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  • Author
    • bellebookworm9

      Registered: May 2009
      Location: Bellingham, WA
      Posts: 283
      Review Date: Mon February 12, 2018 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 5 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Free, bus is comfortable
      Cons: Long line due to cheerleaders, very delayed luggage delivery

      I have used Magical Express many times without problems, so I know our experience this time is not the norm. We arrived just after an influx of cheerleaders so the line for the All Star Resorts stretched all the way back to the podium where you first tap your MagicBands. One of our party uses a cane, one has a walking cast, and one has a bad back, but no options were offered other than standing in the long, slow moving line (I did not know about 2/3 of these ailments prior to arrival or I would have made alternative arrangements!). Thankfully, we were able to take advantage of the first row of seats reserved for "those in need". We stopped at Animal Kingdom Lodge before All Star Sports, and the bus was continuing on to All Star Movies as well.

      I landed at 4:45 and the other members landed at 5:45. We returned from dinner at the Beach Club close to 10pm and there was no luggage in either of our rooms. I know that with online check in and the ability to bypass the front desk, "3 hours after check in" is a little more in flux than it used to be...but that is still a VERY long time. I attempted to call Bell Services but they didn't answer, so I went to the desk in person. The manager said they got slammed with three trucks of luggage delivery at once (darn those cheerleaders) and she could see my room's bags were at the resort, having arrived two hours ago, but weren't "Ready" for delivery yet. She said I "should" have them by 11pm. They arrived at 11:03.

      Our friends had even worse luck. One of them called to bell services when their luggage still hadn't been delivered by about 11:15 and was told the woman was "going to check". She was left on hold for about 15 minutes with no update - after 11pm the phone rings to the DME people instead of the bell services desk. When they finally returned to the line, my friend was told they had no flight information on her and didn't know where the bags were. As their travel agent, I had email confirmation of submitting their flight info and having it approved. Additionally, the got onto the bus in the first place with no trouble, so they clearly existed in the reservation system. The luggage was finally found and delivered after 12:15am. I'll continue to recommend this service and use it myself if not renting a car, but I'm not sure our friends believed me that it really isn't normal for this situation to happen and doubt they would use it again.
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      Registered: December 2017
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Wed December 6, 2017 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 6 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Free, Comfortable and Accessible
      Cons: 4 Hour Pick up Time

      I have used Disney's Magical Express since it began years ago. I love how it's accessible and free to all guests staying on site. They recently changed their pick-up procedure from 3 hours to 4 hours ahead of your scheduled departure time. My flight was due to take off at 6:45 AM and I was picked up at 2:35 AM. Not only did I arrive at MCO at 3 AM I also arrived 45 minutes before TSA opened! Since you cannot proceed to your gate till you go through security I was forced to sit for 45 minutes. Once I was through security at 3:05 AM I still had 2.5 hours till my flight even boarded! I think getting people to the airport early is GREAT! But for a 6:45 AM flight I do not think that I needed to be there prior to TSA enjoying their breakfast. Just be aware of when your flight takes off in the morning you might be better off taking an Uber.
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      Registered: December 2017
      Posts: 18
      Review Date: Wed December 6, 2017 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Easy
      Cons: Pick up is too early

      When we go to WDW we go only to WDW, so the Magical Express is fantastic -- easy, convenient. However, the recent change to picking guests up FOUR HOURS before their flight home is uncool for those of us with TSA PreCheck. It's bad enough that we have to leave WDW, but to sit in the airport for over three hours doing nothing is just adding insult to injury. I'm hoping Disney adds the option of taking a later bus if you have PreCheck ...
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      Registered: August 2006
      Location: Connecticut
      Posts: 69
      Review Date: Fri June 23, 2017 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Saves money on not having to rent a car
      Cons: Not enough time allowed when returning to airport

