Gran Destino
  • On Jan 9, 2020
    Hailie from FL Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    My friends and I are planning on going to the park after checking in at the resort. It says I can start check in early but does that mean I have to come back at 3pm or can I come back when the park closes?

    Hi Hailie!

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! I can tell that you're getting so excited about your upcoming Walt Disney World Resort vacation that is just around the corner. Don't forget to keep up with the Disney Parks Blog for all of the latest and greatest happenings around the 'World. (Well, the Walt Disney World!)

    A long, long, long time ago (basically the start of history until the year 2014) guests of any hotel, anywhere in the world, would indeed need to physically visit their hotel room as close to check-in time as possible as rooms were assigned in a first-come, first-served basis. (My dad actually still thinks this is a fact. I can't tell you how many times we've sat in a parking lot between 1:30 P.M and 2:59 P.M. waiting for the clock strike 3.) But this is no longer the case at Walt Disney World Resort thanks to multiple systems that allow you to maximize your Disney Days!

    Should you and your group arrive at your Disney Resort Hotel prior to 3 P.M., you are more than welcome to go through the check-in steps in person at whatever time you get there. This involves putting down separate credit cards for charging items to your individual MagicBands, learning of all the fun Resort Hotel events that are happening during your stay, etc. If your room isn't quite ready yet, you'll agree to receive a text message your room number when one has been assigned to you, and you'll be set. You can even store any additional bags that you didn't check with Disney's Magical Express with Bell Services. There is no follow-up trip necessary and you'll be able to go back home to your resort hotel whenever you'd like, using your MagicBand as your room key. You won't even need to stop back by the front desk, unless to pick up anything you checked earlier.

    What you're seeing now about 'start early check-in' is actually Disney's Online Resort Check-In, and it's fantastic. You'll go through all of the same steps as in-person check-in, only you can start the process now instead of waiting in a line on your arrival day. I especially love the question about your estimated time of arrival to your Disney Resort Hotel because this helps assign room numbers to guests based on their arrival time. I usually guess 90 minutes after my flight is scheduled to land. Once I actually got the text message that my room was ready as my plane was touching down and our cell service was back up! If you arrive and your room still hasn't been assigned, same as above. Go enjoy your Disney Day and then you can head straight to your assigned room once you're home for the night.

    I hope this helped better plan your upcoming visit, Hailie, and We'll See You Real Soon!

    ~Kristen
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Meet the Panelist: Kristen, Texas

Hi, I'm Kristen! I am a preschool mom and military wife who loves keeping up with the latest Disney Parks news. Trips to Walt Disney World have always been fun, but now that I'm the parent AND the planner every moment is that much more treasured.  I am so honored and excited to be able to share tips I've picked up, pass on fun factoids I've learned, and help create magical moments for your vacation of a lifetime!  Learn More About Kristen

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