Walt Disney World Resorts Testing New Check-In Process

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Select Walt Disney World Resort hotels are currently testing a brand new check-in process where guests are able to bypass the check-in desk and head immediately to their hotel room. Hotels participating in this test include Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas.

Guests who are eligible to take part in this test must have already created their My Disney Experience account, making sure their profiles are complete. They also must make sure they have completed the online check-in process, and their balances must be paid in full.

When completing online check-in, guests will need to include an estimated resort arrival and departure time, a mobile phone number or email address, and the credit card information for the card that is to be used for incidental purchases. In addition, guests will need to make sure to create a four digit PIN number (which is used when making purchases).

Guests must also have ordered and received their MagicBands in order to participate. Once the online check-in process has been completed, the guest’s MagicBands are immediately active and can be used in the parks as well as around the different Disney resorts.

On the day of the guest’s arrival, they will receive a text message or email letting them know their room assignment. The guest can then use his MagicBand to unlock the room door. Anyone who does not wish to take advantage of this new test doesn’t need to. Those opting out can proceed to the front desk, as per usual.

Guests will be chosen randomly to participate in this test, which is slated to last until June 28. While this particular test does have an end date, if it goes well, I fully expect to see Disney roll this process out to the other resorts.

Rikki Niblett

I am a co-host of the Be Our Guest Podcast and do lots of other fun Disney stuff all around the interwebs! You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram at @RikkiNibs or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rikkinibs

10 thoughts on “Walt Disney World Resorts Testing New Check-In Process

  • June 18, 2014 at 7:55 pm
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    My concern would be that the automatic system would slavishly enforce the official check in time—what is it now, 4pm? That’s a bit late for me–and if you have the Magic Bands for length of stay that really cuts in to the park time for the first day. Or have the front desk hold your luggage–then you’re back to waiting at the front desk again.

    Often at the front desk they have a room ready much earlier the official check in time.

    Reply
    • June 18, 2014 at 8:24 pm
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      We actually tested something similar in April. Did online check-in for Conmtemporary, asking or a 12:30 check-in. We did go to the front desk, our room was not ready. We were asked if we wanted a text when it was, with our room number. So, we went to lunch, received a text within 30 minutes. We just had to confirm then received room number. It worked great!

      Reply
  • June 18, 2014 at 9:03 pm
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    We checked in to Pop Century on tues June 17 using this feature. Worked great, I put our arrival time at 11am. Received text at 9am that our room was ready. We went right to our room with our luggage, magic band opened the door, it was fabulous!

    Reply
  • June 19, 2014 at 4:19 am
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    To each his or her own.
    While I never look forward to a long line at check-in, there’s something about the anticipation in a colorful lobby and that friendly Cast Member’s greeting and attention to detail that reminds me why I’ve chosen WDW in the first place.

    Reply
  • June 19, 2014 at 9:02 am
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    It’s PIN, not PIN number (the N stands for number).

    Sounds like a good plan. Who needs a room right away anyways, as long as your luggage is taken care of there’s more than enough to do near any hotel.

    Reply
  • June 19, 2014 at 10:46 am
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    I had something similar to this happen to me when I stayed in the Beach Club back in March. I had to check in regularly but the room wasn’t ready so they texted me my room number and told me my magic band would be able to open the door. The only problem with the process was that I had no idea where my room was. The maps they provide do not display room numbers so I had to go back up to the front desk to find out which direction my room was if I didn’t want to wonder all around the hotel looking for it myself. I’m sure I could have found the information online on my phone, but I prefer to stay off my phone as much as possible while at Disney. I think that’s definitely a problem they will have to address.

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    • June 19, 2014 at 3:10 pm
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      I had the same thought, Gracie. We are staying at AKL and wouldn’t have the first clue as to where our room was if someone didn’t point us down the right hall.

      Reply
  • June 20, 2014 at 10:27 am
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    Agree with others. There’s just something magical about walking into the Resort and having a CM check you in. However, I can certainly see the appeal and instances where having the information texted to you and simply skipping the whole check-in process. Like many things in WDW, this just comes down to a matter of preference and the situation.

    Reply
  • June 21, 2014 at 10:05 am
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    So I pay a premium for supposedly better than average customer service, yet I’m encouraged not to interact with said service? Reminds me of how they removed do not disturb signs from rooms to make it more difficult for us to push back housekeeping and actually sleep in on a vacation. Glad I quit staying at Disney resort hotels, this is ridiculous.

    Reply

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