piece of her heart to Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line too.In addition to being a wife, mom of 3, and veteran special education teacher, Theresa is a full service Travel Planner and Mentor with Key to the World Travel and she is proud to be an IBCCES Certified Autism Travel Professional.When not helping clients travel all over the globe to all destinations (Disney and beyond!), she enjoys traveling with her family, college sports, and planning her retirement to Florida.
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