Using Disney resort benefits

When you stay at a Disney resort, do you have to wait until you actually check in to start getting the benefits?

We’re planning on checking into a resort on a Wednesday afternoon, but we’d like to start touring the parks that morning. Will we have to pay to park and can we take advantage of EMH that day if we’re not physically checked into the room? I’ve submitted check-in info on the Disney app already, if that’s helpful to know.

I’m guessing someone on this board has been in this situation before. Thanks!

Yes, you can go to the parks and take advantage of all the perks. If you did online check in, you really don’t need to “check in”. Your room assignment will show up in MDE and you can go straight to the room when it is ready. Your magic band will open the door. Sometimes I drop by the front desk, however, to be sure that my charging privileges are set up and I can use my magic band to charge to the room.

My understanding is they can scan your Magic Band at the parking gates to know you are indeed a resort guest and thus deserving of free parking. EMH morning of on arrival day (or evening on departure day) is also allowed - so you should be all good. If your Magic Band had trouble scanning morning of you’d have to hit guest services to fix it which would be annoying, but manageable. I think it’s a low % chance that happens, but I’ve certainly heard of issues like that…

Thanks for the replies. I mostly just don’t want to hold anyone else up at the entrance while they figure out my parking situation. So if you’re behind me and it takes an extra minute to get through, I apologize in advance. Please don’t honk at me. :grinning: