11 Dos & Don’ts For Your First Day At Walt Disney World

Castle and Balloons

You’ve finally arrived at Walt Disney World! Whether it’s your first visit or your 100th visit, the experience is just as magical. You may be excited, but exhausted from traveling, so there are a few things you should and should not do once you arrive on property. Here are some of our tips for making a great first day!


11. Do Get Excited!

You’re at Disney! You may be exhausted, but it’s perfectly fine to get hyped up for the days ahead. Take arrival photos, talk about your game plan for the week with your family, and just enjoy being on property!

10. Don’t: Exhaust Yourself Too Quickly

Between traveling by air or vehicle, making sure your family is in order, riding Disney’s Magical Express, and stopping by your resort if needed, you’re going to be a bit tired. Make sure you avoid overdoing it and making yourself even more tired. Relax and stick to your arrival game plan, which brings us to the next point…

9. Do: Establish a Plan for Your Arrival

Sure, getting excited and wanting to see everything right away is tempting, but it’s important to have a game plan ready so you don’t get your family members cranky or tired. If you’re just going to have a relaxing evening at the resort pool, hit up Disney Springs for some shopping, or have an evening at one of the parks, stick to that plan. This way, your excited family members will know what’s going on to avoid any confusion that may arise.

Disney Springs

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8. Don’t: Forget Your MagicBands and Other Essentials

When flying or even driving to Walt Disney World, make sure you have your MagicBands with you at all times. These are your tickets for Disney’s Magical Express, the parks, your room key, and they may store your credit card information. Having these on everyone’s wrist or in your travel bag upon arrival to the airport or your resort will save you a headache later on.

7. Do: Get Settled Into Your Resort

Sure, Disney’s Magical Express will deliver your luggage to your room for you, but it’s important to get everything organized on your arrival day to leave more room for fun during the rest of your vacation. If you’re driving, drop your bags off and get settled before preparing for the rest of your day. Use this time to unpack your clothes, get your items organized, freshen up, and create a cozy space for your family to stay for the next few days.

Wilderness Lodge Guest Room
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

6. Don’t: Let Unexpected Delays Bother You

Between air travel, traffic, buses, transportation on property, and a family member spending too long in the shower at the resort, you’re bound to be thrown off schedule here and there. Keep possible delays in mind for your arrival day and don’t let them get to you. Things happen and it’s best to just go with the flow.

5. Do: Make a Dining Reservation

When you are settled in and ready to take on the rest of your arrival day, you are most likely going to be pretty hungry. To avoid eating too late, only dining on snacks, or changing your plans, try to have a dining reservation made for after your arrive. Just make sure your dining reservation won’t be too close to your estimated arrival time to avoid any issues with delays. Your stomach will thank you!

4. Don’t: Get Frustrated with Cast Members

This is something to keep in mind not only for day one, but also for the duration of your trip. Whether they’re at your resort or in the parks, cast members are there to help you and cannot always control delays, breakdowns, etc. If you have an issue, they will help you as best as they can, but remember they cannot fix everything, so try not to take out your frustrations on them. Be as calm and patient as possible.

The Confectionary - Cast Member

3. Do: Get to Bed Early

Traveling can take a lot out of you on top of what you decided to do on your arrival day, so be sure to get to bed at a decent hour so you can wake up refreshed for the next day. This is especially important for families from different time zones and/or those with young children who are used to a routine bedtime, but may not used to traveling.

2. Don’t: Forget About Online Check-In

If you’re looking to explore a park or head to Disney Springs, you can save some time by utilizing the Online Check-In feature on the My Disney Experience App. This way, your resort can have your information on file and can alert you when your room is ready so you don’t have to wait around. Definitely use the app for mapping out your arrival game plan as well!

1. Do: Cherish Every Moment

Despite any issues you may run into or how tired you may be, enjoy every second of your arrival day! Pretty soon, you’ll be heading back home and your vacation could feel like it was over in the blink of an eye. Enjoy the excitement and the time with your family!

Mickey Mouse Topolino's Terrace

These are only a few of the do’s and don’ts for your arrival day, but these points can help you out more than you may think! What are some of your favorite things to do when you arrive at Walt Disney World?

About Emily

Emily has been thinking and breathing Disney just about as long as she's been writing. In 2010, she achieved her dream to become a cast member in the Disney College Program and worked right on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. Nowadays, she feverishly searches for that Disney fix and is training to run in the Disneyland half marathon. When she's not reading or writing about Disney, she's baking pies or making ice cream, which isn't conducive to running at all.

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