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View Full Version : What to do the first day/travel day?


waughzoo
03-20-2007, 09:42 PM
Our family of four (dw, ds - 5, dd - 3) will be arriving on July 24th in the Orlando airport at 9:30 am. We are trying to discuss what to do the first day. We are staying five nights and purchased a six day hopper pass. We are staying at the Wilderness lodge and we are all first time visitors. Now we will be getting up around 4 am to make our flight. But again, what would be the best park to view in the afternoon before returning to our resort and getting to bed early from a lvery early travel day?

GC&S
03-20-2007, 09:47 PM
We have to go to the MK first - no matter what day we get there, what time, how tired, etc. With your children the ages they are, their reaction to the castle will be so precious. There's nothing like that first look. Our trip doesn't begin until we see the castle!

NikkiLovesWDW!
03-20-2007, 09:55 PM
First of all :welcome: to the DIS!


We have to go to the MK first - no matter what day we get there, what time, how tired, etc. With your children the ages they are, their reaction to the castle will be so precious. There's nothing like that first look. Our trip doesn't begin until we see the castle!

I have to agree with this. I ALWAYS have to go to the MK first. You are arriving as early as you can hope for so you have plenty of time to go play in the parks, even if you want to get to bed early. OR you can take a quick nap (if your room is ready) and then head out. But I would consider this a FULL DAY considering the time you are arriving.

Being a first time visitor, I would definitely suggest MK for you. Being that you are staying at WL, it's just a quick boat ride and you are there! You'll be there during a fairly busy time of year so don't expect to do it all that one day. Just relax, explore, and enjoy the atmostphere! Have fun!!

MomofKatie
03-20-2007, 10:36 PM
We always do Epcot on our arrival day. We usually check in to the hotel around noon, settle in and swim. Around 3pm, we head to Epcot. It is a low-key visit for us- we might do 1 or 2 rides in FW, then stroll around WS, just shopping and taking in the atmosphere. We do a TS dinner, and can stay for Illuminations or not, depending on how tired we are from the drive.

We don't like to do MK unless we have the whole day, and we are fresh and ready to go! We have been known to wait and do MK last. To us, all of WDW is magical- not just the sight of the Castle.

disneyjunkie
03-20-2007, 11:14 PM
I would make an early lunch ADR at Crystal Palace.

After you check in, head to MK. Take your time walking down Main Street. Have one parent head over to Fantasyland and grab a FP(Pooh, Peter Pan or Philharmagic) while the other parent checks in for your ADR.

After a nice lunch and quality time with Pooh and his friends, head to FL and let the fun begin.:cheer2:

Oh yeah, WELCOME:hippie:

bookgirl2632
03-21-2007, 01:05 AM
Well, we always go for at least a week, so what we do on our first day wouldn't make sense for you. We always go to DTD on arrival day. I don't know why. It's just something that eases us into the vacation, I guess. Then we head back to the hotel, get into our room, unpack, and head out to Epcot for the evening.

Jillnkids
03-21-2007, 08:17 AM
I agree with Disneyjunkie. Book a lunch at Crystal Palace and then take your time through Fantasyland and Toontown. When we went 3 years ago, we spent our first day at MK and had lunch at Crystal Palace. It was a PERFECT day!

You are going to love Wilderness Lodge! Have a great trip!

mabenoab
03-21-2007, 08:37 AM
Sounds like we've got the same flight! We're due to arrive at 9:30am on our first day too, and what to do/or should we fly in the night before? has been a major source of discussion around our dinner table!

We've decided to just go with our plans and arrive early in the morning. Yes, we have to get up at 3:30am to make the airport in time, and hotel check in isn't until long after we arrive, but we can leave our things with the hotel valet, go get a nice lunch, putter around MK a bit, then go back to the room for a mid-afternoon nap if we need it (I will) and then hit another park in the evening.

I totally agree with the person who recommended the Crystal Palace for a relaxed lunch. Thats our plan! We've done it before on arrival day and it never fails to be a fun way to start the trip (we're still talking about the waiter we had on June 30, 2000!)

:hippie:

cougartrace
03-21-2007, 08:58 AM
we will be arriving at noon on Sunday, June 3rd so we have the same questions. By the time, we get our luggage and get to WL, I suspect it will be closer to 2:30pm before we head out. I guess we will play it by ear.

