I've used it three or four times, and have had nothing but great experiences.
Has anyone had any experience with this? We were looking forward to availing ourselves of it on our upcoming trip-but now we've heard several negative reviews about it. It has been suggested that we would be much better off getting our own luggage at the airport, rather than entrusting it to the Magical Express program. Would appreciate any reviews or advice. Thanks.
I don't know where you heard the negative information, but there are literally MILLIONS of satisfied customers. DME is so successful that even though it was originally slated to end in the Fall of 2006 it's been extended through 2011.Originally Posted by Patmegpat
Giving up the automatic luggage delivery is, to me, giving up the best part of DME. It's really wonderful! It's also easily misunderstood. Most of the complaints I've read about the luggage delivery were written by people who didn't do their homework and thus didn't understand what to expect.
For example, your luggage will arrive in your room maybe 2-3 hours after you arrive. This has led to:
MISCONCEPTION #1: You have waste time in your room waiting for your luggage to be delivered. Absolutely incorrect. To me, the "magical" part of Disney's Magical Express is that your luggage will appear inside your resort room whether you're in there or not. And the Bell Services CMs are even pre-tipped by Disney, so it's not like you're stiffing the person bringing your bags (Disney thinks of everything!).
MISCONCEPTION #2: Your delivered luggage will arrive at the same time you do. Incorrect. I've read of people bitterly complaining that they had their kids' diapers in their checked luggage, or had to check in and then immediately go to a fancy dinner but had their nice clothes in their checked luggage, and so on. First of all, this is risky even without DME, since if the airline delays your luggage then you're in a VERY bad position. That's why wherever I fly I ALWAYS pack for the first 24 hours in a carry-on, to make the start of my vacation go just fine even if the airline delays my luggage. So if you know there is this lag time before getting your luggage, you can plan for it.
It's all a matter of expectations and knowledge. The people who have complained so loudly that they didn't have their luggage IMMEDIATELY simply didn't know what to expect. Take the example of eating at a sit-down restaurant. Imagine someone who walked in and spoke with the hostess and then became LIVID when they weren't served their food seconds later. They'd bitterly complain that their kids are hungry and they are hungry and that it's totally unacceptable that they don't have food already. Well, of course, we know that we have to wait to be seated, then wait for the server, then peruse the menu, then wait again to place our order, then wait for the food to arrive. We control for this lag between entrance and food service by not waiting until the kids are famished before entering a restaurant, or by making sure the kids have crackers to nibble on during the wait, etc. Knowing what we know about restaurants, the wait for our food is totally normal, we don't give it a second thought. But if we didn't know it, then the "delay" becomes a horror story. ALMOST ALL of the DME "horror stories" are a result of lack of knowledge and unrealistic expectations.
I first used DME on its 4th day of operations, but I did my homework so I knew exactly what to expect. I'm not exactly sure when my luggage arrived, because my wife and I brought our 5 year old and 2.5 year old to the pool to start our vacation (our swim stuff was in our carry-ons).
MISCONCEPTION #3: DME LUGGAGGE HANDLING IS POORLY DONE. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's quite a high-tech operation. Before you leave home, you put a special DME luggage tag on each piece of luggage you will check with your airline. Among other info, the tag has a barcode on it. After your luggage is off-loaded from the aircraft, the DME-tagged bags are removed from the rest of the luggage BEFORE it gets to the baggage claim carousel. It's brought to a collection point, where the barcode is scanned. It's then brought to a central distribution area, scanned again. It's then sorted and placed in cages. Scanned again. The sorted cages are loaded onto trucks. The trucks have GPS locators, so Disney knows where your bags are even when they're on the road to your resort. The luggage arrives at your resort. Scanned again. The Bell Services CMs at your resort deliver your bags to the inside of your resort room. Scanned for the final time.
Just in case any DME-tagged bags weren't pulled from the lugagge stream before getting to the baggage claim carousels, there are Disney CMs stationed with each airline to "catch" any missed bags before they go out to the public on the baggage claim carousel.
When you check in at the DME Welcome Center at the airport, they will ask you if you DME-tagged your bags, and will ask you how many bags you checked. Let's say you tell them you (your party) checked 3 bags. If only two had their barcodes scanned, the computer will "raise a red flag" and the search will be on for your "missing" bag.
I frequent another Disney message board, one with over 100,000 members. DME is a very frequent topic of discussion, and I have literally NEVER read about anyone losing a bag for good.
You should do what you feel most comfortable with, but like I said, there are literally MILLIONS of satisfied DME customers out there.
Last edited by CleveRocks; 07-20-2006 at 10:01 PM. Reason: typos
I really enjoyed using Disney's Magical Express. It was fast and easy; no hassles at baggage claim. I also liked that when you got to your hotel, you could simply put your carry-ons away, maybe check out your room a bit, and you can venture into the parks! The best part is when you come back, your bags are already waiting for you! It's great; I definetly recommend it for your trip! I'm looking forward to using it once again in August.
My family used this service in April. As we arrived in USA from international airline and our baggage was checked through to Orlando we had to collect it and then line up for magic express. We thought it was great and we were certain our bags were on the bus with us. We also scored a groovy disney bus pin to start off our collection. All staff were fantastic and always willing to help answer questions. To get the full service would great if only we could live in the USA. This is a great idea.
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