      We have used this many times. It is a great service Disney provides and definitely saves money on a rental car if you do not plan to leave the Disney Resort Area. My only complaint is they do not leave enough time for returning to the airport. We had a 7:50pm flight, boarding beginning at 7:20pm. Our pick up time was 5pm. It would sound like that is enough time but I do not like the stress of "are we going to make it in time". We had 2 stops after we were picked up. With the construction around the Disney property, from pick up time to actually getting off Disney property was 1 hour. You have an approximate 30 minute trip to the airport barring any delays. Then check in and security to get through. Knowing we weren't getting home until late, we wanted to sit and have dinner before boarding our flight. It ended up waiting in line for fast food and rushing to the gate. Disney needs to take traffic and other stops into account when assigning your return time.
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      Registered: September 2006
      Posts: 28
      Review Date: Sun April 2, 2017 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 5 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): bus was waiting at airport, left within 10 minutes
      Cons: amount of time it took our luggage to get to hotel

      We usually rent a car, but since it was a short trip(March 23 - 26) we used the Magical Express for the first time. Our plane landed at 7:30 p.m.. When we got to the ME check-in, our bus was already there. We waited about 10 minutes for others to board. We checked into Port Orleans Riverside, went to Disney Springs and returned to our room around 11:30. No luggage. I called bell services around 12:15 a.m. and they said our luggage had just left the airport 10 minutes earlier. It arrived at our room at 1:30. Everything I read said it could take up to 4 hours for it to arrive to your room - not to leave the airport. I would consider using ME again if we arrived early in the morning, but never again for an evening flight.
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      Registered: August 2010
      Posts: 8
      Review Date: Mon March 28, 2016 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Don't have to rent a car
      Cons: Delays caused by other guests

      I love the magic express service and would always recommend it out of all the times I have used it I have only had one bad experience. We were on the bus the last pick up was at the Poly, the driver had the door closed and was leaving and a Poly employee came up knocking on the door telling the driver he had to wait for another group, they had just got back from the parks and still had to get there bags from bell services. Well this took forever and by the time we actually got them on and loaded there were people in danger of missing their flights due to the extremely long security lines at the airport. The driver should have never been told to wait it was entirely the fault of the Poly cast member.
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      Registered: September 2014
      Posts: 28
      Review Date: Tue September 29, 2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 5 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Free trips to and from the hotel
      Cons: Baggage

      This is a great idea, and for just transporting you to and from the airport, it works great. However, the baggage service with this is not good (to put it nicely). We got in and got checked into our hotel before 10:00. Our bags (which was only a stroller) were supposed to be delivered in 3 hours (have heard it could take 5). We needed the stroller as we were headed to MNSSH that night. By 3:15, I was getting concerned so I went and asked the bellhop. He told me he had a record of it being loaded onto the truck at 2:55, and it should be about an hour to be delivered. By 4, my wife and daughter headed to the park as she was getting antsy and I waited at the delivery spot so I could just grab it and go. By 4:45, I had enough (was missing out on my park ticket at this point), and just left. We ended up needing to rent a stroller for $15 (not much, but our child will sleep in her stroller, not a rented one). When we got back at around midnight, the stroller was there. But, it was AT LEAST 7 hours before it was delivered, and it gave us an extra expense which I was not ready for/happy about. Word of advice, make sure you need absolutely nothing from your checked bags not just for a few hours, but for the entire day.
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      Registered: May 2011
      Posts: 3
      Review Date: Sat April 11, 2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): relaxing, convenient, no luggage worries, well orchestrated
      Cons: odd hotel routing

      Had 3 recent trips using this service. Oct (business w/ family) trip in was made interesting by a tire blow-out. Figured we were stuck (just outside the Welcome gateway) for an extended period, but replacement bus was on-site and passengers / luggage transferred and on the road again within 15 minutes - i was most impressed. Dec (family only) we experienced a rather long wait to leave the airport - were first boarders - so sat for about 20 minutes while bus filled up. Contrast that with March (Business, no family) where i walked on bus and almost immediately we hit the road. We were able to catch earlier than scheduled departure buses on the last two trips with no problem, just asked the driver if we could board. All in all, removes the stress and cost of arranging other transportation and lets someone else deal with the traffic and the route. Our next trip we may be looking at a one way use case - just found (on this site) that this was an option.
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      Registered: May 2009
      Location: Bellingham, WA
      Posts: 283
      Review Date: Fri April 10, 2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Convenient, don't have to handle luggage, free
      Cons: Odd choice of return pick-up hotels, new airport policies

      It had been about a year since I used Magical Express because I rented a car the last two trips I took.

