Disney’s Magical Express – Everything You Need to Know

Wouldn’t it be nice to step off a plane and not worry about getting your luggage, waiting for the rental car or figuring out how to get to your hotel?

Please note: Disney discontinued The Magical Express as of January 1, 2022. Your options for getting to The Disney Resort are to take a rideshare such as Uber or Lyft (or a taxi), reserve a bus such as The Mears Shuttle, or starting in 2023, take the Brightline train to Disney Springs.

You can – with Disney’s Magical Express!

Magical Express service is a benefit for those staying onsite at any Disney World Resort in Orlando and flying into Orlando’s International Airport (MCO).

Sit back and relax because the Magical Express makes your Disney vacation start sooner!

Here are 10 tips you need to know.

1. Reserve Disney’s Magical Express

Make your reservation either by calling or entering it online at https://secure.reservations.disney.go.com/ibcwdw/en_US/dme/dmeform

From the U.S. or Canada
(407) 939-1936

From the United Kingdom
0800 16 90 730

Traveling from another international destination? Have your travel agent add it for you.

You need to know your Disney reservation number and your flight information.

It’s easy just to reserve online which is what I did.

Magical Express Information Form with Black text on white background with yellow input text boxes
Reserving the Magical Express is easy

Reserve your seats as soon as you can, ideally at least a month before your check-in so you can receive your luggage tags.

2. Luggage tags and information

Approximately 2 weeks before your trip, Disney will send you a yellow luggage tag for each person in your party.

In addition, the accompanying letter provides you with information regarding your luggage tags and details of where to go upon deplaning.


Attach the yellow tag to each item you are checking. Believe it or not, I had a hard time deciding on if it should go on the same handle as the airline tag or separately. In the end, I opted to put it on the opposite handle but was told it did not matter. Sometimes, I just think too much!

Bright yellow and black luggage tag on top of a white sheet of paper with typewritten wording for Disney's Magical Express
Getting your luggage tags means your vacation is close!
Bright yellow luggage tag with black Mickey ears attached to a burgundy suitcase on beige carpet
Attach your luggage tag on either bag handle

3. Arrival at Orlando Airport

It’s getting exciting now! Once you land, follow the signs to the B concourse and Disney’s Magical Express.

Signs are posted everywhere – you will not miss it.

In fact, you will come across several Disney merchandise shops at the airport. Kids will start to get excited and even you will have that adrenaline flowing.

For those interested in Disney pressed pennies, yes these shops have penny machines!

Blue sign with white lettering showing the way to Bag Claim, Ground Transportation and Disney's Magical Express
You won’t get lost!
Dark gray sign with white lettering and an arrow pointing to Disney's Magical Express
This way to the Magic!

4. Keep your Magic Bands with you

When packing your luggage, do not put your Magic Bands in your checked luggage. Instead, either wear them the day of travel or keep them in a carry on bag.

Your magic bands allow you to get on your bus faster as well as act as a key to your hotel room.

5. Disney’s Magical Express check-in

Assuming you have made it to the lower level, Disney’s Magical Express check-in desk is located at the far end to the left of the rental cars.

Scan your Magic Band and head to whatever numbered line your Cast Member (a person who works for Disney) tells you to. Only one person per reservation needs to scan their band.

If for some reason, you don’t have your Magic Band, never fear because your reservation will be looked up. It does hold up the line, but Disney will still let you on the bus.

We were able to get straight on the bus and then, about 10 minutes later, our bus left the airport. We did not wait long at all.

6. Disney’s Magical Express bus

You’re here! Now you can breathe a sigh of relief and let someone else do the driving.

The Disney motor coaches are clean and comfortable and have a large Mickey Mouse on the outside with ‘Disney Magical Express’ written on them. Your vacation begins!

It’s a 30-minute drive from the airport to WDW, however, most busses will stop at more than one resort so you are looking at a 30-60 minute drive also depending on traffic.

Don’t think for a moment that your drive will be uneventful. This is Disney, of course.

There are mounted TVs that continuously play Disney trivia along with Disney resort and park information. If you have never watched it before, it does have some valuable and important advice. I do recommend listening to it.

Plus, all this adds to the excitement of getting to your resort!

