Did you know that transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) is included in your Walt Disney World Resort reservation? It’s called Disney’s Magical Express, and it really is magical! No need to rent a car or look for other means of transportation. Disney provides motorcoach transportation for guests staying on property. After you complete your resort reservation you will have access to the Disney’s Magical Express reservation website through your My Disney Experience or you can call 1-407-939-1936. But, before you get started, have your airline information handy as you will need it to fill in flight information and other info that they need to make the process run smooth for you. And don’t worry if everyone in your party is not on the same flight, or arriving/departing together. It’s simple to add different itineraries on the form or let the Cast Member know everyone’s itinerary if you call for your reservation. Here’s an overview of how it works:
Before You Leave Home
So, now what happens after you make your Disney’s Magical Express reservation? For domestic travelers, about two weeks before you leave home you will receive your Magical Express luggage tags in the mail. It’s the best mail you can receive as it means you are leaving for Walt Disney World soon! Double check that the flight/resort information is correct, before you attach the tags to your luggage. It is important to make sure the tags are on before you check them in at the airport; this will ensure that your bags are picked up by Disney at the airport. This is a wonderful service, as you can by-pass the luggage claim upon your arrival! Make sure you do not pack anything that you will need right away. It can take up to three hours for your luggage to be delivered to your room, and you do not need to wait for it as a member of Bell Services at your resort will put it inside your room if you are not there. Also, do not pack your MagicBands in your checked luggage as you will need them to check into the Disney’s Magical Express, and it acts as your “key to the world” resort room key and park tickets. If you did not receive your MagicBands in the mail, remember to bring your Disney’s Magical Express documents with you.
At the Airport
Upon arriving at the Orlando airport you simply take the tram over to the main terminal and head directly to Side B, Level 1, the Disney’s Magical Express is located in the ground transportation area, just follow the signs. If you arrive between [10:00] PM and [5:00] AM, you will need to claim your own luggage and bring it with you to the DME location on Level 1. After checking in, you will be directed to a queue based on your resort. Travel time from the airport to your resort may take over 45 minutes depending on how many guests are traveling and how many resorts your motorcoach scheduled to make dropoffs. But don’t worry, the ride will not seem too long as you are entertained with Disney cartoons, trivia and information about your WDW stay on overhead monitors on the motorcoach.
Departure from WDW
Disney’s Magical Express will also make your departure from your resort to the airport easy as well. The day before you are to leave, a Transportation Notice will be delivered to you in your room. This letter will let you know what time you need to be at the DME pick-up location the next day. Departure times are about 3 hours for domestic flights and 4 hours for international flights before your flight departs. This will give you plenty of time to check in, go through security and take the tram over to your gate. If you are not flying with a Disney participating airline you will be responsible for bringing your luggage to the DME pick-up area at your resort. You will need to have your Transportation Notice available and ready to give to your driver as your MagicBands cannot be used to board the motorcoach.
Airline Check-In at your Resort
As mentioned above, Disney has agreements with participating airlines which allows you to check-in your luggage and get your boarding pass while still at your Disney Resort hotel. What a time saver at the airport! Simply bring your luggage to the Resort Airline Check-in stand at your resort. Everyone in your party needs to be present as they will check your government-issued I.D. just as they would at the airport. You must check in at least 3 hours prior to your scheduled flight departure or before noon of departure. The Resort Airline Check-in is only available from [5:00] AM to noon, 7 days a week. So be sure not to pack anything in your checked bags that you might need on your departure day, especially if you have a later flight. You can opt-out of this service by just bringing your luggage to the Disney’s Magical Express check-in area at your designated time.
My family and I always stay on property at the Walt Disney World Resort and we love Disney’s Magical Express and hope you will too! Please let me know if you need further information, and check out the article on Disney’s Magical Express Accessibility written by Andrew Prince. So on your next trip to your Walt Disney World Resort hotel, sit back and enjoy your magical ride on Disney’s Magical Express!
(Disney’s Magical Express logo © Disney. WDW Tip of the Week logo property of WDW Radio. All photos are property of author.)
To learn more about Vanessa and read her recent posts for WDW Radio, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post.