Arrival day tips??

You could try getting into Chef Mickey by walking up to the restaurant but I doubt you could get a table since it one of the few that really booked ahead of time thru the ADRS. TO see wishes without using a day pass you could watch it from the Poly. I suggest you make ADR for Chef Mickey to insure you have it. Then take the monorail over to the Poly. It will take about 2 hrs for the meal and to get The Poly. Just remember that when you make your ADR For Chef Mickey you will need to use your credit card to reserve the table and if you don't cancel 24 hrs before your credit card will be charge a certain amount for not calling.
 

MotherofaPrincessLover

Well-Known Member
Could I use a fastpass to get into Chef mickeys if we decide last minute to go? Or fastpass to get a spot at Wishes? Sorry, I'm totally new at all of this
Fastpasses don't exist at Chef Mickey's. If you want to eat there, you will need an ADR and you will probably need it well in advance. Wishes does have Fastpasses, but you will also need to get that in advance because they will probably be gone if you try and get one the day of.
 

Disnee4Me

Well-Known Member
Our first day is always a relaxing day. If we flew from a NY airport, we'd arrive around 2, check-in then catch the bus to DTD and take it from there (eat an early dinner usually at a sit down restaurant). We'd be back in our room by 9 p.m. so that we could get up early the next day. The last three times we drove, and we could never tell what time we would get there because you can't predict traffic (and big snow storms in Virginia), but still whatever time we arrived, it was down time to relax and get rested for the next day.
 

TXDisney

Well-Known Member
We love to do epcot arrival day. Given we always do the 1st flight out in the am from texas so we're at the park by 11. But we normally fp one of TT or soarin, mission space and nemo then do WS the rest if the day.
 

ArPirate

Member
We may be extreme but here you go. We will leave central Arkansas as soon as school gets out. We drive straight through usually get there about 7 the next morning. Two boys, 9 and 5 this year, sleep the way down. Needless to say they are wide awake bout the time we get there, so we check in and hit the Magic Kingdom. Made it all the way til the 2 am emh last year. This year we have a 3 am close so wish us luck. Makes for two tired parents but we somehow make it to rope drop the next morning at Epcot.
 

DisneyDaver

Well-Known Member
For the kids' first time at WDW, I would definitely plan to go to MK for a couple hours the first day. Throw them right into the Magic! I would make an ADR (well in advance) for an early dinner at a restaurant in one of the Monorail resorts (Grand Floridian, Contemporary or Polynesian). After dinner, I would take the Monorail to MK, go on a couple rides and watch the fireworks.
 

habuma

Well-Known Member
Could I use a fastpass to get into Chef mickeys if we decide last minute to go? Or fastpass to get a spot at Wishes? Sorry, I'm totally new at all of this

FastPasses are for attractions, not dining. So, no...you can't use a FP to get into Chef Mickey's. You'll either need to book an ADR (advance dining reservation) early or if you are deciding last minute, you'll need a lot of luck that they'll have a spot open. You might get lucky and get in, but Chef Mickey's is kinda popular and not in the parks, so it'd be a shame to waste time going over to the Contemporary only to find out that there's no opening for you and then having to head elsewhere. (That is, unless you're staying at the Contemporary, in which case it may not be quite as inconvenient.)

You can get a FP for Wishes, but IMO it's not a good use of FP. The viewing location used to be off-center of the hub near the rose garden and although it's not horrible, it wasn't ideal. I believe the viewing location has now moved due to hub construction, but I'm unsure where it is now. In my experience, FP for any of the nighttime shows/parades is not a good use of FP because (1) it ties up a FP selection until later in the day, preventing you from going to a kiosk to get new FPs throughout the day and (2) even with the FP it's advised that you show up early to get a decent spot within the FP viewing location; If you are going to show up early anyway, just show up early and get a good spot without FP.

Prior to hub construction, I found that the location at the north side of the inner-hub just north of the Partners statue and just south of the FP+ viewing area is great for parades and that if you move south to near the Partners statue, you'll have a good view of the fireworks. Resist the urge to get close to the castle for fireworks, though. If you are too close, you won't be able to see them well because the castle will block your view.
 

jloucks

Well-Known Member
We always arrive after dark. The game plan being arrive, check in, goto sleep, begin!!

