Disney's Magical Express

Using Disney’s Magical Express

Disney’s Magical Express

Are you headed to Walt Disney World? Landing at Orlando MCO? Wondering what the cheapest way to get to your resort it? The answer is Disney’s Magical Express. It is not only cheap it is free!

You can only use this service if you are staying at an official Walt Disney World resort and landing at Orlando MCO. Disney does not offer this service to any other airport.

While Disney’s Magical Express is not always the quickest way to get from the MCO airport to you it easy to use. Did I mention it is free?

Disney's Magical Express

What is Disney’s Magical Express

Disney’s Magical Express is the transportation program that gets you and your luggage from the airport to the resort. Unfortunately it is not a flying carpet. It is magical but not that magical! It is actually a lot of chartered buses and more than a few trucks.

Guests using this service (and any carry-on luggage you might have) will ride a chartered bus to your resort. (No you do not have to ride in any trucks. Those are for your checked luggage.) The Magical Express might not take you directly to your resort. It may stop at one or more resorts before yours.

Some of you may be picturing the bus that makes the trip between resorts and the parks. You are thinking of the people packed in like sardines and some people standing. This is not that bus. These are normal buses with real seats and everyone will get their own. There is even a bathroom on the bus. Bonus!

If you are flying in from somewhere in the United States you may not even have to collect your baggage. Guests arriving between 5 am and 10 pm can let Disney collect their luggage. If your plane lands outside of those hours you can still use Magical Express but you need to collect your own luggage.

International guests will find it easiest to pick up their own baggage because of Customs. free-disney-quote-2

Using Disney’s Magical Express

Using Disney’s Magical Express is easy. Let’s break it down into five easy steps.

  1. Signing up for Magical Express
  2. Before you take off
  3. Checking in and boarding your bus
  4. Luggage Delivery
  5. Heading home
Signing Up For Disney’s Magical Express

The easiest way to sign up for Disney’s Magical Express is to let your travel agent do it for you. If you have not booked your trip yet I would be glad to do it for you and then you can sit back and let me handle all the pesky details. Click here to make that happen.

But if you prefer to book it yourself or have already booked your trip it is not hard to sign up. Just call (407) 939-1936 ( U.S. and Canada reservations) or  0800 16 90 730 (United Kingdom reservations.) They will ask for your airline, flight numbers, departure and arrival times so have those handy.

Before You Take Off

Now that you have your Magical Express reservation what is next? Before you head to Walt Disney World you should receive two things. One is a package with your Magic Bands.  The other is your Magical Express luggage tags and vouchers. Both of these are very important so do not lose them! Both should arrive at least a week prior to your departure. If they have not contact your travel agent or Walt Disney World.

The Magic Bands normally arrive first. Magic Bands are your link to your Disney vacation. They are also the easiest way to get on the bus once you reach Orlando.  Each member of your party must have his or her Magic Band.

Luggage tags and Disney’s Magical Express Vouchers arrive later.  The luggage tags let Disney’s luggage handlers know to grab  your bags at baggage claim. The vouchers can be used like a ticket to get on the Magical Express but it is much easier to use your Magic Bands.

Disney normally ships one luggage tag per guest.They are usually yellow.They assume everyone only needs one checked bag I guess. Attach one to each of your checked bags and when you go to your home airport just drop your suitcases off like normal.

If you are arriving between 5 am and 10 pm this will be the last time you see your bags till they are delivered to your room. It may take up to four hours so anything that is important (medicine etc.) should be packed in your carry-on bag.

If you have more than one checked bag be sure to keep the baggage claim tag your airline issues you. You can give this to the Cast Members for the Magical Express and you will still get your luggage delivered.

Checking in and boarding your bus

Once you land at Orlando MCO you need to head to the Magical Express Check In. Check in is on the first floor of Terminal B. If you are on the Terminal A side you need to get to the B side and then head down to the first floor.

Once you hit the first floor of Terminal B you should start seeing signs directing you to Disney’s Magical Express.  Check in using either your Magic Bands of your Magical Express vouchers and follow the Cast Member instructions.

The Cast Members will direct you to the correct line for your resort bus. Sometimes resorts will share buses and sometimes there will be a wait for your bus to load. Normally it is not too long.

At the end of the line another Cast Member will check your Magic Band one last time. He or she will also ask how many people are in your travel party and make sure there is enough room on the bus for everyone.

Then it is time to board. The driver will stow your carry on luggage beneath the bus for you.

At the resort the driver will help you locate and unload your carry ons and you can head to resort check in.  Most people recommend tipping your driver but it is not required. I normally tip $1-2 per bag.

Luggage Delivery

I hate to say this but luggage delivery can be the least magical part of Magical Express. Disney will deliver your luggage to your room but it may not be quick. It is a good rule to allow four hours for your luggage to arrive.

There is good news. You do not have wait in your room for you luggage. Disney will drop it off even if you are out having fun. Go out and enjoy yourself!

If you arrive late and do not want to be interrupted in the middle of the night by your luggage,  contact guest services. They will hold your bags till the morning.

Heading home

Heading home is sad but Disney tries to make it easier. The day before you leave Disney will an envelope on your door. Your Magical Express departure time will be in the envelope. It is normally about three hours before your flight departure. Do not miss your bus!

You may also be able to have your boarding passes printed. Check the resort lobby for the airline check-in desk.

Guest services will not pick up your luggage in your room. This time you have to handle it yourself unless you contact your resort and request help. If you have time you can drop your luggage at Bell Services, however, and enjoy your time in the parks or at Disney Springs. Just make sure you get back to your resort in time to catch the Magical Express!

Want more info straight from the Mouse himself? Click here for the official Disney FAQ.

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