Should I do online check in if I am using the room request fax service?
Yes, you can do both. The room request fax is a lot more specific. Just don't request anything that contradicts each other, like request a certain room on the fax that's only on the 2nd floor and then on the online checkin click for high floors only.
I believe the advice is to complete the fax for a specific room and then do the online checkin, telling them when you expect to arrive, link your credit card info, make sure you have a pin saved but do not make any room requests. That way it will speed up your check in process and maybe even allow for a room text but will not confuse the room assigners.
How far in advance would you do the online room check in? We're on a 7 day cruise before we arrive at WDW.
You can do the online checkin anytime within 60 days. I always do it around day 45 ( between fast pass and MB shipping date)
Once you've checked in, you're locked in? If you had to cancel, you're out of luck?
We are getting advised by our travel agent to check-in at the front desk even though we have checked in before arrival. She said that sometimes there are things wrong with the magic bands so it is best to do this rather than have to wait in guest services at the park. Any advice on this?
No. I have cancelled a trip after I checked in and it doesn't matter. Still got a refund.
We have never done that, always check in online and head straight to room at resort. You can go to the desk, but there isn't a reason to anymore. All our bands have worked fine.
I have not felt the need to do that in years. Sometimes I have not received the text and in that case I have gone to the desk.
I have had an issue with a Magic band not working, while doing a checkin at the desk. If there's an issue you will know early on, especially if you are using Magical Express as your band won't scan for boarding at the airport, which is what happened to me. At that time they scanned my companions band. I don't remember their scanning my band at the front desk when we checked in, and I had to make a special trip back to the front desk to get a new magic band after I couldn't open the hotel room door with my magic band.
Like others, I've done the online checkin, received the room text and bypassed the front desk entirely. Have everyone check their magic band with your hotel room door and you'll be alerted if there are any problems.