Arriving 2-6pm - seems like a the least opportune time to arrive. Maybe do a park with extended hours and/or dinner?
Arriving 6-11pm - our favorite time. Don't have to rush out to the airport in the morning. Eat at airport or on arrival. Next day hit ground running.
Arriving 8-2pm - probably our second favorite option. Allows for a park experience the first day. But good-googlie-mooglie those 3-8am wake up times are the pits.
 

Graham9

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately, our arrival will be about 5-6pm. As we come from the UK, we will have a 10-hour flight and jet-lagged. Our first day is to arrive at hotel, wash and freshen up, down to nearest coffee-house and walk about until late. Hit the bed and wake up feeling fresh the next day and hit the parks as early as we can.
 

RichVIII

New Member
I would say the biggest thing to consider about the first day is does your passes/tickets cover it. We have annual passes so there is no additional expense (or pressure to do a park our first day). If you don’t mind the expense of the first day, I say by all means do it. We have AP’s and generally always go to the park our first day unless we land really late (which means sometimes I slip out to the park by myself!) Our (now) five year old is always too excited to “relax” or “chill” when we arrive. If we aren’t in a park…we aren’t in Disney in her opinion (and probably mine too). In the past two years, I agree with others, things can happen to delay you arrival so be mindful about making reservations too close on arrival or you will be stressed out making it.

My two best suggestions:

If you want to do two things at once and still have an early evening, consider Ankerhaus in Epcot. You get to see many princesses at dinner (Ariel in human legs is also rare). You will then already be in the park and it generally closes around 9pm so no crazy last push to stay too late your first night. We can get in Magic Kingdom and overdo it since we are excited to be there. You will want to make FastPasses for things like Soarin’.

Magic Kingdom in day one is also always exciting since it is as iconic as it comes. 1900Park at GF and Chef Mickey’s is obviously close (walkable and one stop on the monorail) to MK which makes that nice. Also remember since you are using ME, it can take a few hours for your bags to get there so if you are immediately going to run, remember you most likely won’t have your luggage yet (it can take up to 3 hours). I hate waiting around for that.

Finally, no matter what, I would always make a dining reservation to be safe. Winging it can cause you more time killed if they can’t accommodate you. DTD can certainly be fun for the evening if you don’t want to use up an tickets for the park. But YOLO!
 

RichVIII

New Member
I will also add, in your case if you do FP+ wishes, I don’t think you are wasting a FastPass. As good suggestion for full days, you don’t want to tie one up for the entire day. In your case you will be there later. The nice thing about the guaranteed area is not fighting and sitting an hour or longer to be pushed onto a curb. Generally about 20-30 minutes they let you in and there is a lot more space. Given your evening schedule, that might be your best use of time. When I was there in Jan, the viewing area for Electric parade was up at the train station. When I was there last week, they are very close to finishing the new FP viewing areas in the hub.
 

Laura Kelly

Member
Original Poster
I was actually considering grabbing our luggage and not relying on them (since I've read some people have waited 9+ hours) and I hate to not have my stuff, makes me anxious lol!
Secondly, I was thinking using our FP for the parade and wishes since we probably won't ride anything that first night. We'll save the rides for the next day, I just felt like seeing the fireworks would set the tone. And I definitely think we'll do an ADR for a character meal to get the kids excited! Now just have to decide which one and start thinning out my table service list!
 

RinkaDink

New Member
Hi, I wouldn't make ADRs for arrival day, as I typically run into flight delays. You don't want to pay a penalty for missing a reservation because you were stuck in an airport. I usually relax, hit the pool, and do a table service meal at a resort, not necessarily the one I'm staying in. You can also get a distance view of fireworks at Magic Kingdom without using park tix if you go to the beach near the Polynesian, and you'll see the electrical water parade.
 

ZachS

Member
We've only had a problem with luggage once and it was Southwests issue. Every other time trip our baggage was in our room within two hours.

