You have been planning your Walt Disney World vacation for months. You’ve saved money, planned your days in the parks, and now the countdown to your fantastic vacation is on. However, what about transportation to your Walt Disney World resort hotel? How will you get from the airport to “The Most Magical Place on Earth” and once your vacation is over how will you return to the airport? Follow along as I highlight the various transportation options offered by Disney.
Disney’s Magical Express
Often referred to as one of the happiest sights (when you arrive in Orlando) or one of the saddest sights (on your last day as you leave your resort hotel), Disney’s Magical Express is a complimentary service for guests who are staying at select Walt Disney World resort hotels. After you land at the Orlando International Airport, you can relax knowing that your transportation and your luggage is taken care of. That’s right, not only does it transport you, but Disney’s Magical Express offers complimentary luggage delivery as well. Your luggage will be delivered directly to your resort hotel a few hours after your arrival.
To book your reservation for Disney’s Magical Express, please make sure to call them directly at 1 (866) 599-0951. If you prefer to reserve your Magical Express online rather than call, you can do so by clicking the following link and completing the online form with all your information at https://secure.reservations.disney.go.com/ibcwdw/en_US/dme/dmeform. You will need your flight information as well as your Walt Disney World resort reservation number to book your spot on the motor coach. Several weeks before you travel, you will receive paperwork as well as Magical Express luggage tags to place on your luggage. It is important to place these tags on every bag you plan to check; carry-on bags will not need a tag as you will have those with you at the time you board the Magical Express. The luggage tags help to ensure your checked bags get to the correct Walt Disney World resort hotel room.
Once you land in Orlando you can find Disney’s Magical Express on Side B of the Main Terminal. First, take the train from your gate to the main terminal and head to Side B. You should then take the elevator or escalator to Level 1. There is no need to pick up your luggage as it will be taken care of … thus the importance of attaching the Magical Express luggage tags to your checked bags, however, if you prefer to pick up your bags (or are arriving after 10 pm) do note baggage claim is on Level 2. Once you check in you will be directed into the appropriate line for the motor coach that is heading to your resort.
Some important things to remember about Disney’s Magical Express
- The service is complimentary; however, it is customary to tip your driver.
- You will need your Magic Bands to check into Disney’s Magical Express. Remember do not pack your Magic Bands in your checked luggage, keep it in your carry on. If you forget or have not received your Magic Bands, then simply present the paperwork that was mailed to you from Disney’s Magical Express for check-in. If you did not receive either your Magic Band or Magical Express paperwork, then just head to the Magical Express counter (make sure if you have checked bags to have the baggage claim number) and they can help you.
- Car seats are not recommended on the Magical Express, children can sit in their own seat or sit in an adult’s lab.
- Remember that it can take up to 3+ hours to have your luggage delivered, so make sure you have anything you will immediately need in your carry-on bag.
- If you land in Orlando after 10:00 pm, you must stop by baggage claim on level 2 and pick up your own luggage before heading to check into Disney’s Magical Express. Although Magical Express runs 24 hours a day, the luggage service operates from 5 am to 10 pm.
- Disney’s Magical Express can accommodate wheelchairs, just let the representative know when booking that you will be traveling with someone who requires assistance.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. As your vacation comes to a close you will receive your Magical Express return documents (usually the day before you leave). If you do not receive your return paperwork, please call your Walt Disney World resort hotel concierge or call Magical Express directly at 1 (866) 599-0951. This paperwork will give you the departure time of your motor coach heading back to the airport. Typically for domestic flights, it is 3 hours before your flight departure and for international flights, it is 4 hours before your departure. You will need to bring your luggage with you to the motor coach and present the driver with your return documents. For your convenience, some airlines allow you to check your luggage and get your boarding pass at your Walt Disney World resort allowing you to bypass that step when you arrive at Orlando International Airport. The current list of airlines that allow resort airline check-in include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines (U.S. Domestic Flights Only), JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.
Disney’s Magical Express currently provides service to the following Walt Disney World resort hotels:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
- The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
If you are looking for a quicker or more personal form of transportation to and from Orlando International Airport, you can take a Minnie Van. These cute red vehicles with polka dots can’t be missed as you travel around Walt Disney World property, and now they are offering transportation to and from Orlando International Airport and your resort hotel. To make a reservation for a Minnie Van, call (407) WDW-PLAY. Minnie Vans can be used for flight arrivals 7 am-10 pm and flight departures 9 am-12 am. It is important to note that this service is not complimentary. The cost of the service is $150 per one-way trip and gratuity is not included. Also, important to remember is that Minnie Vans are not for larger families or groups as they can only hold up to six passengers at a time.
Whether traveling via Disney’s Magical Express or Minnie Van, one thing we do know as Disney Addicts is that your destination will surely bring you happiness, long-lasting memories and maybe just a little pixie dust! Until next time, happy travels!
Photo Source: Disney
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