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If you’re anything like me, your arrival day at Walt Disney World is typically an off park day. After a long travel day, as much as I love the parks, it’s the last place I want to be. I like to spend my arrival day relaxing poolside at the resort, hitting up Disney Springs, or exploring one of the many other options available for a low key evening at Disney World. Here are my top 10 things to do on your arrival day at Walt Disney World!
1) Disney Springs
Disney Springs is Disney’s restaurant, shopping, bakery & bar district. Spend the afternoon or evening exploring everything it has to offer, book a dining reservation, or plan for one of their activities. There are always so many new added experiences here, from Sprinkles to AMC movie theatre to The VOID: Star Wars Experience! Or even check out the hot air balloon ride-Aerophile: Characters in Flight!
2) Watch a movie
Many resorts offer a “movie under the stars” each night. Check out what time yours does if you’re staying on site! Or, head to AMC theatre in Disney Springs – a full movie theatre with today’s newest releases. You can get a quick service meal or snack, but you can also get table service delivered right to your seat!
Check out the bowling alley in Disney Springs. I did this on my most recent trip-SO much fun! You can book just a lane, can dine then bowl, bowl then dine OR you can bowl WHILE you dine. Typical delicious pub food, with fantastic service. Fun for all ages & group sizes!
4) Make a dining reservation
Book a dining at any of the resort restaurants. There are so many options to choose from. I love to do this on my ‘off’ days to still be around the Disney fun! With the endless delectable options available, you’re sure to find somewhere new or an old favorite to enjoy!
If staying on site, you can get a pizza delivered to your door (in a Disney inspired box of course!) I like doing this on arrival day after a long tiring travel day. If you’re on the dining plan, be aware that this uses two table service meals.
6) Enjoy Happily Ever After fireworks
You don’t need to be inside Magic Kingdom to view them. They can also be seen from the Contemporary Resort 4th floor observation deck, or my personal favorite, from the Polynesian Resort. Maybe even book a dinner reservation at ‘Ohana & view them from there-this is one of my fave restaurants & way to view the fireworks.
This is one of my favorite places to go to in Disney World. Similar to Disney Springs, it is a restaurant, bar & shopping district. It is all on a boardwalk that surrounds one of Disney’s many lagoons. So relaxing. Check out a restaurant, Ample Hills Creamery, or one of their many awesome bars & bakeries.
8) Resort Hop
My favorite resort to visit is the Fort Wilderness resort! Not only are the grounds beautiful, there’s various activities you can do. First of all, at some point on your trip, you MUST go to Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. Country music, characters, unlimited food & alcohol. This is a meal that can be done on an ‘off’ day too! Besides dining, at fort wilderness, you can also go horseback riding, ride a segway, have a campfire or go on a wagon ride! These things cost minimal or are even free.
One of the best resorts to visit, is the Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is another resort that has a ton of incredible options available to enjoy. Maybe book a dinner reservation at Sanaa or Boma, or enjoy the FREE culinary tour at Boma & Jiko! Soak up this amazing atmosphere while enjoying the animals in the savanna.
Also on your Arrival Day at Walt Disney World, consider resort hopping the monorail resorts! Hop between the Contemporary, Polynesian & Grand Floridian resort. Grab a drink or snack at each spot, finish your evening off watching the Magic Kingdom Happily Ever After fireworks from one of the resorts!
Did you know Disney World even has a mini golf you can enjoy? What a great way to spend an afternoon or evening! Near Epcot & The Swan hotel, you’ll find Fantasia Gardens where you can partake in an 18-hole game.
10) Explore your resort/Swim
Whether you’re staying on site or not, your resort has lots to explore. Check out the pool, the gift shop or the food court! Disney resorts have lots of Disney inspired statues or other fun things to check out & take pictures of. Most of all, spend your day relaxing. I come from the opposite end of North America, so when I arrive, I like to enjoy a relatively low-key, relaxing day. Just spend the day & evening doing whatever you want to do! Squeeze in a nap, whatever you need to do to recoup & prepare for day one at the parks the next day!
There are many things to do on your arrival day at Walt Disney World. And if you’re one of the folks who braves the parks on that day-go for it!! If you’re looking for something more mellow, I highly suggest any of the above that tickles your fancy!
Do you have a favorite thing to do on arrival day at Walt Disney World?Let us knowin the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter.
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Disney lover & photographer, living in Newfoundland, Canada. My first trip to Disney World was at age 15 & I have been more times than I can count since! When I see Cinderella's castle, or the fireworks, my heart skips a beat. If you know what I’m talking about, then you’re a Disney lover too! I can't wait for my next trip home & hope these blogs help you plan your next trip to the world!