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  • On Mar 22, 2023
    Betsy from AL Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi! I just registered online and got a PaT and boarding group 9. Now my group wants to use DCL from the Orlando airport and wants us to add it to the reservation. Will using DCL put me in an earlier boarding group or just allow me to arrive before my PaT

    Ahoy there Betsy and welcome to planDisney!

    It sounds like it might be your first time taking advantage of Disney Ground Transportation from Orlando International Airport (MCO); I personally find it to be very useful depending on the makeup of the folks that you're travelling with and the amount of luggage that you may be taking with you on your ocean voyage.

    It is wonderful that you managed to snag a nice lower boarding group number which results in an earlier Port Arrival Time and could potentially mean a lot of additional time spent on enjoying the ship before the rest of your fellow seafarers come on board. You'll be happy to hear that in my experience, by taking the Disney Cruise Line ground transportation it essentially no longer mattered what Port Arrival Time I had; we departed from the airport and arrived so early to Port Canaveral that we were announced onto the ship even before characters were making appearances and there still seemed to be many Cast Members cleaning up from the previous cruise!

    I spoke with fellow cruisers and a friendly Disney Cruise Line Crew Member who let me know that whenever possible, folks arriving with scheduled ground transportation may be allowed to arrive earlier than their Port Arrival Time and perhaps board earlier than expected - I hope that will be the case for you and your group! Note that there is however no guarantee nor any way of knowing as to whether this will happen on the day that you embark and that there also have been instances where guests have still had to wait in the terminal even despite taking advantage of this service. (This may be due to reasons outside of the ship's control including an inspection occurring on board for the United State Coast Guard, United States Public Health Vessel Sanitization Program or may be related to United States Customs and Border Protection needing to clear the vessel before guests may begin boarding.) 

    What I would recommend is to be prepared for any scenario, and take the time you have to download and update your Disney Cruise Line Navigator App to view all of the events and activities for the days ahead. Some of my best Princely Picks, Tips and Tricks in the event that you get an early boarding on Embarkation Day include staying ahead of the crowd and having your swimwear ready to go among the items that you're carrying on with you. (I've seen some of the seasoned sailors and longtime Castaway Club pros wear them underneath their clothes for an easy dip into the nearest pool!) Even an extra hour's worth of a head start could mean snagging some key spots for the Three R's of coveted on-board reservations: Rainforest at the Senses Spa, specialty Restaurants and the Royal Gathering

    Thanks again for sailing on by planDisney, be sure to come back to ask me any other questions you may have ahead of your next adventure - and be sure to check in with our Disney Cruise Line Specialists Tracie and Adrianna for the wealth of watery knowledge they have about sailing the seas!

    Wishing you a wonderful welcome aboard next month!
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Meet the Panelist: Prince, Ontario

Hello, Bonjour, Aloha and Ahoy there! As a performer and world explorer who's been to all of the Disney theme parks around the globe, I'm always happy to provide my best adventuring advice and knowledge to navigate your way to all of the greatest snacks, attractions and entertainment on land and at sea. Find me featured on the planDisney Podcast and on the Disney Parks Blog, discussing Disney Eats at festivals and beyond, holiday events at Walt Disney World Resort and planning my Disney Fairy Tale Wedding! Learn More About Prince

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