Disney Magic Express – What You Need to Know
Disney Magic Express claims to be a “magical” way to begin your vacation. I must admit I went into the service with some (read a lot) of skepticism. Boarding a bus after a long flight did not scream “magic” to me, but after my first encounter with Disney Magic Express I stand corrected.
Disney Magic Express is truly magic. How else can you explain how I was able to check my baggage at the airport and have it “magically” appear in my hotel room?
To take advantage of this magical, and free, service there are a few things you need to know:
What Disney Magic Express Offers
Disney Magic Express is a complimentary shuttle and luggage delivery service offered at most Walt Disney World Resort Hotels. Yes, I said most, but not all. While the majority of resorts are included in the service, a few, such as Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, are not. You can find an up-to-date list of resorts that offer complimentary Disney Magic Express shuttles here.
How to Qualify
Disney Magic Express shuttles are available for both domestic and international guests traveling through Orlando International Airport. There are some differences about luggage delivery if you are an international guest that I will explain below. Disney Magic Express is currently not available at any other airports in the state.
When you book your Walt Disney World vacation you must also make reservations for the Disney Magic Express. You can take advantage of the shuttle once you arrive at the airport without a reservations too, however, I would strongly recommend against this. Not only will you not be able to take advantage of the full-range of luggage delivery services, you will waste time at the airport retrieving your luggage and waiting in lines. This time better spent at your resort, or better yet, the parks.
For all my international friends, please note that direct luggage delivery is only available on domestic flights. If you are traveling internationally you will still have to retrieve your own luggage before proceeding to customs. Once you have cleared customs you have the option to drop your luggage back off at the transfer carousel or bring it with you when you check-in with Disney Magic Express.
How to Make the Most of Disney Magic Express
Making reservations with Disney Magic Express is easy. If you use a travel agent to book your Walt Disney World vacation, they will be able to reserve Disney Magic Express for you. If you booked your trip on your own, fear not, making a reservation is a short and simple process. Simply call Disney Magic Express Reservations at (407) 939-1936 (for U.S. or Canada) or 0800 16 90 730 (for the United Kingdom.) A Disney agent will happily assist you.
Once you have confirmed your reservation, keep an eye on your mail. About two to three weeks before your Disney vacation you will receive Disney Magic Express luggage tags. Make sure you fill the tags out correctly and securely attach them to your luggage. This will be the key in utilizing the luggage delivery service.
A Tip About Packing
While we are on the topic of luggage, can I offers a couple tips? When you begin packing for your Disney vacation make sure you remember to pack your Magic Bands in you CARRY-ON. I cannot stress this enough. You can expect your Magic Bands to be conveniently delivered to your door shortly before your trip (domestic guests.) International guests will find your magic bands waiting for you upon arrival at your resort.
Luggage delivery with Disney Magic Express can range from immediate to up to a three-hour delay after check-in. Magic Bands will act as your room key, park and fast passes and hold all your reservations. You do not want to be left waiting on them.
Your Magic Bands will also hold your reservations for Disney Magic Express. This will be your first of many opportunities to use your Magic Band! International travelers, you will not yet have our magic bands. Instead, you will have a paper Disney Magic Express reservation that was included with your luggage tags. Treat these just as I outlined above for magic bands. Make sure you have them at hand as you will need them to board the shuttle.
What to Expect When You Arrive
Okay, so you’ve made and confirmed your reservations (both resort and Disney Magic Express), packed your suitcases and have fully researched all the tips and tricks for your trip. The prep work is done, it’s go time!
When you arrive at Orlando International Airport you will need to take a train from your gate to the main terminal. These trains are easy to find and run very frequently. Make your way to Disney Magic Express on level one, side B in ground transportation. Don’t worry about claiming your luggage UNLESS you are an international guest, or you if you arrive between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. If this is the case, you will first have to get your baggage before making your way to the shuttle.
Once you have arrived, Disney representatives will greet you and place you in a line according to your resort. The size of the lines for Disney Magic Express can be a bit overwhelming, but don’t be fooled. Disney Magic Express, as with all things Disney, is very efficient. It’s surprising how quickly you are able to board a shuttle. Your luggage mostly likely will not be on the same shuttle as you are. This allows Disney to load the shuttles more quickly without matching passengers with their luggage. Don’t worry! This is can actual work in your favor. My luggage beat me to my resort and was waiting for me in my room when I arrived!
The motor coaches used for Disney Magic Express are not your average shuttle buses. Disney Magic Express is your very first taste of Disney magic! You will enjoy large and spacious seats and Disney-themed entertainment throughout the course of your ride.
Once you arrive at your resort you can expect your luggage to arrive, directly to your room, within three hours.