1) Go right to a park!
Whenever I arrive for my Walt Disney World vacation, I try to get an early flight, so I can check into the hotel and get right to a park in the morning. I usually go right to EPCOT after I check in, because it’s my favorite, but I definitely enjoy arriving in Orlando early and being able to go to a park immediately. After spending a couple of hours in EPCOT, I like to have a table service meal in either EPCOT or the Magic Kingdom, and then spend the night in the Magic Kingdom, which leads me to my next point…
2) See Happily Ever After
I always see the Magic Kingdom nightly fireworks show the first and last nights of my vacation. This fireworks show is truly incredible and it really does make for the perfect opening and the perfect ending for all of my trips now. The Magic Kingdom is also the most magical park in my opinion, and even if I don’t spend the entire first day there, I like to make sure I’m at least there to see Happily Ever After on the first night of the trip.
3) Have a favorite snack
Whatever your favorite Disney snack is, chances are you have not found a way to replicate it at home, and you’re really looking forward to having it on your next trip. Whether you have a craving for turkey legs, Dole whips, or cream cheese pretzels, just to name a few, if you’re like me you’ll be rushing to have one as soon as you arrive in the parks. I can’t even make it all the way up Main Street on my first day in the Magic Kingdom without stopping at Casey’s Corner for some corn dog nuggets.
4) Visit your favorite characters
If you have a character that you love to meet during your trips to Walt Disney World, you will most definitely be seeing them on your first day back. Our personal favorite is Rapunzel, and no first re-visit to the Magic Kingdom would be complete without a stop by Princess Fairytale Hall.
5) Watch the parade or show
Whichever park you go to on your first day, you’ll probably end up watching one of your favorite shows. For me, this means getting to the Magic Kingdom in time to see the Festival of Fantasy parade. With so many memories attached to the first times I saw this parade, I just have to get back there and see it at the beginning of each trip and relive those moments.
6) Ride the Monorail and/or Skyliner
Most Disney fans love the monorail and skyliner, so I’m probably not alone in my desire to ride one or both of these on my first day back at the parks. Whether I’m going right to the parks or just resort hopping, I just need to get on the monorail or skyliner on my first day back. These are Disney experiences that I can’t seem to go without, and it’s become a tradition at the start of each trip.
As a fellow Disney fan, you may recall those specials that sometimes come up on the Travel Channel showcasing different aspects of the Walt Disney World Resort. In one of those specials, one of the guests featured says something along the lines of “I cry when I first get here, and I cry when it’s time to leave.” It’s difficult to explain this feeling to people who don’t quite understand, but there is just so much nostalgia and emotion associated with a trip to Walt Disney World that it really does bring out the sappy side of us when we first arrive.
In addition to the happy tears, some kind of celebration is usually involved with a first day in Disney. Whether it’s a specific celebration like a birthday or anniversary, or just the happiness of being in the parks again, some kind of celebratory action takes place. It might be heading right to a favorite restaurant for a birthday meal, or it might be a celebratory “I’m finally in Disney!” churro, but whatever the occasion, some kind of excitement and celebration takes place the second we get through the gates.