ResortsWalt Disney World (FL)

What To Do When Your Disney Hotel Room Isn’t Ready for Check In

Share This!

You made it through the long drive or the long flight. You see the glorious Walt Disney World archway as you enter Disney property. Soon you arrive at your resort hotel, anticipation in the air. You check the MyDisneyExperience app for your room’s status, or you head to the the front desk and find your room isn’t ready it. It can be a little frustrating having to wait for your room, so here are some ideas for what to do when your room isn’t ready for check-in.

  • Pack a day bag and go enjoy the pool
  • Walk around the resort to familiarize yourself with the layout
  • Browse the gift shop
  • Grab a snack or light meal at your resort
  • Hop aboard your resort’s transportation just for a ride
  • Head to Disney Springs
Walt Disney World Entrance

Whether you’re flying in or driving, pack a separate day bag, like a small duffel bag or a tote bag that is used for your arrival day only. In it you could pack a change of clothes, a bathing suit, any medications you may need, sunscreen, a book, or other activities to keep yourself and others entertained. This day bag can come in handy if your room isn’t ready and you decide to relax by the pool. It is good to have one bag that isn’t overly packed with other stuff so you can easily carry it around and find what you need.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Pool – November 2020

If it isn’t ideal pool weather when you arrive, then take a stroll around your resort. All Disney resort hotels have lovely settings. Take the time now to familiarize yourself with your resort. Where’s the transportation area and bus stop? Where can you get food and drinks? Is there more than one pool? You’ll feel more comfortable with your resort during your stay and save time by creating some familiarity early on.

Disney’s Riviera Resort
Disney’s Boardwalk Resort with neighboring resorts

You may not want to kick off your Disney World vacation with spending money right away, but your resort’s merchandise shop is more than just a gift shop. Most Disney resort merchandise stores have a selection of over-the-counter medicines, first aid supplies, sundries, and a limited selection of grocery items. It’s good to know ahead of time what is there in case you have any needs come up.

Traveling all day can work up an appetite, so consider grabbing a snack or light meal. Enjoying your resort’s food and beverage options is a great way to get a literal taste of your resort and settle in. If you’re so inclined, grab an adult beverage and raise a glass. You’ve made it to your vacation! If you’re not sure of the best place to dine, you can view listings and ratings for all Walt Disney World restaurants and bars on our website.

Huckleberry Punch at Geyser Point

If you’re ready to explore beyond your resort, hop aboard your resort’s transportation. If you’re at a Moderate or Deluxe Resort you may have some options like the Disney Skyliner or boat transportation. And every Disney resort has bus transportation. Hop on whatever bus shows up first and go for a ride. It’s a good way to get familiar with Disney’s transportation and the massive Walt Disney World Resort itself.

Views of Caribbean Beach from Skyliner

A very popular arrival day activity is heading to Disney Springs. Whether you want to browse the shops or have a fantastic meal, Disney Springs is the place to head when you’ve got a free day, and every Disney resort has transportation directly there.

Have you ever had to wait for your Disney hotel room to be ready? What’s your favorite way to pass the time? Let us know in the comments. 

First published December 27, 2020. Updated September 29, 2021.

You May Also Like...


Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

4 thoughts on “What To Do When Your Disney Hotel Room Isn’t Ready for Check In

  • Our first couple trips, we checked out some of the other resorts.

  • On this past trip, my family are lunch at our resort (Art of Animation) when we first got to WDW. We were so glad to be there that eating pizza in the food court seemed exciting. I am guessing if we did that later in our trip (even that night with lots of people checking in and going to eat dinner), it wouldn’t have been such a good experience.

  • If you arrive on a red eye like we did, you can do many of those :). We arrived MCO at 6am, dropped our luggage (except park bags) at Bell Services, grabbed QS breakfast before getting the first bus to rope drop MK. Around lunchtime, we went back and grabbed our pool bag to relax at pool until our room was ready, a quick nap and showers then we hopped to EPCOT for dinner and wandered around world showcase. We slept well that night and it helped us avoid major jet lag.

  • Another option – check whatever bags you may need to with Bell Services and go to a theme park! (assuming you have park admission that is)

Comments are closed.