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Disney's Riviera Resort

First Things We Do When Arriving At Our Walt Disney World Resort

Drive through the colorful gates that mark the entrance to Walt Disney World, and you can feel the exciting building! The colorful signs alongside the roadways on Walt Disney World property mark the theme park and resort areas, letting guests know that the fun is getting closer and closer. With 33 great onsite resorts that fit every budget and preference, staying inside the magic is a great way to experience a Walt Disney World vacation. Once you finally arrive at your destination, it can be almost overwhelming to decide what to do first. Check out my list of tips on how to make the most of your resort arrival and begin your trip in the most magical way possible!

1. Ready to Check In

Whether you conveniently check in online in advance of arriving at Walt Disney World or choose to go to the front desk of your resort in person, this is a very exciting moment that marks the official beginning of the magic! If your room is ready, head over and put your MagicBand to work to unlock your door. If your resort room isn’t ready, it’s very easy to store your luggage with Bell Services and continue with your plans, whether that’s heading to a park, grabbing a meal, or exploring the resort.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

2. Map it Out

Are you a first-timer at the resort? Ask for a map so that you know where your room is , where the restaurants are, and where the pool is. Make the most of your time having fun and not getting lost wandering around the resort!

3. Time to Celebrate

Are you celebrating a special birthday or anniversary? Is this your first trip to Walt Disney World? Stop by your resort’s front desk and ask for a complimentary celebration button so that everyone knows about your special occasion.

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4. The Room

As you connect your MagicBand to the resort room sensor or use your smart phone to unlock the door, the anticipation builds! What will your room look like? What will the view be? Checking out where you’ll call home during the duration of your trip is exciting, and it’s fun to see what kind of view you’ll have, as well as discovering the special Disney touches that are always a part of a Walt Disney World resort room.

5. Unpack

I love to get suitcases unpacked and our clothes put away right at the very beginning of a trip, getting that chore out of the way so we can settle in and enjoy our “home away from home”.  I always bring special cozy touches for our room, like holiday decorations, special snacks, or even favorite blankets, which get unpacked and properly put away too.

6. Resort TV

Grab that remote and turn on the Walt Disney World Resort TV channel to get up-to-date park hours, the local weather forecast, and a times guide for attractions inside of the parks. The information is displayed while our favorite Disney music plays in the background, making this a perfect channel to leave on while you’re getting ready for a fun day in the parks or unwinding in the evening. Don’t forget to check out a similar TV channel that includes resort-specific information, including dining options and pool times.

Credit: Disney

7. Grocery Run

Exploring Walt Disney World requires lots of energy, and that means you’ll need some fuel for your vacation. Grab a few breakfast items, drinks, and snacks from your resort’s market or sundry shop to make sure you’re stocked up and ready to go. You might even want to grab a few lunch items too if you’re planning on coming back to the resort to refresh and relax in the afternoon. Another great option is to order ahead from one of the grocery delivery services, which can be retrieved from Bell Services when you check in.

8. Go Explore!

Drop your bags and check out all of the amazing things your resort has to offer. If you’re waiting for your resort room to be ready, or if you’re just really excited to see the recreation options and amenities available, this is a great time to do it. Check out the terrific pools or explore the other recreation options, like playgrounds, bike and boat rentals, and sports courts. Walt Disney World resorts have plenty of scenic spots and beautiful landscaping that are great for pictures too. This is a good time to check out the resort’s restaurants and dining options so that you can plan ahead for meals that you plan on having at your resort.

9. Time for a Swim

Not ready to get the parks yet? It’s a great idea to relax after your travels and ease into your Walt Disney World adventures with a refreshing swim at your resort pool. It’s easy to change into your swimsuits at the pool’s restroom facilities if your room isn’t quite ready yet. It’s a perfect way to excited  about the fun times ahead and be ready to start you’re the next day in the park full of energy!

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

About Melissa Fegely

I have been a professional writer for over 18 years with degrees in Biology and English. I am a lifelong Disney fan and a Disney Vacation Club member of over nine years. Having visited Walt Disney World several times growing up, I really caught the Disney bug after many trips with my husband. Now I am happily addicted to taking our son to Walt Disney World as often as possible and watching him experience the magic and Mickey Bars as he grows up. Traveling to Walt Disney World twice a year, I enjoy attending the Flower and Garden festival held in the spring and strolling around the World Showcase, as well as exploring all of the hidden gems that all four parks have to offer. I love helping my family and friends plan their next Disney trips based on my experiences. I also enjoy reading, swimming, traveling, and cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I grew up in Southwestern Pennsylvania, attended Shippensburg University, and current live in suburban Philadelphia with my husband, son, and two cats.