Early Check-In?

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Mrs_JS's picture
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Early Check-In?

I'm really sorry if these questions have been answered someplace that I am just not finding. Cool I have looked through this website, along with the official Disney site, and several other forum sites, all to no avail. I'll try to get straight to the point without muddling the actual questions up too much.
First question; can you check in early to a WDW hotel? And no, I am not talking about online. I was planning on taking a trip this fall, and unless my flight is changed by the airline I would be arriving at the hotel around noon. I would like to be able to check right into my room when I arrive there. There are a few factors that play into this, and not to sound all 'special snowflake' about it, it may be a deal breaker on this trip if I can't get in early. After looking at most other sites, it seems like they don't really honor that request, and if they do, no one really talks about it.
Onto the second part; has anyone actually gotten an early check-in? Finally, will calling the resort to book my vacation, and giving them my preference over the phone give me any advantage over putting the request in online? I know they try to accommodate you the best they can. Thanks in advance for any advice you have!

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The Colonel's picture
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There is supposedly a new program that involves direct to room check-in. You get your room key on your magic band and can just go directly to your room, skipping check in. I'd like to know more about it myself.

If you are talking about just checking in early- it depends on when your room is ready. And rooms are assigned on a first come first served basis for the most part.

I've had my room ready at noon and I've also had to wait until 5pm.

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JanJ's picture
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For our last few trips (January and September, so low season), our room has been ready when we arrived at the resort at 11am, so it is definitely possible, but not guaranteed. When in the fall are you planning on traveling to WDW and where would you be staying?

Mrs_JS's picture
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JanJ wrote:
When in the fall are you planning on traveling to WDW and where would you be staying?

As of right now, Sept 20-23, at Pop Century. So it is during the low season. I'm also trying to get to a MNSSHP that night (Sun, Sept 20), and while my costume isn't elaborate or anything, it would be helpful if I could at least change and relax before heading into the park. The Halloween party ticket is my only ticket for MK during this trip since it's so short, and I'd like to try and maximize my time in the park.

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MrHub's picture
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We have also had our room ready as early as 9am and also have had to wait for our room until around 4 or 5 pm. It's hit or miss with this subject. You can always call and put a request on your reservation, but there is no garantee they can fulfill the request. Depends on how busy the resort is, how early people check out of there room and how fast Mousekeeping can clean the rooms.

I have not yet heard anything from anyone that may have done the "Direct to your room check-in" option that The Colonel mentioned.

Check this out though. http://blog.touringplans.com/2015/02/13/direct-room-check-option-coming-walt-disney-world/

NikkiMouse's picture
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We usually take a 6am flight, which gets us to the resort by 10am. We have had no issue so far getting into our room early. Though like Mr. Hub said there are many factors that go into that. Wen usually request a certain area in Pop, so if we could not get in right away, I would understand. If you are open to first available room that might help things along also.

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MrHub wrote:
We have also had our room ready as early as 9am and also have had to wait for our room until around 4 or 5 pm. It's hit or miss with this subject. You can always call and put a request on your reservation, but there is no garantee they can fulfill the request. Depends on how busy the resort is, how early people check out of there room and how fast Mousekeeping can clean the rooms.

I have not yet heard anything from anyone that may have done the "Direct to your room check-in" option that The Colonel mentioned.

Check this out though. http://blog.touringplans.com/2015/02/13/direct-room-check-option-coming-walt-disney-world/

This is interesting. I have had some fantastic check-in experiences and some not so great ones (last year, 1 hour on line waiting). I would be interested in trying this out next trip; however, I think I might miss the initial interactions with the CMs.

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Allie's picture
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On both my last two trips our room was ready when we arrived around 12 or 1 and I had put in no special request to ask for an early check in. There is an early check in request on the online check-in form I believe, so I would complete online check-in and request an early check-in on there AND I would call a few days prior to arrival and have the request added to your reservation for your best shot.

