Tag Archives: Disney’s Magical Express
Getting from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Walt Disney World and back used to be quite a bit more complicated than it is today. Now we have the Disney’s Magical Express (DME) that will take guests to and from the airport to our home away from home. DME is free and incredibly simple to use, but you might need a little guidance on what to expect when you ride the Disney’s Magical Express…
Here is the basic sequence of events you follow in using DME:
- When you or your Authorized Disney Travel Agent make your reservations you just include your flight information, both arrival and departure. This sets the DME wheels in motion. If you are like me, you make flight reservations way in advance and flight numbers and times can change. If this happens you just call DME at exactly 45 days prior to your arrival (no earlier) and inform of the changes. They will make the adjustments before mailing your paperwork.
If you’re a Walt Disney World lover like me, then it probably doesn’t take much to get you pumped about a trip to WDW. To get myself even more excited, there are some things I like to do to prepare me for my reunion with Mickey and all his friends:
Research – The trick with this one is not overdoing it! Once you book your trip, there are some definite musts for research. Click the Planning button at the top of the page to learn more. Also check out what Deals and Offers are available. I know if you sign up for a Disney Rewards Visa you have 6 months to pay off your trip from when you get home and they also have some great rewards as well!
Weather-check and see what that time of year is typically like in Orlando and plan to pack accordingly (noting of course that the weather can be different than the average, but at least it gives you a place to start!)
Dining options – if you’re a foodie like me you will love this one, and if you don’t know where to start check out Walt Disney World’s official dining website for information The great thing is, most of this can be done online. For restaurant info check out Guide to Walt Disney World Section.
Packing for the Disney Parks can be both stressful and exciting. There are several different thoughts on what to pack in your carry on bag when you fly to Disney:
- Pack everything you need for your entire vacation in one bag so you don’t have to deal with bag check. This is my father.
- Pack only in your pockets- keys, wallet, money, ID, chapstick- and carry a book. This is my husband.
- Pack a backpack with as many books, magazines, toys, handheld games, snacks and gadgets as possible. This is my oldest son.
- Pack a little bit of everything, just in case. This is me.
Several years ago when our family flew to Los Angeles to visit Disneyland our carry on bags basically contained the items listed in #2 and #3. We were only focused on keeping our son, then age 9, occupied on his first flight. It worked beautifully on the way out to California. However, on the return flight home, we had a much different experience. One flight was delayed which meant the connecting flight was missed and there were no more flights to our destination until the next day. Look back at the items in #2 and #3… we weren’t prepared for this. After spending too many hours in the airport and eventually a night in a hotel, I made a list of items that will always be with me on a flight, just in case!
Many people have asked us about getting from the Airport to Disney World. Some take a cab or other shuttle services. For us we like to use Disney’s Magical Express. For more on DME keep reading…
Getting fromto and back used to be quite a bit more complicated than it is today. It was also considerably more expensive than it currently is if you use what I feel is the best available option, . DME is free, and not just free but incredibly simple to use. Best of all, it almost always works seamlessly if you follow the instructions. Here is the basic sequence of events you follow in using DME:
So your Disney Countdown is on the wall and you are excited but still have a lot of unanswered questions ………
I have had a full inbox today from excited clients with their vacations approaching with similar questions so I thought I should write a quick article to help any of you who also may have these lingering questions about your upcoming Disney vacations.
1). When will we get our tickets?
At Pixie Vacations we always mail our clients a package about 2 weeks prior to your trip and it typically contains some travel incentive goodies and a travel itinerary, but what about the all important Disney park tickets and dining credits that you purchased?? Well……… when you check in you get a “Key to the World” card. Everyone in your traveling party will get one of these cards at check in. The “Key to the World” cards will have your tickets that you purchased with your reservation loaded onto them as well as any dining credits that you purchased with a Disney dining plan.
You can also determine if you want to allow charging to the room on any or all of the cards. For us, we typically will add a credit card to our “Key to the World” cards but not the kids. When you allow charging on your “Key to the World” card it makes it super easy in the parks because there is no need to carry cash.
For tipping at dining locations you can also just charge those to the room so cash is not needed. If you don’t want to wrack up a high credit card bill at check out and have cash or Disney gift cards, etc. you want to use, simply go down to the counter the night before check out and settle up the bill. They WILL charge your card if the amount goes over $400 dollars so you can keep tabs on what you owe by calling down to the front desk and inquiring about your bill.
2). What is this Magical Express all about?
Magical Express is a free transfer service to and from the Orlando International Airport available to ALL resort guests.
You DO NOT have to book your air through Disney in order to get this service! Your simply need to provide your airline and flight information to Disney or your travel agent and inform them you want to take advantage of Disney’s Magical Express.
You will get a packet from Disney’s Magical Express a few weeks before your trip and it will include yellow luggage tags with your resort name on it that you place on your checked bags.
Once you check your bags at your departing airport your bags will then “Magically appear” in your Disney resort hotel room (about 2-3 hours after your flight lands), there is NO need to go to baggage from baggage claim at the Orlando International Airport.
If you WANT to get your own bags you can do this and THEN make your way to the Magical Express counter in Terminal B.
In your Magical Express packet that was mailed to you there will be detailed information on where to go to pick up the Magical Express bus inside of the Orlando airport terminal as well as “vouchers” for you to present to the driver.
Magical Express going HOME:
2 days before you check out you will have a Magical Express envelope on your resort door with pick up time (3 hours before your scheduled flight home) to the Orlando airport as well as vouchers for your ride back to the airport.
You can check your bags for your flight (for most major airlines) right there at your Disney hotel and they will take your bags and print your boarding passes so all you need to do is catch Magical Express and you will be on your way.
3). What if my flight isn’t until 8pm but checkout is at 11am?
You are not “kicked off” of property at 11am. You can check your luggage for your flight and leave any unchecked bags with Bell Services while you take the day to enjoy the pool or take in a theme park before your flight home.
There are restrooms and changing areas by all of the pools at the various resort hotels so you can get changed and cleaned up before your flight in there.
If you have dining credits left they do not expire until midnight the night of check in, so get your eat on! : )
4). Do I have to decide ahead of time what park I will go to on which day or can we change our mind?
If you have base tickets you can only visit one park per day but you can exit and re enter that park at any time on that same day. If you purchased park hoppers you can enter and exit any theme park multiple times per day (i.e. going to Magic Kingdom in the morning and Epcot in the evening).
You can not use your base ticket in the morning at Epcot for example and then think you can use another day of your base ticket that night at Magic Kingdom (Disney is smarter than this : )
Your park tickets on your reservation activate when you use it on that first day and you have 14 days from that first use until they expire (this is for non expiration option tickets) so you can be as spontaneous or as organized as you want to be throughout your vacation.
So what did I miss? What unanswered questions do you have about your upcoming Disney vacation?
Lesley is a travel agent with Pixie Vacations, contact her for your next Disney vacation at Lesley@pixievacations.com or check her out at www.destinationmagic.com. She is currently offering generous booking incentives (Disney gift cards for Disney World/Disneyland, and Disney on board credits for Disney Cruise line)
- Planning: A Less Painful Way to Pay for a Disney Vacation (aglassslippervacation.com)
- Disney World Planning: Picking Non Busy Times to Go (chipandco.com)