Questions about early arrival for check in at Wilderness Lodge

Hi, I am taking my first trip to Disney World in a very very long time and going with my wife and two young children (4 yr old and 1 yr old). We are arriving at Orlando airport at ~8:45AM (6AM departure) during arrival day and will be taking Magical Express to the resort. I am trying to decide what to do on check in day. I was considering checking in my bags and going to the pool before the room is ready but am concerned about not having access to a room for changing clothes. A second option was to take a ride from the Wilderness Lodge to the Boardwalk, walk around, and have lunch but that seems like it may be a very long commute. Do either of these plans make sense or should I be considering something else? Thank you in advance for your help!

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That is definitely an early arrival. Why not eat breakfast at Whispering Canyon? I bet there would be a good chance your room would be ready by the time you finish eating.

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I would probably take a bus to Disney Springs for some shopping and considerably more lunch options. I’ve not had much luck with rooms ready that early, especially if staying in the dvc rooms at a resort.

i would pack a carry on with what you need to totally hang out at the pool and the incredible, beautiful resort. try for a whispering canyon ADR, but there is also Geyser Point. the lobby, the gift shop, the pools, there is pool side crafts/activities for the kids. Old Faithful on the hour. Boulder Ridge Railroad displays. I would just lay about and enjoy

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You should be able to use the health club for changing. (That’s what someone suggested for us for swimming on our checkout day at AKL, anyway.)

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The resort will be able to accommodate you in some form like the health club as @amvanhoose suggested. My family did something like this at AKL on our checkout date years ago.

Wilderness Lodge is a fantastic resort! My personal favorite amongst the Disney resorts (Animal Kingdom Lodge is a very close second). WL has great (and underrated) pools, as @DumboRunner already said:

Back in 2017 before we stayed here, my family spent some time in the Boulder Ridge rooms playing checkers and enjoying the serene atmosphere.

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Agreed. And it’s probably quiet enough that the kids might fall asleep if they’re still tired after the flight.

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When my DD was 5 we had the same timing On our very early flight. We dropped our large carryon at WL, put sunscreen on at the bus stop, hopped on a bus to AK, had a relaxing lunch at Tusker House and enjoyed the park until 5 then went to bed early and she was ready for RD at MK the next morning!!! AK lends itself to being a little more relaxing with littles. The boneyard is a nice place to let off steam.

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