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The Key to the World Card at the Walt Disney World Resort

by Jennifer Marx, Author of PassPorter Travel Guides

The Walt Disney World "Key to the World" card is literally, your "key to the World." It acts as the key to your hotel room, your identification as a Disney resort guest, and your resort room charge chard (if you put down a credit card on your account at check-in). And depending on what options you've purchased, the Key to the World card can also be your theme park admission and/or your Disney Dining Plan credits card.

Card Basics: Everyone who is registered for your Disney resort hotel room receives a Key to the World card. The cards are attractive -- usually light blue with Cinderella Castle. Cards are personalized for each person in your party with the dates of your stay, name, account numbers, and notations for Disney Dining (if present). The card does not include your resort name or room number for security purposes. The back of the Key to the World card has the magnetic strip, legalese about tickets, and a signature panel.

Card Tips:
First and most importantly, sign your Key to the World card as soon as you receive it from the cast member at check-in. If your card is not signed, you may have difficulties using it, or someone else may attempt to use it if it is lost or stolen.

Keep your Key to the World card away from magnetic sources to avoid de-magnetizing it. I prefer to put mine in my PassHolder Pouch for safekeeping, but you will also find that a dedicated slot in your wallet works fine. I have had problems with demagnetizing when I've stored the card near other credit cards, though this is rare. If your card is de-magnetized, you'll need to visit Lobby Concierge at your resort or Guest Services at a park to get a new card issued.

Decide in advance whether each member of your party will be responsible for their own Key to the World card, or if one person will have the job of keeping them safe. Personally, we think its best for adults to keep their own cards, but have kids 12 and under give their cards to one responsible adult for safe-keeping.

You can elect to have room charging privileges removed from some or all of your Key to the World cards. Just let the cast member know at check-in. In our experience, Disney usually keeps charging privileges off kids cards by default, but you can specify that the charging privileges be kept, if you wish.

When you use your Key to the World card to open your hotel door, it's important that you insert the card into the door's card slot in the correct way. On your Key to the World card you'll see a large arrow (it's always on the right side of the face). Make sure that arrow is pointing down when you insert the card into the door. The best way to open your door with your Key to the World card is to insert the card firmly, wait one second, then remove the card. When the LED light turns green, the door is unlocked. If you go too quick, the system cannot read the information fully and you won't be able to get into your room (the LED light will be red).

If you have theme park admission on your Key to the World card, each member of your party must use their own card to enter the park. The turnstiles have finger recognition scanners and your biometric data is associated with your card the first time you use it to enter a park. So if someone else tries to use your card -- even your husband or child -- that card will not work because their biometric data will not match. It's interesting to note that this is not a straight fingerprint scan, but rather a scan of a series of points on your finger, between which the distances are measured and assigned a numerical value. Note that if you're uncomfortable providing this biometric data for any reason, you can elect to present a photo ID instead.

You'll also use your Key to the World card for getting FASTPASSes in the park if you have your theme park admission on the card.

If you have Disney Dining Plan credits on your Key to the World card, you only need to present one of your party's cards to your server to settle the bill. Your travel party's credits are grouped together so you can use credits as you wish.

The Key to the World card is also important as your resort ID card. You'll need it at the security guardhouse when approaching the resort in your car. You'll need it when entering the park early for morning Extra Magic Hours, or getting your wristband for evening Extra Magic Hours.

Nearly anything can be charged, at every theme park and at every Disney-owned resort hotel. Even snack carts now have charging capabilities. One of the few exceptions to this had been the Harmony Barber Shop on Magic Kingdom's Main Street. However, they have said goodbye to their old-fashioned cash register and now accept the Key to the World card, too. At Downtown Disney, where there are a variety of non-Disney-owned businesses, the charging situation is variable -- some non-Disney businesses accept the card, others don't. However, all the Disney-owned businesses there accept the card.

If you're on a Disney Cruise Line land/sea package, your Key to the World card for the land portion will be the same card used for the cruise portion.

Do you have tips and tricks on using your Key to the World card? Contact me at jennifer (at) passporter.com and I'll include them here.

This article was last verified for accuracy on 2/19/2008 by Marnie Urmaza


Related Articles:

  • Choosing a Disney Resort Hotel
  • Disney Resort Hotel Primer
  • Reserving a Room

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    Updated 02/19/2008 



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