Top 9 Experiences for Your First Day at Disney World

Today is day ONE of the greatest Walt Disney World vacation EVER! You’re prepared, packed, and eager to enjoy all Disney World has to offer. Whether you are driving or flying, you may be arriving mid to late in the day but still, want to get to enjoy your vacation! Here are nine experiences that offer a dose of Disney magic for your first day at Walt Disney World.


1 – Explore Your Resort

If staying at a Disney Resort, you’re in luck! Exploring the resort on your first day is one experience we’d highly recommend. Not only will you understand your whereabouts, but Disney Resorts are outstanding for keeping their guests happy right at “home.” Value, Moderate, and Deluxe Resort… all of them have something to offer their guests. Enjoy the theme of your resort and check out the amenities such as the Community Hall and arcade first hand!

2 – Take a Dip in the Pool

Take your resort exploration one step further and take a dip in your resort pool! Disney World is known for its awesome resort pools, so why not start your vacation off with a refreshing swim. This is an especially great way to occupy the kiddos if you don’t have a park ticket for your first day but still want to keep them entertained.

3 – Dinner Show or Character Meal

Editor’s Note: At this time, only Chef Mickey’s, Topolino’s Terrace’s Breakfast a la Art, Hollywood & Vine, Story Book Dining at Artist Point, Tusker House, and Garden Grill offer character dining experiences. 

Our favorite way to enjoy our first day is with a Disney World dinner show or character meals. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Fort Wilderness is an exceptional dinner show your family will be talking about for years to come. Hoop-Dee-Doo offers amazing entertainment and food. If a dinner show isn’t in the budget, a character meal would be the next best meal option to spend with characters. No park ticket? No worries, Disney offers numerous character dining experiences at resorts such as Contemporary’s Chef Mickey’s and Grand Floridian’s 1900 Park Fare.

4 – Disney Springs Shopping

Disney Springs is the happening place! If you are in need of Disney gear for your vacation, make one of your first stops the Disney Springs shops. From Disney accessories to fun unique souvenirs… you’ll have no trouble finding what you need (and some extras!) at one of Disney Springs’s 100+ shops.


5 – Aerophile

You want to see it ALL, do you?! One of the greatest ways to take in the lay of the land is by climbing aboard Aerophile located at Disney Springs. Aerophile (formerly known as Characters in Flight) is the world leader in balloon flight! Be in awe of the 360-degree views of Walt Disney World Resort on this 8-to-10 minute tethered helium balloon ride, 400 feet into the air. Scared of heights? You should probably forego this one!

6 – Entertainment on the Boardwalk

Disney Springs gets all the attention, but let’s not forget the charming Boardwalk located just outside of Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Resort. Stroll or rent a surrey bike to explore the quarter-mile Boardwalk which offers dining, shopping, and entertainment. Stop for the magicians and entertainers outside or head into Jellyrolls for some dueling piano entertainment. Kids in tow? No worries! They will love the ice cream delicacies available at BoardWalk Ice Cream and/or the tasty treats at the BoardWalk Bakery.

7 – Miniature Golf

Another great first-day option that is a relaxing experience (unless you are overly competitive!) would be to go miniature golfing at one of Disney World’s two miniature golf courses. Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course is themed around Disney’s animated film, Fantasia. Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course makes it looks like a white Christmas in the middle of Orlando! Both courses offer two different 18-hole courses so you’ll have an option to go around twice if wanted.

8 – Visit a Park!

Annual passholder or just have an extra park ticket for your arrival day? Perfect! One of the most epic ways to spend your first day upon arriving is to head directly into a park. Stick around for the fireworks or nightly entertainment and let the magic officially begin!

9 – Resort Lounge

Chances are you’ve put in some overtime at work and at home preparing for this vacation. Sometimes the planning is exhausting and upon arrival, you just want to sit and put your feet up! From pool bars to resort lounges, sit back and enjoy a beverage of your choice to relax for the evening. This is a vacation, after all, so slow down, take a sip, and relax at your resort lounge!

What’s your favorite experience for your first day at Disney World? We’d love to hear from you!

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Matt & Kim

We have had a long time love affair with Disney. We love the magic and the memories we've made at Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with being Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and RunDisney participants. From lodging to dining to Genie+ we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us.
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