Friday, April 12, 2013

Walt Disney World Arrival Day Traditions

   Yay! One month exactly until we leave for our long May trip to Disney World.  Doesn't it seem like we were just down there? Are you surprised to hear that its been FIVE MONTHS??!! A lot can happen in the course of five months. Tangled Toilets, new French bakery, flower and garden festival, and...well, other stuff.  Despite the new things, there are a few moments in my trip that make me squeal with delight...and nothing is more special than the day of arrival!

   Here are a few moments from our standard arrival day that never get old, in chronological order in regards to our touring:

No surprise here, right?  After a long flight, the insanity of MCO,  finding our rental car, 
and navigating our way to Animal Kingdom Lodge, this is one of the best moments of every trip.
I know that as soon as I walk through those doors I'm on my way to an awesome vacation. :)

After checking in at AKL, and getting settled in for a moment, we're off to Epcot! People
often ask us what our first attraction of each trip is. Well, do you count Club Cool? For some reason
this always tends to be our first stop...maybe Adam needs to rehydrate after a long morning of travel.

This is a more recent addition to our arrival day touring...lunch at Biergarten!  Nothing 
sets up a wonderful Disney World vacation like awesome buffet style food!  We usually set up our
lunch reservation to line up with the bands first showtime.  As far as I'm concerned: sauerkraut = vacation food.

At this point we're pretty tuckered out...even though its only around 3:00.  We always schedule
a loooooong break in the middle of arrival day. This way Adam can take a nap (he gets cranky without his nap) while I spend a few hours at the pool, and wandering around the resort.  Usually we spend a good four hours or so getting rested up for evening extra magic hours at The Magic Kingdom. 

After we arrive at the Magic Kingdom, we make a dash toward Pecos Bill's in Frontierland.
Veggie burgers with toppings galore (including fake cheese sauce...) has been a tradition for
us, almost as long as we've been visiting the parks, and is still Adam's favorite thing 
in the world. :)

Finally, one random thing that we insist on doing our first day at Disney World...the 
Mad Tea Party.  Because nothing goes better with veggie burgers, fries, and cheese sauce 
than a nauseating spinning attraction. Right?  Again, I'm not sure when this tradition 
started...but I love it.  

   There you have it! A glimpse into some of the most basic, simple things that make us happy.  Something about the reassuring traditions, no matter how small they are, can be super comforting. Though they happen throughout the trip, arrival day is the most important in setting up your awesome kick ass vacation. 
   What are YOUR arrival day traditions? Are any of them the same as ours??!!  Let us know over on Facebook!


  1. I love this post SO much. It's so great to hear what people do when they first arrive at the parks. We never have a consistent time or place when we are there so I'm not sure we would be able to follow something like this but lunch at Biergarten is an amazing idea. James has been really wanting to go there. Eee! So excited for your upcoming trip :)

  2. This last trip we got in real late and got bread service at Sanaa to close the place. Doing that again in October. New Tradition!!!!

  3. I can't believe this... but we really don't have a tradition besides rushing to the Magic Kingdom as soon as possible. I was a Cast Member for so long, and we've only gone on Guest-only trips two or three times!! Crazy... we need to find ourselves some rituals.

  4. Over at DL, my family and I drive all night to reach the resort in time for early entry, so our first morning is completely dictated by which park has Extra Magic Hour. If it's DCA, our new tradition is RS Racers twice and then Flo's for breakfast.

    If it's DL, we go back to our favorite traditional schedule: Fantasyland, Indiana Jones, Pirates, Haunted Mansion and breakfast at River Belle Terrace. :) After that, we relax and enter "wing it" mode!


    Check it out for me and let me know what you think from one Disney lover to another :)

  6. After we get to the hotel we usually start out at Beaches & Cream then head into EPCOT. I usually nap in the afternoon too but especially on the first day after an early morning flight! We usually start out the next morning at MK unless there are EMH the day we land. OMG I can't wait till my next trip!

  7. Our arrival day ritual is never the same twice and usually depends on where we are staying and what time we arrive. As a kid we always spent that first day getting set up for the trip. We always stayed at the Villas (first the Disney Village Resort and then at the DVC Villas) and so we needed to unload the car and get groceries. We would then relax at the hotels and either eat at a resort hotel or my mom would make dinner and we'd eat together. Since we went 2 to 4 times a year as kids the parks got kind of old and we didn't have this need to go to the park every day we were there. We spent plenty of days driving around in golf carts (when you could rent them at the Disney Village resort) or at the pools and just spending quality time together. To this day Disney is still about family time and enjoying the magic atmosphere, hence why I love your blog, because it's all about the aesthetic choices that make disney so special no matter where you are!

    Now that I am an adult and the hubby and I have started traveling there together we are starting to figure out what works for us. Our next trip in October is at Animal Kingdom Villas (Kidani) and we have already planned our first day. Arrive at 6:50am (we come from Seattle and take the redeye), get our car, check in, head straight to Mara for breakfast and coffee, then straight to Animal Kingdom to stroll and ride the rides. When the room's ready head back to the resort for a nap and pool time then to Downtown Disney for dinner at Portobello's. Hopefully this will become our ritual!