Friday, May 24, 2013
Disney's Magical Express
Disney's Magical Express is a complimentary service offered to Walt Disney World resort guests. It provides transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport, including luggage delivery.
Reserve Disney's Magical Express Transportation when you book online or by calling (407) WDW-MAGIC or (407) 939-6244. Guests under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian's permission to call.
With this service, guests check their bags at their departing airport, bypass baggage claim upon arrival at Orlando International Airport and board motor coaches to their resort as their bags are transferred to their room by Magical Express.
Because your baggage will be delivered to your room at some point after your arrival, usually a few hours, essential items such as medication should be taken in your carry on bag. I also pack ponchos, and a change of clothes.
Luggage delivery service provided by Disney's Magical Express is available for flights arriving between 5:00 am and 10:00 pm daily. For airport arrivals after 10:00 pm, Guests may collect their luggage at Baggage Claim and transport it with them on the motor coach.
Let's take a look at how it works.
A few weeks before your vacation, an Airport Transportation Booklet with information, transportation vouchers and luggage tags will be mailed to you.
Attach the provided luggage tags prior to leaving home. If for some reason the booklet does not arrive (which is happening more often from what I understand), you can still ride the Magical Express. You will have to pick up your own bags at luggage claim after your flight, however, since without the tags, Disney will not pick up your bags.
If you get to the airport, and forget what to do next, this booklet has very helpful information to get you to the right place, so keep it handy.
Attach the provided luggage tags to the bags you intend on checking in, prior to leaving home.
Upon arrival at Orlando International, take the monorail to Level 3 of the main terminal, then proceed to the Disney Welcome Center. That's right, the rides begin before you even get to Disney World!
You can even shop before you get to the parks!
Magical Express is located on Level One in Terminal B. There are signs in several locations to help you find your way, but if you get turned around, just ask the airport staff for assistance. You will walk a LONG way, as the Magical Express is at the very end of the hallway, past all of the rental car places.
There will be a cast member once you arrive to direct you to the right line.
If you don't have your voucher, or need further assistance, you will be directed to the Welcome Center desk.
If you have your voucher, you will be directed to the appropriate queue.
The wait can seem like forever, especially if you have kids, or are a big kid, like me! But before long, a cast member will ask you to follow them to your motor coach.
You can have them check your carry on luggage in the storage department, or carry on items yourself. In regards to tipping: I usually give a dollar per bag, or, if I carry my luggage on, give a dollar tip to the driver for providing good service.
The bus is very comfortable....
...and there is a great video, which is much beloved by frequent ME users.
In about 45-60 minutes, you will be arriving at the most magical place on earth!
The motor coach usually stops at 2 or 3 resorts, so depending on which you are staying at, it could take an additional 15-20 minutes to get to your final destination. This just builds the excitement!
It is really irritating, however, if you are trying to make an advanced dining reservation. So make sure you allow yourself at least 3-4 hours from your flight's arrival to your dining reservation.
Magical Express is a wonderful FREE service, and I consider it a part of our trip, the appetizer before the feast that is a vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort. It is important to note that this Magical Express is ONLY for people staying ON DISNEY PROPERTY! Don't rent a car or hire a taxi if you're staying in a Disney World resort, use Magical Express and ride for free.
Portions of this article were originally posted on the Tips From the Disney Diva Blog where Nick is a contributing writer.