Direct-to-Room Check-In Option Coming to Walt Disney World

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All-Star Movies Check-in
Soon Guests won’t need to check-in before heading to their rooms.

A brand new perk is currently rolling out for Walt Disney World Guests to participate in–eligible Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel will have the option to go directly to their hotel room, bypassing the hotel’s front desk.

In order to take advantage of this new perk, once a Guest has customized, ordered, and had their MagicBands shipped to their home, they will receive an email, letting them know that Direct-to-Room Check-In is available to them.  Keep in mind that the MagicBands must be in the Guest’s possession at the time of arrival at the hotel. (If you’ll remember, MagicBands are used as room keys now. If you don’t have your MagicBand on you, you won’t be able to enter your room.)

In addition, in order to be eligible, Guests must have also paid their reservation in full. Finally, in order to participate, Guests must have completed the Online Check-In process, which includes providing a credit card and PIN number, which allows Guests to easily use their MagicBand for charging privileges once they arrive, as well as providing at least one method of communications, either phone number or email. If a Guest has completed all eligibility steps, they will receive a message via email and/or text prior to their arrival notifying them of their room number and that they have the option of going directly to their room.

Guests do not have to participate in Direct-to-Room Check-In.  Upon arrival at the hotel, Guests will be greeted by a Cast Member and will have the option to choose to partake in the traditional check-in process or they will have the ability to go directly to their room.

This new process is slowly being implemented to all the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels. The schedule is, as follows:

Currently Available at:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (including Jambo House, Kidani Village)
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort (including Bay Lake Tower)
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside
  • Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter

February 25, 2015

  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn (including Boardwalk Villas)
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (including Grand Floridian Villas)
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (including Wilderness Lodge Villas)
  • Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts (including Beach Club Villas)

March 10, 2015

  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground implementation is still to be determined.

Keep in mind that not every type of reservation is eligible to participate in Direct-to-Room Check-In. There are a few restrictions, most commonly when a special offer stipulates that an ID is required to be presented at check-in.

As I mentioned before, Direct-to-Room Check In is not something that all guests must participate in. It is just an option for those who prefer an expedited arrival experience. Personally, I’ll still head to the front desk. There’s just something about checking into your hotel and interacting with a front desk Cast Member that makes me finally feel like I’m on vacation.

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

21 thoughts on “Direct-to-Room Check-In Option Coming to Walt Disney World

  • February 13, 2015 at 2:32 pm
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    So will you still have to check in at the hotel to activate your dining plan? Or could you go straight to the park on your first day of a package deal and have everything working without having to even go to the hotel??

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    • February 15, 2015 at 10:53 am
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      No, the online check-in would take care of that.

      Reply
  • February 13, 2015 at 2:48 pm
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    I wonder if Disney can also send you a text with a link to your resort map to show you where your room will be. Most of the resorts are so massive that it will be difficult to determine where you need to go just based on a room number.

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  • February 13, 2015 at 3:26 pm
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    All that’s left is for Magical Express to let you choose to go straight to the park. Think how great that would be. Arrive at the airport and 60 minutes later you are at the park with full charging/ dining privileges. That evening you come back to the hotel, go straight to your room, and all your luggage is there waiting for you. How cool would that be.

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  • February 13, 2015 at 3:54 pm
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    Can we go straight to the parks instead of going to the hotel first? Will park tix be active on the magic band without having to check into hotel first?

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    • February 13, 2015 at 4:05 pm
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      I do know that the answer to this question is yes. You can go straight to the parks instead of stopping at the hotel first.

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  • February 13, 2015 at 4:59 pm
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    Is there any talk of MagicBands being shipped internationally? Currently international visitors have to go to the check in counter to obtain their MagicBands. Hopefully this enhancement becomes reality soon!

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    • February 13, 2015 at 5:33 pm
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      Crossing fingers for this! We do receive stuff from Disney Cruises but it would be great to receive our Magic Bands, luggage tags and other things before our trips.

