Anyonw know when you should be getting your DME tags prior to your vacation?
I would recamend maybe having a swimsuit in carry on bag so if you get to your resort and feel like jumping in the pool you can. Everyone talking how good DME is, and it is a great service, but I'm not seeing in here that sometimes you might not get luggage untill a couple hours after you arrive. So I would make sure that a swimsuit, maybe a good pair of walking shoes or anything important that you might need right away you carry in a small carry on. That's what I do when I take MDE, so there's no waiting for it in my luggage.
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"For those who get it, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, no explanation will do."
yes you can get your own bags and look for van's that will take you to the hotels. van hold about 11 people.
I have to second what a lot of folks said - we've used ME several times w/no real problems. It is true that you may go through a few stops before your resort, but that is only an extra few minutes.
That said, I find the busses make some interesting people watching. We take early flights to maximize the 1st day. Everyone getting on that bus @ 10am was up, like us, around 3am to make their flights & I've seen some pretty big melt downs from tired, cranky, hungry people (kids & adults both)!
Plan your carry on bag well, your bags will lag a few hours behind. If you arrive early (like us), bring pool or park clothes as appropriate. Or if you arrive late bring your toothbrush, PJ's and morning clothes. That way they can hold your bag @ bell services instead of waking you up w/a midnight delivery.
Several folks mentioned town cars. If you are going to pay for the taxi, the town car or van is a better idea. Some (Quicksilver I think is one of them) include a store stop if you need it so you can grab water, snacks, etc. to keep in your room. Taxi is charging you for the time... so that could add up.
Another option is to rent a car. One of them (Enterprise maybe) can be picked up @ the airport & dropped off on property (at the Swan I think).
Down side of that is you have to handle your bags. I find there is something about tossing your bag on the belt when you get to the airport & not having to touch it again until it magically shows up in your room.
Couple questions about Magical Express:
-Do I have to check my luggage, or can I just bring my roll-on carry-on aboard the bus?
-How long do the buses take to get to the parks? My flight gets in at 11:30AM and we're stayed at Pop Century, hoping to get to Hollywood Studios ASAP so we can do as much as possible (including a 4pm dinner and Fantasmic at night)
I've never stayed at Pop, so don't know exact travel times, but we always plan on 2 to 3 hours from airport to park. That allows travel time, checkin time, and time to travel to your park. If you get in @ 11:30am & dinner is @ 4p you should be fine to make your ADR, and maybe even get in a ride or 2 before (depending on the crowds).
Something to keep in mind when reading negative reviews about DME: consider the amount of people that use this service compared to the number of negative reviews. I've used it several times and have never had a complaint.
As for the amount of time it takes to reach your resort, I've had experiences of anywhere from 1 to 2.5 hours. Last year's trip had the longest wait. I'm thinking that due to the economy, Disney now waits for the buses to be full before they depart the airport, which results in several different resort stops. In the past, I've been on buses that left the airport with only a handfull of passengers and went to only one resort, which obviously resulted in a very quick trip.
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If it's a standard roller bag, it weill be too big for the bus' overhead shelf, and probably too big to fit under your own seat, so the driver will need to stow it under the bus for you. You will get it back as soom as you arrive at your resort. It would be approrpiate to tip the driver for handling your bag. [The tip is included for the in-bound bellman service, for the bags you check with your airline that get delivered to your room by DME, but the DME bus driver is not pre-tipped by Disney.]
You can't take a DME bus directly to a park. You'll be taken to Pop Century, and then from there you can take a Disney Transport bus to a park.
The average time from airplane exit to resort is 70 minutes. So let's say you land on-time at 11:30 and deplane by 11:40 a.m. Here is when my 70-minute clock starts running, when you deplane. But let's say it takes you 90 minutes, then you'll be at Pop at 1:10 p.m. It could take 20 minutes to check-in at the front desk (including waiting in line), so now it's 1:30 p.m. Let's say your room isn't ready yet. Luggage Assistance can store your carry-on for you. You can go right out to the bus stop. Disney Transport buses to each park run roughly eveery 20 minutes. So let's pretend a Disney's Hollywood Studios bus just left as you neared the bus stop. So you'll have a 20 minute wait and then a 5-8 minutes drive, so you're at the DHS entrance plaza by about 2:00 p.m.
Plenty of time for your 4:00 p.m. dinner ADR.
Are there certain airlines that don't participate in this? I'm wondering particularly about Southwest Airlines.
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