We normally arrive late afternoon, get checked in, drop off our carry ons and go get hot dogs at Caseys.
 

JillC LI

Well-Known Member
Welcome. It can be quite overwhelming planning your first WDW trip, but luckily you've got plenty of time to research it. I recommend getting the Unofficial Guide to WDW for tons of info that will help. Our first trip was when the kids were 5 and 7. We arrived mid-afternoon, and after checking in, we just went to wander around Downtown Disney a bit and have a nice dinner there before heading in early. Everyone was tired from travelling, and we planned to hit the Parks before rope drop every day we were there, so sleep was important.

Thanks for all your input!!
I guess what my concern is, do I have to make an ADR months in advance for that arrival day if we want a table service meal, or can we decide and make it once we get there?
We'll be using ME, and time change will be a factor. Not sure how energetic the kids will be after the flight.
My initial plan was to check in and get cleaned up. Go explore DTD, dinner at chef mickeys to set the tone and then find a place to see fireworks.
Not sure if that's too much for first night.

Could I use a fastpass to get into Chef mickeys if we decide last minute to go? Or fastpass to get a spot at Wishes? Sorry, I'm totally new at all of this

Yes, you will need an ADR for a place like Chef Mickey, and all other popular locations, especially at prime dinner time. FPs are for rides not meals (don't be confused by the temporary FP system they had been using at Be Our Guest for quick-service lunch in the MK - that's gone now). While some people like to check out the MK upon arriving even if it is brief, I might suggest that it might be more fun to see it first thing in the morning at rope drop when you can spend the whole day there and not have to arrive and leave with the throngs of people watching fireworks; while the fireworks are lovely, that might not be a magical start to your trip. Plus you'd be using an entire's day ticket just to see fireworks which is not terribly cost effective. You might want to consider booking dinner at Whispering Canyon at the Wilderness Lodge which is a lot of fun for kids, and then watch the Electrical Water Pageant from the beach there before heading in for the night. (Oh, and I strongly suggest you not book more than one sit-down/character meal per day for your first trip.)
 

Laura Kelly

Member
Original Poster
Welcome. It can be quite overwhelming planning your first WDW trip, but luckily you've got plenty of time to research it. I recommend getting the Unofficial Guide to WDW for tons of info that will help. Our first trip was when the kids were 5 and 7. We arrived mid-afternoon, and after checking in, we just went to wander around Downtown Disney a bit and have a nice dinner there before heading in early. Everyone was tired from travelling, and we planned to hit the Parks before rope drop every day we were there, so sleep was important.





Yes, you will need an ADR for a place like Chef Mickey, and all other popular locations, especially at prime dinner time. FPs are for rides not meals (don't be confused by the temporary FP system they had been using at Be Our Guest for quick-service lunch in the MK - that's gone now). While some people like to check out the MK upon arriving even if it is brief, I might suggest that it might be more fun to see it first thing in the morning at rope drop when you can spend the whole day there and not have to arrive and leave with the throngs of people watching fireworks; while the fireworks are lovely, that might not be a magical start to your trip. Plus you'd be using an entire's day ticket just to see fireworks which is not terribly cost effective. You might want to consider booking dinner at Whispering Canyon at the Wilderness Lodge which is a lot of fun for kids, and then watch the Electrical Water Pageant from the beach there before heading in for the night. (Oh, and I strongly suggest you not book more than one sit-down/character meal per day for your first trip.)

Thanks for explaining! So we can see the water pageant from the beach at wilderness lodge?? I actually was just telling my husband we should just hang out at the resort the first evening; swim, dinner at whispering canyon (it looks like a lot of fun) and I was planning to get to the beach at Poly to see the firework. But if we can see the pageant from our resort, that'd be a LOT easier!

I'm still trying to cut back my character dining list, my daughter is obsessed with princesses so I'm thinking CRT will be a must, and I really have my heart set on BOG (spending two days in MK). My son, I don't think, will care about the characters as much.
 

skyphotographer

Well-Known Member
If you're getting there without at least a half day to spend in a park, I would go to Disney Springs. There's many good places to eat there and lots to do. No admission and free parking.
 

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