I recently had the opportunity to use Disney’s Magical Express, Disney World’s complimentary bus service from the Orlando International Airport and Disney World Resorts. I have to say the experience was great and the trip seamless.
I usually drive to WDW but on this occasion I flew into Orlando. So this was my first ever time using this service. Disney’s Magical Express is a service that Disney provides to those staying in Disney Hotels, it is not available for Shades of Green Guests, but those using Disney’s Armed Forces Salute resort discounts are eligible.
If you’ll be checking luggage on your flight into Orlando you should advise Disney or your travel agent how many bags that you will be checking. Prior to your travel date you’ll receive special luggage tags in the mail. When you place these on your bags it identifies them as bags destined for Walt Disney World and they will bypass the regular baggage claim area and go directly to the Magical Express area. Your bags will be loaded for you onto a bus (not necessarily the bus you are on, so hand carry anything you might need) heading for your hotel and will be placed in your room.
When you arrive at your airline arrival gate at the Orlando International Airport, follow the signs for baggage claim. You’ll board a monorail train which will take you to the main terminal. Once you pass out of the secure area you’ll enter a large atrium. In this atrium there is an Official Disney Store, called the “Earport”.
You’ll continue to follow the baggage claim signs down the escalator. Then follow the signs for ground transportation (ahead to the right) and down a second escalator. You’ll then see signs directing you to Disney’s Magical Express.
It is at the far end of the building (a bit of a walk).
Once you are there step up to the counter to check in. the Disney castmembers there will quickly look up your reservation, give you a bus ticket, and direct you to one of several numbered lines. Each line is for a specific bus which is destined for a different set of hotels. These busses make several hotel stops and your hotel might not be first. I had minimal waiting through this whole process and my bus was on the way within 10 minutes of my arrival at the counter.
While you are enroute to your hotel there will be introductory videos for Disney World playing in the bus. Once the bus arrives at your hotel just hop off and check in. you can then head to the theme parks if you are going to use your tickets that day, or do one of the many free or low cost things to do at WDW and save your theme park ticket for the next day.
On your departure day the service works essentially the same.
The day prior to check out you’ll be told when and where to catch your bus to the airport (about 2 hrs 45 min prior to your plane’s departure time). Your luggage will ride with you this time. You or a bell hop will bring it to your pickup location. Once at the airport you’ll then take your bags to the airline check-in area.
It is possible on domestic flights to both check in for your airline and check your bags to your destination right at your Disney hotel for participating Air Carriers.
- AirTran Airways
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Continental Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- JetBlue Airways
- Northwest Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Air Lines
- US Airways
For those flying into Orlando International and Staying at a Disney Resort, I highly recommend this complimentary service!
Note: Disney’s Magical Express must be booked at least 10 days prior through disneyworld.com, the Disney Reservations Center by calling 407-W-DISNEY or your travel agent.
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