couple checking in Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • On Jan 13, 2022
    Stephanie from IL Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I did a room only reservation so won’t allow me to make payments before hand.. wondering when I check in it I can use a gift card to pay for the room and if I did would there still be a hold on my card ? Have heard before that there is a hold for full

    Hi Stephanie!

    Thank you so much for sending this great Walt Disney World Resorts Collection hotel question hEAR to us at planDisney! I'm happy to be your planEAR today! But first, I see that you're set to arrive this Sunday! I know you must be getting so excited. Don't forget to bring any MagicBands with you in your carry-on luggage so they're easy to find at check-in. And if you haven't done so, now is a great time to make sure your My Disney Experience Mobile App is freshly updated.

    I am happy to report from first-hand experience that yes, at check-in you can absolutely use a gift-card to pay for the final balance remaining on your room-only resort hotel reservation. I primarily travel to Walt Disney World using tickets purchased from my military base, which are unable to be turned into a package, so I also book room-only reservations. I actually used a stack of gift cards to pay off my room balance this last October when I was in town for The Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration. Not only was I able to pay with many Disney Gift Cards of various amounts, I also used a few branded 'credit card' gift cards, too! (The only caveat with credit card gift cards is that you have to know how much is on the card, ex: $50, $100, so they can run it for that exact amount, where as the system will auto-magically deduct however much is on a Disney Gift Card.) I will say it took about 20 minutes to complete this transaction, which if you arrive with a rush of plans or with a larger group, might not be ideal. You can certainly try to call the Disney Resort Hotel Reservation phone line and apply your gift cards towards your balance now if you'd like. Their phone number is (407) 939-1936. But if you only have a few gift cards then you shouldn't take as long as I did, ha!

    You will still need to place a credit card on file at check-in that links to your MagicBand and any incidentals charged to your room. However, this authorization hold amount is currently *$100, not the full amount of your reservation which you just paid off. (The *$100 hold policy is new-ish; it used to be a much, much higher amount and really did put a damper on a lot of accounts, which is why I think this new policy is in place but where the outdated high-hold information originated.) The initial hold amount is on a rolling basis, so once you hit that first *$100 from charges on your MagicBand, a second hold for *$100 will be authorized, followed by a third, etc, if you keep charging to your MagicBand. You can certainly use other methods of payments while enjoying your Disney days. Bonus Tip: Did you know that you can now add Disney Gift Cards as a method of payment in your My Disney Experience App?

    I hope this helped to clEAR up your questions, Stephanie. Thank you again for reaching out to us, and We'll See You Real Soon!

    ~Kristen

    *Prices reflected are current for the time of answer, and are subject to change without warning.
thumbnail image for Kristen

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 Disneyland and 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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