What to do on the first day


[B][/B]Hi Everyone! My son and I will be making our first trip to Disney in 3 weeks! He is 12…we will probably get to the resort by 1pm the lastest I’m thinking (flight arrives at 10:30am) so not sure…I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to what we should do the first day. Should we try to see a park? Is there a park we could do in half a day?

Thanks for any info :slight_smile:


The very first thing we do when we arrive in WDW is go to Magic Kingdom. Seeing the castle and all the characters puts us right in the Disney mood. Whe you get there grab a fastpass for your fav ride. In the evening have reservations made at a fun resturant like Whispering Canyon, Chef Mickys, O’hanna… then after dinner you can relax or watch the fireworks at MK or Epoct. Have a magical first tirp.


Wow, this saved me typing. Ditto


A lot depends on how many days you’re staying and what kind of parl passes you have. If you have one-park-per-day passes, I wouldn’t waste one the first day if you only have half a day. If you have ultimate park-hoppers, that’s different.

On our first day, we always go to Downtown Disney, check out the shops, have dinner (we always eat at Planet Hollywood, but there are plenty of others). You could do that and then grab a bus to TTC and then take a Monorail trip around the parks. Tha would give you a great view.

As for the first park you visit, whether first day or otherwise, I would ditto the Magic Kingdom since it’s your first trip to WDW.

Remember: Allow plenty of time! There are NO parks you can “see in a half day” if you do it correctly…

HAVE FUN!! :mickey:


Thanks! We have base tickets, but I may upgrade to Hopper when we get there…we will be there for 7 days…I’m on Disney overload right now with all the info that I’ve been reading. I just want to make the most out of this trip, my son lost his dad and I want this to be the best experience for him possible, he’s had a rough couple of years!


When my parents and I arrive at Disney for the first day, we usually take it easy that day. We unpack and get settled in. Then we go food shopping for like snacks and drinks for our room. Then at night, we tour the hotels and ride the monorail. Sometimes we might go to DTD too.


Sounds like you will have a great trip. One thing we have always found is that PLENTY of prior planning means you can get the most of your time there. Seven days sounds at first like a lot of time - and it is - but at WDW, the time evaporates quickly, especially if you don’t have a good intinerary…

(Seeing Cinderella’s Castle come into view as you first aproach the Magic Kingdom is mind-boggling, especially the first time. I don’t want YOU to miss it, but make sure you watch your son’s eyes as he see it - you’ll never forget it.)

Have a GREAT time! BTW: At which resort will you be staying?


We’re staying at the All Star Sports…he also wants to see a Braves game…I don’t know how I’m going to fit this all in…I’m trying to make an itinerary, but it’s so hard to know what to do when!


Do you have a Braves spring training schedule? If not, I’m sure you can find it online on their website. All-Star Sports is a great facility - our daughter’s club soccer team played there several times in tournaments.

You’re at the right place, BTW. Us folks here at Mouse Buzz always love helping newbies!


You’re at the right place, BTW. Us folks here at Mouse Buzz always love helping newbies![/QUOTE]

you will learn sooo much here!! even having been to Disney in the past, there is soooo much more that i have learned here! everyone is very helpful. if you have a question, dont be afraid to ask, someone will either know the answer or know where to direct you to.
The most helpful other site i found, through MB is Walt Disney World, DCL & Disneyland Vacation Guide lots of good informational & fun stuff on there.


Some of us are planning obsessives. If you were to make a list of what you really want to do… I guarantee you’d have an itinerary planned out for you in no time. :laugh:


We have a first day tradition, and that’s going to Downtown Disney. We like to start off slow and not go to a park the first day. Plus, we all love shopping at Downtown Disney, buying the perfect hat to wear in the parks that week, or maybe a lanyard to keep park passes in. And this way, we don’t shop as much in the parks once we get there.


