Should I do online check in at Disney World?

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One thing Disney offers is online check-in beginning 60 days before your stay at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. When you arrive, simply head to the Online Check-In Desk, where your Welcome Folder and possibly Magic Band will be waiting. Show your valid photo I.D., complete your check-in and you’re on your way! Pretty convenient huh?

Many fans ask me if I do online check in and I tell them NO!

Over the years I have done the online check-in at Walt Disney World and from what I have noticed is the times I have done the online check-in I had to wait longer for my room, and I have never received a room upgrade. Keep in mind most times when I travel it is during the non busy times of the year so there is no reason I should be waiting.

I am not saying that with online check-in you will never get into your room early, or that there is no chance of a possible upgrade, all that I am saying is that over the years I have stopped and it seems that miraculously my room is waiting on me when I get there (usually around the same time) and the trip before last I was able to get a Preferred room at the Pop Century Resort.

My thought process is this and it could totally be wrong:

When you do online check-in you are assigned a room in the computer system. Depending on when the people leave before you, how long it takes for the cleaning staff to clean the room, etc. All those variables can effect when you can get into your room. So if you are assigned a room already, you are there waiting on it to be ready for you.

If you don’t do online check-in then when you get there they look for the first available room according to your reservation, and most times it is sitting there ready and waiting for you. The cast member does a little Disney Magic, and bam you’re in like Flynt. If there are no rooms available under your preference there might be an upgraded room ready or possibly they overbooked your choice and then a little more Disney Magic and now you are in a upgraded room.

Keep in mind I have no idea how the computer system at Disney World works these are just my thoughts and ideas, your situations might be the total opposite. I know for me I don’t do online check-in anymore and have always come out ahead. Being a Disney Planner I can be rough when you want to finish all your planning long before it is time to go, but for me this is my story and I am sticking to it.

What about you? Do you do the Online Check in? Have you just winged it like me and received an upgrade? Let me know in the comment box below.

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Chip is the owner, editor, and writer of Chip and Company. When he is not writing about Disney News or Planning Tips, you will find him counting down the days to his next Disney Vacation.
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2 thoughts on “Should I do online check in at Disney World?

  1. Usually do online check in. Stay deluxe and have always had our room folder ready and waiting and have received some very nice category upgrades too. Only time I had issues was when I booked two connecting rooms at AKL as we were traveling with an extra teen (non family member) and the rooms connected, only it was with the rooms on either side of them! Every other time we have bee pleased with room assignments.

  2. I’ve always done the online check in and have never gotten an upgrade. Plus, we’ve had to have things changed a few times cause the room we were assigned wasn’t what we wanted. I’m gonna try not checking in online our next trip.

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