The Benefits of Walt Disney World Resort Online Check-In

UPDATE: Walt Disney World Resort Guests can now check in 60 days in advance of their arrival.

Online check-in is available starting 10 60 days in advance of your stay at all Walt Disney World Resorts and Villas. It's a fairly fast and easy process that mimics the standard hotel check-in process. During Online Check-in, you will be asked to confirm important information that is needed for your resort stay.

Online Check-In is Fast and EasyOnline Check-In is Fast and Easy

  • Leave a credit card to be used for room charges
  • Confirm arrival and departure times
  • Confirm your address
  • Leave a phone number that you can be reached at during vacation
  • Confirm the names of all guests
  • Confirm your room requests
  • Review and agree to the registration terms of service

There's no doubt that Online Check-In has huge benefits for the Resorts, but many guests question its value to the consumer.

Since room-only reservations can generally be canceled without penalty up to five days prior to your intended arrival, online check-in helps Disney to more accurately forecast their occupancy. Knowing your occupancy makes staffing changes easier to anticipate and helps to organize room assignments as the hotel's occupancy fluctuates. If more guests say that they are driving in rather than flying, the resort may put another valet on duty. If fewer rooms than expected will be occupied, less housekeeping staff may be needed for the week.

Pop Century Online Check-In DeskPop Century Online Check-In Desk
These benefits to the hotel help the guest in subtle but very important ways.

  • Confirm Your Room Requests: Though Disney can never guarantee requests, they do try to accommodate to the best of the ability so that you can have a magical room.
  • Estimate Your Arrival Time: With that information Disney does it's best to make sure there's enough staff on hand to take care of arriving guests needs, and when possible get you in your room earlier than the standard check in time.
  • Provide a Phone Number: Allows Disney to contact you when your Resort room is ready if you arrive prior to standard check-in time.
  • Special Registration Desk: In the Resort's lobby there is a specially marked desk for guests who have registered online. Your room keys and welcome package will already be waiting for you; all that's needed is for you to present your photo identification and you'll be on your way.

Many people have mixed feelings about online check-in. For as many Disney fans that you can find to say that its helped them breeze through registration, just as many will tell you that its no help what so ever. I believe that a Resort that is running smoothly is a pleasure for everyone and if I can help is some small way, such as pre-registering online, I see no reason not to.

Thanks so much to the Pop Century Fan site for exclusive permission to use their Check-In Image. What are your feelings about Disney's Online Check-in? Have you experienced a direct benefit from it? Head over to the forums to read what other guests' experiences have been, or leave a comment below and share you story!

Jeffrey Lipack wrote on Wed, 11/02/2011 - 19:31:

Jeffrey Lipack's picture

I always use online check-in. It really speeds up your arrival to the resorts, making it easier to get to the parks where the real fun is!!

Trueblue63 wrote on Wed, 11/02/2011 - 20:19:

Trueblue63's picture

Another benefit is that you have pre entered a bunch of information that they would otherwise get at check in, that means less time standing there. They also want you to like online check in, so they won't let that line grow.

I'm not sure how it's bad for guests, even if it doesn't benefit us as much.

Gaylin wrote on Thu, 11/03/2011 - 02:35:

Gaylin's picture

I love checking in online, this is when I really get excited about going and finalize my packing!

Kristen K. wrote on Thu, 11/03/2011 - 12:44:

Kristen K.'s picture

Gaylin I completely agree! Checking in on-line is one of those checkpoints that lets me know time is really passing and that it's almost time to go!

Travel Guide wrote on Sun, 11/06/2011 - 10:29:

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Prada Outlet wrote on Wed, 02/15/2012 - 13:35:

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Janna wrote on Tue, 03/20/2012 - 21:11:

Janna's picture

QUESTION: I want to use the online check in system. But there was no way to request an adjoining room with our family....will I be able to request it at the online pick up area???

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 03/21/2012 - 11:59:

Kristen K.'s picture

In that instance I would probably just wait and check in at the hotel. If you do online check-in they will already have your rooms assigned and keyed when you arrive. You are able to request a different room if there's a problem with yours (such as not adjoining), however you double the work.

Another alternative is to go ahead and check in online, then fax or call the hotel about 5 days before your reservation to put in your requests. Requests can not be guaranteed, but Disney will do everything possible to accommodate you.

Danielle L. wrote on Thu, 11/08/2012 - 18:54:

Danielle L.'s picture

I see that you are required to give a credit card do you need to present the same credit card at check-in?

Also we typically use our debit cards and wouldn't want them to put a hold on our money for hotel incidentals that we won't be using. We don't plan on charging anything to our room rather pay right on the spot for things.

Kristen K. wrote on Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:04:

Kristen K.'s picture

Danielle - No, you don't present the card when you get to the hotel because you have done it online already. However, when you get to the resort you could always tell them that you would prefer to use a cash deposit for incidentals and take the credit card off.

Also, online check in is not required. You are welcome to do your entire check in at the resort and never have to give them a credit card. I know that I have previously traveled without leaving a card, but I can't quite remember what I did. I think I left a $100 cash deposit at check in.

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