Learn all about Disney’s Magical Express – and let us help you make the most of your time in the most Magical Place on Earth with our Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Disney Holiday!
WHAT IS DISNEY’S MAGICAL EXPRESS?
Disney’s Magical Express is the light at the end of our travelling tunnel to Orlando. When we touchdown at Orlando International Airport [MCO], I know that downstairs, there’s a big desk with smiling people who are going to take us to the Most Magical Place on Earth.
You’re probably still scratching your head as that’s as clear as mud, but basically, Disney provides a coach service from the airport to your hotel and will even collect your luggage [subject to time restrictions] and deliver it to your room for you. It’s bliss.
Once you arrive at the airport, head to the DME Desk, board the coach and watch Mickey and Friends as they entertain you and fill you with Disney happiness on the way to your hotel.
WHO CAN USE DISNEY’S MAGICAL EXPRESS?
All guests staying onsite at Walt Disney World, with the exception of guests staying at the Swan, Dolphin and Shades of Green Resorts. This is because the latter three aren’t actually owned by Disney.
DO WE NEED TO BOOK DISNEY’S MAGICAL EXPRESS?
Yes. Disney needs to know when you’re arriving and so you need to book and give them your flight information. If you’re booking direct with Disney, they will take care of it, but if you’re not and you’re not sure if you’re booked in, you can call 0800 169 0730 and they’ll take care of everything.
Make sure you’re booked in at least 2 weeks in advance of your flight to give Disney time to coordinate everything.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Before your trip, you get your DME luggage bands and tickets for the coach. This is some of the happiest mail I ever receive and I do a little dance each time they arrive. On each tag will have a barcode and the resort you’re staying at.
If you have a direct flight, pop these on the suitcases you’re going to check in before they go onto the flight – if you’re flying indirect, wait until you collect your luggage from the penultimate leg of your flight to attach them.
WHERE IS DISNEY’S MAGICAL EXPRESS?
I always feel like I’m on autopilot when I arrive at MCO. If it’s your first time there, it’s busy! Head for a quiet area once you disembark and get your bearings. MME is in Terminal B, on Level 1. We usually arrive in Terminal A – last time we were on the same flight as Keith Lemon although didn’t believe Gav until we got off the flight at the same point as him and I *still* managed to stand with my back to him, a metre away, and not notice. Anyhow, if you land in Terminal A, you need to take the monorail across to Terminal B. Just follow the crowds with Disney backpacks and children hugging Disney plushies.
CAN I ADD DISNEY’S MAGICAL EXPRESS TO MY BOOKING?
Yes. You can call 0800 169 0730 and they’ll help you out!
CAN I USE DISNEY’S MAGICAL EXPRESS WITHOUT BOOKING?
No. Everyone must have booked their places before they land at Orlando International Airport.
WHAT TIMES DOES DISNEY’S MAGICAL EXPRESS OPERATE?
Whatever time you arrive at MCO, your Disney’s Magical Express driver is going to come and get you. The desk is open 24 hours a day.
That being said, if you arrive between 10pm-5am, there’s no automatic luggage collection and so you’ll need to find your own bags and bring them with you to the MME Desk.
WHAT DO I NEED WITH ME TO BOARD?
If they’ve been sent to you ahead of your holiday, remember to have your Magic Bands ready to be scanned at the DME Desk – these hold all of your holiday information and will make everything so much easier! If not, just make sure you have your voucher booklet with you to show to the DME people when you check in.
WHAT IF WE’RE HOTEL HOPPING ON OUR HOLIDAY?
We’re hoppers – and we will be on this trip too. We like to try multiple resorts whilst we’re in Disney. Just make sure DME know they’re picking you up from a different place to the one they set you down in. The easiest way to make sure this is done is by calling them direct.
IS THERE A DOWNSIDE TO USING DISNEY’S MAGICAL EXPRESS?
As Disney doesn’t want you to be missing your flight, it takes account of any possible traffic issues and delivers you to the airport way ahead of your flight. Some people prefer to wait until a little closer to the flight and catch and Uber or Minnie Van, others are happy to be there early to avoid any issues. If you decide to do this, make sure you amend your booking to one way only so that someone else can have your seats!
The only other downside I could think of was that there’s the possibility of having your luggage lost in transit as someone else is collecting it from the airport based on whether there’s a yellow tag on it, but then luggage loss is a risk with every trip. I hold my breath each time I see the conveyor start to move.
Although Disney’s Magical Express is a free service for Disney World Resort guests, it’s customary – and very much appreciated if you tip your driver. The standard rate is $1 per bag or suitcase handled – or you can tip as you please – for us, the DME is such a welcome sight after all of the travelling, and we’re always so grateful to the driver for whisking us away from the bustle of the airport to Disney loveliness that our DME driver is worth way more than $1 a bag, and many happy hugs. Haha.