Everything that you need to know about Disney’s Magical Express, including information about resort airline check-in.
If you are planning a vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort, you’ve probably heard about Disney’s Magical Express. The Magical Express is Disney’s complimentary motorcoach service to and from Orlando’s International Airport. It can be a little confusing to figure out exactly how it works, so we’ve put together this guide with everything that you need to know about Disney’s Magical Express.
Disclosure: At least some of this trip was either comped or provided at a media rate. Post may contain affiliate links – when one of these links is clicked and/or a purchase is made from it, we may make a small commission. In the past, I was a member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel, but all opinions are my own.
Everything You Need To Know About Disney’s Magical Express
Disney’s Magical Express is Free
Disney’s Magical Express is a complimentary service, so you won’t have to pay extra. It can be a great way to save money on your Walt Disney World vacation, because you don’t have to rent a car. Once you arrive on property, you can use Disney transportation to get to all of the parks and to Disney Springs.
Motorcoach drivers are permitted to accept gratuities, so I always like to have some small bills on hand to tip them.
You Must be Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel
In order to be able to book Disney’s Magical Express, you must have a valid reservation at a Walt Disney World resort hotel. The Dolphin and Swan resorts are not included, so if you are staying in one of those resorts, you’ll need to make alternative plans to get to and from the airport.
Disney’s Magical Express Only Goes to and from MCO
If you are flying into Orlando Sanford International Airport, you won’t be able to take Disney’s Magical Express. It only goes to and from MCO.
You’ll Need to Provide Flight Details to Disney’s Magical Express
Even though the Magical Express is free, you’ll need to contact them to book your trip, and provide them with information about your flights. Prior to your trip, you’ll receive yellow luggage tags to place on your checked baggage, as well as a letter with information about the Magical Express. If you receive Magicbands, make sure you keep them in your carry-on bags, because you’ll need to scan them at the Magical Express welcome center to gain access to the motorcoaches.
You should also know that you are only able to take the Magical Express to and from your own resort. You can’t take it to Disney Springs, to a park, or to a different resort.
Disney’s Magical Express Coaches Make Multiple Stops
While Disney’s Magical Express is definitely convenient, be prepared to be patient. You will likely need to wait a little while before the bus leaves the airport. In addition, the coaches make multiple stops at different resorts. This is the case both traveling to and from the airport. Therefore, your Magical Express pickup time will be at least three hours prior to your flight departure (for domestic flights).
Car Seats Are Not Allowed on Board
Car seats aren’t required or permitted on board. They can be placed under the bus in the storage area if you are traveling with a car seat.
You Don’t Have to Get Luggage From the Carousels
This is one of my favorite benefits of Disney’s Magical Express. If you’ve tagged your checked bags with the provided yellow tags, you can bypass the luggage carousel and go directly to the Magical Express welcome center. Your bags will be delivered to your room a few hours later. Just keep in mind that you won’t have access to your checked bags for a few hours, so be sure to pack all essentials in your carry on. If you are headed to the parks immediately, make sure you have everything you need, like comfortable shoes and sunscreen.
Visit the Resort Airline Check-In Desk Before You Leave
Walt Disney World offers a resort airline check-in desk at each resort. On your departure day, you can check your luggage and get your boarding pass right at your resort. These desks are typically only open in the morning, so check the hours before your last day. You’ll also need to check your bags at least three hours before your flight departure.
To learn more about Disney’s Magical Express, visit this website.
For your Walt Disney World vacation, I love the following resorts. Note that I have stayed in some of these resorts as part of press trips, but all opinions are my own.