      The DVC owner I rented points from was nice enough to call and ask them to send me extra yellow tags because this was an extra long trip with multiple destinations and I simply needed more than one bag! They did so in plenty of time.

      We tagged our luggage at the Buffalo airport and off we went. Found the ME location with no trouble (so much closer coming from the JetBlue gates than the Southwest gates!) and they waved us into the line. We did wait for about 10 minutes before boarding the bus and then sat on it for another 10 minutes before we were on our way!

      I enjoyed that they played the tilt shift park videos on the ride, as I adore them. It took us about 45 minutes to arrive at our resort, Saratoga Springs, because first we stopped at both Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside, then Old Key West, and finally SSR. Still arrived at our room right before 2pm.

      When we checked out, we had no problems with the airline check in. The bus was scheduled to pick us up at 2:50pm, I think, and our flight was at 5:45. Plenty of time. There were people on the bus already and it was a few minutes late...but then it made the very odd trek to Coronado Springs, totally on the other side of the property so that definitely added a lot of time.

      When we arrived at the airport there were some new policies that I am still confused about. They no longer drop off at terminals A & B, but B only. Then, they won't let you off the bus until the driver has unloaded all the luggage for "safety purposes". That makes no sense to me and has never been a thing in the eight years I've been using this service!

      There was a rather irate group of adults who were all up in the CMs face (she boarded the bus to tell us where we were and what was going on while the driver was unloading). They were outraged because their flight was going to begin boarding in 45 minutes and the bus took so long and they almost rushed the driver before she closed the door so they could not get off (as they were supposed to be waiting).

      I don't even know if that's coherent but they were rude. Disney schedules your pickup for about 3 hours before your flight. For them to be leaving in 1 hour (boarding in 45 minutes) that means they had to be on the bus for over two hours and I find that very difficult to believe. It was crazy.

      Thankfully the CM handled them very well and my friend and I apologized for this group's behavior and said it was certainly not her fault. So just be aware of these new changes to airport return policies.
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      Registered: December 2007
      Posts: 87
      Review Date: Tue March 31, 2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): not having to rent a car

      We love magical express and the convenience it brings to our WDW vacations. This year we had a late arriving flight. Since we weren't sure it would be on time, we chose not to use the yellow tags, and pick up our own luggage instead of risking it not arriving to our resort room on the evening we arrived. It was really no hassle going to the luggage belt and retrieving our own bags. When we arrived to Magical Express area, we just used our Magic Bands to go right to our resort line to board the bus. It was quite dead at 9:30 PM, so we thought we would get right on the bus and leave for our resort in good time. We waited about 10 min. before they put us on our bus. Then we waited and waited. No one else was riding our bus as there were hardly any other people arriving at that time...kind of surprising. I'm sure they didn't want to send a bus out with just 2 passengers so we waited and waited and waited. After over 1/2 an hour they finally decided to send us on our way. Not very magical for 2 people who were dying to get to their resort and start their magical vacation. This is the first problem we have ever had with the Express....been coming to WDW for over 10 years.
      Our return trip to the airport went without any glitches. Got our boarding passes at the resort and our bus was right on time to take us back.
      Both drivers were courteous and friendly. Of course we'll use this service again, but hopefully we won't have to travel in the evening again.
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      Registered: August 2014
      Posts: 7
      Review Date: Wed August 20, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Friendly staff, comfortable, timely
      Cons: Mears yellow bus, boring show

      DME is one of our favorite parts of the trip! Well..when arriving, at least. We love that we don't have to keep track of our luggage, and it's exciting to be welcomed by the first cast members of the trip at the airport! I was very disappointed though, as I have been in years past, when our bus pulled up and it was just a plain yellow Mears bus. I understand that Mears is the company that provides this wonderful experience to Disney resort guests, but I just think that it detracts from the magic when you cannot ride a DME bus that is decked out in Disney glory! Other than that, I have no complaints. One member of our party did have an issue with the show that is played on the bus and has been updated since our last trip - she found it less pleasant than the shows in previous years, although we all loved the clips of the Disney Parks Blog that were put on for us on the trip home.
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      Registered: April 2014
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Thu April 17, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): convenience
      Cons: luggage delay

