Online Check-In Will Be Required For Future Walt Disney World Resort Room Reservations Following COVID-19 Pandemic


Updated on:

Online Check-In Will Be Required For Future Walt Disney World Resort Room Reservations Following COVID-19 Pandemic


Updated on:

Online Check-In Will Be Required For Future Walt Disney World Resort Room Reservations Following COVID-19 Pandemic

With newly-implemented social distancing protocols already testing at Disney Parks abroad, it appears there’s some ongoing internal testing of potential new protocols for the hotel check-in process at Walt Disney World Resort.

Online Check in Required

In a screenshot uploaded by @DisneyDragon on Twitter, a new prompt under the Online Check-In section of the My Disney Experience app states “Now Required: Complete Online Check-in, then go direct to room on arrival.” While the Direct-to-Room Online Check-in service is not new, the potential of making it a required step could encourage more guests to bypass the front desk, therefore promoting social distancing and minimizing any unnecessary interactions with Cast Members. Front Desk Cast Members would still be available to assist guests with other needs. Room entry can be simplified by use of the Bluetooth-enabled “Unlock Door” feature on the My Disney Experience app.

June Reservation

The dates in the screenshot span July 12 through July 17. Some guests have also mentioned seeing this update on their app for reservations as early as June, but the new “Now Required” verbiage isn’t appearing on all reservations just yet, as seen in the screenshot above. As far as international guests are concerned, it’s unclear how the increased shift towards Online Check-in will affect those arriving from abroad. MagicBands may be left in rooms moving forward for guests to have upon arrival in lieu of a visit to the front desk, but this is not confirmed.

To learn how to unlock your Walt Disney World Resort hotel room door using the My Disney Experience app, check out the video below:

Stay right here for updates on ongoing park closures and news on WDWNT!

41 thoughts on “Online Check-In Will Be Required For Future Walt Disney World Resort Room Reservations Following COVID-19 Pandemic”

  1. Postponed our May trip till the end of June. Arriving June 26th, my app does not show that online check in required. I hope WDW is open by then!

    • I just logged out of my experience app and logged back in. It shows this message for our trip now. We were supposed to arrive Easter weekend and rebooked for June 28th. We also declined new magic bands, as we have the set already from the cancelled trip. That eliminates the need to go to the front desk. Try that and see if it shows up for you👍🏼! Here’s hoping we all make it there soon!

  2. This may just be for part of the reopening process, I just checked my reservation for the second week of August and had no such message. It seems to reflect what WDWNT was saying about a phased opening.

  3. I wonder how this will work for international guests who have to go to the front desk and pick up their magic bands at check in. I also refuse to put a CC on file because I like to monitor my spending and normally bring all cash or have it loaded on a travel money card that doesn’t work at the front desk. So I wonder if they will remove that at mandatory option.

    • I’d have to think there’s some kind of process to still check in, in person. Every situation is different and online check in can’t account for every possibility.

    • Article mentioned possibility of bands being put in rooms if not received in mail. Guests will be notified when rooms are ready. The direct to room is to stop congestion at desk. Once you are settled, , have one person go to desk.

  4. This is not about Covid. This is about saving on labor costs under the guise of Covid. Which I don’t blame them for doing. The Disney execs have been training us off the need for a check in staff for a while now, and are probably taking the opportunity to take the plunge to zero check in staff if they can. Far more economical.

    • More economical indeed. However, room assignment requests and related issues cannot be addressed by Online Check-In system. There is still a need for agent interaction to address many concerns, particularly at deluxe resorts where there is considerable variation in room types that are within the same booking category, including room layout, room size, bed types, location, etc. Most of these options are not even listed in Online Check-In systems list of requests. Given the price point, there must be some means made available by which inquires can be made on particulars of a room assignment or an opportunity to inquire about changing an assignment to better match room assignment preference pending availability, of course. If it becomes a take what room you are given mindset without opportunity to at least seek or attempt remonstrating, that is an unacceptable proposition.

  5. We had a 5/5 start date until I viewed MyDisney and all fast passes and dining were cancelled through 5/10 leaving the other dates of our trip intact. I called and tried to advance the trip by a week and they tried but the system wouldn’t allow it.
    We are now going very early Sept. which we have done before and it worked out fine. d
    I just checked my app and maybe because I had technically already “checked in” due to the package we had which I paid off early April it doesn’t say required.
    We’ve used the app for check in the past few years and they text me our room # as we sit by the pool and we head right up. Very seamless and easy.
    It will be interesting to see how they pull this off…lots of Pixie Dust, I’m sure!

