Going to Straight to the Parks Question

On two previous trips, we elected to bypass the on-property resort, and go straight to the parks. In one case we drove straight to EP and in the other, we drove to the resort, parked the car, bypassed the check-in desk and rode Disney transportation to the park (MK). Both times we did online check-in and both times we were stopped at the park gates and we had to go to Guest Services to sort everything out. A CM had to activate our bands for entrance.

I thought one could go straight to the parks with an active reservation and a park ticket. Maybe not? Am I doing something incorrectly? I have a trip coming up next week and we are driving down, staying one night off property, and then driving to MK to start the next day.

Our on-site reservations start Dec. 18 at CBR with a park reservation for MK. Thanks.

If your room isn’t ready yet, you’re not checked in, so none of the stuff (like tickets or dining plan) is activated yet. Since check in time isn’t officially until 3 PM, that’s probably why.

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Whelp - that’s a little frustrating, but understandable.

Sounds like the best course is to just plan enough time to start at guest services to activate the MBs.

Thanks @ninjasherrie.

It has been 3 years but we did online checkin and straight to AK before hotel. No problem. I wonder if this is something that could be straightened out with a phone call.

You could always go straight to the park on check in day in the past, but it does seem to be an issue with the current APR/tickets/resort check in.

It should work, just like you can use the pool and all amenities at a resort before 3/4. Your tickets are date specific and good for that day.


I wonder if I’m misunderstanding the question here. Presumably some park guests are staying off-site altogether. Are all of them visiting Guest Services to activate their MagicBands?

As I’m in the same boat as Lizzney22 (and on the same date!), I’m very curious about this unforeseen potential problem.

No, but if you book a package where your room and tickets are all tied together, this can happen.

This must be relatively new (last few years new) or it may not be effecting everyone. Hmmmmm.

I believe it is re-opening new. I heard about it for the first time in the last couple of weeks. It is NOT supposed to work like that. Your tickets are active on that date, not on physical check in. If you have a MB it should work on a pool gate/fitness center early morning.


I’m trying to remember if we had anything unusual with those trips. One was in 2015 and one was in 2018 so it has been awhile.

I think it does have something to do with the hotel and tickets being tied together. Both previous trips we used a travel agent and both times we were advised to go straight to the parks.

If I have time today I’ll call Disney and ask.

One idea, depending on when you arrive in town the night before is to go to Guest Services the night before. But, not enter the park, of course.

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