Traveling to a new place can be one of the greatest memories that will last forever. However, if you are traveling by plane, there’s that whole hassle of checking in your bags, picking up your bags, renting a car or catching a cab/Uber/Lyft and then having to find your way to the hotel. But this is Disney – they have all those items covered in one magical way!
Welcome to Believe Vacations’ Weekly Post where today, we’ll tell you about the Magical Express services offered at Disney World. For this post, we’ll share with you about the service, what you need to know, and maybe a personal experience or two. So all aboard as we start our journey with…
If you have a flight arriving at Orlando International Airport (MCO), you can start your Disney vacation with the Magical Express. This shuttle service starts the minute you get your Magic Bands at your house. Look for the yellow luggage stripes you attach to the items you’ll be checking in at the airport. Once you hand over those bags at check-in, you won’t see them again until they are in your resort room. When you arrive at MCO, you’ll be directed towards the Magical Express and by pass baggage claim. You get a bus assignment, you and the other registered guest catch a ride to your resort on a complimentary shuttle and within a few hours, your luggage will be in your room. Sounds simple, right? Let’s break it down a little more.
1 – What’s the Cost?
Would you believe this is a complimentary service for all resort guests? Disney’s Magical Express is a complimentary service for all Walt Disney World Resort guests. (This does not include Good Neighbor hotels or other resorts indicated on the Magical Express website.) That means you don’t have to worry about the extra expenses of transportation to your resort nor the overnight parking fees you would acquire as well with your own vehicle.
2 – Orlando International Airport (MCO)
Disney’s Magical Express is only available from Orlando International Airport to the Walt Disney World Resort and vice versa. Most major cities will have direct flights to and from MCO. We always suggest getting into MCO as early as possible on arrival day and leaving as late as possible on departure day to maximize Disney time!
3 – Yellow Luggage Tags
Either in your regular mail or when your magic bands arrive, you will receive a set of yellow luggage tags you will attach to each bag you plan to check-in at the airport. This tag gets your bag to MCO and then it is loaded onto Disney transportation and taken to your resort indicated on the tag. You do not need to stop at baggage claim. Rather, you go right to Disney’s Magical Express.
4 – Where’s my stuff?
As you are traveling to WDW, magic takes place where your luggage goes from the plane to your room in a matter of hours! Actually, it’s designated cast members working at the airport, through transportation and at bell services at your resort but magic sounds great too! Seriously though, this operation takes a few hours but once you arrive, take a lap around the resort and maybe take your first swim or bite to eat, you should see your stuff once you get back to the room.
5 –Don’t pack everything!
Because it may take a few hours once you arrive, you’ll want to keep your carry-on bags full of what we’ll define as “essentials.” For Disney people, that means your magic bands, your wallets and identifications, swimsuits, medications, any reservation documents if needed and of course, some method of paying for goods be it cash or credit. Also, if you feel more secure holding onto your items, you can retrieve your luggage at baggage claim and still ride the Magical Express. This will also be the policy if you are arriving after 10 pm.
6 – When am I leaving?
Before you go to sleep the night before departure day, make sure you receive your transportation notice either hanging on your door or by calling the front desk. Your party and all your information will be listed as well as a time for you to check back in at the resort’s Magical Express pickup to head to the airport. The letter they provide you will get you on the bus so don’t forget it! Pick up times are approximately 3 hours prior to your flight departure for domestic flights. Missing your bus means you’ll have to pay for a taxi or Uber/Lyft yourself.
7- And my bags?
If you so desire and your flight qualifies, check your bags at the resort and pick it up at baggage claim at your final airport. If not, stow it on the Magical Express and check it in at MCO like normal.
I love Disney’s Magical Express. It really does take some of the biggest issues with flight travel out of the equation and gets your Disney Vacation started the proper way. In fact, it may be cheating but I call it the first and last official ride we do at Disney. Give it a try and all aboard!!!