Large blue and white bus with round circle windows with words Disney Magical Express in the center
Catch the Magical Express at Orlando International Airport
Video monitor attached to the ceiling of bus showing news and events at Disney
Stay entertained on the ride to your hotel

7. Luggage arrival via Disney’s Magical Express

Remember those yellow luggage tags? Disney uses those to pull your luggage and transfer them to your resort.

Typically, your luggage will be in your room approximately 3-4 hours after your arrival.

8. Heading home via The Magical Express

All good things must come to an end. But, that doesn’t mean you are on your own. The Magical Express will transport you back to Orlando’s airport with plenty of time to catch your flight.

The day before you leave, you will find an envelope on or under your door detailing what time you need to meet the bus.

You will also find your flight boarding passes! Talk about a time saver not having to find the computer to print out your boarding documents.

Disney has all their T’s crossed and I’s dotted. You are completely taken care of. I must admit that I have been quite impressed with this level of detail.

White brochure with a barcoded luggage tag on a dark wood table for Disney's Magical Express
Disney takes care of everything

9. Resort Airport check-in

Each Disney resort has a check-in counter (usually outside) for your flight. Take your luggage with your boarding pass and a cast member will take it from there.

They tag and check your luggage through to your final destination.

How easy is that?

Now the only thing you need to do is get on the bus.

10. Magical Express back to MCO

To be honest, this ride is not as exciting as the ride to your resort. Who wants to leave Disney World?

Each resort has a designated area for Magical Express pickups. Look for the sign below as that is where your bus will pick you up.

Blue, black and red round sign in front of green leaves with a picture of Mickey Mouse in the center surrounded by the words Disney's Magical Express departures
Look for this sign at your hotel
Large blue and white bus with round circle windows with words Disney Magical Express in the center and airport on the front of the bus
Ending your vacation with the Magical Express

Disney does a fantastic job taking care of all the little details. The Magical Express is a wonderful benefit of staying on Disney property. I highly encourage you to use it and get in the Disney spirit as soon as you land in Orlando.

For other Disney tips, read the below:

What about you? Have you taken Disney’s Magical Express? Do you enjoy it?

Please SHARE this article with others! Thank you.

Large blue and white bus with round circle windows with words Disney Magical Express in the center and a white text overlay at the top with the words 10 tips for using Disney's Magical Express
Large blue and white bus with man in white shirt and gray pants opening the luggage hatch; text of Disney's Magical Express tips in black on white overlay
Round sign with a Mickey Mouse head in the center with the words Disney's Magical Express Departures around it

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  1. During non-peak times, I have waited over 45 minutes for the shuttle service to leave the airport and if you are staying at a Magic Kingdom Park, it may be another hour till you arrive at your resort. Additionally, you may have to leave your hotel at 5:00am for a 10:00am departure flight. All this with excited children – no thanks! For all that Disney charges, it is worth the additional $50 for a taxi service.

    1. Christine says:

      Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Sorry, that you did not enjoy the Magical Express. I have taken it 4 times and I didn’t encounter such items, but you mentioned it was a non-peak time, so maybe that was why. Yes, the shuttles do not run from the airport until it’s full. If you just missed the previous shuttle, then I can see where you may have an extended wait. Usually, they combine several hotels into one shuttle, but maybe it was just a slow day. In addition, Disney wants to get you to the airport 3 full hours ahead of your scheduled flight, so yes, you are waiting at the airport, most often. As a points and miles hacker, we are used to taking longer flights, more connections and have to go out of the way to fly free so we are used to such things. However, when we stay at the Dolphin (a Marriott property by Epcot), an Uber costs around $35 one way and is a very convenient way to get back and forth. Plus, if you have the AMEX Platinum card, they give you monthly Uber credits. It’s all about what works for your family – everyone is different. Thank you for your opinion.

  2. Oke good post but what about a different country from europe. Im not able to book online, and who can i call to make reservation. I do nit have a travel agent. Greetings Zoe grom the Netherlands Europe.

    1. Christine says:

      Hi Zoe, Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful visit to Orlando. I checked the WDW website and I found this Disney resort reservation number for Indo-European travelers, 1800 812 676 (IE). My suggestion is to start there. The Disney website states that international travelers must go through the normal customs process of claiming your luggage, but then you have the option of returning the luggage to the carousel (keep your bag claim number to give to the Magical Express check-in cast members) or simply bring it with you to board the Magical Express. Hope that helps!