What to do the first night?

Our plane is scheduled to arrive at MCO around 5pm on sunday. I imagine by the time we arrive at the hotel, it will be close to 7. Is it worth it to go to MK for fireworks/parade that night, or do I save the wonder and awe for bright and early the next morning for our first full day?

If you have the park ticket I would go but I would be surprised if you could get there before 8:00.

even if it is 8…think it would still be worth it to go? I am thinking yes…because then we can get parade out of the way, and use the other nights for shorter lines…

If you have a ticket for the day, I say go. You could try for a MSEP fpp without the normal thought of it preventing fpp 4, 5, etc. Depending on when the park closes, it would be a great chance to knock out some rides with minimal wait.

If you really don’t want to go to the park, walk around DTD, go mini golfing, or relax at the hotel watching the nightly movie

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Several questions:
Are you staying on-site? If so, what resort?
What date are you arriving? I would want to see what the park hours are, and if there are any eEMH.
Will you have a rental car, or are you using DME?

My kids are young (4 and 2) so our schedule is probably a lot different than yours but I wouldn’t try to cram anything more into that evening. Just traveling from the airport, checking in, freshening up, etc will take a good amount of time. I wouldn’t want to feel stressed that I had to make it to a park - especially after traveling/flying that afternoon. I’d grab a casual dinner, hang out at the resort, check out the campfire and movie, etc then wake up feeling ready to conquer a full day - as opposed to being frazzled from the hectic night before!

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If I had an AP I would probably go into a park, preferrably one with PM EMH. I would NOT use a full-day ticket for an hour or two. With no AP, I would probably either hang around at the resort or go to DTD and RR for a few pints and some music.

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I’m with bswan. I don’t have an AP and if I’m scheduled in late, I use that time to unwind from the travel, unpack, go to bed early to hit rope drop running! Last time, POR had a nice little area, River Roost, where we unwound.

if you’re at the point where an extra day on the tickets is just a few bucks (like 5 days plus), I’d still consider going to a park if i could get at least 3 hours. If not, Disney Springs might be my choice.

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I tend to fall in the camp of not wanting to use up a ticket for just a portion of a day - plus I like to relax a bit after the flight.

What we did on our last trip, and plan on doing again this trip, is go to a dinner show - namely, Spirit of Aloha at the Poly. It was a pleasant way to kick off our trip - good food (I FRIGGIN LOVE THAT BREAD!), and a fun show.

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Personally I would use the time to set up the room, and get some sleep for the early start the next day.

BUT if you have an AP and are at one of the Epcot resorts where you could walk into Epcot and catch illuminations go for it. If you are at a MK resort, watch wishes from the beach/boat launch.

To give the best advice we really need more information. Like what time the parks close if it is a 9 pm, stay at your resort.

I’ve had an annual pass for a couple years, so I’d lean toward going to a park. I’ve arrived at Epcot on Day 1 of many vacations just to eat and watch Illuminations. MK is usually open a little later, so seeing Wishes then riding Pirates and Haunted Mansion would be a pretty good way to start a vacation.

If you don’t have an annual pass, then it may be a question of how long your stay is to decide whether it’s worth adding an extra day. If you’re staying six or seven days, then adding another day to the tickets would only cost $10 worth and I could easily get $10 worth of entertainment out of that one evening. For other lengths of stay, adding another day may cost a different amount, so you’ll have to decide what you’d be comfortable paying.

If you don’t decide to visit a park, then dinner at a Magic Kingdom area resort could be fun, followed by watching the fireworks from that hotel, from the TTC, or even from just outside the Magic Kingdom (though if you get that close, then you may be tempted to want to enter the park).

I should add that we receive an additional day for free thanks to our corp discount. It will either be used that first night or go unused completely. Probably staying at Polly or BC.

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If its a freebie that would otherwise go unused then use it for sure. If at Ploy, I go for Wishes. At BC walk around the corner to enter Epcot for Illuminations. Which park had evening EMH would influence my decision too

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I like the way you think. I know the EMH are AK that day, so neither has PM EMH.

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If you are going to be at the Poly, why not just stay there, explore the resort, and watch Wishes and the Electrical Water Pageant from the beach.

One concern - I’m not sure how the construction has affected watching wishes and the Pageant. Maybe someone who has stayed there recently can chime in.


I have added an extra day for $10 and gone to MK on arrival night from 7:00-10:00. Yes! It was a great way to start a trip. I wasn’t worried about doing a lot of attractions but I did run into Philharmagic, had a quick ride on the PeopleMover and jumped onto Space before Wishes.


So I guess it would depend on which deluxe resort you book. I would not try to go from BC to MK. Epcot is minutes from BC by foot.

If you got Epcot, I would book a FPP for TT or Soarin too. You can only get one of those each day and best to take advantage of an Epcot entry and book one of them :smile:
Keep us posted and let us know how it goes. Liners love trip reports!

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I would disagree! Since MK is usually open at least two hours longer than EP, the travel time would be worth it. I do not think it ever took me more than 30 minutes to get to MK from BC and coming back at night I would get in the shortest line between YC/BC and BW/swalphin.