JMD
03-21-2007, 09:00 AM
We usually just relax by the pool the first day, go out to a nice dinner and then walk around DTD for a while. First day is kind of relaxing for us, and then we hit the parks first thing in the morning.

slug
03-21-2007, 09:20 AM
Our family of four (dw, ds - 5, dd - 3) will be arriving on July 24th in the Orlando airport at 9:30 am. We are trying to discuss what to do the first day. We are staying five nights and purchased a six day hopper pass. We are staying at the Wilderness lodge and we are all first time visitors. Now we will be getting up around 4 am to make our flight. But again, what would be the best park to view in the afternoon before returning to our resort and getting to bed early from a lvery early travel day?



We have about the same thing going - up at 4am, landing at 10am. In the past, we've gone to the hotel (this time the CR), checked our bags (unless they allow you to check in early which is probably not likely that early in the morning), and then grabbed an early lunch somewhere on the monorail line (usually the GF Cafe). For you, I'd have lunch at the Wilderness Lodge somewhere. This way you can relax for a bit before hitting the parks.

But I agree with the above posters in that you MUST go to MK first - especially since this is your first time. You cannot replicate walking down Main Street the first time - that should be your first experience. Good luck.

GoofyJeff
03-21-2007, 10:13 AM
We always do Epcot on our arrival day. We usually check in to the hotel around noon, settle in and swim. Around 3pm, we head to Epcot. It is a low-key visit for us- we might do 1 or 2 rides in FW, then stroll around WS, just shopping and taking in the atmosphere. We do a TS dinner, and can stay for Illuminations or not, depending on how tired we are from the drive.

We don't like to do MK unless we have the whole day, and we are fresh and ready to go! We have been known to wait and do MK last. To us, all of WDW is magical- not just the sight of the Castle.

This is exactly my response, too. We usually stay at BWV, and after all the transportation of the day (cars, planes, busses), we just want to stroll to Epcot and hang out.

And we'll be doing that in another 42 days!

cabanafrau
03-21-2007, 10:14 AM
Definitely with the time of day you'll be arriving, I recommend going & getting in a bit of park time & the only way we start a Disney trip is by visiting the MK. I think it's for you to decide if you want to schedule an ADR for a TS meal or just decide to take sometime to lunch at one of the very good CS options MK offers.

With kids 3 & 5, it might be anybody's guess how they will feel when you actually hit the ground & I know I would be working up major anxiety if the kids weren't feeling the vibe to sit & eat at the place & time I'd reserved.

Be warned, your arrival day might be what many sources would tell you is a bad day to tour MK. We're not disciplined soldiers here & must start every trip w/ MK. If it's incredibly crowded, take a deep breath & remember your visit has just started & you will have plenty of time to see everything on your must-do before your trip is over. Crowded or not, MK will provide plenty of magic moments to keep your kids entertained & you all will have the time of your lives. :tink:

MissionMouse
03-21-2007, 05:32 PM
...(dw, ds - 5, dd - 3) will be arriving on July 24th in the Orlando airport at 9:30 am...first time visitors...getting up around 4 am to make our flight...best park to view in the afternoon before returning to our resort and getting to bed early from a lvery early travel day?I think it MK would be best to eliminate wasted time traveling to and from a park, coupled with 5 and 3yo love MK. I would also suggest making ADRs for this day at the MK, WL or a Monorail Resort.

We no longer go right from the airport to WDW. We either go to Sea World, DTD or another Orlando attraction with an offsite resort. It allows for a smoother transition to our Disney Resort and an early start at one of the parks.

I'm not sure you have made any ADRs for your trip, so you might want to look at the Dining Section of the site. Especially, if you desire to eat at a Table Service Restaurant during Peak Summer Season.
http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/dining.htm

disneycake
03-21-2007, 05:41 PM
We usually do MGM first as we only do a handful of rides/walking around there and then head back to the hotel for some relaxation/check-in. Then we'll probably head to play mini-golf and hang out at the Boardwalk area and watch Illuminations.

bytheblood
03-21-2007, 05:46 PM
:welcome: to the Disboards!!

We always go to MK the first and last day if the trip and in-between, of course. This really sets the mood for the entire vacation.

