Walt Disney World introduced Online Check-In a few years ago. Since then there has been a great debate among WDW Fans…”To Online Check-In or Not?”
I posted this question on my Facebook page this morning – and got some mixed reviews right away. Enthusiastic “yay!” responses and capital letter “NAY!” responses.
I’ll explain the process and then you can decide for yourself!
At 60 days prior to your arrival at Walt Disney World you can complete your online check-in. This used to be 10 days prior, but Disney has recently changed it to 60 – my guess is in anticipation of FastPass+ rolling out eventually.
Checking in at 60 days versus 10 at this point doesn’t matter. Or even at 7 days, or 5. You can do it whenever you would like, the actual resort rooms are not assigned until about 24 hours prior to arrival as things change GREATLY within hotel occupancy from moment to moment.
When you are ready to do your online check-in there are two ways:
- Login to your account at www.waltdisneyworld.com and use My Disney Experience to login. This can be a bit flakey. I assume this will eventually be the main way, once Disney has the entire MyMagic+ project functioning.
- Go to www.mydisneyreservation.com and proceed. This is generally more reliable in my experience.
It’s a step-by-step process and quite easy and self explanatory. There are questions about when you expect to arrive and depart from the resort, your address, etc.
When you arrive at your Disney resort you enter the queue marked for Online Check-In. It quite often has a shorter and faster moving queue. The process with the Cast Member is a bit expedited, they just briefly go over things with you versus it being a more in depth process explaining your welcome packet. It will generally save you a few minutes if you are eager to get going.
Disney’s check-in time is 4 PM at the hotel. You can, of course, check-in anytime before this, but your room might not be ready. It seems to me that if you have an earlier arrival time, doing the online check-in may up your chances of your room being ready when you arrive, since Disney knows when to expect you. However, I have no fact to back this up. And as you will see from the Facebook discussion, people’s experiences are quite mixed.
In all, at this time there isn’t a clear advantage, or disadvantage, to doing online check-in. Some people just like to do it because it makes the pending vacation all the more real. And I get that. I so get that! I generally do the online check-in for my clients, just to ensure they have that shorter line once they arrive at the resort. Who wants to wait in a potentially long line the moment they arrive? Not me!
Now, when FastPass+ rolls out and you are going to be making ride reservations online, then we will all be jumping right at the 60 day mark!!