Editor’s Note: Today’s blog is from our agent Nicole Riley. To contact Nicole with questions or a quote, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. All artwork ©Disney.
Magical Express is a great service that Disney offers free to their resort guests. Magical Express offers transportation to your resort and back to the airport. There are a few added benefits that add to the experience over other shuttle services. First of all, it is a free service. So be sure to have your travel agent add it to your reservation if you are flying. You simply need to provide your travel agent with your flight numbers and carrier, and you are good to go. Besides it being free, Disney will also handle your luggage for you. Details about the program are below.
Several weeks prior to your vacation you will receive a booklet in the mail that looks like this:
Along with the booklet, you will find luggage tags. There should be luggage tags for each person in your party. If you need more tags, or didn’t receive enough for everyone in the party, call 866-599-0951. You can also call this number if the flight information in your booklet changes or is incorrect. If you put the yellow tags on your suitcases before leaving home, Disney will pick them up at the airport for you and deliver your luggage to the resort. If you use these yellow tags, it is very important that you put anything in the carry-on that you might possibly need for several hours after arriving at your resort. Put the yellow tags on your luggage (one per bag) at home before checking your bags at your home airport.
If you would rather collect your luggage yourself, DO NOT PUT THE TAGS ON THE SUITCASES. Putting the tags on your luggage will mean you don’t see it until the resort. When you arrive in Orlando you can head straight for the Magical Express Welcome Center, if you used the luggage tags. If you did not use the luggage tags and want to get your luggage, stop at the baggage carrousel and claim your luggage before heading to the welcome center. If you arrive after ten PM, you must pick up your luggage and do not use the tags. You will not receive your luggage that night if you use the tags. If you have a later flight, but arrive before ten, you will receive your luggage that night. Keep that in mind, as you may be receiving your luggage at midnight for a late evening flight. Plan on three hours to get your luggage.
If you for some reason do not have your luggage tags, but want Disney to pick up and deliver your luggage, take your baggage claim tickets with you to the welcome center and skip Baggage Claim.
Inside the booklet, you will find directions as to where you will go when you get to the airport. When you arrive, proceed to the main terminal. You will look for the B side of the airport. Take the escalator or elevators down to level 1. You will pass several car rental counters. Magical Express is at the end. If you have your booklet, proceed to the queue area beyond the counter where you will be asked for your booklet. If you have not signed up for Magical Express or did not remember to keep your booklet with you, then go to the counter. Only one person in your party needs to do this.
When you arrive at the queue, they are going to want to see the vouchers in your book. They will also ask you how many pieces of luggage you checked and are having delivered to the resort. If you opt out of using the yellow tags, tell them that you have your luggage with you. If you didn’t have tags, but don’t have your luggage with you, provide them with your baggage claim tickets. You will be directed to a line and wait to load a bus. The buses will stop at several resorts. When you get to the bus, the driver will need to see your vouchers. Be sure to have them out and ready. If you have luggage to load, the driver will load that. Otherwise, you are free to get on the bus. The driver will make sure to announce when he/she is at each resort so you know which stop is yours. When you arrive at your resort, people will get off of the bus before the driver unloads the luggage. Please note it is customary to tip the driver. If you have luggage, more is appropriate. If you do not have luggage, you are free to go to the check-in counter at your resort. As you are walking to the registration area of the resort, chances are good that you are going to walk past the bell/luggage services part of the resort. This will be beneficial to know where it is at for your return home.
Departing from your resort back to the airport it quite easy. The day before departing you will receive a letter on your door regarding your pick-up time. The pick-up location is the same place that you were dropped off. You need to be at that location at the stated time, which is 3 hours prior to your flight domestically and 4 hours prior internationally. You will be dropped off at one of several locations at the airport. The driver will give directions. Once at the airport you will proceed to the airline counter and follow normal procedures. If you do not receive a letter on your door, call the front desk. They can assist with this.
Disney’s resorts offer Resort Airline Check-In at the resort for domestic flights on certain airlines (see below or in your booklet for details). This service is available to all resort guests, regardless if they are using Magical Express. The procedure is very similar to checking in at the ticket counter at the airport. If you are using Magical Express, your boarding passes should arrive along with the letter in your room. There will be instructions on how to pay your baggage fees, if any. If not, just head to the counter that is located outside the resort, which is where you must go to drop off your luggage. Make sure that you have everything out of your suitcases, because this is the last time that you will see them until you get home. It is also appropriate to tip for these services. This will save you the time of standing in line at the airport. Once you have arrived at the airport, you simply go to security. This service is offered during the hours of 5 AM to 1 PM. You must check in at least three hours prior to your flight and no more than twelve hours prior to your flight. When you arrive at the airport, you will have plenty of time to get through security, shop a bit, or grab a bite to eat.
Departure days can seem problematic with check-out times and departure times not coinciding. There is an easy solution to this at a Disney resort. Luggage service can store your luggage and carry-ons for you. If you have a later flight, just have them hold them and continue with your day. Be sure to give yourself a few extra minutes to pick these items up before the Magical Express bus arrives. Pick up for your return trip to the airport picks you up at the same place it dropped you off.