Many people think a Disney World vacation begins when you enter the parks. But, for our family, that magical vacation begins the moment we start driving down the road. We enter Disney World under the archway that lets us know we’re home. We can’t wait to make it to the parks so we can ride our favorite rides, fill up on plenty of snacks and see our favorite characters. But, we normally come in a day early so we still have some time to do other things. So, what exactly can you do on the first day of your Walt Disney World resort?#waltexpress #disneyworld #disneyworldplanning first day at disney

First Day At Disney World

Here are the top 4 things our family loves to do on the first day of our magical vacation.

Explore Your Resort

Disney World’s Imagineers are incredibly talented. They have gone above and beyond in their designs in the parks. But, that’s not the only place you’ll see their handiwork. The resorts are packed full of theming and details. These things will be a constant reminder that you are in the most magical place on earth.

Exploring our resort is at the top of our list of things to do as soon as we arrive. It doesn’t matter if we’ve stayed at that resort before, or if it’s the very first time. So, when you arrive, take some time to soak it all in. Check out where the restaurants and shopping options are located. Take a look around at the places that will provide perfect photo opportunities throughout your stay. Finding those spots for special photo ops is a great thing to do on your first day at Disney World. The pictures you take will be a reminder of all the excitement of your trip.

Go For A Swim

Regardless of the time of year you’re visiting Disney World, a dip in the pool is a great way to spend your first day at Disney World. The pools at the resorts are heated, so you can enjoy a comfortable swim throughout most of the year. Most of the time, our family has a bag reserved just for our pool gear. Once we’re settled into our room and have explored the resort, we head straight for the pool.

You may be thinking, “I can swim at home. What’s the big deal of swimming at my Disney World Resort?” Let me tell you, like everything else Disney related, you will be drawn into another world. It will bring out the kid in you, no matter your age. You will hear the most iconic Disney music being pumped through the speakers. And the resorts have multiple pools with their own themes and special details. Take time to explore each of them. If your kids are like ours, they would stay in the pool the whole trip, but there’s a lot more excitement to be had!

Ride the Monorail

There are two types of people at Walt Disney World: those who see the Monorail as just a mode of transportation and those who see it as one of the rides. Our family views the Monorail as one of our favorite rides at Disney World. The Monorail provides the perfect opportunities to catch a glimpse of Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom, or the iconic Spaceship Earth ball at Epcot.

Hop on one of the buses from your resort and head over to Magic Kingdom where you will be able to get on the Monorail and go for a ride. Better yet, book a stay at one of the three resorts that have a stop on the Monorail—Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Our favorite times of day to do this is around sunset and after dark. Riding around Seven Seas Lagoon will provide some of the most beautiful sunset views at Disney World. When the sun goes down, you will be able to see the beauty of everything lit up!

Visit Disney Springs on your First Day At Disney World

One final thing that our family loves to experience on our first day at Walt Disney World is exploring Disney Springs. If you love the night life, dining, shopping and fun entertainment then make it a point to head to Disney Springs. There’s plenty to do for every age. Stop by the LEGO store and look at all the characters and scenes that have been built on display around the store. Venture over to the Coca-Cola store and take a trip down memory lane as you see all the memorabilia from days gone by. If you’re looking for the best Disney themed apparel and toys, stop by the World of Disney. But be careful, it’s easy to spend way too much time and money there.

After shopping, we have to eat! There are plenty of places to eat. The options range from sit down restaurants to outdoor vendors. If you like smoked meats, don’t overlook The Polite Pig! They offer ribs, chicken, brisket, and plenty of other options. Click here to find out more about the new normal at Disney Springs.

If you’re planning a trip to Disney World, you are most likely focusing on the parks you’ll visit and the rides. There’s nothing wrong with that. We always look forward to all the things we can do in the parks. But there is a lot that can be done outside of the parks as well. Take some time to explore these four things to do on your first at Disney World day before you ever step foot inside the parks. What are your favorite things to do on your first day at Disney World?

Want to know how you can seriously ruin your vacation? Click that link to find out!


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Scott Coleson

Scott is the husband of Walt Express Travel Planner Lauren Coleson. Together, they work with families to make sure they get the most out of every second of their Disney vacation. He is a recent convert to the Disney life and can be found reading up on the latest news and watching Disney videos everyday (you’ve gotta make it through the day somehow, right?) In addition to being a contributor with Walt Express and working behind the scenes with Lauren, Scott serves in ministry as a pastor.

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