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  1. #1

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    Disney's Magical Express Service

    I'm in the final planning stages of my big trip to WDW for the Pirates Event and Gay Days next month. I'm wondering if any of you WDW experts/locals might be able to tell me more about the "Disney's Magical Express" service. The main questions:

    1) How much does the service cost?

    2) Do you have to book both ways (i.e. coming in from the airport and going back to the airport) on the ends of your stay?

    3) We (myself and a friend, the two people on my WDW reservation) are coming in at different times on different airlines, is this a problem?

    Leaving, I have another problem. Here is my situation: I'm meeting a friend at WDW for the Pirates Event. He's going to go home on Sunday, the day we check out of the Wilderness Lodge after the Event is over. He's flying home from Orlando International. I'm staying for another week, but have reservations at another hotel off property. However, I will need a rental car starting that day, and have found the best rate at the Orlando airport location. Can I ride with him on the Magical Express Bus, or book a return trip on the bus to the airport, even if I'm not getting on a plane? I ask because will have my luggage with me, and I know they check luggage directly with the airlines (I think).

    As an aside and related if it doesn't work out... what's the best (cheapest) way to get a ride to Orlando International airport from a Disney Hotel? Any alternatives to a taxi, like local cheap shuttles?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
    --Jonathan

  2. #2

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    Re: Disney's Magical Express Service

    magical express is free unless they just started charging...

    they probably would need to know your return time.. so that might be the second booking?

    im a local and dont know everything... but do know different times should not be a problem as they pickup at various times during the day.

  3. #3

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    Re: Disney's Magical Express Service

    Here are some answers for you.

    1: Cost is very high. It's an arm and a leg. Oh wait that's everything once you're in WDW. They will take you there for free.

    2: No you don't have to book it both ways.

    3: There shouldn't be any problems. My parents came in and left on a different flight then my family and no one had any problems.

    I believe that Disney can hold you luggage till you leave so you may just want to tell them you are leaving later then you really are. Mears is most likely the cheapest way to get from WDW to the airport if paying though.

  4. #4

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    Re: Disney's Magical Express Service

    Having used it a few times, I'll try and go over this in pieces.
    Quote Originally Posted by DOOM BGI View Post
    1) How much does the service cost?
    Free to on-property guests.

    2) Do you have to book both ways (i.e. coming in from the airport and going back to the airport) on the ends of your stay?
    If you didn't have any information set when you placed the reservation, then you should call reservations and get the information settled ASAP. Part of the process involves sending you luggage tags and information via snail mail, so it's not something you do at the last minute.

    They'll want your arrival/departure time, airline, and flight number for both ways.

    3) We (myself and a friend, the two people on my WDW reservation) are coming in at different times on different airlines, is this a problem?
    Maybe, maybe not. I'd mention this to reservations. Again, they have to mail you luggage tags as well as a sort of proof of ridership thing they scan when you get on the bus. There probably won't be an issue if you can get these to your friends before they leave, but if you've got friends in multiple cities or something I have no idea if there's going to be complications.

    Can I ride with him on the Magical Express Bus
    No.
    or book a return trip on the bus to the airport
    Not on the Disney bus, no. You have to show to the drive the letter they give you informing you of your departure time or the book they physically mailed you with the proof of ridership. Both items list the number and names of the people who are permitted to ride, so if you aren't in his reservation you won't be riding. You can book a trip from the hotel to the airport over Mears, a third-party shuttle agency.

    I ask because will have my luggage with me, and I know they check luggage directly with the airlines (I think).
    If you're flying a select group of airlines, you can have your luggage checked and sent to the airport ahead of time. This is done in the hotel lobby area and they print out a luggage tag at the hotel and check it in on the flight from the terminal there and then take your bag away.

    If you are not flying on these airlines, your luggage will be loaded on the same Magical Express bus you're going to the airport to.

    Any alternatives to a taxi, like local cheap shuttles?
    Again, Mears transport. Common to all tourist cities, Orlando taxis are known to charge an arm and a leg.

  5. #5

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    Re: Disney's Magical Express Service

    Quote Originally Posted by DOOM BGI View Post
    I'm in the final planning stages of my big trip to WDW for the Pirates Event and Gay Days next month. I'm wondering if any of you WDW experts/locals might be able to tell me more about the "Disney's Magical Express" service. The main questions:

    1) How much does the service cost?
    DME is free. There is no charge, never has been any charge. It is free and is in existence until at least December 31, 2011.

