I took advantage of Direct-to-Room Check-In during my trip last month. After a long day of traveling, it was magical to be able to bypass the front desk and head straight to our room to freshen up before an evening in Downtown Disney.
To opt into Direct-to-Room Check-In, guests must have received their MagicBands and completed the following prior to arrival:
- Create a My Disney Experience Account
- Complete the Online Check-In process up to 60 days prior to arrival
- Provide estimated time of arrival and departure
- Provide a valid credit card number and create PIN
- Provide contact information for notification purposes
Once Disney has all the necessary information, all you have to do is wait for the notification. We received a text and email just before 3PM EST on our day of arrival. Our room was ready!
Upon arriving at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort, I simply told the security guard we had completed the Direct-to-Room Check-In process and that we already knew our room number. He in turn asked for my ID, scanned my MagicBand and then pointed us in the right direction.
DIStracted Tip: Forget about the parking placard on your dashboard! If you have a car and plan to use it to visit the theme parks, Cast Members will scan your MagicBand at the parking booths, too.
We then headed directly to the parking lot for Building 18, a preferred building in the Alligator Bayou Lodges, parked and followed the signs to our building. In less than 10 minutes, we were settled into our room and heading back out for dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express at Downtown Disney Marketplace.
I loved the ease and convenience of going straight to the room, but I’ll admit I missed the Cast Member interaction and resort orientation at the front desk. While I’ve stayed at this resort on a previous trip, it was six years ago and in Magnolia Bend. At first, I found the dense greenery, network of winding paths and sprawling identical buildings in the Alligator Bayou section a bit confusing. It would have been nice to have a Cast Member pinpoint the exact location of my room and the most efficient way to get there. If using Direct-to-Room Check-In, I would highly recommend referring to the map provided in the confirmation email prior to arriving to resort.
DIStracted Tip: Requesting your room, or at the very least a desired building, prior to arrival can also give you a better handle on your whereabouts once at the resort. When requesting your room, be sure to take into consideration room location in relation to the bus stops, dining and pool. Want to zero in on the perfect room? For those staying at Port Orleans, check out Port Orleans.org, an unofficial guide for Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter. For those staying at other resorts, Touringplans.com offers a Hotel Room Views tool. Members of Touringplans.com can also use their newly debuted Room Request feature. I used this feature for my trip, requesting Room 1842 in the Alligator Bayou section. We were assigned Room 1847–same building, same floor, but just a few doors down. Not too shabby! If you prefer to do the legwork yourself, the general rule of thumb is to contact the resort directly by phone or fax with requests approximately 4-5 days prior to arrival.
While we didn’t have plans to spend time in the Parks on our arrival day, the Direct-to-Room Check-In is also a fabulous perk for those heading directly to the Parks upon arrival. Guests are free to take a spin on the Mad Tea Party and enjoy a Dole Whip knowing that their room will be available once they’re ready to turn in for the night. And, if Guests opt to use Disney’s Magical Express, their luggage will be waiting for them too. How awesome is that?
Have you used the new Direct-to-Room Check-In? Share your thoughts in the comments below!