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Online check-in vs. Magical Express check-in

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm pretty certain I understand the online check-in option, but I'm a bit confused about one thing... let me explain.

On my last trip in 2017, I was not aware of the existence of online option. We arrived at the airport, got in line for the Wilderness Lodge Magical Express bus, and scanned our Magic Bands as we waited. Shortly thereafter, I received the text with my room number. I do not recall needing to stop at the front desk for anything other than directions to our room. It seems that I was essentially "checked-in" as soon as I scanned the Magic Band at the aiport.

My question... how would this process have been any different if I had used the online check-in option, other than the ability to request a room or earlier check-in? I imagine I would still scan the Magic Band at the same location, and I would receive my room notification text around the same time. If I don't anticipate the need for a room or earlier check-in request, is there any advantage at all in using online check-in?
 

nickys

Premium Member
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I'm pretty certain I understand the online check-in option, but I'm a bit confused about one thing... let me explain.

On my last trip in 2017, I was not aware of the existence of online option. We arrived at the airport, got in line for the Wilderness Lodge Magical Express bus, and scanned our Magic Bands as we waited. Shortly thereafter, I received the text with my room number. I do not recall needing to stop at the front desk for anything other than directions to our room. It seems that I was essentially "checked-in" as soon as I scanned the Magic Band at the aiport.

My question... how would this process have been any different if I had used the online check-in option, other than the ability to request a room or earlier check-in? I imagine I would still scan the Magic Band at the same location, and I would receive my room notification text around the same time. If I don't anticipate the need for a room or earlier check-in request, is there any advantage at all in using online check-in?
If you got a text you must have done on-line check-in surely? How else would Disney have your cell number? Unless it was saved from a previous trip perhaps?

Checking in at Magical Express is not the same as checking into your resort AFAIK.
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
What you experienced was an anomaly. Checking in at Magical Express does not check you into your resort. I have used DME frequently over the past three years and have always had to stop at the Front Desk to check in/get my room number (or wait to get a text if the room wasn’t ready) if I did not use the online check in service.

The times I did use online check in, I either received the number prior to arriving at the airport or well after I had been dropped off at the resort (sometimes after I had left the resort for a park.) Never did I receive the room number after scanning in at Magical Express.

Like @nickys said, it’s likely you or someone in your travel party had completed online check in prior to your trip.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
What you experienced was an anomaly. Checking in at Magical Express does not check you into your resort. I have used DME frequently over the past three years and have always had to stop at the Front Desk to check in/get my room number (or wait to get a text if the room wasn’t ready) if I did not use the online check in service.

The times I did use online check in, I either received the number prior to arriving at the airport or well after I had been dropped off at the resort (sometimes after I had left the resort for a park.) Never did I receive the room number after scanning in at Magical Express.

Like @nickys said, it’s likely you or someone in your travel party had completed online check in prior to your trip.
Yes, online check-in isn't much of anything beyond confirming a credit card on file. It's very easy to do without realizing you're doing anything.
 

heliumalias

Member
Online check in literally takes all of about 2 minutes to do, especially if they already had your card details. Back in January we did a split stay so did online check in while both arriving via magical express and making our own way. The main difference is your arriving via ME you’re not asked for your estimated arrival time. After I tapped my band at the airport I got the message with room details by the time I sat down on the bus. Otherwise I got my room details around the time I’d selected as my estimated arrival time.
 
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