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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
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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:
- 15 Mistakes not to make at Disney
- 10 Things to Know about Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter resort
- Disney in the Rain – 7 Tips to take Cover
What about you? Have you taken Disney’s Magical Express? Do you enjoy it?
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