What is it?
Disney’s Magical Express (ME) is a service offered by Walt Disney World to provide free airport transfers and luggage service between Orlando International Airport and select Walt Disney Resort Hotels. This service can be booked at the same time you make your Disney Resort reservation. If you don’t know your airline info at this time, it can be added anytime up to ten days prior to your arrival. It is recommended that you book the service a minimum of six weeks prior to your arrival. During the busy seasons early booking is most likely very important, but for our off season trips our motor coaches are rarely above 25% capacity. Regardless, don’t put it off if you have your flight info.
How does it work?
A few weeks before your departure you will receive your ME information, including vouchers for arrival and departure transportation, and special Disney Magical Express luggage tags for your checked luggage. These tags go on before you leave so that when you arrive in Orlando your luggage can be picked up by Disney to be delivered to your room for you.
Arrival in Orlando
Upon arriving in Orlando, skip baggage claim and go directly to the Main Terminal Building, B side, Level 1 to check in at the Magical Express counter. You will then be directed to the waiting queue for the bus going to your resort.
Note that your motor coach may make multiple stops on the way to your resort. Disney puts travel time at between 45 and 75 minutes.
Departure from your Resort
The day before you are scheduled to check out of your resort you will receive a packet of information on your door for ME departure. It will include your motor coach pick up time and specific info on the resort airline check in and checked baggage services. This information will also have a phone number to call to pre-pay for your checked baggage (if your airline charges this fee). You will receive a code that you will need to check your bags when you go to your resorts airline check in desk. There, your luggage will be checked to your final destination. Once it is dropped off with this service, you will not have access to it until you pick it up at your destination airport.
We have been traveling to Walt Disney World multiple times a year since 2008. For every single visit, we have used Disney’s Magical Express service and it has always served us well. Regarding efficiency, travel time could be quicker, but in our experience it has been perfectly acceptable for a free service. There have been occasions when we stood in line for the bus for up to 30 minutes, but we have always been checked in to our resort, settled in the room, and in a park within three hours of landing at the airport. That said, if you prefer to have your own car at Disney World, you can almost surely get to your resort more quickly than if you use the Magical Express service, especially during the busier seasons. Its up to you to determine if renting a car or using a shuttle service is worth the expense to save a couple hours on each end of your vacation. We will not go into it here, but there are other possible advantages to having a car on property that should be taken into account regarding the decision to rent a car. Regarding convenience, Magical Express really can’t be beat. Well, unless you have a limo and your driver will be taking care of your bags. For the rest of us, having our checked bags delivered from the airport to our hotel room and being shuttled on a comfortable coach makes for a very relaxing trip to the resort. This is especially pleasant when you have been up since 4AM to catch your early morning flight or after very long flights.
For a couple tips to get the most from the Magical Express service, see the post “Our Tips for the Magical Express Service“. For all the latest details enter “magical express” in the search box at disneyworld.com.
Share Your Thoughts
Have you used Disney’s Magical Express service? Have your experiences been as positive as ours? Please share your thoughts and questions!