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3 Things You Shouldn’t Do On Your Disney Arrival Day

It is an exciting moment when you FINALLY arrive at Walt Disney World! No matter if you are staying at a Walt Disney Resort or if you are staying off site, there are a few things you shouldn’t do on your arrival day.

These tips are especially important if you are flying and if this is your very first trip to Disney. We are also considering that you are likely on a budget.

3 Things Not To Do On Your Disney Arrival Day

3 things not to do on your Disney arrival day

1. Don’t Go To A Park

We know it can be incredibly painful to NOT go to one of the Disney Parks on your arrival day. Unless you go to Disney World multiple times a year, we simply don’t think going to a park is worth the time or expense.

Park tickets, as you know, are extremely expensive. Using one of your day passes on a partial day is not a good use of your money. Additionally, it can be really frustrating to go to a park on your first day of vacation and not be able to do much.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Entrance

If you have any delays with your travel this can cause some major frustration and stress. Let’s say you planned on Disney’s Animal Kingdom for your arrival day, hoping to get to the park around 2:00. If your flight is delayed and you can’t get to the park till 5:00, is it worth it? If you have factored in arrival day as one of your park days, NOT going means you don’t get to go to Animal Kingdom at all. It is quite the conundrum.

We are constantly seeing people on Facebook groups saying “I’m at the airport and my flight is delayed due to weather, we already booked lighting lanes for 4pm, what should we do?” This is a major waste of money on Genie+ and unnecessary stress for you.

2. Don’t Make Dining Reservations

Making dining reservations for Chef Mickey’s or Boma sounds like a great idea when you are making your itinerary. On paper you have plenty of time to get to the restaurant!

Story Book Dining table and view

Just remember, everything takes longer than you anticipate. Getting your luggage, getting to the hotel, checking in, getting settled. Additionally – did you know that you can’t take Disney transportation from one hotel to a different hotel? You will need to take transportation to one of the parks and then hop on a bus to a resort to get to your dining reservation. This all just takes time.

The one exception we would make to this rule is if you are staying at the resort that you want to make dining reservations at. For example, if you are staying at Wilderness Resort and want to make dining reservations at Story Book Dining, go for it. Just make sure it is several hours after you think you’ll arrive, and MAKE SURE you know the cancellation policy!

3. Don’t Stay Up Too Late

This one can be really difficult. You are excited to hit the parks and the adrenaline is going strong. If you are at a Disney hotel, you likely are loving all the decor, hidden Mickeys, and amenities.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Savannah View

Trust us on this one, you do not want to start off your first full day at Disney tired. You are going to be absolutely exhausted every time you come back to your hotel room. You’ll be happy – but also exhausted. Disney is a trip, not necessarily a vacation.

Get to bed early – or at least on time. Let the kids swim on arrival day or find some green space to let them run. Do whatever you need to do to get the wiggles and energy out so your kids will go to sleep as easy as possible. (Don’t worry – after arrival day they will crash the minute their head hits the pillow!)

Grown ups – grab a glass of wine and enjoy the fact that you have finally made this trip happen! Get your items organized for rope drop in the morning and make sure you know what time the bus arrives. Set an alarm and get all your devices charging.

You are at Disney World and you are now better prepared to start your first full day in the magic!

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