What could be better than checking into a Disney Resort hotel? When you arrive and turn over your credit card to the Disney Cast Member, it signals the official start of your Disney World vacation!

Checking into a Disney Resort hotel is pretty standard, but there are a few special considerations.

Let’s take a look at the top eight questions about checking in at a Disney resort hotel.

1 – What time can I check in?

You can check into most Disney resort hotels at 3:00 PM, but there are just a few exceptions. You can check into the campsites it Disney’s Fort wilderness at 1:00 PM, and you can’t check into Disney Villa resorts until 4:00 PM.

2 – Can I check in early?

You can try, but there are no guarantees. If the room is ready, typically the Cast Member at the check-in desk will give it to you.

If you utilize Disney’s online check-in on MyDisneyExperience, check the box for early check-in if this is important to you. You can also opt to receive text messages when your room is ready (Standard messaging rates apply).

3 – What should I do when my room is not ready?

If your room is not ready when you arrive at your resort, you can check your bags and then explore Disney World. Go have some fun! After you have checked in, you can use all the resort amenities like the swimming pool and fitness center.

You can ask the Cast Member at the check-in desk to have Disney’s computer system send a voice message or text message to your mobile phone when your room does become available. Once your room is ready, you can go directly to your room and open the door with your MagicBand. There is no need to return to the front desk.

Disney can send a message to your mobile phone when your room is ready.

Disney can send a message to your mobile phone when your room is ready.

4 – What happens when I check in?

The check in process at a Disney hotel is pretty typical. You will be asked to verify the information of the members and your party, show a photo ID, and provide your method of payment. In some cases, Disney may ask you to pay part of your bill when you check-in. The Cast Member will also answer any questions you have, and will give you directions to your room. Disney Resorts tend to be big places, so these directions will be very helpful if you aren’t yet familiar with the layout of your resort.

The check in process typically takes about five minutes. If there are guests in line before you, however, you will need some extra time to wait for your turn to speak with a Cast Member.

5 – What is Disney’s online check-in?

Disney allows you to check in for your hotel stay up to 60 days before your arrival using the Disney website. On the website, you will verify your payment information and the people in your party. However, you still need to stop by the resort’s Online Check-In Desk to sign an agreement. Ultimately, the online check-in process may save a few minutes, but it isn’t much different than simply checking in at the resort desk the old fashioned way.

6 – Can someone help me with my luggage?

Yes. Disney Resort hotels of all levels offer bell services where Cast Members can store your luggage or deliver it to your room. Be sure to keep valuable items or medications with you.

7 – Can I get a room upgrade?

It doesn’t normally happen, but it never hurts to ask: when you check-in, ask the Disney Cast Member at the resort front desk if an upgrade is possible. It rarely happens, but I was lucky enough for it to happen to me once.

Free upgrade? Probably not, but it never hurts to ask.

Free upgrade? Probably not, but it never hurts to ask.

8 – Should I visit a theme park when I arrive in the middle of the day on my first day?

This is completely up to you. There are plenty of things to do for free all around Disney World without going inside the parks. You can have plenty of fun by visiting Disney Springs or the other Disney Resort hotels.

However, adding additional days to your Disney World tickets is often relatively inexpensive. Depending on the number of days you have purchased on your ticket, an additional day could be as inexpensive as $10 or $20. Usually the incremental cost of an extra day is pretty low.

Do you like the check in process at Disney Resort Hotels?