Disney’s Magical Express: New Minimum Age Restriction


Disney’s Magical Express has announced a new minimum age restriction. Riders must be at least 12 years old to ride alone. Previously, the age restriction was set at 16 years.

Started back in 2004, Disney’s Magical Express provides shuttle service for thousands of Disney Guests each day. The shuttle runs from the Orlando Airport (MCO) to all the on-property Disney Resorts and back again.

While this in line with airlines minimum age restrictions, does it make sense on Disney’s Magical Express where there is only the bus driver to handle these unaccompanied minors? Please leave your comments below.

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Keli is a wife, mother of one, DVC Member, AP holder and Disney Addict! It is her desire to take the road less traveled and to experience the world! She's a partner with World of Magic Travel -- the preferred Travel Agency of Chip & Co.
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  • Kindra Yensidfan

    I may be finding our family in this situation. We fly down on Saturday, sept 27. We just found out that my 13.5 yr old daughter will be missing a huge soccer tournament that weekend for a very competitive regional team she just started playing for. Her father and I are divorced. He stated that if I could get her a flight early Monday morning, he could get her to the tournament over the weekend and to the airport Monday morning. I have no problem with her flying nonstop alone. I flew alone twice a year from Cleveland to Houston from the she of 10 on through adulthood. She flies very often and is very familiar with procedures, etc. Her dad will be able to walk her to the gate as well. Here’s my issue; her getting to side B and onto the correct magical express bus. I’m wondering if DME will allow me to hop on and ride to the airport to meet her and then we can ride back together. If I could, I would switch the entire vacation and arrive on the 29th but I cannot afford the change fees for all flights. Her father agreed to help with the cost of changing hers. Anyone have any advice or information for me?

  • angie

    I don’t consider myself an over-protective parent, but I can’t envision under what circumstances that a 12 year old would be traveling on a Magical Express bus by himself to or from the airport. I believe there are procedures in place for unaccompanied minors flying (I believe they have a system whereas even if they aren’t accompanied by a guardian, they at least have adult check-ins and escorts assigned by the airline or airport, right?) Seems to me if a minor is flying alone, their adult guardian should at least accompany them to/from the airport. But I’ll admit, maybe there are circumstances that call for this that I’m just not perceiving.

  • Ann Griggs

    Personally I would not let my child ride alone or fly alone at this age. I disagree with this. I think it should stay at 16.

  • Katie P.

    Ok, what are the unaccompanied minors going to do when they get to Disney? They aren’t allowed into the parks alone until they’re 14.

  • Laura Budde

    Anyone wonder who would send a 12 year old alone with no adults? I am guessing you will not see that happen very often…unless they are meeting someone at the hotel and in that case I say the same as someone esle if you are doing this I am guessing you know your child can totally handle it.

  • Jennifer Bowman

    I think if you are sending your 12 year old alone on a plane then they should know how to behave on the bus ride to Disney. I don’t think I would want to do either but if pressed, my 12 year old son would not be a problem for the bus driver or any passenger.

  • Shannon

    Why is this even an issue?? Who would let their 12 year old fly to Disney on their own?!?!?! I can’t wrap my head around the thought process of letting a child travel completely alone at that age….and then get to the destination and not have someone waiting for them AT the airport but expect them to find their way to the bus??!??

  • Elise Erin

    I think it is a good thing. If airlines allow children to fly alone at 12 years old, I think that Disney should abide by that rule as well. It would make much more sense to have children of 12 get a ride on the magical express than to expect them to fend for themselves and find a cab alone to Disney. I think it is much safer for them to be on the Disney bus than anywhere else. I tend to feel safe as soon as I get on that bus. I also think if parents have deemed their children mature enough to travel alone at 12 then they should know how to behave themselves on the magical express. I can’t imagine two children being that out of control when they’re travelling alone. I’d be pretty scared and cautious at that age alone in an airport, so I wouldn’t have acted up.