Four Reasons We Love Taking the Magical Express to Disney World

Disney’s Magical Express is a transportation service provided to guests flying into Orlando International Airport (MCO) and staying at a Disney World resort. It’s a wonderful way to kick off your vacation and could save you some money along the way!

Today we’re sharing FOUR reasons why we love taking Disney’s Magical Express to Walt Disney World!

It’s free!

Perhaps the biggest advantage to taking the Magical Express is that it’s completely free. It is a complementary method of ground transportation to your resort when you stay on Disney property.

Alternatives such as taxis, shuttles, ride sharing, Minnie Vans, and renting your own car can be costly. Disney World vacations are pricey enough, so the fact that you can save on ground transportation is a relief for many!

The Disney magic starts as soon as you arrive at the airport.

As soon as you step off of the plane at Orlando International Airport, you’ll want to start your Disney vacation right away! With the Magical Express, you can begin to experience the Disney magic long before you arrive to your resort.

Orlando International Airport

Cast Members greet you upon checking into Magical Express at MCO, and you are whisked away on a bus that’s completely decked out in Disney magic. From the character wraps on the bus to the fun cartoons, trivia, and videos played on the TVs inside the bus, you can get into vacation mode immediately!

Even better: the Disney magic begins before you even leave home. A few weeks before your check in date, your Magical Express luggage tags will arrive in the mail. Much like receiving your MagicBands in the mail, the DME luggage tags are a fun milestone on the way to your vacay!

You don’t have to worry about your luggage.

When those yellow Magical Express luggage tags arrive in the mail, attach them to your bags before you leave home. Once you drop off your bags at your home airport, you don’t have to worry about picking them up at baggage claim at MCO!

When you take advantage of Magical Express, you get to skip baggage claim altogether! Your bags will magically appear in your resort room a few hours after your arrival. (Okay, it’s not expressly magic; DME staff will collect them for you and they’ll be loaded onto a transport to the World and then delivered to resorts from there.)

All-Star Sports Luggage Cart

Be prepared and pack what you need for your first day in your carry-on bag, though, as luggage delivery can take several hours on busier days. And if you’re arriving late at night (after 10PM) or very early in the morning (5AM or earlier), you’ll need to pick up your own baggage, too. If you need or want to collect your own bags, just do that before you head over to the Magical Express check-in. You’ll be able to store your bags under the bus during your ride to Walt Disney World property, collect them when you are dropped off at your resort, and go on your merry way — bags in hand.

Magical Express will bring you back to MCO, too.

When it’s (sadly and all-to-quickly) time to leave Disney World and return home, Magical Express offers return service to Orlando International Airport.  This is also completely free, and you can even check into your flight and print your boarding passes at your Disney World resort on participating airlines before you depart. This allows you to skip checking in at the airport, and you can head straight to security!

The day before you check out, a note will be delivered to your room with information on when you will be picked up. Buses will arrive 3-4 hours before your departure time. You will have plenty of time once you arrive to Orlando International! Beginning and ending your Disney vacation with the Magical Express is a convenient option to consider next time you visit!

Do you take Magical Express every time you travel to Disney World? How has it made a difference for you in terms of convenience? Let us know in the comments!

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11 Replies to “Four Reasons We Love Taking the Magical Express to Disney World”

  1. On our last trip to WDW, DME was a disaster going back to MCO. We departed from the Polynesian, and the driver was struggling with two persons in separate parties in wheelchairs. That took up 1/2 hour or more of putting them on and taking them off again (for unknown reasons). When we moved on to the next resort stop (GF I think) there were more delays. With traffic on the freeway, we got to MCO with only 30 minutes to spare, and the driver would not help (by grabbing our luggage sooner) when we told him we were about to miss our flight. Pleaded with other DME cast members for help, but all feel on (smiling) deaf ears. We had to beg folks to let us jump the long security line so we get to our flight on time. It was simply the WORST WDW experience we’ve ever had, and it was a bad end to an other wise lovely vacation. We may use DME going to the resort, but we’ll book a towncar service for the return trip.

  2. One of my favorite things about taking DME is seeing what resorts other passengers get dropped off at. I’ve gotten my first sneak peak of several gorgeous resorts that way, and it makes me excited to explore new places in WDW on each trip.

  3. I’ve done it a few times, but we just uber/lyft now. I don’t care for waiting for check-in, waiting for a bus, then the unlucky times where you are the last stop on a bus… much easier IMO to just uber there the second you are ready. Even better since we’ve been using just carry-on’s the last few trips.

  4. We’ve been using DME for 15 years now, love that service. Never waited longer than 30 minutes to depart airport, always got our luggage and always enjoy the bus drivers. Yes, pick up time, 4 hours prior departure seems a lot, but I’ve seen getting to the airport and security crown pack with people, so prefer same than sorry. I will use that service as long as I can.

    1. I have tricked DME in the past by referencing a later return flight so that they schedule me for a later bus. It works perfectly!

  5. We always use Magic Express and love it. We’re “seniors” and we are very happy to have Disney take care of our luggage and get us to our resort. Going back home, we like reversing the process and checking in our luggage at our resort. Like another reviewer said, we don’t like getting to the airport so soon. It’s a total waste of time.

  6. I love the Magical Express. getting off the plane, walking right onto the bus, watching the cartoons, stress free. no standing around the carousel waiting for my luggage and bumping around with heavy suitcases. we pack our swimsuits, in a carry on, arrive at the hotel, quick change and cocktail by the pool until our room is ready. Awww, Vacation! only 74 more days….can’t wait

  7. love DME service is awesome staff is always friendly. i always use DME and have never had an issue more than 20 years of going to disney

  8. My family always takes the Magical Express to our resort, and back to the airport. We have never had to wait for it, they are very courteous, and it is FREE. I don’t like that our scheduled return time is 3 – 4 hours before our flight, but since I am going home I am probably unhappy anyway. And we have never missed our flight home.

  9. So let’s see… it’s the last free thing you do until your vacation ends, you get to wait in your first line as soon as you get off your plane, you get to wait an indeterminate amount of time to get your stuff, and you get to sit at the airport for hours on your return wishing you could be back at the resort. Did I get that right? Oh and you forgot to mention that you get to spend an exorbitant amount on your resort to have these privileges. Would Mickey say “Oh boy!” or “Hot dog!”? I wonder.