    The ONLY criteria for using DME are:
    • named on the reservation at a WDW owned-and-operated resort
    • taking the DME bus from MCO (Orlando Int'l Airport) to that resort on day of check-in
    • taking the DME bus from that resort to MCO on the day of check-out
    • one-way rides in either direction are just fine
    • advance reservations -- minimum 10 days in advance (but the earlier the better) for ride FROM airport, minimum 1 day in advance for ride TO airport
    Quote Originally Posted by DOOM BGI View Post
    2) Do you have to book both ways (i.e. coming in from the airport and going back to the airport) on the ends of your stay?
    see above
    Quote Originally Posted by DOOM BGI View Post
    3) We (myself and a friend, the two people on my WDW reservation) are coming in at different times on different airlines, is this a problem?
    It doesn't matter if others on your reservation are arriving on different flights, on different airlines, from different cities, or even on different days. EVERYONE is entitled to DME.
    Quote Originally Posted by DOOM BGI View Post
    Leaving, I have another problem. Here is my situation: I'm meeting a friend at WDW for the Pirates Event. He's going to go home on Sunday, the day we check out of the Wilderness Lodge after the Event is over. He's flying home from Orlando International. I'm staying for another week, but have reservations at another hotel off property. However, I will need a rental car starting that day, and have found the best rate at the Orlando airport location. Can I ride with him on the Magical Express Bus, or book a return trip on the bus to the airport, even if I'm not getting on a plane? I ask because will have my luggage with me, and I know they check luggage directly with the airlines (I think).
    You absolutely can ride on the bus back to MCO. NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER. [Respectfully, MickeyMania's information on this point is not accurate.]Just refer back to the inclusion criteria I listed above. You can only take the bus to/from YOUR resort and MCO on your check-in/check-out dates. There is NO requirement that actually you fly into/out of MCO. To make things easiest on yourself, when you are asked for your flight information for the return to the airport, just list your friend's flight info, to make sure you're assigned to the same bus.

    I am 100% sure of this. This is not opinion or conjecture. A flight is NOT necessary. It's more common than you think for people to get a DME ride to the airport in order to get a rental car to continue their vacation elsewhere.
    Quote Originally Posted by DOOM BGI View Post
    As an aside and related if it doesn't work out... what's the best (cheapest) way to get a ride to Orlando International airport from a Disney Hotel? Any alternatives to a taxi, like local cheap shuttles?
    Contrary to what someone posted above, you CAN'T take a Mears shuttle from a WDW resort to MCO -- since the inception of DME, they no longer make such runs. So there are no shuttles. Your alternatives are taxi or car service. But like I said, you are fully entitled to use DME to get back to the airport.

    Any other DME questions, please post back. I've become a student of DME, or rather a scholar of DME, and I enjoy helping people get the most out of their vacations.
    Last edited by CleveRocks; 04-25-2007 at 08:26 AM. Reason: stupid typos

  6. #6

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    Re: Disney's Magical Express Service

    Quote Originally Posted by DOOM BGI View Post
    I ask because will have my luggage with me, and I know they check luggage directly with the airlines (I think).
    People flying on a short list of airlines, often called "participating airlines," have the option of checking their luggage at their resort lobby and then not seeing it again until it's on their home airport's baggage claim carousel -- this is called Resort Airline Check-in, and is actually a separate service from DME.

    For people flying a participating airline, using RAC is totally 100% optional. So, for example, even if your friend is flying a participating airline and checks his luggage in with RAC (and you gave DME identical flight information), no one is going to tell you you have to use RAC. They are totally separate -- you can use on and not the other or both (if you qualify), it maks no difference to Disney. So in other words, there will be no raised eyebrows if you have the driver load your luggage under the bus.

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    Re: Disney's Magical Express Service

    Quote Originally Posted by CleveRocks View Post
    Contrary to what someone posted above
    I'll default to the knowledge guy. I was running on guesstimates on most that stuff anyway.

  8. #8

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    Re: Disney's Magical Express Service

    Wow, you guys are awesome! So much information, and sounds pretty accurated too! I found the website that I was looking for that has information and a FAQ:

    DisneyConventionEars.com

    Although I was having trouble viewing with my browser (Firefox 1.5.0.11 for Mac). Safari works fine.

    [edit] The phone number I posted is actually for convention groups; if you need it it can be found at the website listed above. They told me to make DME reservations with your original source for private parties (non convention/groups).

    For anyone else who might need it, here is some more info I found out from the castmember that took my call:

    The "30 day in advance" reservation rule is just a guideline so that they have time to mail out documents; reservations can actually be made up to the day of departure, but documents will have to be obtained at the airport upon arrival.

    The service is offered for free for one trip each way from/to the airport for each guest on a Disney vacation reservation. No flight is required for departure, so you can rent a car, walk or hitchhike from the airport if you want So long as the return trip is booked on the day of check out from a Disney Hotel, that is all that is required.

    They would "highly recommend" that you book both ways with your initial reservation, but you may book your return trip to the airport at a later date if needed (including once you are checked in to your hotel during your stay).

    I'm waiting for confirmation from WDW Event Services on my request to add a night at the hotel to the end of my package. Then I'm G2G to make my reservations on DME. Sounds like a great service, and a great idea for a free perk while on a Disney Vacation. I usually rent a car right at MCO, but I totally won' t need one for the first few days, and will be glad to save the rental car money.

    Thanks again, y'all!
    Last edited by DOOM BGI; 04-30-2007 at 10:22 AM.
    --Jonathan

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