Headed to Walt Disney World for the very first time? Or maybe you’re just flying into Orlando International Airport for the first time and unsure how you’re going to get around without renting a car? Let us introduce you to Disney’s Magical Express, a magical service available through 2021.
UPDATE: The Disney Magical Express Service is Ending
The Disney Magical Express Service is ending in 2021. It will no longer be available starting with arrivals on January 1, 2022. This comes at the same time that the Mears contract with Walt Disney World expires. While this special service will be missed by many, remember that there are still plenty of transportation options to get you to and from the Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World. And with the Brightline Train line coming to Orlando, there will be even more options to get you to and from the most magical place on earth. So while it is sad that the Disney Magical Express is Retiring, we’re sure to find even more ways to get to and from Walt Disney World in the future. For current travelers in 2021, read more about the Magical Express below!
What is Disney’s Magical Express?
Disney’s Magical Express is essentially a shuttle service provided for Walt Disney World guests who are flying into Orlando’s airport. Its on a fancy, air conditioned bus with little TVs but its a shuttle service nonetheless. The Magical Express will take you from the airport to the Disney resort in which you are staying. It will not take you to the Parks.
Disney Magical Express FAQ
We’re pulling together all of the questions we could think of about Disney’s Magical Express. Let us know if we missed anything! Hopefully this quick guide gets you everything you need to understand this complimentary shuttle service.
How can I get the Disney Magical Express service?
To be eligible for the Magical Express, you need to be flying into Orlando. AND you must be staying at a Walt Disney World Property. This is a service only for resort guests. You also must book Disney’s Magical Express ahead of time.
How do I book the Magical Express?
Very easily actually! In order to book the Magical Express, you will need your flight number. If you book your trip and already have a flight number, then all you have to do is enter it in during the checkout process of booking your trip. If you book your flight after your trip is already booked, you can just call the number listed in your My Disney Experience and a cast member there will book it for you!
How does the Disney Magical Express work?
Its really quite magical! A few weeks before your trip, you will receive bright yellow luggage tags to be placed on your checked luggage. This indicates you will be using Disney’s Magical Express. It is imperative that each bag you check at the airport has this tag attached. So when cast members from the Members collect your luggage, they know to take it and who its for.
After you’ve checked your luggage, board your plane and when you arrive in Orlando, all you have to do is check in to the Magical Express. And the rest is done for you! You won’t have to worry about waiting at the luggage carousels or lugging your bags with you to the resort. Disney will get your airline luggage from the plane to the resort so that it is in the room when you arrive.
What happens when I get to the airport?
When you get to the airport, all you have to do is locate the Magical Express station. There are signs directing you to it. And if you can’t find them, just know its on the same floor as the car rentals. Once you have arrived at the Magical Express to check-in, you can use your MagicBand or transportation sheet to confirm your place on the bus.
Where Does the Magical Express Take Me?
After onboard the bus, the Disney’s Magical Express takes you to your resort. If you’re room is not ready yet- which you will see in the My Disney Experience App, you can settle in and eat something or browse. Or you can head to the Parks! And no worries, because your luggage will be delivered directly to your room a few hours later.
Can I take the Magical Express back to the airport?
Yes! The day before you leave, you will receive a transportation notice on your door that will give you instructions on when you need to leave your resort for your flight the following day. Generally the Magical Express requires you to be in the lobby 3 hours before your flight leave for domestic flights and 4 hours for international.
Depending on your airline, you may be able to check your luggage at the resort for your departing flight. Not all airlines participate in this service, but if yours does, all you have to do is check your luggage with them before you leave and they will take care of the rest.
If your airline doesn’t participate and your flight leaves after resort check out that day, you can leave your luggage with bell services and pick it up later when you board the Magical Express. They have room for your luggage in storage compartments below the bus.
Disney’s Magical Express Important things to know
Is Disney’s Magical Express Free?
Disney’s Magical Express is a free service for those staying on resort property
How Soon can I book the Magical Express?
It can be booked as soon as you have a reservation and flight number
How Long Do I have to Wait at the Airport for the Magical Express?
Plan an extra 60-90 minutes for the Magical Express. Depending on how busy it is, you may have to wait for a bus for a while or stop at multiple resorts before arriving at your resort. If you need to be somewhere at a specific time, we suggest against taking the Magical Express. Other shuttle services are available or you can always opt to take Uber.
What if I don’t Receive my Magical Express Luggage Tags?
Luggage Tags for the Magical Express usually arrive by mail 2-3 weeks BEFORE your scheduled arrival date. If you do not receive luggage tags for the Magical Express, you can claim your own luggage and bring it with you to the resort, or give your claim tickets to the cast members at the Magical Express and claim it for you later in the day.
It’s Not Really a Disney Vacation without the Magical Express
Disney’s Magical Express is set up like a charter bus. It has big, comfortable seats, TVs that basically play Disney related material, air conditioning and even a restroom onboard. While its not always the fastest way to travel, it is free and is a great option if you’re not in a hurry! We love the Magical Express simply because it keeps you inside the Disney bubble. We don’t have to touch our luggage after we drop it at our home airport and it magically appears in our room. The ride gives you fun cartoons and behind-the-scenes footage to watch in a cozy tour bus atmosphere. And best of all- you avoid Orlando traffic, so can arrive at your Disney resort stress-free.