      Reply
  • February 13, 2015 at 5:59 pm
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    Awesome! Check in process is always the worst part of our trips. I assume that you’ll be told what room you’ll get before arrival?

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  • February 13, 2015 at 6:25 pm
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    And do we know if this will be available for Disney Vacation Club members or people using Disney Vacation Club through an exchange (like RCI)? Would love to skip check in 🙂

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    • February 15, 2015 at 11:14 am
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      Yes, you will have a reservation in the Disney reservation system like everybody else so you can utilize the system the same.

      Reply
  • February 13, 2015 at 7:34 pm
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    I don’t think you have to provide a credit card for purchases. I did the online process last night and I did not.

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  • February 13, 2015 at 8:09 pm
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    I wonder if this allows for early check in? In most cases If I arrive at 1 or so…and check in time is 3 (or is it 4 now?) I can usually get a room. Also, I can also ask the front desk for certain room preferences like being close to the bus stops, water taxi..a view that doesn’t overlook the dumpster–I’m looking at you Wilderness lodge.

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  • February 13, 2015 at 8:40 pm
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    This would probably ruin any chance of getting an upgrade, right? On our last visit we were upgraded from a Mermaid room at Art of Animation to a Car’s Suite and that was awesome. I would hate to kill any chance of lucking out like that again.

    Reply
  • February 14, 2015 at 11:00 am
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    Wonder if they’ll ever start shipping Magic Bands to Canada – as it is, Canadian guests can’t take advantage of this perk.

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    • February 16, 2015 at 10:05 am
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      If you have a magic band from a previous trip, you should be okay, I would think, if you just activate it on the website. Something I will have to try out, being from Canada.

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  • February 14, 2015 at 2:13 pm
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    This explains the email we got a few days ago! We’re checking into AKV-Jambo House soon, so we’ll be trying this out. Since we do Magical Express we’ll be going to the hotel first, and if our room is ready (fingers crossed!) we’ll just drop off our carry-on stuff & go directly to a park. I’m excited to try it!

    Reply
  • February 15, 2015 at 11:09 am
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    I’ve not received the text with my room number on a couple trips and that was after getting the text message confirming I would like to receive texts so I know they had my correct number. I just had to wait until 4pm to call or show up at check-in desk.

    Since they don’t have to have your room ready until 4, you may not know anything until 4pm. Lots of people will be wasting time until 4pm to find out their room is ready or if they will even get a text message. It does get frustrating sometimes when you’re tired and just want to get in your room.

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  • February 15, 2015 at 6:43 pm
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    Thanks for a great post, Rikki.
    It’s funny to me how certain things are “part of the magic,” but I can’t tell if I am rationalizing or being subjective. We usually stay at Pop Century. The lobby and the interactions with the Cast Members at the desk during check-in are such a part of a great start to our vacations that I would hate to give that up. It’s a lot like the boat or monorail to the MK: anticipation and interaction are part of the process for us. Of course, I’m also the guy who won’t use the automated checkouts at the grocery, because they put people out of work. Go figure.

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  • February 16, 2015 at 11:55 am
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    This is exciting to me. On our arrival day we like to be able to just drop our bags at Bell Services and grab lunch. While the lobbies are fun for the kids to explore -everyone is antsy. We want to go and enjoy the parks. That half hour that we spend at the desk or waiting to check in is always a drag. I have heard of folks not getting text messages but we have received those in the past without a problem. I hope Room Only reservations are eligible! We never book a package – the UoG taught us that.

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  • February 17, 2015 at 10:12 am
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    I like the check in experience. The front desk cm’s are always very pleasant and they usually have a little inside info on what’s happening at the resort. It’s a great time to have all your questions answered and it’s just a great introduction to the whole vacation feeling you’ll have while there.
    Skipping those little things and rushing around is what spoils my vacation every time.

    Reply

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