Thursday, October 2, 2014

Disney Speak - Magical Express

When someone says "you can just take the Magical Express" are you wondering what they mean?
Are you worried it involves unicorns and rainbows?
Maybe some sort of wizard?
It is magical but not quite that magical. It is one of the big benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort!

Disney's Magical Express is a bus service that takes you from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to your Walt Disney World Resort.  At the end of your trip it takes you back to the Orlando Airport for your flight home. The magical part is there is no extra fees, because it is included in with your stay at a Walt Disney World Resort.  This allows you to skip renting a car or arranging for a shuttle. Many families use the Disney bus system once on property and rental cars tend to sit in the the parking lots unused.  By Magical Express you have no need to rent a car (usually over $300) and eliminates the need for buying gas or paying for toll roads to and from the airport.

Here are some of the resorts that are NOT able to use Disney's Magical Express: Swan & Dolphin, Shades of Green, Bonnet Creek Resorts, Downtown Disney Hotels, and the Orlando Four Seasons. 

The first step is giving your travel agent your flight information to attach to your account.  You will then receive a packet in the mail from Disney's Magical Express.  In this packet is your vouchers and the bright yellow luggage tags.  You do not really need your vouchers if you have your magic bands.

Magical Express luggage tags

Attach the bright yellow tags to all your checked bags before you check them.  These tags will allow your bags to go straight from the airport to your room.  You will not need to stop at the baggage claim for any bag that has one of these yellow tags on it.  (If your flight arrives after 7pm in Orlando, I advise that you pick up your bags from the baggage claim because it can take up to 3 hours for your bags to arrive at your resort.) If you plan to take the Magical Express, make sure to pack any medications you may need in your CARRY ON LUGGAGE! 

The next step is to fly to Orlando International Airport.  Once you land, make sure you have your Magic Bands on.  In the above picture, you see my kids sporting their bands on the tram from the airport terminal to the main building of the airport.  

When you get off the tram you follow the arrow to the B side of the airport.

More B side singe.

Here we are walking past the baggage claim! 

The Magical Express shows up on lots of signs too.

More signs.

Even more signs.  I can see how someone still gets lost, but all the signs make it easy to find.

We arrived and here is a sign with all the hotels logos on it.

Then they scan your magic band to tell you witch bus to get on, they also direct you to the number of the line you should enter to catch your bus to the resort. 

Lots of rows to get into.

We were in line #2

We have never seen all of these full but at peak season and peak times of days I know it can happen, but the line moves quickly.

Magical Express bus waiting to take us to our resort.

We basically walked on to our bus.  If you have large carry ons you give them to the bus driver to stow under the bus.  When you arrive at your resort the bus driver will get them out for you.  This is the one time you will need to tip.  

After about 10 min of sitting on the bus, we took off and were on our way to the most magical place on Earth.

There is entertainment the whole way to Disney World.  It is about a 30 minute drive.  We stopped at one other resort before our own.  This can vary, depending on the resort that you are staying at.  For some resorts the whole bus is going to the same place.  Now you just have to check in and you can head to one of the Disney Parks.  Our room was not ready so we stored our carry ons with the bell desk and headed to the Magic Kingdom.  When our room was ready we received a text with the room number.  (If you don't get a text by 5:00, go ahead and check with your resort because your room should be ready. Sometimes the texts just don't go through for them.) When we were done at the Magic Kingdom, we headed straight to the room and found all our bags waiting for us!   It can take up to 3 -4 hours for your luggage to make it to your room, so if there is something you will need right after your flight (like swim suits or medications) make sure you have them in a carry on luggage.  If you arrive after 10pm you have to get your luggage from baggage claim.  I personally like to get my own bags if we arrive after 7pm because you may not get your bags tell 11 o'clock and that makes it tricky to put kids in bed.  If you plan on picking your own bags up you just don't put the yellow tags on them and they will show up on the baggage claim like normal.  You just take the bags to the bus and the bus driver will stow them under the bus!

Sadly, the trip has come to a end.  
How do we get back to the airport?  
The Magical Express of course!

Disney's Airline Check-In info

Disney has another luggage trick up its sleeve to help make the airport as simple as possible.  You can check in for your flight out of MCO right at your resort.  You get your boarding passes and check your luggage right at your resort.  The picture above has the airlines that do this currently. (Not all participate in airline check-in at the resort!)

Once they have your bags you are good to go.  When you arrive at the airport you just head through  security and to your gate with your carry ons.  This is a huge benefit of staying on Disney Property.  This makes the airport so much easier and stress free!

Now that our bags are checked, just go to the Magical Express Bus Stop at the time you are assigned.  

You are usually given a time about 3 hours before your flight.  You get a packet on your door the day before that tells you the exact time and also has your vouchers in it. You WILL need these vouchers to give to the bus driver.

Take the packet with you to the bus the driver will look at it to let you on the bus.  

Magical Express makes it very stress free to get to this view!

No comments:

Post a Comment