Friday, July 15, 2011

Magical Blogorail Red- Modes of Disney Transportation

Welcome to those of you joining me from WDW Backstage and those of you who have just hopped aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Thank you to the Red Loop for letting me take part in this fun topic!  I typically write for the Green loop, but since I'll be out of town for our next loop, I've joined Red this week!  This month, I chose to write about the Magical Express component of Disney Transportation.  While I’ve only experienced the Magical Express twice, I thoroughly loved it! 

If you don’t know what Magical Express (ME) is, I’ll share with you.  ME is an airport shuttle service, luggage delivery and airline check in service provided for Disney owned hotel guests.   Guests who fly into the Orlando International Airport (MCO) on participating airlines can take part in this free service. 

Here’s how it works:
When you book your vacation with Disney or your travel agent, you have the opportunity to choose your ground transportation (if you are flying).  You can choose Disney’s complementary airport transportation service called Magical Express.   When you book your airline reservations, you will include that information along with your ME service to your WDW reservation.  Make sure Disney knows your airline information so they can plan for your arrival and departure with ME!

A week or two prior to your departure, you will get Magical Express transportation vouchers, yellow luggage tags and complementary Disney ID luggage tags in the mail.  The yellow tags will identify your luggage (1 tag per person, but if you need more contact Magical Express prior to your travel dates) for the bag handlers at the airport and resorts.  These yellow tags MUST be attached to your luggage prior to checking the airport in your hometown. 

Once you get to the Orlando Airport, one member of your party needs to check in at the ME Check in desk.  You can find information about this in your voucher book.  When you check in, you will show the ME Transportation Voucher that lists everyone in your party and the resort where you will be staying.  You also need to let them know the exact number of baggage pieces (luggage, car seats, etc) you have.  After you have taken care of the ME check in, your party can follow the red carpet to a Cast Member who will direct you to the line for your resort. 

Once you are on the bus plan on 45-75 minutes to get to your resort.  Busses will stop at multiple resorts, so be prepared to wait for other guests to exit at their resort before arriving at yours.  When you arrive at your resort, you will need to check in.  Then, you are set!  You can start visiting parks, swimming in the pool or relaxing around your resort.  Remember, your luggage will be traveling on a separate bus, so it could take up to 3 hours to arrive at your resort.  If you plan on visiting a park or swimming once you arrive at your resort, make sure you have the needed items in your carryon bag!

At the end of your vacation, you will need to prepare for Magical Express to return your party to the airport.  On the morning before you depart, you will get an envelope with transportation notices for ME slipped under your resort door.   You will need to present this transportation notice to the bus driver before you can board the ME bus for your return trip.  Verify that everyone is listed in your party and that the date and pick up times are correct.  Your pick up time needs to be at least 3 hours prior to your flight time.  Follow the instructions if you need to make changes. 

You will also receive information about checking your bags and obtaining boarding passes at your resort prior to boarding the ME bus.  This way, you don’t have to deal with that at the Orlando Airport!  Check your bags as early as possible if you are checking at the resort.  You can pay any baggage fees at that time. 

Make sure you read all the information provided to you prior to your vacation and prior to your departure.  You don’t want to miss any crucial information!  Also, remember to tip the handlers at the resort!

What I loved about this service was being a part of the Disney magic as soon as we got off the plane!  In the Orlando Airport there were Cast Members waiting with big Mickey gloves on waving to us.  We walked down the red carpet after checking in and we immediately felt like we were “there!”  The buses were nice, clean and cool.  We had a video all about Walt Disney World to watch as we traveled to the resorts.  It really helped set the mood and get our son excited about the adventure that was about to start!

If you have specific questions about Magical Express, you can visit the Walt Disney World Web site or Everything Walt Disney World where Chris has answered some awesome questions about this service!

Thank you for joining me today.  Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is My Dreams of Disney.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Growing Up Disney
2nd Stop ~ WDW Backstage
4th Stop ~ My Dreams of Disney
Final Stop ~ A World View


  1. Coming from Canada, DME is a big plus for us. It means not having to rent a car for our trip, and it's nice to leave all of the driving to Disney for the vacation!

  2. Great explanation of the DME. I love this form of transportation in Disney. There is just something perfect about getting off the plane and rushing to board. I only hate it when it's time to go home. :)

  3. DME is a great service. I haven't used it in years though because for the past several years I've had a car when I've been down.

  4. Interestingly, our last trip was the first time we took the Magical Express, and it was a great idea. Although we like to rent a car, this time we rented on-site, and took ME to and from Pop Century. The trip was comfortable and convenient and our new way of travelling since we save at least one day car rental and still have plenty of time to spare.

  5. I would LOVE to take the Magical Express sometime, but I'm not sure I will ever get to fly to Disney World. My husband does not like the idea of flying anywhere (even though he's only done it once, when he was 3!) so we always drive. It's only about a 10 hour drive for us, which isn't too bad, but it would be nice to get there in less than 2 hours and not have to worry with a car at all on the trip!

    Bitten by the Disney Bug

  6. We have never used Magical Express because we normally rent a car, but it definitely looks like a great way to kick off the vacation!

  7. I love ME and couldn't imagine not using it. I know there are other things in the area to do, but when there's so much to do at Disney (that they'll gladly drive you to) why bother going anywhere else? Great info!