Episode 18: Tips for Your First Day in the Disney World Parks
Hit the ground running on your first day in the Disney World parks. Learn how to use your Magic Band to get into the park, what time you should get there, how to avoid a meltdown, and how to keep the magic going for your entire Disney World vacation.
Listen to the episode for lots more detail about this topic.
This is day 10 of the Go Informed podcast series 10 Days to a Better Disney World Vacation.
Starting Your Day at the Disney World Parks
Don’t forget to bring your ticket or Magic Band to the park!
Top Tip: Be there first!
Plan to arrive at the park at least 30 minutes before the scheduled opening time.
You can listen to me talk about strategies for early mornings at Disney World on episode 19 of the Disney Hack podcast.
Bring a backpack or bag with your supplies, like hats, sunscreen, and a poncho. Check out the previous episode to find out more about the things you should buy before you go to Disney World.
Have a plan so you know where you’re going first, and make sure that everyone you’re with agrees with the plan before you get there.
How do you get your family up and moving for a day at the park? Get my tips to help you Master Your Theme Park Morning here.
Getting Into the Disney World Parks
There will be a security check before you enter the park. This may be right before the park gate, or before you get on the monorail or boat. Here is Disney’s info about the current security procedures.
Security will need to look into any bag you’re carrying. You may also have to pass through a metal detector.
Instead of turnstiles, Disney World’s park gates have posts with scanners to scan your ticket or Magic Band.
After you scan your ticket or Magic Band, you’ll also scan your fingerprint into the system. Remember which finger you use for the scanner – you’ll need to scan this same finger every time you enter a Disney World park.
If you arrive before park opening, you may still have to wait even after you get through the ticket gate. This is called rope drop and it means you’ll be one of the first people on the rides.
Don’t forget to pick up a park map when you first walk in the gate.
Tips to Make Your Day in the Disney World Parks Easier
Here’s a link to the TouringPlans.com website I mention in this episode. If you own a copy of the excellent Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World you get a discount on the TouringPlans.com subscription.
Keep an eye on the weather. Use a weather app like Weather Channel.
Plan to shop in the afternoon. Ride lines are almost always shortest in the morning so use the morning for rides.
Take breaks, have snacks, and stay hydrated! You can get free ice water from any quick service counter.
Don’t force your kids to do something they don’t want to do. Pay attention to what they love and focus your time on this.
Get lots of pictures. Use Disney’s PhotoPass photographers.
Stay flexible. Lots of things can affect how your day plays out. Consider hopping to another park if you have a park hopper ticket.
Using Your Magic Band in the Disney World Parks
Ride Photos: There will be a Magic Band scanner under the photo screens when you get off the ride. Tap your Magic Band to the reader when you see your photo come up on the screen. This will automagically add the photo to your Memory Maker account.
FastPass+: Tap your Magic Band to the scanner at the start of the Fast Pass line at the attraction queue.
Pay for Purchases: At most every cash register in Disney World, you’ll find a Magic Band scanner. Just tap your band and enter your PIN to make a purchase. You’ll set up the PIN when you check in to your Disney World hotel.
Kids can also use their Magic Band to make purchases in the Disney World parks. They will need to know the PIN to make these charges.
PhotoPass/Memory Maker: PhotoPass photographers will scan your Magic Band when they take your picture. This adds your pictures directly to your Memory Maker account.
Start Thinking Ahead
Pay attention to how this day unfolds. Don’t be afraid to alter future plans based on your experience on this first day.
Last-minute dining reservations often come up, and it’s easy to change FastPass+ and dining reservations right from the My Disney Experience app.
Have a Magical Vacation!
What did you think about this series about Disney World? Please leave me a note in the comments below.
Leave a Rating or Review on Itunes
Here’s a link to the podcast on iTunes. Thanks for listening, and for your review!
Additional Resources for Planning Your Trip to Disney World
The guidebook I recommend: Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World
The Go Informed Podcast
Join me on social media
This post contains affiliate links.