  6. What about the people who don’t have Smart phones? I do not use data on my phone. I can receive texts.
    Next question, What if you get to your room and there is a problem? We all know that the “Front Desk” button on the room phone doesn’t go to the front desk. Then what?

    • I rarely use the internet on my phone as well and my phone is cheap and basic which is all I need. So online check in would be difficult. I can’t really see them making it mandatory.

    • They are trying to cut down the amount of people in Lobby/desk area. The whole group doesn’t need to be in line. Prepaid Smart phones can be purchased and if put on airplane mode, or kept off til needed, data won’t be used. My Dad didn’t have smartphone either, but just before trip he got prepaid ph and it was a relief.

    • Online check-in can be done on the My Disney Experience website on the computer at home or at work, ahead of time. You give them the phone number to text, and they text you when the room is ready on your day of arrival.

  7. I’ve actually had bad experiences using direct-to-room. I’ve ALWAYS had to wait when I arrive, even if I check in a day before my arrival, but whenever I go to the desk, there’s already a room waiting for me. And if I have to wait, then I need to go to bell services and store my backpack so I don’t have to lug it around with me, so it actually increases the amount of social interaction.

    • We used online checkin our last two trips. The first time there was a hiccup- our room was ready and we never received a text. But our last trip it was a totally seamless experience. Room was ready on arrival and we were able to go right there.

      I’m assuming that if this becomes required practice, they will ensure that it is a more streamlined and reliable option.

    • We go 4 times per year and always do online check-in. The success rate of this working without having to go to the front desk has been 50% consistently. Hopefully they’re boosting the system so it works better.

  8. I almost always use e-check in, the only drawback is you are less likely to get some pixie dust like an upgraded room or resort. (I once went to check in at CBR and got upgraded to a one bedroom at SSR and they sent us over in a taxicab)

  9. Disney World won’t be open until 2021 according to reports. I bet even when parks are allowed to open, it will be Universal and Sea World open while Disney World sits empty. Good riddance!

    • Do some research. That 2001 re-opening estimate was written by an analyst that doesn’t even work within the theme park industry. Nobody believes that (except you). And, if you don’t enjoy Disney World, why are you here, negatively commenting on something that everyone else seems to enjoy, other than to troll? Once you log-off here for the final time, that will be the true Good Riddance!!!!

  10. Not having lines for initial check-in seems good, a way to lessen the crowds at the front desk. A lot of us already do online check-in anyway and then only have to go up to the front desk later (when we can see crowds are lower or non-existent) to get them to say, re-activate an old Magic Band if it isn’t working as the room door key (or they can tell if it’s just not working any more due to the battery expiring – I always bring all my Magic Bands that are registered to me and have the CM at the desk try them and eliminate the “bad ones”), apply a credit card or gift card or CASH to the growing room bill from time to time, or ask a question if you can’t get the answer from a phone call or various pamphlets/brochures. They will still do those things at the front desk, I assume, but want to keep the number of people clustered around that area low.

    • I’ll bet it is opened, but with a lot of caveats.

      I wonder if you have passes and the park fills up early will they refund your pass? Lots of questions, and still no answers. I know it’s somewhat complex but it’s not rocket science. People wear masks, sign waivers and stand in line. No one can sue Disney for breathing air and getting a highly communicable virus. We all takes risks in life , not sure why we aren’t allowed to decide on this one…

    • If you’re staying at a Disney Hotel, they have Disney Buses, a service called “Magical Express”. Look it up, they have a terminal at the airport and they’ll take you straight to your hotel.

  11. I don’t see how bypassing a check in line helps when the whole rest of your trip is standing in line-has to be more about cutting costs. I prefer the personal greeting but no big deal either way. I just hope so many changes aren’t made that it takes the magic and joy out of the trip. Those personal touches are the reason I’m wiling to pay the premium price. Why pay Disney prices if it becomes like every other amusement park?

  12. If they make this a requirement, they will have to start shipping Magicbands internationally. I would love to skip the counter every time, but can’t because I have to pick up my bands.

    • I think it’s mentioned in the article that they may have the magic bands in your room upon arrival.

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