Oh, I would LOVE that! Since he’s 12, He’s not really into all the character things, but more into the rides and such…I think he’ll love Epcot because he’s really into the different countries…other than that, I’m not sure what to do…I know we won’t be able to do it all…but I don’t want to miss any of the “MUST DO” things!


:laugh: We will be down there March 1-8. and are staying at Pop. My sonis almost 12 and he loves Disney!! We usually hit the Mk our first day even if it is just for a few hours. Chef Mickeys in the Contemporary is a great place for dinner. It is amazing how they get into everything there even if they would be embarrased to death at home!! It sounds as if you have had a rough few years, try to relax and enjoy. As long as you know a few things he would like to do in each park you should make out ok. There is so much to see and do you can’t see everything in your first visit. Have fun!!


You should be able to do the 4 major parks at least once, and maybe twice. Plus a braves game and then downtown Disney. Trust us, you will want to do all of the parks more than once. You will have a blast… Oh yeah, ride everything as all of the rides are fun -even the kiddie rides… especially if he has not ever been there.

Be sure to get a park map and a times guide as you enter into the park. It will tell you what is going on that day so that you can plan what you want to see.

Have a Fabulous trip!


Wow what a fun age. My son was about that age the first time we went. He will be 18 in October and can’t wait till December when my wife and he will be going again. He may say he is not into the characters but I bet that will change when you get there.

No matter what you decide to do the first day you will never forget it. I do have to agree with the majority and say Magic Kingdom and seeing the castle for the first time is a memory you do not forget.

There will be buses to take you to what ever park you decide and remeber to grab a map when you enter the park. Another tip is if the line for a ride splits into two lines go left, most people automatically turn right. grab a fast pass for one ride and hop in line for another. Have a great time.


We’ll be there March 4th -11th! I am making a plan, and printing it out, but I’m feeling the pressure! I’m sure we’ll have a good time, even if we don’t get to do everything this time…thanks :slight_smile:


First, I am sorry for your loss. I will say my first trip to Disney was when I was 13 right AFTER I found out my dad had cancer. So, it did take the edge off it a little and I had a blast at 13. So, here some tips.

  1. See the fireworks EVERY night somewhere - Fun no matter how young or old
  2. If you can get ParkHopper - then do it. If it is out of your budget, then leave it alone…BTW, this is just my opinion.
  3. TAKE MONEY FOR ARCADES - every resort has an arcade in it and boys love arcades. So, take some money for that. $40.00 or so.
  4. Pick your must-do’s now and get FastPasses for them as soon as you get to the park.
    Examples: MK - Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain
    AK - Everest
    Epcot - Soaring
    DHS - Tower of Terror


First of all, welcome to MouseBuzz, and congrats on taking your first trip to Disney! :happy: :laugh: How exciting! Be sure to write a trip report on MB once you get back! I’d love to read it.

I definitely recommend upgrading to a park hopper. It’s so much more flexible. If you get into the park and realize it’s pretty crowded, then you can hop over to another park. It’s also easier to work around your dining reservations and Extra Magic Hours if you have park hoppers.

As for what to do on your first day, we like to head straight to the parks. The park we go to really depends on what resort we’re staying at, but as many have already said, nothing starts the trip off better than a visit to Magic Kingdom!

If you don’t decide to upgrade to PH, then Downtown Disney is another great option. It’s a great way to get a dose of Disney magic without actually going to a park.


[QUOTE=dadofthree;934214]Pick your must-do’s now and get FastPasses for them as soon as you get to the park.
Examples: MK - Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain
AK - Everest
Epcot - Soaring
DHS - Tower of Terror[/QUOTE]

Great advice!

Make a Fast Pass list and prioritize each attraction. We have a list of FPable attractions on MB. The biggies for each park (in most popular order - according to distribution rates during peak season) are:

MK - Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain
AK - Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl
Epcot - Soarin, Test Track, Mission: Space
DHS - Toy Story Mania, Rockin’ Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror