Magical Express

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Ms.Mouse's picture
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Magical Express

Has anyone used the Magical Express? I am debating on whether to use that or a limousine service. If we use a limo service will the hotel hold our luggage till our room is ready so we can start enjoying the parks?

JoAnn C's picture
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I love the Magical Express. You will receive yellow luggage tags for your checked bags so you an bypass baggage claim and head to the resort. I recommend it. The day before your last day, you will receive information on your return trip to the airport. You can check in for your flight that morning and they will take care of your checked luggage. If you are flying on an airline that charges for checked bags, there is a phone number on the information you receive to call and provide a credit card number to pay for the fees. Just give the confirmation number to the CM checking you in for your flight.

If you choose to go the limo route, the resort will hold your bags.

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Mandy's picture
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Joined: 06/18/2013
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Almost everyone here uses the magical express. I would use the magical express because they definitely take care of your luggage for you. It's hassle free for the most part. Sometimes there are complications but Disney will do their best to get you your luggage.

Eeyore's picture
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Joined: 11/22/2012
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Ditto and what they said. Magical Express is awesome AND it's FREE! (As long as you are staying on Disney property!)

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I highly recommend and have personally used ME and have never experienced any problems. Your luggage will be forwarded right to your room. If you use a limo service and bring your luggage with you, the bell services at your resort will certainly hold your luggage for you if your room is not ready when you arrive.

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JanJ's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2013
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Love the Magical Express service, especially when you don't have to worry about picking up your bags at the airport - that can eat into your Disney time, lol. We have used it every time we have gone (total 5 trips) and will be using it again in 3 weeks. awesome

Ms.Mouse's picture
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Very good! We will give it a try. I will try and book an early flight in so we can make the most of our day. Thanks everyone!

alicemouse's picture
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We love Magical Express and they only time we haven't used it was on our most recent trip when we were renting a car for the whole trip so we could get off property to see a friend who lives nearby and has no transportation of his own.

Whether or not the car service is better depends on your reasons for not wanting to take the bus. If you just want to arrive in style and if would be a trip highlight for your family to get to do a limo ride, then go for it!

If you don't like buses in general, it's not possible to navigate every park and Downtown Disney from any resort without riding at least one bus. Depending on where you stay, you can come close to accomplishing this, but if you have no car on property, you will have to take a bus at some point. Depending on your length of stay and the size of the car you would need for your party, you may be able to rent a car cheaper than hiring car service to and from the airport. This carries with is the advantage of being able to buy peripheral food items at the grocery store instead of the resort gift shop, the ability to go to off-property restaurants, and the ability to drive directly between Disney resorts. Personally, I love having a car on property, but not because I want to avoid Magical Express. The Magical Express buses are much more comfortable than the resort buses and most the drivers make the trip reasonably enjoyable.

One benefit of hiring a service is that some of them allow you to make a stop to get groceries and if you are not on Disney Dining Plan and plan to be very disciplined about eating only the pre-purchased snacks and carrying enough water for the day so that you would recoup the cost of that car with the money you saved on food for the week, it might be worth it financially. Obviously, the shorter the stay, the less "justifiable" this becomes. If you're ok with taking the bus around the resort, this might be a good way to go.

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December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

Spook's picture
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I'm another fan if ME. I've taken it about 4 times including November 2013 and have never had a problem. Personally I think it adds to the Disney experience mickey

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Spook wrote:
I'm another fan if ME. I've taken it about 4 times including November 2013 and have never had a problem. Personally I think it adds to the Disney experience mickey

I agree. With ME the Disney experience and excitement begins while you're still at the airport.

Kristen K.'s picture
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I always used a limo service - until Magical Express came along.

It's not the same luxurious feeling, but it's free, clean, and you get to watch the fun video.

JMUDukz's picture
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Magical Express for the win!! It just really gets you EXCITED for Disney!! Just standing in line waiting for the buses, you can FEEL the excitement of everyone around you. I've also made new friends on the ME, chatting with other riders, and have picked up (and shared!) tips and tricks. The only downside is if you are one of the last hotels to be dropped off, the ride can be a bit longish. However, you do get to see what the other resorts look like, at least from the bus windows!

