To Online Check In or Not to Online Check In...

Discussion in 'Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa' started by pharmama, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. pharmama

    pharmama DIS Veteran

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    My Online Check In window opens today (YAY!! Getting so close!). But I'm wondering if I should do the Online Check-In or not? Do I understand correctly that if you do this they just have your stuff ready when you arrive and just hand it to you?

    Really I'm wondering how this will all play with our room requests. We rented DVC points and are traveling with our in laws (who also rented points, all points rented from the same DVC owner via Davids). My in-laws have a complicated reservation with a 1bd for the first half of the stay switching to a 2bd lockoff mid week when my SIL and a friend arrive. They are hoping to just stay in the same 1bd and add the adjacent studio but know this may not happen.

    Anyway, we had the DVC owner put in room requests for us (location first then hoping to be near each other and finally the part about in-laws staying in the same 1bd). The message from Davids said if we do online check in any requests made there override DVC requests.

    So what has the best chance of getting what we want for requests? DVC request? Online check in?

    With my in-laws funky reservation would we be better off just checking in the traditional way?
     
  2. newdeal

    newdeal DIS Veteran

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    I would say online checkin would be your best chance, but I would also say there is likely very little chance of them staying in their room and adding a studio no matter what unless there is a bunch of studio availability in the view that they have (which is doubtful). If I were you I would pick to request rooms near each other and hope for that, the more requests that you add the less likely that you are to get what you want and moving luggage once isn't as inconvenient as having to walk across the resort to get to each others rooms multiple times per day
     
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  4. adamak

    adamak DIS Veteran

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    Online check in. Save me time. Room requests are hit or miss anyways, depending on how busy and what you're requesting. So you may as well check in and increase your chance.
     
  5. pharmama

    pharmama DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the input. How much time is saved when you arrive by having done the online check in? We will likely arrive around 5pm on a Sunday (a week from tomorrow) so not sure what to expect in terms of lines for check in if we go the traditional route.

    Does anyone know if online check in requests are lower or higher priority than DVC member requests though? I have already put in all my requests via the DVC member and my understanding is online check in requests would override those. I'd be putting in the exact same requests but if they prioritize DVC over online check in I will leave them alone.

    The request about keeping the same room is our lowest priority request for sure (and request was submitted as such).
     
  6. cedricandsophie

    cedricandsophie DIS Veteran

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    We always have very specific room requests that I put in when we make the reservation at aulani and then I call a couple of weeks ahead and talk to the reservation desk to confirm our requests are there. We have never been disappointed
     
  7. newdeal

    newdeal DIS Veteran

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    I doubt it matters since DVC rooms are DVC rooms and hotel rooms are hotel rooms. They aren't renting out DVC rooms as hotel rooms if they dont book through DVC as far as I know, so its not like they take requests through DVC more seriously because its a DVC member or anything like that. I have never not done online check in but . I know if you check in online they basically greet you at the entrance doors, give you necklaces, and then have someone take you and your bags up to your room straight away as I recall
     
  8. pharmama

    pharmama DIS Veteran

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    Wait, really? You can book the exact same room types and views directly through Disney. So are you saying some rooms (floors?) are DVC only and others are "hotel" (ie-direct through disney) only? I've never seen it noted that way on any of the Aulani room guides/maps and am surprised to hear this since this would limit Disney's ability to maximize their resort bookings.
     
  9. Wendy from Neverland

    Wendy from Neverland Earning My Ears

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    Following as I also booked thru David's rentals. I was also told on-line check in requests over-ride any previously made requests. Initially I was in a hotel room but for the same money I used David's and got a one bedroom. I am Soooo excited. Never thought I could afford it.
     
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  10. newdeal

    newdeal DIS Veteran

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    DVC pays maintenance fees to cover operation whether the rooms are filled or not. Therefore Disney doesn't need to book them but since the resort only had a certain amount of dvc rooms they can't book dvc rooms to regular guests or else there wouldn't be enough room inventory for the number of points that they have sold to dvc owners
     
  11. pharmama

    pharmama DIS Veteran

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    Interesting. Though I’m not sure how that would work since DVC points aren’t month or date specific (are they?) or even resort specific (other than the earlier booking window). How could they account for the fluctuations resulting from that? Room revenue is only part of the picture too- I’d imagine they would rather have rooms filled and therefore additional revenue from dining, activities, spa etc.

    So which rooms are DVC only?
     
  12. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

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    I think what PP is saying is that X number of rooms are designated for DVC at any given time and X number of rooms are designated for cash bookings (direct through Disney) at any given time. So the fact that the points aren't date specific doesn't really matter. My guess is that as a date approaches, if there is still ample room left in DVC inventory, its opened up to cash reservations. Or maybe vice versa. But I doubt this happens often because Disney resorts (including Aulani) operate at a high occupancy rate all year round.

    To answer the original question, I think you should be able to do online check-in without adding any additional requests. By doing this, you'd be able to take advantage of online check-in which lets you bypass the front desk, but the requests noted on your reservation would be the only ones for them to see. I know I didn't make any requests during online check-in for my Aulani stay, and I didn't for my most recent WDW stay either, so I assume this has not changed.
     
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  13. BCV23

    BCV23 <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    To be clear there are both hotel rooms and DVC villas at Aulani. Think BC and BCV if that helps. If you look at the Aulani website, you can see photos of both. Best I know, the hotel rooms are all in one section of the resort. All can be booked on points (except maybe the hotel suites?) as well as cash depending on availability. There is limited availability of DVC villas on cash. Check out the DVC forums for more info if interested.

    We've had a one BR for a few days and then a 2 BR lockoff for the remainder of our vacation when our DS1 and wife arrived. They were able to accommodate our request not to move and opened up the adjoining studio. The only issue we had was the housekeeping schedule. If they are able to open up the adjoining studio for your in-laws, I would suggest your in-laws call housekeeping directly if they want to know exactly when their 2 BR would get service.

    Not sure about the online checkin in your in-laws case but to me it would be worth the time to call the resort directly to reiterate their request and ask whether to do online. Would probably do it maybe 10 days out?

    Happy planning.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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  14. adamak

    adamak DIS Veteran

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    I online-checked in before, and got the views I requested. So I don't think online check in will override your request.
     
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  15. pharmama

    pharmama DIS Veteran

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    As a follow up, we did do online check in but did not put anything in the requests box so our original requests would remain.

    All 3 of our requests were granted. We asked for Ewa Building, Floor 6 or higher. Rooms ending in 71 through 87, Rooms near each other and the 2 bed lockoff to stay in same room as first half of stay, just add adjacent studio.

    We were given 971 and 977 and my in-laws will get to stay in their room and add the studio. They just have to pick up new keys on Wednesday.

    We booked island/garden view but were hoping to get something in the room block cited above because they still have lovely ocean views (just not on the resort side of the tower). We were not disappointed.
    View from the balcony of 971 [​IMG]
     
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