Most pumps are self priming, let the pump run for no longer than a minute. If it did not prime then open it up and fill it with water. The pump needs to be running 24/7 during the slam. Wait 30 minutes until all water is mixed and test.
Update: Yesterday I went ahead with a drain and fill. Drain went pretty smooth. I rented a 1/3 HP sump pump and disposed the water through swear clean-out. I think I did a 60-70% drain. Currently filling up the pool with 2 garden hoses and it's taking a long time.
I have a few questions:
1) Once I have filled the pool to half way up the skimmer, do I need to prime the pool pump by opening up the pump lid and running some water through once the main drain suction and then skimmer suction?
Your signature is light on details on your pool equipment and model numbers. So we don't know what pump you have. Inground pool pumps are self priming. It also depends if your suction system is tight or has air leaks.