• On Oct 11, 2012
    Michelle from MA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Trying to figure out how we should spend our arrival day, I am thinking we will get to the hotel about 2p. It is my husband, myself, our 5 year old and 9 month old. Should we go to a park or pool/ downtown Disney?

    Hi Michelle,

    If you have an early morning departure from your home airport or are arriving after a long drive, I recommend using arrival day to rejuvenate before tackling your first Walt Disney World park the next morning.

    I've found that kids are enthralled with just being at a Walt Disney World hotel. You may want to check in, then spend some time at the pool. If the kids need a nap, a swim will tire them out! Later, I would head to a fun dinner such as Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge.

    One tradition that we did for many years was to enjoy dinner at the Contemporary Resort's Chef Mickey's restaurant before taking a round-trip ride on the monorail.

    Then, an evening swim or time at the resort's playground will insure a good night's rest!

    Personally, I would skip Downtown Disney on arrival day due to it often being overcrowded. I would opt for a more relaxing time at your hotel and/or going out to a fun dinner at a resort hotel.

    If you have animal fans, visit the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner. Boma has a great buffet OR opt for quick-service at The Mara followed by visiting the animal viewing areas.

    Another fun outing is to go to Fort Wilderness for dinner at Trail's End buffet then a carriage or wagon ride.

    On your first full day at Disney, you'll be glad that you took time to decompress on your arrival day!
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Meet the Panelist: Kimberly, Tennessee

I am a stay-at-home mom with a 12 year old son. I thrive on planning vacations, especially to WDW. Inspiring families to vacation at Disney with a memorable itinerary and budget-saving tips is extremely rewarding for me. Learn More About Kimberly

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