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View Full Version : Thoughts on early arrivals?


crzy4dzny07
05-09-2007, 12:12 AM
I just bought our plane fare for Sept. Right now, Disney has us booked from Sept. 12-18. DH decided he can't take another day of work off (he IS a teacher, so he is only 3 weeks into the school year, I guess that does make sense :laughing: ) We're taking the redeye flight out of CA. It arrives in Orlando at 6am, so I don't expect to be at Disney until 7am Sept 13th.


We have 2 children... at the time they will be a just-turned-2 year old girl and a 1-month-away from being 6 year old. I am positive they will sleep on the plane, but we will still arrive in FL at 3am "our" time.

My question... should cancel the hotel room for the 12th and start our reservation on the 13th instead? A CM at CRO told me that there is "no way" I could check in for a Sept 13th arrival before 3pm once I arrive. Not only would my room NOT be ready, he asserted, there was no way we could even pick up our tickets and go play in the parks while the room is being finished until that magical 3pm hour. He recommended holding on to our reservation for the 12th so we can have a room immediately upon checking in. I don't expect to be finished with check in at POP until 7:45am at least. So at 8am, most likely we'd try to head to a park, if we could.

For those that have travelled with small children before... would you recommend keeping the hotel room starting on the 12th so we could go crash somewhere immediately and/or early afternoon when we are dead tired? The 2 year old will have a stroller she can sleep in during the day. She can sleep anywhere. I think my son will be too excited to take an afternoon nap and would rather have a super early bedtime. I hate to think the first thing we'd do after arriving in from the airport would be crawling into bed, but I'm trying to be realistic LOL. I KNOW we'll be exhausted.


Also, is the CM wrong? In searching the DIS boards, I've found several people that have been allowed to check in before 3pm and have been given their park passes. If the CM is right, I imagine we'd head to Downtown Disney (can you get on the bus without showing proof of being a resort guest, since he said we won't have papers yet?) Or we would hang around the Pop resort and check everything out....

On the other hand, if we keep our ressies, then we will have another CS and TS meal on our plan, too. I think we will end up paying for one meal if we don't keep it, but it will not be the $95 an extra night costs. Also, if we don't keep the hotel room, we will almost have enough money to pay for the MNSHHP on Friday.

I think I'm just rambling at this point, but hopefully you get the gist of what I'm asking and can offer suggestions/opinions. Thanks!

mandy200587
05-09-2007, 12:16 AM
The CM was wrong. You can too pick up your tickets and go to the park. We've done it before.

Alaska DogCat
05-09-2007, 12:32 AM
We've gotten our room as early as 8:00 a.m. and we've also spent hours sitting around waiting for our room, but we were able to get park tickets, etc. In my experience, it's better to pay to have the room available upon check in...but we have three flights over a 15 hour time period to make it to DW.

bradisgoofy
05-09-2007, 01:44 AM
I agree, you can get everything except your room number, early. We've gotten in as early as 11am and as late as 6pm. Not sure about Pop's but the DVC resorts will store your luggage until the room is ready. I'm not so sure about the extra day, if you don't show up on time for your 12th check in date, they may cancel your room. I could be wrong but why spend the money for a room you won't use that night?

MiaSRN62
05-09-2007, 06:26 AM
The CM is definitely wrong ! We've checked in (and even gotten our room on occasion !) as early as 9:45 am ! I've been able to successfully actually get into the room early on at least four occasions at the following resorts : POP, CBR, VWL and OKW. All in the past 3 years. You should also be able to pick up your tickets. I don't know where they get some of these CM's ?

If you're not getting to wdw until 7 am on the 13th though, I'd cancel the 12th and save the $. Unless disney can assure you that you can get right in at 7 am for the kids to nap, I'd cancel. But technically, they should allow you right in if you're paying for the 12th. Just make them aware of your arrival times by calling and adding that to your reservation.

I know they will hold your room for a certain time period but you might have to call them and let them know of your plans. I landed in Orlando at 11:15 pm in Feb. Didn't get to POP until 12:30 am (so technically it was the next day.....but they had our room saved for us).

stagemomx3
05-09-2007, 08:19 AM
Not only do I think your TA is WRONG about checking in early, but I'd be worried about what would happened to your reservation when you didn't show up to check in on the 12th!:confused3

madalex
05-09-2007, 08:23 AM
The CM was wrong. You can definitely check in, get park passes, etc. before 3 pm. In addition, I have checked in as early as 8:00 am and occasionally gotten into our room that early. It just depends upon the resort and how booked it is. You don't need that extra day, so I would cancel it.

mom-2-3
05-09-2007, 08:26 AM
Not only do I think your TA is WRONG about checking in early, but I'd be worried about what would happened to your reservation when you didn't show up to check in on the 12th!:confused3


Having not used Magical Express (guessing you are) is it realistic to expect you would make it to Disney 1 hr after landing? I think it always takes us 2 hrs or so to get there from MCO.

karylrocks
05-09-2007, 08:34 AM
We always take the red-eye and get to the resort in the morning. They will always let you check-in, get your park passes, and store your luggage. We have never been fortunate enough to get a room that early, but have been given room keys and then call back in the afternoon to find out what room they have been assigned to. You can ask them to deliver your luggage to your room so it will be there when you arrive.

