One of the questions many people have before embarking on their Walt Disney World vacation is what to expect from the check in and check out process at their Disney resort. The process of checking into a hotel can sometimes be stressful and time consuming, but we will give you five things to know about these processes. Throughout our discussion we will try and give you some tips for making the process a little more smooth and painless.
- Online Check In – The first step in a successful, stress free and speedy check in process for anyone staying in a Disney resort is to take advantage of the Online Check In system. You are able to check in for your resort stay as early as 60 days prior to your trip by going to the “My Reservations” page of your My Disney Experience account. This online check in process will ask you for many of the things you would normally be asked upon arrival at the resort such as if you have any room requests or what credit card you would like place on your room for incidentals. Just make sure and have that credit card handy. You will also be asked what time you are going to arrive at the resort. Disney just likes to know this so they can clean rooms in the appropriate order and try and have them ready for incoming guests. You will also be asked for your cell phone number which is important, but we’ll talk more about that in #4 below. If you have not previously selected a pin number to be associated with your Disney account you can do that during the check in process as well. This pin will be used when making any purchases on your Magic Band once at Disney World.
- Order Your Magic Bands – You will also want to make sure you visit the “MagicBands and Cards” page on your My Disney Experience account. On this page you will customize the MagicBands for each member of your traveling party. These bands will then be set up to mail to you 30 days in advances of your trip. Make sure you do this prior to the 30 day mark as they cannot be modified after that date. If you do book your trip after that mark bands can be picked up at your resort at check in time.
- What to Do When You Arrive – When you arrive at your Disney resort bellhops will be available to take care of your luggage if need be. They will usually keep it handy to see if your room is ready or not and then they will gladly store it for you if the room is not ready. Now, if you completed online check in and received your MagicBands ahead of time you may get a text message before you even check in if your room is ready that gives you a room number. If this is the case you do not even need to stop at the check in desk, you can go straight to the room and your MagicBand should work to open the door. If you have not gotten a text message yet with room information when you arrive head inside to the check in area. If you have done the online check in process there will be a specific line for those guests. This process will be much quicker as you have already done a lot of the tasks needed prior to arriving. There will be a few questions, but it is usually pretty quick. If you did not check in online there will be a line labeled “Check-In” or “Registration”. This line tends to move slower as there is more information to take care of once you get with a front desk cast member. Hopefully your room will be ready, but remember check in time is 3 PM (4 PM if staying on DVC points), so a room will never be guaranteed before that.
- Checking in before 3 PM – One of the hottest questions when it comes to checking in is what do I do if my travel schedule gets me to the resort before check in time at 3 PM? Well, Disney resorts make this a very easy situation. The first thing you need to do is during the online check in process is to know there is a box that says “I want my room ready when I arrive and this is more important than any of my other requests”. If you want your room ready early you can check this box, but keep in mind if you also wanted a 2nd floor room and there are no 2nd floor rooms available when you arrive you may be assigned a 1st floor room. You may get into your room early, but you may also lose your requests, so use this option wisely. Also, make sure you use a cell phone number during online check in that you will have with you on the trip. If your room is not ready when you check in Disney will just send you a text with the room number later that day when you room does become available. You don’t have to worry going back through the check in line to get your room number. You can check your bags with bell services and enjoy your first day and they will text you when your room is ready.
- Check Out Process – The checkout process is very easy for the most part. Check out time is 11:00 AM for Disney resort hotel rooms and DVC villa rooms. If you are all paid up, which you should be except for any room charges, you do not have to visit the front desk. Even if you have room charges you can let those be applied to your on-file credit card and you are good to go. If you do have room charges and you want to pay them off with a different card or a Disney gift card you can do that, but make sure you do it the night before. The room will be charged for any incidentals or anything charged to your room in the middle of the night when the computer system changes to the next day. If you wait until the day you check out your card will already have been charged. If you do need to check out, but are not leaving until later in the day you are more than welcome to leave your bags with bell services until you return from the parks or whatever you want to do until time to depart. If you are flying out of Orlando International Airport on certain airlines you can use Disney’s resort airline check in service to check in for your flight and check your bags at your hotel before even leaving. This will save on you having to transport your bags to the airport yourselves and the service is free of charge.
If you have any questions please comment below and we will do our best to help you.