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First Things We Do When Arriving at Our Walt Disney World Resort

After lots of planning and anticipation, there’s nothing more exciting than actually arriving at your Walt Disney World resort!  What you choose to do on your arrival day may depend on several factors, such as what time of day you arrive, how long you have travelled, and how familiar you are with your resort. It’s a great idea to have an idea of when you expect to arrive at your resort and make a plan of what you’ll do with your day.  Our family often chooses early flights, and we sometimes arrive at our resort before 10am!  Because we are familiar with the resorts and have annual passes, we sometimes drop our bags and head straight into the parks.  If you’re using daily tickets, you’ll certainly want to consider whether you plan to use one of your park days on arrival day.   Unless you are arriving particularly early, we recommend doing non-park activities.  Here are some tips for making the most of your arrival day, with a glimpse into what we typically recommend doing when you first arrive at your Walt Disney World resort. 



 1. Find Out if Your Room is Ready

First thing’s first.  Is the room ready?  Some of our tips are based on the assumption that your room is not– but if it is, that’s a win!  While you can check in in the lobby, currently guests are encouraged to check in through My Disney Experience and head straight to their rooms.   You’ll likely receive a text notification when your room is ready if you set this up during your online check in, and when it’s ready you’ll receive notice of your room number, along with a resort map.  Check-in at Disney resorts is 3pm (4pm for Deluxe Villas in the Disney Vacation Club), but sometimes your room may be ready early!  

2. Drop Bags at Bell Services

Whether you’re arriving by plane or by car, you’re likely to have some bags with you when you arrive at your resort.  Guests utilizing the Magical Express usually have the perk of having their bags delivered to the resort a few hours after arrival, but currently guests are responsible for bringing all of their luggage on the Magical Express with them.  If you think you need some items from your bags to keep with you, sort those out in the resort lobby before you hand them over to Bell Services.  Some items you may want to keep with you include your bathing suit, sunscreen, and any items you might want for going into the parks or shopping if you’re planning to do so.

3. Try Out Your Magic Bands

Make sure that your Magic Bands are working correctly (try using them to unlock your door, though you can also do that through My Disney Experience now as well).  If you need to set up a credit card to make charges with your band, you may have to visit the front desk for assistance. If you’re using a band that you used previously, you may want to reset your PIN if you’ve forgotten it (you’ll need the PIN to make purchases using your band).  

Credit: Disney

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About Meredith Smisek

Meredith Smisek is a kid at heart and works as an elementary school guidance counselor. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, dog, and parrot. Meredith's hobbies include cooking, playing ukulele, and "talking Disney" with anyone she knows who is planning a trip to Disney or has just returned.