Hopefully
05-09-2007, 09:56 AM
As others have said, you can definitly check in early in the day and receive all of your tickets, dining plan credits, room charging privileges, etc. You receive your room key, but if your room is not ready they will not tell you what the room number is. You will be given a telephone number to call to check on when it is ready during the day. When it is ready, they will tell you the number and you can go directly to your room, you do not need to go back to the desk to have your key coded to your room.
We usually arrive by noon. We always check in and leave our luggage with Bell Services and head out to a park. In all of our many trips, our room was only ready early once. I think you need to plan that it will not be ready at 7 or 8 AM.
I personally would keep the room for the night of the 12th. I travel a lot for work and do red eyes (only when I can not avoid them;) ) and having a room in the morning is very helpful. As you said, when you land it will only be 3 AM your bodies time. I think that even if you and the kids sleep, it will be "naps", not a good nights sleep. The extra money would be worth it to me, to not start my Disney vacation exhausted and cranky. That tiredness will creep up on you all week.
JMHO>

hfalk
05-09-2007, 10:17 AM
I spoke to the front desk of the Animal Kingdom Lodge last week and they said you can arrive as early as 7am to check in and pick up your tickets. As others have said, it is just unlikely your room would be ready that early...

PrincessMinnie28
05-09-2007, 10:27 AM
A CM at CRO told me that there is "no way" I could check in for a Sept 13th arrival before 3pm once I arrive. Not only would my room NOT be ready, he asserted, there was no way we could even pick up our tickets and go play in the parks while the room is being finished until that magical 3pm hour.

Also, is the CM wrong? In searching the DIS boards, I've found several people that have been allowed to check in before 3pm and have been given their park passes. If the CM is right, I imagine we'd head to Downtown Disney (can you get on the bus without showing proof of being a resort guest, since he said we won't have papers yet?) Or we would hang around the Pop resort and check everything out....

I agree with everyone else's answers here. I actually posted this question a couple of days ago in relation to park tickets (because they are on your room key), and whether we would be able to get them at WL when we arrive around noon. Everyone reassured me that I could dump my luggage, take the park tickets, and go visit the parks; then I could just call a number around 3 and they would tell me whether my room was ready.

That CM does not sound like he was spreading that Disney magic. I'm guessing he didn't say "have a magical day" at the end of your phone conversation??? :rotfl2:

bigjellyroll
05-09-2007, 12:22 PM
I guess the consensus is that he was wrong lol.

I'll join the crowd and say he was wrong, and I'll second that I would be worried about your whole reservation being cancelled as a no-show on the 12th.

We have checked into the GF before 8am before; it just depends on whether they have rooms cleaned and ready to go. Since you're going during an exceptionally slow time of year, I would almost expect them to have a room ready...just dont count on it.

If no room is ready, you can definately ditch your luggage and go enjoy the parks. You can also ask the front desk to call you as soon as they have a room ready; if the CM understands that you just flew across the country, I think they would do that for you.

Also, allow more time for the bus to get you to the resort...they will wait until they have a good many passengers before they leave the airport. I dount they will fill it up that time in the morning, but they will wait a little while before leaving, and you may make lots of stops on the way.

MiaSRN62
05-09-2007, 12:35 PM
is it realistic to expect you would make it to Disney 1 hr after landing? I think it always takes us 2 hrs or so to get there from MCO.
It's possible to get there in under 2 hours. In Oct '06, we landed at 8:30 am. I was at the front desk of the WL (after picking up our rental car from Dollar) at 9:45 am.

bigjellyroll
05-09-2007, 12:45 PM
One more thought...if you are not able to get your room before 3, and you find yourself in the MK just as tired as can be and want a quiet place to rest for awhile, there is a movie theater in the Kodak building that plays Classic Disney short cartoons. Just as your enter the park and go under the train station go in the building on the right, and go all the way to the back. It is almost always deserted, and is a good place to let little ones nap.

Willow16
05-09-2007, 12:52 PM
We checked in early at Pop in April with no problem. We got there around 11:30 a.m. and they said our room wasn't ready. I asked very nicely if there was something they could do since we had just spent 23 hours on the train and really needed showers before going to the parks. The CM was really nice and was able to find a room that was ready - in fact mousekeeping had just finished cleaning it as we got off the elevator.

Perhaps you could ask when one would be ready. If you only had to wait an hour or so, you could hang out at the pool on the lounge chairs. Also, there are showers in the bathrooms near the bar/laundry/hippy dippy pool in case you need to wash up while waiting.

I do doubt whether your 6 y.o. would be able to sleep considering the exictement. We got very little sleep on the train, got in at 11:00, reached Pop by 11:30, checked in, bought our mugs, showered, got the bus and made it to a 2:10 reservation at The Crystal Palace early. We did rides/shows that didn't have long lines and were back at the hotel by 7:00. The kids went in the pool and then we were asleep by 8:30.