If you are arriving late and do not want to use a park pass for the first day, I would head to Downtown Disney!

disneymania10
03-21-2007, 06:09 PM
We arrive at the same time for the last 14 years we have been going to disney. Nothing kicks off disney like seeing the MK and the castle. I like the idea of the crystal palace character lunch too. The only thing is your kids may not want sit still after their eyes try to take in the magical magic kingdom. If you opt to do this lunch a different day-you can stroll over to mickeys toontown fair. You can explore Minnie's house. Go in the big tent to meet the characters. There are three lines each with about three characters you can meet, take pictures with etc. You can grab some fast passes to some attractions. Then, another nice thing to do is to watch the 3:00 parade. It is such a great side and truly gets you into the "magic". You can go to the at shop in the main street circle and buy them their first mickey ears and have them sew their names on it. What a great memory and souvenier that will be. Then its nice to go back to the hotel early evening for a bit to eat at roaring forks. Good time to go for a swim and explore the wilderness lodge too. Its always exciting to explore the hotel. That is a great hotel too! If you are awake, you can watch the electrical water pageant that goes by your hotel around 9:00sh to end the great day! No matter what have a magical trip!!

ddoconnell
03-21-2007, 07:01 PM
First of all WELCOME to the DIS :cool1:

Second...we always get there early our first day so taht we can get the room/bldg that we want. We go to EPCOT or MGM on that first day. Like other posters we like to want to do MK when we are fresh. We always do it our 2nd day. We start off with a character b'fast at Chef Mickey's and then take the monorail over to MK. :banana: If we time it right we get there just as the train comes from toontown :cheer2: All of that really gets us a great start on all of the magic. :dance3:

Have a great time at WDW!

We're there in 9 days!!

waughzoo
03-21-2007, 09:33 PM
I appreciate all of the thoughts and opinions. Still talking with the DW about what to do. Regardless, our excitement continues to grow as we learn more about WDW.

bookgirl2632
03-21-2007, 11:08 PM
I appreciate all of the thoughts and opinions. Still talking with the DW about what to do. Regardless, our excitement continues to grow as we learn more about WDW.

No matter what you decide, you are going to have a wonderful time! :goodvibes

mla2177
03-22-2007, 07:23 AM
I don't want to rain on anyone's parade here, but last year I traveled all day with a 2 yr old, and he was wiped out by the time we got off ME. I would hate to see you tire out more trekking through the parks and making ADR's with cranky children. I think you will be exhausted the rest of the trip if you overdue it on the first day. We are planning on taking it easy at the resort pool when we arrive and relaxing at the room, then going to DTD and having dinner at Earl of Sandwich (I didn't want to do a table service meal with a cranky 3 yr old). We plan on getting a good night's rest and making it to MK for opening the next day.

IncredibleEdna
03-22-2007, 08:00 AM
With your kids being this young....I would probably head to MK for a couple of hours, have a quick bite and early afternoon, head back to resort for a swim and a nap. That evening head back to MK for dinner and Wishes



If you get your room right away, I wouldn't head to the parks, I would go for a swim and have a nap, then out for dinner at MK and fireworks.

CaseyJr
03-22-2007, 08:58 AM
Take it easy and don't "plan" anything. Relax at the pool/playground. Have a meal. Maybe head to DTD and let the kids see the LEGO store, go through Rainforest Cafe store, etc....... Kids that little will find their own fun in the little things and sometimes the adventures they find are more priceless than the ones we plan for them.

Basically, let your arrival be a "chill" and transition time. Just my advice.

rotlex
03-22-2007, 09:14 AM
We usually do MGM first as we only do a handful of rides/walking around there and then head back to the hotel for some relaxation/check-in. Then we'll probably head to play mini-golf and hang out at the Boardwalk area and watch Illuminations.

That is exactly our plan for when we arrive the end of April. Myself, DW, DD and my mother will be arriving in Sanford at 9:30. Hopefully arriving and into the hotel by noon, and doing MGM the first day. They are open the latest on that day, until 7pm, and I figure with a 4 year old it will be the least interesting park for her. After we get back to the room, who knows, relax, hit the boardwalk, and get a good nights rest for the weekend!!!!!!!!

phisigprincess
03-22-2007, 09:25 AM
:disrocks: :welcome:

For us, we always take our first day to go to Downtown Disney. This means we don't need to use a park ticket and if there are any travelling issues, we're not on a schedule.

Since you have an extra day to use and you'll be getting there pretty early, I would suggest doing MGM. It's a smaller park and you can ease into it. Since it's your first visit, I would save MK until the next day so you can get the full experience with the kids when they aren't tired from travelling.

ZephyrHawk
03-22-2007, 10:26 AM
We always do EPCOT on the first day, if there's time after travel. It's a park where it's easy to do just a couple things and then leave with the intention of coming back for more later. Visit a couple of the lands...or a couple of the countries...then leave. Essentially, one can "graze" EPCOT. As such, it's perfect for an indeterminate amount of time. Plus, with kids that young and a flight that early, you might want to schedule in an afternoon nap. Adaptability should be your word for the first day...actually, for all days of your trip, come to think of it.

