Navigating Disney’s Magical Express

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A lot of first timers want to know the different ways that they can get to and from Orlando International Airport (MCO) and the Walt Disney World Resort property. Disney has a great relationship with MCO and offers multiple options for getting to your vacation destination. We are going to look at one of those options today – Disney’s Magical Express.

What Is Disney’s Magical Express?

Disney offers a roundtrip motor coach service to your resort, for free, as part of your reservation. When booking your reservation online you will be given a choice to add airport transportation so all you have to do is provide your flight information and Disney will do the rest.

This service is available for Disney owned and operated resorts – check out the list below. This unfortunately means if you’re staying at The Swan, Dolphin or any of the resorts on Hotel Boulevard you will have to use one of the other services available. The service is also on available for certain airlines listed below.

How It Works

Before leaving for your trip Disney will mail you yellow luggage tags that you can attach to your bags. You can then check your bags at your home airport and you will see them again in your hotel room! That’s right there is no need to head to the luggage carousel when you land in Orlando – Disney will collect your bags and deliver them to your room.

So this means once you make it on property you can head right into the parks and have your bags in your room when you get back! The caveat here though is if your flight is lands between 10:00pm EST and 5:00AM EST you will need to gather your own luggage before heading to the pick-up area.

Once You Land In Orlando

If flying domestic when you land in Orlando you can head right to the Disney’s Magic Express area on Level 1 of Terminal B. You will have to take a tram from your gate to the main terminal area. Be sure to bring your carry-on bags with you as they can be stowed underneath the motor coach.

International flights will require stopping at the Immigration checkpoint and then collecting your luggage and going through the Customs checkpoint. After this point though Disney can still collect your luggage for you and deliver to your resort.

Have your MagicBand ready as this is what the Cast Members will scan to make sure they put you in the correct line to head to your resort.

The motor coach will stop at multiple resorts so it could take anywhere from 45-90 minutes to reach your resort. MCO is about 30 minutes outside Disney property. Do not worry though as each motor coach has comfortable seats, A/C and videos to help pass the time.

Returning Home

When it is time to sadly end your trip and return home the day before check out you will receive a Disney’s Magical Express transportation notice on your hotel room door. This notice will provide a departure time and place for your trip back to MCO.

Again the motor coach will make multiple stops at different resorts before heading to the airport.

The absolute best perk of Disney’s Magical Express is that you can check in for your flight right at your resort! All you have to do is take your bags and photo ID to the Airline Check-in counter at your resort and they can take care of everything for you.

Disney will provide you with your boarding pass and take your checked bags for you. Then when you get to the airport you can head straight to the security check – just be sure to grab your carry-on from beneath the motor coach! You must check in no later than 3 hours prior to your flight. Airline Check-in is open 5:00AM to 12:00PM.

The departure time is typically 3 hours before your domestic flight 5 hours before an international flight. This trip is what we lovingly refer to as the Tragical Express because you must leave Walt Disney World. You will need to provide this notice to the motor coach driver so be sure to have it in hand, you cannot utilize your MagicBand.

The following Airlines participate in Airline Check-in:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines (U.S. Domestic Flights Only)
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines

If you have a later flight you can check your carry-on bags with bell services and go head out into the parks one last time before your pickup time. This way you do not have to lug them around with you all day. Just be sure to be back at your resort in time!

Of course going to or from property you are more than welcome to grab your checked bags yourself and stow them beneath the motor coach with your carry-on if you do not want to wait for Disney to deliver your bags for you.

The following Disney Resorts participate in Disney’s Magical Express:

Helpful Tips

  • Be sure to pack your MagicBand and any other essentials you might need in your carry-on bag. It will take a few hours before you see your checked bags.
  • Although not required it is customary to tip your motor coach driver. On average $1-$2 per bag is customary.
  • The first resort the motor coach stops at may not be your resort, make sure you listen to your motor coach drivers announcements.
  • If you sit towards the front of the motor coach you can get a view and photo of the ‘Walt Disney World Resort’ archway.

If you enjoyed this edition of ‘Navigating Walt Disney World’ please be sure to check out my other articles all about Navigating Disney’s Bus System, The Monorail System, Disney Watercraft and Minnie Vans!