Eeyore's picture
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We landed at MCO at 9:30AM and our room was ready when we checked in around 10:30ish..We did not request it, but it was ready.

If it isn't ready for you, bell service will take your bags and hold them so you can go to the parks and begin enjoying your vacation. They will deliver your bags to the room when it is ready.

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You can check in early but there's no guarantee that you're room will be ready early. You can call Disney to put in you're requests but it's not going to give you any sort of priority status. Depending on when you're planning to arrive/check in & when Disney considers you a no show & releases reserved rooms back in to the pool of available rooms you could add the night before to your reservation.

Grandreeree's picture
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mickey When we went last April I was told to fax any special requests the day before our arrival. When we checked in they had a copy of my faxed note and we got everything we requested. I understand they do not want you to call the hotel - we used a travel agent several years ago and they phoned in our room location request and king bed request - we got neither. Have a wonder time!!!!

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Mrs_JS's picture
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Thank you so much for all of your replies and help! Sorry I've been MIA, I've been a little sick.

Eeyore wrote:
If it isn't ready for you, bell service will take your bags and hold them so you can go to the parks and begin enjoying your vacation. They will deliver your bags to the room when it is ready.

Well, I won't have a park ticket for that day, since my ticket in MK will be for the Halloween party, so I won't even be able to get into the park until 4. That being said I want to get right into the park at four, as that will be the only chance I'll have to see MK. I'd like to be able to check into my room and rest a little, take a shower and get ready, so that's where the problem comes in. Plus I might be meeting a friend there, and I would love it if we could get ready together, especially as they are flying from across the US.
Looks like it's hit or miss, but I am hoping since it is the low season, it won't be too difficult to manage.

Grandreeree wrote:
mickey When we went last April I was told to fax any special requests the day before our arrival. When we checked in they had a copy of my faxed note and we got everything we requested. I understand they do not want you to call the hotel - we used a travel agent several years ago and they phoned in our room location request and king bed request - we got neither. Have a wonder time!!!!

Thank you! And I will try the fax thing.

And thank you to everyone again, you've all been wonderful! mickey

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drummer1's picture
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Just to shine some light on the whole "early / On-line check in" program. I literally just hung up the phone with the World. What the program is (just started to role it out a few weeks ago) is to separate the people who did early check in from the people who didn't while in the registration areas, during PEAK SEASONS ONLY. The CM I just spoke to explained that they just started doing it a few weeks ago to see if the program would work over the spring break season. And, they will do it again once summer break starts and then the holiday breaks. She said that when we do the early check in, we still have to go into the registration room at the resorts, but we will be in a faster line at the "early / Online check in counter" rather than the normal check in counters, and we will be able to pick up our mugs and etc. there.

Now, with that being said... I'm not sure if going straight to your room will work or not, considering that when you do use early check in, they send you a text message saying when your room is ready with the room number. Maybe they are just telling people to go to the registration counters because people are just going straight to their rooms and not notifying anybody that they have arrived... Has anyone tried doing so?

Another reason I'm not 100% is that when we are going in a few weeks, it is not considered a peak season, but I still was still able to do the early check in.

Soooooooooo, maybe this post didn't really shed any light on the subject. I do have to mention that when we were hanging up the phone, the CM said "We'll see you in a few weeks!", and I came close to crying. I couldn't say bye without choking up. I'm a big, fat baby. waiting

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If you have no special room requests you will most likely get a room early Sunday on the 20th. Do the online check-in and select 8am - that just lets the cast members know to be on the look out for you and might affect initial room assignments as they begin preparing your folder the night before. It's first come first serve though so the earlier you actually get there the better.

MrHub's picture
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The "On-line check in" has been an option for a few years now and they always ask for your "expected" time of arrival. Early is not always better, depending on what and if you have certain room requests. Some people make it a habit of checking out as late as possible, and if that effects your request, you could be out of luck or have to wait some time for your room.