One of the magical benefits of staying on-site at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel is not having to worry about getting there. Especially if you're making a first visit, you've got enough to think about in 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 select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Here is an overview of Disney's Magic Express as well as a few pros and cons of using the service.
How to Use Disney's Magical Express
1. Reserve Disney's Magical Express transportation by calling 407-939-1936 (0800 16 90 730 if calling from the UK). 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 your luggage before checking in at your departure airport.
2. Upon landing at Orlando International Airport, skip baggage claim and proceed to the Disney's Magical Express Welcome Center in the Main Terminal Building, B side, Level 1. Disney's Magical Express will collect your luggage and delivery 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 our luggage at baggage claim 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's Magical Express to collect if you arrive between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. or you can bring it with you to Disney's Magical Express Welcome Center.
Do not pack your MagicBands in checked luggage!
You will use your MagicBands to check in with Disney's Magical Express and to unlock your room when you arrive at your Disney Resort hotel.
3. 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.
Using the Resort Airline Check-In Service
1. If you are departing domestically on a designated airline, you can take advantage of the Resort Airline Check-In Service. This allows you to receive your return boarding pass and check luggage at your Walt Disney World hotel, bypassing airport check-in completely.
2. Visit the Resort Airline Check-In Desk at your Walt Disney World hotel up to three hours prior to your flight departure time. A valid government issued ID and your hotel room key are required to participate.
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.
Pros of Using Disney's 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's 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's 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 Disney's Magical Express Welcome Center.
Cons of Using Disney's 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 Disney's 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's 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 or are you planning to use Disney's Magical Express? Would you recommend it to others? Let us know your thoughts.