Luv4Disney
03-22-2007, 10:30 AM
We always take a super early flight (we're in NJ) like 6:30am. Get there, check in, and head straight to MK! We have to come under the tunnel and see that castle! Then we know we're in Disney. :wizard: Then we spend the whole day there and sleep late the next day! :lmao:

mabenoab
03-22-2007, 10:36 AM
I've always thought that would be a wonderful way to ease into the Disney trip on a first day, but the idea of wearing my swimsuit under my clothes the whole time until I arrive at the hotel is kind of icky and uncomfortable to me.

If you can't check into your room yet, is there a place (besides the cramped ladies' room..well, its cramped for me!) to change into a swim suit?

Happy Disney thoughts,
:hippie:

zdad
03-22-2007, 12:22 PM
You're set up perfect for a relaxing start to your trip. The WL is the most peaceful place in WDW. Our fav place, and we'll be there in 30 days !!!! My recco is this.....

You'll likely arrive at the hotel ~11:00
Check in. Your room may or may not be ready. If it's not, they will give you a number to call, and and estimated time the room will be ready.
Your bags will be with the bell station, so you don't have to worry about those.
Take the boat from WL to MK. It is a relaxing ride, and a fun trip. Sit in the back open area on the right if you can. Beautiful sight as you approach MK.
You have the extra days on your ticket, so no worries there.
Stroll the park, ride a few rides, maybe watch the afternoon parade.
When the time comes, and your room is ready, head back over to WL.
Unpack, relax, take a swim...enjoy the lodge. Again, you will notice immediately how peaceful the place is.
You could book a dinner at Whispering Canyon, which is always fun.
As the evening comes, you have two choices... 1) Head back to MK and check it out in the evening and be there for Wishes. or 2) Hang around the WL, watch Wishes from the boat dock, and watch the Electric Parade go by on the Lake.
Settle in at a reasonable hour and be fresh and ready to go the next day.


You'll love your stay.

Z

Susan555
03-22-2007, 12:36 PM
We'll be getting to Orlando between 3 and 4 PM on a Thursday. We have three options, depending on how the 11 hour drive goes and how everyone is feeling.

Option 1 - Check into Pop Century, take bus to MK - have dinner at Cosmic Rays and just walk around, enjoying the atmosphere. This is our first family trip to Disney! If we can hit a few short-line rides, then that will be a bonus.

Option 2 - Check in then drive to Downtown Disney - shop, have dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express, and maybe check out Disney Quest if it doesn't look too crowded (we have the 6 passes to go to Disney Quest and the water parks, so even if we go for just an hour that would be fine).

Option 3 - Stay at the resort, check out the gift shop, dinner at the food court, and swim.

My hope is to go with option 1, but ONLY if the kids are feeling refreshed and energetic enough for it to be a good experience. They usually have lots of energy after a road trip, and I'm hoping they'll be anxious to hit MK as soon as we arrive. We plan to do a big "commando" MK day the following day, so the evening visit will give us all time to "stop and smell the roses" before our day of rushing about!

summerlandjeff
03-22-2007, 12:41 PM
July 24th is a Tuesday and it's VERY hot in FLA in July, if you're arriving @ 9:30, how about a water park BB or TL. Drop the luggage, cool off and recharge yourself, back to the resort for an early dinner and you're all set!:woohoo:

MagicKingdom05
03-22-2007, 01:06 PM
We are getting in at 10:42 on Sept 5 and should be at Poly by 12:00 or so and to MK by 1 or 2. We plan to spend our first day at MK since it's the the nearest park to us and is open til 10 that night.

Renee1061
03-22-2007, 01:14 PM
It's MK the first day for us, too!! We probably won't even be able to make it to MK until 4:00 or later (on April 21st) and it is a Grad Nite. But we're going to try to go and at least ride Splash Mountain once, then leave & go to MGM for the rest of the evening to see Fantasmic!!

tinkgurl
03-22-2007, 01:16 PM
Our family of four (dw, ds - 5, dd - 3) will be arriving on July 24th in the Orlando airport at 9:30 am. We are trying to discuss what to do the first day. We are staying five nights and purchased a six day hopper pass. We are staying at the Wilderness lodge and we are all first time visitors. Now we will be getting up around 4 am to make our flight. But again, what would be the best park to view in the afternoon before returning to our resort and getting to bed early from a lvery early travel day?

You will love WL! No matter how tired we are, we have to head to the MK as soon as we get checked in at the resort. MK is just a boat ride away at WL and the boat ride back to WL at night will be wonderful as you head to bed!