Guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels get so many magical benefits! Did you know that Disney Resort hotel guests get free transportation to and from Orlando International Airport? The "magical" part comes in in that your luggage will magically appear in your hotel room later on in your arrival day! Not to mention, you'll get to ride on a bus toadally Disney-themed, with the Fab Five painted on the outside of the bus, and movies and music to enjoy on your ride to the hotel. Hop aboard Disney's Magical Express!
Disney's Magical Express completely eliminates any worry or stress about getting to your Disney Resort hotel. Especially if you're making a first visit, you've got enough to think about in regards to planning your theme park vacation. So sit back and let Disney do the driving with Disney's Magical Express! This complimentary round-trip airport transportation and luggage delivery service is for guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Here is an overview of Disney's Magical Express, as well as a few pros and cons of using the service.
How to Use Disney's Magical Express Service
Reserve Disney Magical Express transportation by calling 407-939-1936 (0800 16 90 730 if calling from the UK). For international guests, reserve through the same travel agent or tour operator who booked your trip and say you'd like to include Disney Magical Express with your Disney hotel plans. Reservations must be made at least 10 days prior to arrival. It is recommended that you make your reservation at least 30 days in advance. You will receive special luggage tags in the mail two to three weeks in advance that should be attached to each bag you'd like delivered to your room before checking in at your local airport.
If you haven't received your luggage tags by the time you reach your airport (and are scheduled to arrive in Orlando between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.), don't fret! Just provide your baggage claim numbers to a representative at the Disney Magical Express service location at the airport.
Upon landing at Orlando International Airport, skip baggage claim and proceed to the Disney Magical Express Welcome Center in the Main Terminal Building, B side, Level 1. Disney Magical Express cast members will collect your luggage and deliver it directly to your Walt Disney World hotel room within three hours after you check in at the resort. The luggage delivery service is available for flights arriving between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily. If your arrival is not during that time, you must collect your luggage at baggage claim on Level 2 and transport it with you on the motorcoach.
International guests: If you are flying into Orlando International Airport from another country, you will need to claim your luggage and then proceed through customs. You can then return your luggage to the baggage carousel for Disney Magical Express to collect if you arrive between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m., or you can bring it with you to the Disney Magical Express Welcome Center.
Do not pack your MagicBands in checked luggage! You will use your MagicBands to check in with Disney Magical Express and to unlock your room when you arrive at your Disney Resort hotel.
Near the end of your Disney vacation, you will receive a Transportation Notice advising you of the pick-up time and place for your motorcoach ride back to Orlando International Airport. It is your responsibility to bring your luggage to the pick-up point.
Transportation is scheduled approximately three hours prior to your flight departure time for domestic flights and four hours prior to international flights. Be sure to have your Transportation Notice with you. The motorcoach driver will collect it before you board since MagicBands cannot be used to check in for your departure trip.
Using the Resort Airline Check-In Service
1. If you are departing on a participating airline, you are automatically enrolled in the Resort Airline Check-In service when arriving through Disney Magical Express. This allows you to receive your return boarding pass and check luggage at your Walt Disney World hotel, bypassing airport check-in completely. If your flight is after 12 p.m., your boarding pass will be delivered to your room on the morning of departure.
2. At the Airline Check-In desk at your hotel, have each guest's valid government-issued ID (for domestic travel) or valid passport (for international travel) ready. All guests must be present. You must check in no later than three hours before your scheduled flight.
3. Resort Airline Check-In Service is available for: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines (domestic flights only), JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.
4. Once you arrive at the airport, just head directly to the security checkpoint!
Pros of Using Disney Magical Express
1. It is free. (However, it is customary to tip your driver.)
2. If you are planning to use complimentary theme park transportation, Disney Magical Express eliminates the need to hire a car or shuttle to take you to your hotel and back to the airport at the end of your vacation.
3. Once you arrive at your hotel, you can head directly to the parks instead of fussing with your luggage. They will be delivered to your room.
4. You do not have to use the luggage tags and have Disney Magical Express deliver your bags to your room. You can take them with you on the motorcoach.
5. If you are traveling with kids, there is much less to worry about upon landing. Just get off the plane and head to the Disney Magical Express Welcome Center.
Cons of Using Disney Magical Express
1. You will need to bring a carry-on bag with necessities and a change of clothes for everyone. There are circumstances when luggage delivery is delayed and after a long flight, you'll probably want to be able to freshen up.
2. Disney suggests the trip from Orlando International to the Disney Resorts takes between 45 to 75 minutes. In reality, the trip is closer to 90 minutes.
3. Your scheduled return trip to the airport at the end of your vacation on the Disney Magical Express is non-negotiable. If you miss your pick-up time, there is a good chance you will not make your flight with the next bus and will have to arrange for other transportation.
4. Disney Magical Express makes more than one stop on each trip. Depending on what resort you are staying at, you may be the first drop off or the last. The same goes for the ride back to the airport.
5. There are times when it makes more sense to rent a car. It is more convenient and sometimes more economical to rent a car, especially if you are visiting multiple theme parks.
Have you used the Disney Magical Express? Would you recommend it to others? Tell us about your experience. Want to know all the benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel? Check them out and pick the right hotel for your family using our handy hotel comparison matrix!