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I love ME because from start to finish it gives you the Disney Experience. The buses can take a little longer than if you had a rental car but I like the fact that I don't have to drive. When I go I am only there for 5-6 days. If you are going to stay longer than a car would be the way to go. (I know you wanted insight on comparing ME to limo but I have never used a car service.)

Allie's picture
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Joined: 06/26/2012
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Ditto everyone else! We LOVE ME! Such a magical way to start your vacation, plus it's FREE so that's a big plus, too! awesome

The Colonel's picture
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I used to have a Limo service that did a 15 minute grocery stop at publix. On a week long trip, that stop probably paid for the limo. But DME is free- can't argue with free.

Once DME was taking too long and I got bitchy and took a cab. Cost me $75 to have that little tantrum. Also once I wanted to stay an extra hour so I blew off the DME going back to the airport and cabbed it.

I found out how the DME at the airport works last trip. When the first person gets on the bus, a clock starts. The bus will leave 30 minutes later or when its full, whatever comes first. So if you get on an empty bus, you will wait. If the bus you get on is pretty full, you're probably leaving soon.

They changed up the video on DME recently which is good. I love the cartoon with Donald camping, but I've been seeing it for years.

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Ange's picture
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We went on the magical express and had to get our own bags. And even though they told us we would get our pickup info the day before we flew home we didn't. I think we got ripped off now.

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Ange how do you get ripped off for a free service? If you are flying in from outside the US then yes you do have to deal with the bags yourself, that is well documented. I think ME is great used it for the first time last year and will book it again.

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alicemouse's picture
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You also have to handle your own bags if you are arriving outside of Disney's baggage handling window. I know it's flight arriving after 10pm and I think it's flights arriving prior to 5am.

Personally, in some respects I like to deal with my own bags. I'm a very light packer, so I have very little to carry in the first place.

If the airline would ever lose my luggage, I'd rather know about it while I was still at the airport and could deal with it onsite rather than try to resolve the problem over the phone a la Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents. ("Yes I said a black samsonite suitcase, but don't you think it's possible that in some crazy scheme to actually turn a profit that the Samsonite people made more than one?!")

Also, if we're checking a bag, we pack bottled water and snacks and if we land early in the morning and go straight to the parks, we don't receive our luggage until late in the evening and we are stuck paying park prices for that stuff on day 1.

It was interesting to know about the 30 minute timer. If Disney is handling your bags for you and you take into account that you save the time standing at the baggage carousel waiting for the bags to be unloaded and transported, you may actually beat the "independent traveler" to the resort using ME. We rented a car on our last trip and it took us a solid 20 minutes to retrieve our bags and another 10-15 at the rental car counter then we had to go to the parking garage to locate our car. I would say it was close to 40 minutes from the time that we arrived at baggage claim until we were actually on our way. And since we lack familiarity with the road systems near the airport, we were not nearly as efficient driving around as a bus would have been. I would rent a car again in a second, but I don't think it gets us to Disney any faster. Certainly a car service that does curbside pick-up has to be faster, but you would still have to deal with the bags.

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December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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I am between my first and second trips to The World and have to say that I loved the Magical Express. When on vacation, I love to have as few responsibilities/extra things to think about as possible (which is why we went with an all-inclusive resort on our Mexico honeymoon). To be scooped up and delivered to the resort is ideal for me, as car rental is just a hassle I rather not deal with while in Vacation Mode. Also, with the video they play on the way to Disney, I got super stoked and giddy! We are definitely going that route in October.

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We have used ME exclusively, but have not used the luggage service. I guess I just like to have my bags when I check in rather than wait. The only downside as mentioned here is that if you want to stock up your fridge - we are DVC members - it is a challenge to get groceries. We don't venture much outside of WDW, so we don't need a car to travel around Orlando or to get from park to park. To get to some of the resorts/restaurants - it does take some creative bus rides/transfers.

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alicemouse wrote:
.

