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9 Things You Should Do First When You Arrive At Walt Disney World

Arriving to the happiest place on earth is unlike any other feeling. You’re anxious and excited to start your vacation and the thought of all of the fun activities that you’re about to experience brings overwhelming joy to every fiber of your being. It is important though, to make sure you take care of some things before you proceed with your vacation. Here are 9 things you should do first when you arrive at Walt Disney World.

9. Check-In

Checking in at your resort before taking on your vacation is the most essential tip. The front desk has a lot of information and setting up of things (for example, MagicBands) that you’ll want to make sure are ready for use. While most check-in times begin at 3 PM, there are times where your room may be ready even earlier! Checking into your resort early also allows you to request options that those who check-in later may not be able to get since there tends to be more availability early in the day. If your room is ready, you can also settle in before heading to the park (which is an added bonus especially if you’re OCD about setting up like I am)!

8. Set-Up MagicBands

If you had your MagicBands mailed to you, or are picking them up at the front desk, you’ll want to make sure they’re ready to go. The front desk can assist you with linking your room, charging privileges, and My Disney Experience. Getting this taken care of as soon as you arrive will assist with saving time by not having to wait in line later.

7. Prepare Your Daily Bag

Many guests travel to the parks with much needed items in a bag or purse. When you arrive, it would be beneficial to get your bag ready for your adventure. Some common items to pack are water bottles, sunscreen, cameras, lip balm, a fully stocked diaper bag, cap, etc. Having these items prepared is a great way to make sure you’re loaded and ready to go. It also helps to have these items on you so that you don’t have to purchase them later on in a store.

6. Unpack

Nothing says “I’m home” like unpacking and making yourself comfortable. I love knowing that I am completely settled in before I start my day. Putting my clothes in drawers, organizing my toiletries, stocking my fridge, and organizing my shoes are just some of the things I do to get my room just the way I want it. Setting up beds (if necessary) are a great idea if you plan to come back late and you know you (or the kiddos) will be tired and plop right into bed.

5. Familiarize Yourself With Your Resort

Each resort is very different in layout, and most Disney Resorts are enormous in size. It’s important to familiarize yourself with your resort if you’ve never stayed there before. I like to take a walk around the property when I settle into my room to memorize the trails to the pool, restaurants, lobby, etc. You can also make a meeting spot in case someone gets lost at the resort.

4. Review Safety Procedures

Staying safe at the parks and resorts is crucial. You’re in an un familiar area with thousands of strangers and it can be very different than your everyday routine. You’ll want to make sure you review safety precautions with the kids to ensure a smooth vacay. Remembering to walk (not run) throughout the resort, using inside voices when applicable, staying behind the lines at the bus or boat station, not climbing walls or rocks, and looking both ways before crossing streets is an example of things you’ll want to talk about. The parks also offer really cute safety rules (featuring Timon and Pumba) for free at Guest Relations. These are a cute way for kids to have a visual of each rule.

3. Buy A Poncho

If you did not bring a poncho for yourself or your family, I hate to tell you, there is a good chance you will need one. Florida weather is totally unpredictable. One minute its nice and sunny and the next minute there is a thunderstorm. This erratic weather pattern occurs a few times in a day (usually). If you make sure you purchase one when you arrive, you won’t have to worry about getting soaked when walking to the nearest store to purchase one later.

2. Find Out Resort Schedule

Did you know that there are a plethora of activities going on at all of the resorts on the Walt Disney World property? When you arrive, don’t forget to ask for the times guide to all of the recreational activities going on at your resort. You can also enjoy these activities (except for the pool) at other resorts. If this is something you’re interested in doing, be sure to ask the front desk and they will make a phone call to get you the information you need for these events.

Bonus Tip!

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 >



1. Ask Questions

While cast members are always there when you need them, asking all (or most) of the questions you have should be asked when you first arrive to the resorts or parks. If you ask them at once, you’ll save time by having to ask more questions later. You’d be surprised how an answer may change your plans around a bit.

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 Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!

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About Natalie

Natalie is an elementary school teacher and a native Floridian who lives and breathes all things Disney. Her love for Disney started at the age of two during her first visit, and has continued to flourish into her adult life. She loves to share her Disney passion with her students and believes Disney is so special because there is no other place to forget about your worries and be a kid again, which is why she refuses to ‘grow up’.