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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.