Disney Resorts Planning 101 Travel Tips Walt Disney World

The Benefits of Doing Online Check-In Ahead of Time

August 6, 2020

Online check-in has been around for awhile now.

Of course, not having to walk into the lobby with your luggage in hand saves you time that could be used getting your vacation started. But, there’s other benefits to online check-in.

The Benefits of Doing Online Check-In Ahead of Time

Basics of Online Check-in

Online check-in can be done either on the My Disney Experience App or on the computer.

Your online check-in window opens 60 days prior to the start of your vacation.

This service allows you to start your vacation as soon as you get to your Resort. Your MagicBand is your key to your room. As as soon as your room is ready, your MagicBand will automatically link to your room, allowing you to enter your room without ever stepping foot in the lobby.

Check out the video below to see how the Online Check-in works:

Information You’ll Need

Before pressing that “Start Check-in” button, make sure you know the following information.

  • Your Reservation number
  • Credit Card
    • Your Credit Card will not be charged at this time. Hotels like to have a Credit Card placed on file for incidentals, and Disney is no different.
  • 4 Digit Pin
    • This pin is created by you. Since your credit card is attached to your MagicBand, this pin protects you from fraudulent charges.
    • If you will be using the Disney Dining Plan, this pin will be used to redeem Meal Credits, as well.
Green door at Disney's Pop Century Resort

Benefits of Online Check-In

Aside from being able to go right to your room, you’re also able to make Room Requests.

Disney does their best to grant every Room Request. But, depending on room availability, there’s always a possibility that your Request won’t be able to be granted.

Because space is limited in the Resorts, the sooner you make your Request, the better your chances are at having it granted.

Cinderella Castle MagicBand 2 Official shopDisneyCinderella Castle MagicBand 2
Take a trip to Fantasyland ”Where dreams come true.” With a simple touch, this elegant MagicBand 2, which features a white and gold design incorporating the silhouette of Cinderella Castle, can redeem FastPass+, enter parks, charge purchases to your room, and more!

Popular Room Requests are:

  • proximity to free Disney Transportation
  • proximity to certain amenities, like the Main Lobby
  • Adjoining rooms to accommodate a large family

If you’re working with a Travel Agent, be sure to mention these Requests as soon as possible. We can make notations on your Reservation prior to 60 days before check-in. But, I always advise my clients to also make these Room Requests during online check-in, as well. It doesn’t hurt to remind Disney that your Request exists.

Opening your Resort Door with your MagicBand

How will I know what my room number is or when it’s ready?

You’re able to request a text and/or an email once your room is ready when you check in.

But, honestly this part of the App has always been hit-or-miss for me. There have been times this part of the app works perfectly. Other times, I never get the text or email.

Sample of an email you'll receive to tell you your room is ready after using Online Check-in

If you don’t receive an email or a text, just check your My Disney Experience App. As soon as you see your room number appear in your plans, it means your room is ready.

The system is far from perfect. But, despite its problems, it does follow through on the promise to skip the trip to the front desk.

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