15 Vacation Travel Tips For Your Walt Disney World Arrival Day

Being a savvy Disney Traveler isn't something that comes naturally. It's born of years of delays, bad choices, procedural changes and countless tiny errors made while keeping up on the latest Disney news out there. That's OK though, because the team here at Walt Disney World for Grown-ups is ready to help. We've got 15 Vacation Travel Tips For Your Walt Disney World Arrival Day that will get your Disney vacation off to a great start.

15 Vacation Travel Tips For Your Walt Disney World Arrival Day15 Vacation Travel Tips For Your Walt Disney World Arrival Day

Bring a book, from the time you leave home to the time you arrive at Walt Disney World you are going to experience waiting. Fill the voids in a long day of travel by reading or listening to a great book.

Wear comfortable clothing, while you get to define what you think of as comfortable, be sure to wear clothing that is going to work for you not against you. Chances are you will be bending and stretching to retrieve luggage, as well as sitting in small seats for hours on end. Natural fabrics, and something light that will help you ward off a chill are essentials in my house.

Be sure to drink extra water and use a skin serum with hyaluronic acid in it on days that you are flying. The lack of humidity and pressurization on airplanes can leave your body more than a little dehydrated.

Check the weather one last time before you leave home. This gives you a chance to pop some last minute essentials into your day bag.

Give yourself plenty of time. Make sure you know what to expect in the timing of your travel day so there is no need to rush. It's better to have to sit at your gate for a few extra minutes sipping a latte than it is to be dashing across the airport to make last call for boarding.

Arrive From MCO On Disney's Magical ExpressArrive From MCO On Disney's Magical Express

My hard and fast rule is to never schedule something for your arrival day that you aren't prepared to miss. From weather difficulties to mechanical failures, there are too many ways that your travel can be delayed to put an important reservation at risk.

Along those same lines - never fly in for a Disney Cruise on embarkation day. Arrive the day before your cruise leaves and spend the night in a Port hotel or at Walt Disney World.

Once you are off the plane, be sure to stop at a restroom. You may be in line for Disney's Magical Express or a rental car desk for longer than you expect. Once you are on the road, it should take about 35 minutes to get to your resort, but if you are the last stop on the bus though it may take more than an hour.

Check-in times at Walt Disney World Resorts vary, but for most check-in time is 3:00 PM. Guests staying at Fort Wilderness campsites can check-in at 1:00 PM and the Disney Vacation Club Villa Resorts check-in time is at 4:00 PM. If you arrive prior to those times and have already checked in online, feel free to drop any luggage you have with the Bell Staff and go have some fun. When your room is ready it will appear in your MyDisneyExperience App, or you can request a text to be sent to your cell phone.

Even if you have checked-in online it's always a good idea to stop by the front desk and make sure that everything is in order for your stay. You want to be sure that your MagicBands are activated, you have charging privileges and a PIN established, charges will go to the right credit card and so forth. There's nothing worse than arriving at the Theme Park or a Restaurant across property only to be told your MagicBand isn't working. Trust me on this one, I've learned the hard way. Twice.

Most WDW Resort Check-Ins Are At 3PMMost WDW Resort Check-Ins Are At 3PM

Kick off your activities outside the Theme Parks. Arrival day is a great day to hang out by the pool, do some resort hopping, visit Disney Springs, or make an evening monorail crawl.

If you have length of stay tickets or an annual pass, go ahead and make your way to one of the Disney Parks. My family likes to visit the Park closest to our Resort on arrival day, so that we can quickly pop back to the hotel when our room is ready.

Take some time to unpack and organize. Some people are comfortable living out of a suitcase, but I like to take and hour or so after check-in to unpack my bags and get our room organized. This ends up saving me both time and stress in the long run because I'm not digging around for things I can't find every morning.

Visit your resort's quick service restaurant. Pick up some cream for your morning coffee, water, or snacks to have in your room. That way you aren't scrambling at the end of a long day. You'll also want to pick-up your resort mugs if you will be using the Disney Dining Plan.

After a long day of travel, head to bed early, this will help you wake up refreshed in the morning and ready to hit the Theme Parks.

Head To Disney SpringsHead To Disney Springs

Do you have any tried and true tip for arrival day travel? Share you secrets in the comments!

Marcia wrote on Tue, 06/18/2019 - 23:09:

Marcia's picture

While waiting for our room to be available, we enjoy relaxing on the beach at the Polynesian with a Dole Whip. With rum!

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 06/19/2019 - 12:59:

Kristen K.'s picture

That's a GREAT way to spend some time Marcia!

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