A Look at Disney’s Magical Express
Disney’s Magical Express is a free bus and luggage service offered to all guests staying at Disney owned resorts and hotels at Disney World. You can use Disney’s Magical Express for a Disney Cruise, but it will cost extra. This does not include Shades of Green, Swan, Dolphin, and any of the hotels in the Downtown Disney area.
Disney’s Magical Express may be added to any reservation up to 1 day prior to trip, but it is suggested that you add it about 2 weeks prior to ensure you get all your documents and luggage tags from Disney’s Magical Express before you leave home. Disney Vacation Club members who wish to use Disney’s Magical Express must contact Member Services. You will need to give them your flight information when you request this service so have it handy when you call. The service can also be added when you arrive at the Orlando Airport, but you will have to handle your own luggage.
The Disney’s Magical Express service is composed of 2 main parts: Ground Transportation and Luggage Service, but there is also a third smaller part that can be just as important at the end of your trip: Airline Check-in.
Disney’s Magical Express Services
1. Ground Transportation – This is the actual bus service from Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World or Port Canaveral (where the Cruises depart from). Because many people incorporate a trip to Disney World with a cruise, Disney’s Magical Express travels between the hotels and Port Canaveral as well. Disney’s Magical Express also returns you to the airport on the day of your return flight home. Once you arrive in Orlando and you’re ready to travel to your resort, you follow the signs to Disney’s Magical Express check-in desk where one of the adults in your party can check in the whole group while everyone else relaxes. Then you go to the indicated line for your resort; each line is for more than 1 resort so there will be more than 1 stop for each bus.
The day before your departure date, you should receive Disney’s Magical Express paperwork indicating the time your bus to the airport will pick you up. A few hours before you get on the bus, you may want to do your Airline and luggage check-in.
2. Luggage Service – Luggage Service is optional. When you request Disney’s Magical Express transportation for your party, you will also receive 1 luggage tag for each party member with your name and resort information printed on it. More tags can be requested if needed, but remember to do it well in advance. You place these tags on the luggage you plan to check when you leave home; then when you arrive in Orlando, the luggage is taken to Disney’s warehouse and sorted by resort, and then delivered to your room. Don’t worry, if you’re not in your room the bags will be placed inside. It can take several hours for the luggage to arrive in your room, so be sure to pack anything you think you might need for the first day in a carry-on and keep it with you (for example, if you think you might want to check out the hotel’s pool, pack a swimsuit). Since any lost luggage will not be noticed for several hours it is a good idea to pack an extra set of clothes in the carry-on also. While there have been glitches in the luggage system, the big plus is that you don’t have to go to baggage claim and lug your stuff through a crowded airport or in the hot Florida sun. (We’ve never had a problem with luggage service on any of our previous trips and with 2 small children will definitely be using it again.) That being said, the luggage service is only available for flights landing between 5am and 10pm. Any other flights and your luggage is your responsibility.
Just remember since it may take several hours to get your luggage, if you had a late flight and want to go straight to bed without the possibility of being awoken in the middle of the night by the bellhop with your stuff, you should probably get it yourself and forgo luggage service when you arrive. If you have an early flight and cannot check into your resort when you arrive, your luggage will be kept in the hotel’s luggage store room until check-in time; then it will be taken to the room.
3. Airline Check-In – The morning of the day you depart from Disney World for your flight home (or wherever you’re going), you can check your luggage and get checked into your airline from the resort. There is a bell desk at the hotel (usually in the lobby) where they will check your luggage and get you checked into your airline. Just remember to check at some point during your trip, when there is no line, if your airline allows resort check-in.