      We arrived at Orlando Airport at 4:45pm. We watched our luggage get removed from the plane out the window. Went through the line to get to our resort, a little long but ok all in all. Arrived and checked in at our room approximately 6:30pm. Naively expected our luggage to precede us. We called the front desk to inquire about our luggage at the 3 hour mark from our landing and were told it takes between 2 to 4 hours for the luggage to arrive. First we had heard of this. Ended up getting our luggage at 9:15 pm...planned to hit Magical Kingdom to watch the parade & fireworks the first night there....complete wash! Once over that little snafu we had the time of our lives for the next few days. We post this only to inform you that you will need to be prepared, as we were not, for a delay in your luggage. The next time we go the one thing that will change is that we will pick up our luggage at baggage claim and shlep it down to the buses ourselves...problem solved!
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      Registered: May 2009
      Location: Bellingham, WA
      Posts: 283
      Review Date: Mon March 31, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Free, easy to adjust travelers, luggage arrived as it should
      Cons: Many stops, unable to adjust pickup time for delayed flights

      I've used Magical Express many, many times. I called a few days before arriving in Orlando to add two travelers to my hotel reservation. We did not receive their yellow tags before arriving, which I expected. Thankfully their bags showed up very quickly at baggage claim and we made our way over to B side.

      They did not show up on the reservation but the agent was able to add them quickly. My Magic Band worked at ME, which was great! Our bus was pretty full, and it stopped at Coronado Springs, All Star Sports and Music, before continuing to All Star Movies.

      I used Resort Airline Check In on Saturday morning with no problem. Then I discovered my flight had been seriously delayed. Magical Express said they wouldn't change pick up times due to delayed flights since "the flight could go back to it's original time at any moment". A friend agreed to take me to the airport instead so I wouldn't have to sit there for hours. As it turned out, I ended up changing my flight to the next day. ME gave me a new pick up time at another resort with no problem, 9:45am. Of course, at 9:40 I received a text that my flight was delayed again, and I ended up sitting at MCO for six hours anyway.

      I will use ME in the future for sure!
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      Registered: October 2008
      Location: North Reston VA
      Posts: 33
      Review Date: Mon March 3, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Free/Fast/Convenient/Comfortable/Immediate Disney
      Cons: None

      Arrived MCO 9a. Arrive CBR 9:45. Luggage at our room noon. The DME baggage people at CBR were efficient and very helpful - check-in luggage at CBR and they printed boarding pass. New modern bus with large screen video and very clean. Nice CM driver. And not a one cent (well, we did give $7 in tips).
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      Registered: March 2011
      Posts: 67
      Review Date: Sat January 25, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Free, Air Conditioned Bus, Luggage Delivery
      Cons: Multiple stops, Luggage takes around 4 hours to get to your room, Couldn't hear video

      I love the DME! Use it every time I'm at Disney. It's free and saves you the hassle of baggage claim.

      Once you land at the airport you can take it easy. Provided you tag your luggage with the tags they send, you can skip baggage claim and go right to the DME on B side level 1 (they send you a map and there is plenty of signage and people to help you).

      Be sure to bring the booklet they send or that you are wearing your Magic Band because you'll need one of those two to board the bus.

      When you get to the DME desk you are sorted into lines depending on what resort you are going to.

      After that you board the bus and you are off. A welcome video plays but the volume was turned so low I couldn't hear it. As you reach the gates to Disney Property the driver has everyone give a cheer.

      One issue is the time factor. The bus stops at more than one resort so if you are unlucky enough to be last in line it will delay you about an hour.

      Also if you partake in the baggage delivery don't expect your suitcase in your room before you. It will take around 4 hours after your plane lands to get there.

      The day before your trip ends you will have a packet either on your resort door or left on your bed with the time to meet the bus the next day. Plan on 3 hours prior to your flight.

      You can check in for your flight at your resort so checked bags are not an issue. If you have some park time and don't want to lug your carry on around you can leave it with bell services.

      Heading home you hand the driver the letter they give you with your time to meet the bus and hop on board. Again multiple stops are made but even if you are the first on you will get to the airport with time to spare.

      A video plays wishing you a safe trip, information on the Orlando International Airport, and about other Disney destination but again the volume was so low i couldn't hear it.

      The DME will save you a lot of money and is one of the best perks of staying at a Disney Resort.
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