So, you've decided to fly into Orlando International Airport (MCO). Good choice! Included with your Disney resort package is complimentary transportation from MCO to your resort and then back again when your vacation is over all in a luxury motorcoach. This transportation is called Disney's Magical Express (DME). This is a lot of information but I will help you every step of the way.
In basic terms, it's a complimentary transportation from the airport to your resort and then back again. This is only for Orlando International Airport (MCO). If you are flying into Orlando Sanford Airport (SFB) then you will have to get your own transportation.
There are a few steps with this transportation so let's go through those.
First, I will need to set that transportation up for you in advance. To do so I need your arrival and departure flight information including airlines, times, and flight numbers. Don't worry if you have guests flying in on different flights, just let me know who is going on what flights and I will get you taken care of.
A few weeks before you leave for your magical vacation, you will receive some travel documents and luggage straps. Travel documents from Disney's Magical Express will just let you know that you are booked on the trip from the airport to the resort, all of this information is also loaded on the Magic Bands (more on that in a bit). The luggage straps/stickers are yellow and have your resort information on them along with a bar code (see pic). You will get one of these per person on the reservation, if you need more please let me know. These yellow stickers MUST be on the luggage if you want Disney to get your luggage for you. There are instructions on the back of the yellow stickers on how to attach these to the handle of your luggage.
Disney will pick up your luggage for you if your arrivals are between 5am and 10pm. If you have those yellow stickers mentioned above on your luggage and you arrive between those hours then no need to go to baggage claim because Disney will get your luggage for you. How awesome?! What if you don't want your luggage picked up? Just don't put those yellow stickers on your luggage and then you will need to go to baggage claim to get your bags before you head over to the Magical Express area. What if you arrive after 10pm? Don't use the yellow stickers and you will have to get your luggage, there are no services after 10pm for luggage retrieval. WARNING: It will take Disney 3-4 hours after you arrive to deliver your luggage. So, if you need something out of it (swimsuits, park bag, comfy shoes, diapers, etc.) please put that in your carry on! This is no joke and not an exaggeration. One year I arrived at MCO at 9pm and didn't see my luggage until 1am. ALSO: DO NOT PACK MAGIC BANDS IN CHECKED LUGGAGE!!
When you step off the plane at MCO you take a small shuttle from the gates to the main airport area. If you are getting your own luggage, proceed to baggage claim to get it. If you are letting Disney help you out with that proceed to the Magical Express area of the airport. Disney's Magical Express is located on side B, level 1 of the airport in ground transportation area (you will receive an airport map in your travel documents). Make sure every person on your reservation has their Magic Band on, not just mom and/or dad. When you take the elevator down to the first floor of side B you will start seeing signs pointing you in the right direction.
|This is what you see when you get off of the elevator. Notice how it starts showing you how to get to Magical Express.|
|After you start walking down the corridor you will see several signs like this to confirm you are headed in the right direction.|
Once you make it down the long corridor, you will see a podium with cast members waiting to help get you in the right direction. Everyone will need to scan their Magic Band and the cast member will tell you which number aisle to go down to get on the right bus. At the end of the aisle will be another cast member. You might have to wait in line for a few while your bus arrives, or you might have to wait on the bus for awhile while the bus loads up. The cast member will verify which resort you are going to and help get you on the right bus. If you have luggage the bus driver will place it under the bus for you for the trip. If you want him to store your carry-on's he will, or you can take them to the seats with you (exception being carry on sized rolling luggage, they store those).
|This is right before the podium to remind you to have your Magic Bands ready. This is also where I should have taken a picture of the podium but I was too excited to be on my way to Walt Disney World!|
|The Cast Member at the podium will scan your band and then tell you which numbered line to get in.|
|This is a continuation of the above numbered lines.|
|This is the end of the numbered lines where a cast member will confirm which resort you are going to and then will tell you which bus number to get on.|
Once the bus fills up, you are on your way. You can enjoy a relaxing, air conditioned ride to the Walt Disney Resort. They play awesome Disney videos for you to help keep you entertained on the ride. It is about 40 minutes from the airport to the Disney resort. There might be a few stops before your resort but you can sit in motorcoach luxury and relax.
|Videos on the screens throughout the luxury motorcoach.|
When you arrive at your resort, proceed to your room if you have received your text with your room number or you can stop at check in. If Disney picked up your luggage for you at the airport, it will be delivered in 3 or 4 hours to your room. If you aren't there, they will leave it in the middle of your room for you.
|While at Hollywood Studios they delivered our luggage and left it in the middle of the room for us!|
Enjoy your vacation!! You are at the Most Magical Place on Earth!!
The day before check out you will receive an envelope on your door with your Disney Magical Express pick up time the next day. Pick up time is usually 4 hours before flight departure. So, if you have a 6am flight you will be picked up at 2am!! This envelope has all the information in it you need to get on the return bus and if you want to check your luggage with Disney for the flight home (https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/resort-airline-check-in/) . If you are not doing flight check in through Disney, then you will need to take all of your luggage to the Disney Magical Express pick up location to take on the bus with you. You must have the letter that you receive in the envelope so you can give it to the driver. You will be dropped off at the airport near the departures area so you can proceed to your airline desk to check in for your flight and head home :(
|The saddest mail EVER! It's your return travel information. Most people call the bus back to the airport the "Tragical Express!"|
TIP: It is customary to tip anyone who handles your bags, whether it be your bus driver, bell services, and luggage delivery services. Standard is $1 per bag.
TIP: As stated above you will not get your bags for 3-4 hours. If you want to swim make sure you have those suits with you in your carry on, along with whatever else you might need.
I know this is A LOT of information. I will help you every step of the way. If you have any questions about Disney's Magical Express, please ask me.
If you want to book your own Magical vacation that includes Disney's Magical Express please email me here or check out my facebook page here.
Have a Magical Day :)