Walt Disney World, “the most magical place on earth”, offers thrills, chills, and the utmost in family entertainment. It is the place to go for a most memorable and exciting vacation destination. Where else can you visit with all the famous Disney characters, go on a mission to space, take a trip on a train to Mt. Everest, the wild West, or the Seven Dwarfs’ mine, romp around on Tom Sawyer’s Island, observe 999 ghosts in their “haunted mansion”, climb aboard a boat to enjoy animatronic children from all over the world singing and dancing in their native costumes, or visit a Caribbean village being pillaged and taken over by pirates along with Capt. Jack Sparrow? These are just a few of the many adventures waiting for you at this most magical Disney World. Once you have arrived, what do you plan to do on your first and your last days here? We have a few suggestions:
1. Unpack – When you arrive and are settled in your room, unpack! The thrill of finally being at Walt Disney World is an excitement that is hard to contain. Many visitors, especially first-timers, are so anxious to get to those amazing Disney attractions that the unpopular task of unpacking can seem like a bothersome task. However, it is best to get this job done as soon as you arrive, then visit one of the Parks. I say this because upon your return to your room after a whirlwind visit to the theme parks, the unpacking task becomes even more of a bother, because now you are tired and ready for a good night’s sleep. Don’t delay; get your clothes hung up, your shoes put away, and your luggage stacked in a corner of the room.
2. Learn All You Can About Your Resort – Another important thing to do the first day you arrive at Walt Disney World is get acquainted with your surroundings; such as recreational activities (pool, game room, boating or biking options, etc.) gift and grocery shop, laundry facilities, etc. Also familiarize yourself with important phone numbers which will be listed on an information booklet provided in every room or condo. Even though everyone in your party is most likely anxious to get to the Parks, this would be a good time for one member of your group to take a stroll around your resort to get a first hand look at all the facilities. If you are staying at a Disney Resort, I would suggest finding where your bus depot is, so you will know exactly where to wait for your bus. Once you have checked out the resort, facilities, and recreational activities, you will be ready for your first trip to the Parks.
3. Lock Up Valuables – Most resorts offer in-room safes for those items you choose not to leave laying around, such as extra credit cards, wallets, keys, etc. If you are staying on property, your magic band is all you’ll really need in the Parks. All merchandise and food purchases can be scanned onto your magic bands, so there is really no need to bring any money or credit cards with you, so use that safe.
4. Photograph All Important Documents — One of the best suggestions I received from a friend is to take pictures of all your important papers, such as reservation information, room number (you never know), dining reservation, driver’s license, etc. just in case you lose any of your vital information. Also, take a picture of each member of your group, as a security backup, if for any reason you get separated. It rarely happens, but having that picture will help authorities find the lost person.
5. Check Before You Go – Before you walk out of that room, make sure everyone has their magic bands, sunglasses, cameras, mobile phones and anything else you need for the day. The worst feeling in the world is to get all the way over to one of the Parks and realize your magic band is sitting by the bathroom sink. I always stand at the door and before anyone exits the room, I ask if they have everything they need. I can’t tell you how many times I get a “whoops, I forgot my camera, or room key, or sunglasses”! This minor inconvenience can save a lot of time, especially if your party or group has to wait on one person to return to their resort to get the forgotten item.
1. Travel Arrangements — On your last day at Disney, it’s a good idea to make sure all your travel arrangements for the trip home have been taken care of. If you will be flying home, make sure all your travel documents and flight times are accurate. If you are staying at a Disney Resort and have taken advantage of the Magical Express option, check with your Hotel Concierge on when to bring your luggage to the front lobby for pickup and delivery to the airport. If you have traveled by auto, it would be a good idea to take your car to a local service station and get all the hoses, belts, oil, water, tires, etc. checked for any possible problems. Better safe than sorry!
2. Take Your Time On Your Last Day — Since your visit to Disney is winding down, slow down a little and really take in all the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of whatever Park or Parks you plan to visit on your last day. Enjoy breakfast at your Resort one more time before you head to the Park. On this last day, however, don’t make a lot of plans. Be spontaneous and just walk the Park/s and enjoy every minute; don’t get in a big hurry. Find some “Hidden Mickeys”. Instead of waiting in long lines, discover some of the other unique attractions that are less crowded. As the saying goes, “Stop, and smell the roses”.
3. Photographic Memories — Most Disney visitors take hundreds of pictures, so now that you are on your last visit before leaving, you can take some extra time and get the snapshots of those poses in front of the Cinderella’s Castle, Spaceship Earth, Tree of Life, Tower of Terror, or others you may have missed on your earlier visits. Before you leave, be sure to check out the photos you had taken by the special PhotoPass photographers. There are several packages for you to choose from, including a special CD with all your pictures. We usually buy a special dated Disney photo album every year we go, and it is really fun to pull out the older albums to reminisce how much the Parks and our family have grown and changed over the years. You can never have too many photographs!
4. Souvenirs and Collectibles — On your way out of the last Park of your Disney trip, don’t forget to shop for those special friends and family back home. Now would also be the time for you to get that unique Disney gift you’ve been wanting for yourself. Our final Park has always been the Magic Kingdom, and the very best place to shop on your way out is the Main Street Emporium. It is the largest gift and souvenir shop in the Magic Kingdom and is filled with Disney apparel, plush animals, dolls, toys of every kind, jewelry, trading pins, mugs and dinnerware, and so much more. It’s a great way to end your day at Walt Disney World. “Shop till you drop”!
5. Now, It’s Time To Say Good-bye — My least favorite combination of words are “good-bye” and “Walt Disney World”. There is no good way to put these words together. The day of departure from Disney World may not the happiest, but we usually begin planning our next trip before we even leave, and, after all, you can’t return to Walt Disney World until you leave it. So, don’t worry, be happy, and look forward to
your return trip.
So, in conclusion, I think your first day at Disney should be planned in advance, but your last day should be spontaneous with side trips to some of those attractions you missed earlier. First days, last days, in-between days; all the days you spend at Walt Disney World are magical and memorable, so have a great visit, and hopefully, you’ll see Mickey and friends again real soon!
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BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Disney travel deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius! Discover More >