WDW Day1 Arrival

So, I have been doing something for a while now that I started back in the 90s when I started going on my own (sans parents). Actually started in '91 college spring break 8 of us decided to go to Disney (best spring break ever). Flying in can be really stressful, planes airports, transfers, arriving, getting room, then feeling as though you need to hurry to a park so you don’t miss out on the cost of a pass… I started flying out later morning form Boston, touching down around 3:00. When I book the package, I don’t get passes for arrival day. We get to Hotel around 4:-4:30, check in. get to room. Change to swim suit, go to the pool for a bit, relax, later, get showered changed and go to Disney Springs. Ease into it. Don’t waste the price of that day’s passes because it is too frantic.



When my kids were little that was totally our MO

I think it’s a super valid way to kick off a trip, especially if you do a special dinner somewhere that evening, be that at DS or elsewhere.


I think it depends. Next month I am flying out of Logan at 7:30. I had a slightly later flight booked but when JetBlue changed the time I moved it to the early flight. I wanted that day at Universal before HHN and I will have access to the CL and want to have as much time as painless there.

In February I booked a flight that will leave about 1. I am currently booked that night at SSR and am looking forward to planning dinner at Jaleo.

I like both plans.

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I never ever ever go to a park on arrival day. I need that extra time to decompress, settle in to my room, maybe hit Disney Springs for a meal to slowly immerse myself into the bubble.
I need that time to make sure everything is right before I start heading out into a park. I don’t want to be that person that comes back from a park at 10-11 PM and then has to wait for luggage or find it that my room isn’t what I paid for, etc.


Our standard first day for family trips was to take a morning flight from PA, land around noon/one, go to the resort, drop off bags (room or bell services), eat CS lunch at resort, head straight to MK, dinner at Chef Mickey’s.

Those low key few hours at MK gave the kids (and me!) the feeling that we were actually at WDW. The castle and a few walk on rides gave us all that magic feeling… then we walked over and spent some time with Mickey & crew. It checked all the boxes and we didn’t have any stress in having to find Mickey later in the trip. :sunglasses:

The only time this was stressful at all is when the now 15 yo was 2yo. He was wolfing down his lunch so quickly he ended getting sick all over himself. I cleaned him up as much as I could, but our luggage was still with DME. At the time, Disney had zero toddler clothes. I ended up buying him the smallest kid sizes I could find on Main Street. He wore those Mickey sweatpants and WDW shirt for another FOUR years!!! :rofl::rofl:

I laugh now, but I was a crazy person looking for clothes for him that day!

I still need my MK fix on the first day. I still don’t feel like I am there until I walk down Main Street.


Totally agree. We don’t fly; we drive, but the first day is not a park day. There’s too much to do. The second day is the best time to get up and get going! This year I’ve got an ADR for Jaleo at Disney Springs. Can’t wait!


How much is the extra cost to add on 1 more day to your ticket? I normally arrive early evening and love to have that first taste of a park at night. Even if it’s just walking down main street and maybe catching the fireworks or a ride or 2 or wandering world showcase for a few hours and snacking.


That is something to consider. Once you get up there in days the extra cost is minimal and may be, for some folks, worth it

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Depending on what you have booked, if you get the multi day passes with park hopper option it would coast up to $197 for a Sat. That would be the most. Typically if you get a 5 day, it is up to $112 per day. That is per person so family of 4 you could be spending a lot of money for 3-4 hours…

We are all about settling in on arrival day, checking the pool out, getting a good meal. Two thumbs up.

Day 2:


For us it sometimes depends on where we stay. Last trip and this trip, we’re staying at YC/BW area, so it’s easy to pop into Epcot our first night for dinner and a ride or two.

I got tempted into a 6 day pass even though I can only figure out how to fit in maybe 5 days this trip but the cost on undercover tourist for 6 days was the price on Disney of 4 or 5 days so I felt like why not. Lol. It’s kind of nice to know I can just decide on a whim even on my universal days to go to disney for a few hours if I want.
My arrival day I’m going to try to get a BG as I’m boarding my plane. Plan is to be at the hotel by 10am. Flight is supposed to land at MCO around 9:15. No checked luggage so we just Uber worry free-ish. Do mobile check in. Have breakfast at the hotel. If room is ready, go to the room and nap or just go to the pool/ lobby to nap. Relax and recharge until 2:30. Uber to HS if our group is called or just ride ToT if we didn’t get a BG. Then we have a fancy relaxing Bull and bear dinner to go to around 5:30ish. Go to bed early for rope drop at AK next day.



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It totally depends on arrival time for us. We’ve landed as early as 8:30am. Without a hotel room available that early it is much easier for us to wrangle kids in the parks to keep them occupied vs at the hotel. In these situations we leave the parks once our room is ready and have an easy evening.

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I was asking about the price differential from however many days you plan on buying already. Once you get up there in days the price to add a day can be quite minimal. You need to price for example a 5 day ticket vs a 6 day ticket and now how much a 1 day ticket costs per day of the week.


@JJT: Right Awn! :fist:

We are soldiers, too.
Starting Day 2 it’s all out war. We are the ones in line 60 minutes and counting doing fake stretches (and laughing with the other warriors.) It’s fun when you talk to people in line that early that have “Game Faces ON.” They all know their mission. When you run into them later in the day, all that’s needed is a fist bump and a grin. Sometimes a simple “You guys crushing it?” to their kids is hilarious to see their whole family light up and acknowledge victory later in the day.

Some ppl like a more relaxed, chill, go with the flow type of deal. We do that stuff starting at like 3pm. Morning is WAR!


I totally agree, when the kids were still coming with us, I was totally that Dad. I used to love making friends all over and was so intense. My wife and I are now in our 50s, kids are all 20+ and if they want to go they can pay for themselves lol. We have found that throttle back and list “Must Do’s” hit those and then enjoy atmosphere and people. We love getting to know the CMs and finding hidden mickeys and the li secrets. Definitely talk to CMs at the World Pavilions to learn about the countries and we drink more at Disney than we do all year long. Drinks around the world @ EP. Bar hop @ Disney Springs (Art Smith’s moonshine!!) Maybe do ToT 13 times in a row.


That’s what I’ve done. We fly in from the west coast, so there is no getting in early unless you take a red-eye. In addition, I don’t typically do a park on my last day either. I use that day to sleep in and leisurely check out and then have lunch at a resort and do some shopping.

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it’s like 20 bucks to add a day once you get over 5 days


Yeah so for me $20 would be worth it for a couple hours in a park on arrival day. If OP only had 2 or 3 day tickets and the cost was $80+ I might not do it.

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