If the airline would ever lose my luggage, I'd rather know about it while I was still at the airport and could deal with it onsite rather than try to resolve the problem over the phone a la Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents. ("Yes I said a black samsonite suitcase, but don't you think it's possible that in some crazy scheme to actually turn a profit that the Samsonite people made more than one?!")

No - if the airline loses your luggage, trust me when I say you'd rather find out at the resort. Then Disney takes over. Talk about fire power. United "lost" my sister's luggage on our May 2012 trip. We discovered it when we got back to our room after an evening at the Big River Brewing Company on the BW and thought we were too drunk to count bags (whaa....I keep coming up with three, not four??? How many beers did I HAVE?????). We informed bell services and within an hour they told us they'd called United, found the bag, and would have it delivered as soon as it arrived. That was around 7pm. At midnight, we got a knock on the door and there was the missing bag!!

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alicemouse's picture
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Good to know, JMUDukz! I've luckily never been a victim of lost luggage (although they did do a number on my bag on this most recent trip--the foot is broken, the emblem on the front was ripped off (and looked like someone tried to tape it back on), and my Mickey luggage tag that I had saved from a previous trip was ripped off. Angry

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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The brilliant thing about DME is that it makes it easy, convenient, and free to never leave Disney property. They keep you right where they want you.

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Ange's picture
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It was like 6:30 or so in the morning when we got there from Atlanta, so I don't know. Anyways would rather take my own bags, cause then I know they are there.

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Ange wrote:
We went on the magical express and had to get our own bags. And even though they told us we would get our pickup info the day before we flew home we didn't. I think we got ripped off now.

Did you arrive after 10pm? Magical Express doesn't pick up bags after that time because they aren't staffed for luggage during overnight hours. It's odd that you didn't get the return trip information the day before. Perhaps someone (like another guest being stupid) grabbed your papers.

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I used Magical Express last time and loved it. If you don't want to wait for your luggage, you can leave off the tags, get it yourself at the airport and then take it on the bus. That's what I did because I did not know when it would be delivered to my room, and I wanted to be able to change clothes after being on the plane for so long. I loved the fact that I didn't have to budget for travel accommodations as well as everything else.

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I used Magical Express once and it was nice and convenient. It didn't make sense financially to fork over additional money for a rental car plus I have little confidence driving on the FLA roads anyway!

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I am personally 1 for 1 with ME. Loved it the last trip. My previous 2 trips I had used a limo service and had no real issues with it, but by the time you wait on bags, pay for the service, tip the driver, ect., it really can't compare to free and quick with ME. Also, for those concerned about immediate access to change of clothes and such, what my wife and I did was each take a backpack as a carry-on for the flight. We each had a 24 hour supply of clothing, meds, whatever, in case there were issues getting our luggage in a timely fashion. The backpack idea is a good one anyway, regardless of using ME, as I would bet the airlines themselves have a worse record with luggage than ME.

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OMG...I love the Magical Express. I have used it everytime since it started and I have never had any issues. It is great you check your luggage in at whatever airport you are flying out of and you don't see it again until it magical appears in your room. I say save the money that the Limo would cost you and buy something special.

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Ms.Mouse's picture
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I am convinced! We will give it a try. I would rather save my money for other things and it sounds like it is pretty smooth and easy! Thanks everyone Smile

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I've used DME on all six of my trips and will be using it on trip number this coming week. I love it. I love the fact that after I check my bag at my home airport I wont have to worry about it or deal with it until it shows up in my hotel room. I love that I can use resort airline (since Alaska is a participating airline) and not have to worry about checking my bag or deal with it until I get to home airport and have to retrieve it. I love not having to wait in the lines at the airport to check my bag or check in because it's been done for me and I already have my boarding pass. I love that DME is free which means money that would have been on either taxis or a car service (I've never gotten my driver's license so renting a car is not an option) can be used for other things. I love sitting on a comfortable tour bus and watching a video or just spacing out after a long day of travel while someone else does the navigating and driving. Yeah. I muchlove DME. Can you tell?