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8 Things You Should Do First At Your Walt Disney World Resort

Whether you’re stepping off the Magical Express or pulling through the gates in your own car, arriving at your Disney resort is an amazing feeling. Your magical Walt Disney World vacation is finally here! Now what? Depending on when you arrived, you might be able to go play in the parks, or you may be dreaming of a good night’s sleep before starting your trip with a bang. Either way, here are 8 things you should do once you check in.

8. Link Magic Bands to a Credit Card

Do this during check-in. Whether you’re in the parks or at the resort’s food court, you’ll be able to make purchases without fumbling for your wallet, and the charges will be added to your room. It’s so easy, and I wish every transaction could be like this in real life. The ease is also the downside. Be conscious of your spending so you don’t have a huge shock at check-out. You will assign a PIN number to the account as well, so if charge-happy kids are a concern, you can choose to not give them the PIN number. That way, the adults can control what is bought.

7. Find your Room

This one might seem a little obvious, but if you arrive early in the day, the temptation to leave your bags with Bell Services and hop on a bus to the parks will be strong. As much as you want to scamper off to play, think about how much more you will have to do when you get back later that night, with sore feet and sleepy kids. It’s better in the long run to take your bags up to the room.

6. Get Familiar with Your Resort

Even if you arrive late in the evening, take some time to familiarize yourself with your resort. This step is especially important if the resort is new to you. Where is the dining hall? Where is the bus stop? Is there more than one bus stop? Is there alternate transportation to the parks? Where is the pool? In the morning, you’ll be glad you don’t have to wander before finding the bus stop, and you can get to the parks faster!

5. Unpack

Now, let’s be real, if you want to get to the parks and have some fun, I don’t think you need to bother with unpacking your whole suitcase. However, I always unpack at least my toiletries and pjs. That way, when I return to the room after a long day (travelling and park touring is exhausting!), I don’t have to dig through my suitcase before I can hit the hay. While you’re at it, make sure you didn’t leave anything at home. We’ve all forgotten our toothbrush or contact solution at some point. Most toiletry items can be purchased at the resort’s gift shop in a pinch.

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4. Air Freshener

Sure, the hotel room is clean, but if it’s been sitting closed up for even a couple days, chances are the room is stuffy. If a stuffy room bothers you, pack a small air freshener, like those gel cones that can be closed up for travel. Plus, scent is the sense most strongly tied to memory, so if you use that scent when you return home, you’ll be constantly reminded of your magical vacation memories!

3. Change Clothes

Maybe you flew south to escape brutal winter weather; maybe you sloshed coffee on yourself in the car; maybe you just feel icky after sitting on the plane (these all apply to me!). A quick change of clothes will be a fresh start to your vacation!

2. Sunscreen it up

I really hope this one goes without saying, but I know how easy it is to forget sunscreen in the excited frenzy that is arriving to Walt Disney World. Take a second before your leave the room to make sure everyone in your family is protected.

1. Get a Snack

Traveling can leave you hungry. Whether you arrived in time for breakfast, or you need a midnight snack, you will want to get a quick treat when you arrive at the resort. You can either sit down with a meal at the resort’s quick service restaurant for a easy pick-me-up, or snag a grab and go item before heading out to the bus stop or back to your room. If you are on the Dining Plan, or want to purchase the Rapid Fill mugs, get those when you get your snack. The mugs can be found in your resort’s quick service restaurant, and activated at check-out.

So there you have it, 8 things to do when you get to your resort. Do you have any arrival day traditions that you love to do?

About Robin Swanson

Robin’s Disney journey began with Beauty and the Beast bedsheets, a Jasmine dress up set, and a purring Nala plush. As a child in the 1990s, the renaissance and classic animations alike captivated her imagination. In 2008, Robin visited Walt Disney World for the first time, and the obsession really took hold. Since then, Robin has enjoyed visiting the Happiest Place on Earth many more times. She lives in the Chicago suburbs where she is wrapping up a Masters in writing. When not at Disney World, Robin enjoys researching fairytales, eating ice cream, Netflix binging, reading and, of course, planning the next Walt Disney World vacation!