If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World onsite hotel, you have access to a few magical perks that make your vacation a seamless experience. In addition to advantages like complimentary resort transportation and package delivery, all resort guests have access to free transportation to and from the airport and their hotel. Disney’s Magical Express is a system of bus coaches operated by Mears Transportation that run between Orlando International Airport and all Walt Disney World owned and operated hotels. The buses run daily and transport arriving guests, and their luggage, free of charge.
How to Reserve
Disney’s Magical Express is available for all Disney-owned onsite hotels. This means that The Swan and Dolphin, Good Neighbor Hotels, and Disney Springs resorts are not eligible. The service can be added on to a vacation package or to a room-only hotel reservation. Reservations can be made at the time of package or hotel booking, as well as afterward up to 10 days before your arrival. To add a reservation for Magical Express to an existing reservation, you’ll want to have your flight information ready including flight numbers, names of all travelers, as well as your Walt Disney World reservation number. Guests in the U.S. and Canada can call (407) 939-1936, and guests in the U.K. can reach the reservation center at 0800 16 90 730. International guests will need to reserve through the same travel agent or tour operator who booked the trip.
Once reserved you will receive a confirmation by mail approximately 2 to 3 weeks before your vacation. Disney’s Magical Express is available for the following hotels:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
- The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
One of our favorite features of Disney’s Magical Express is the included luggage delivery service. When your transportation documents arrive, they will also come with one luggage tag for each person traveling. These tags are to be attached to any checked luggage you wish to have delivered to your room. You simply put these tags on your bags and check them with your airline as you normally would. These bags will be automatically picked up by Cast Members upon your flight’s arrival and delivered directly to your hotel room. Any other checked bags you have will need to be picked up at your designated baggage claim before boarding the motorcoach. If you do not receive your luggage tags before departure, you can provide your baggage claim numbers to a representative at the Disney’s Magical Express service location at the airport, and they will still deliver them for you. This service is not required as part of Magical Express, so you are free to leave them off and collect your luggage from the baggage claim as you normally would. Please note that you must make your Disney’s Magical Express reservation at least 2 weeks prior to arrival to receive your luggage tags.
Disney’s Magical Express luggage service is only available to guests arriving between 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM. All guests arriving outside of that window will have to collect all bags themselves and bring them to the motorcoach.
Luggage delivery can take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours to arrive at your hotel after being collected by Disney. There is also the unfortunate possibility of delays. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you pack a carry-on bag with all the essential items you might need in case of an emergency. This includes toiletries, medications, change of clothes, swimsuit, sunscreen, and most importantly your MagicBands!
Disney’s Magical Express Arrivals
Disney’s Magical Express can be found in the Ground Transportation Area in Terminal B, Level 1. Your confirmation that will arrive in the mail prior to your trip includes a handy map that shows you exactly how to reach this area from your arrival terminal.
Upon your arrival at Orlando International Airport, you’ll want to take a minute to prepare for your trip to the resort. First, if you have any checked luggage not being delivered to your room by Disney, you’ll want to pick those up. Then make sure that all guests have their MagicBands out and ready to scan. This is also a good time to hit the restrooms before you join the boarding queue, as it can sometimes take a little while before you board during busier times.
As you approach the Magical Express area, you will see a few check-in desks with Cast Members. You will then present the Cast Member with your MagicBand. If you did not receive MagicBands, Cast Members can scan your travel documents. If you’ve lost or forgotten your MagicBand, they will either provide you with a new one (sadly, these are usually the boring grey ones) or a plastic card. After scanning and confirming your reservation, you will be directed to a boarding line where you will then scan your MagicBand or card again as you board the bus. Bus drivers will take any luggage you don’t need with you on the bus and place them in the undercarriage for transport.
Service animals may travel on Disney’s Magical Express in the passenger cabin with their owners. Pet dogs may travel on Magical Express if their owners are staying at one of the 4 pet-friendly Disney Resort hotels. Dogs must ride in the motorcoach’s passenger cabin, in an owner-provided pet carrier that fits safely in a seat.
Magical Express coaches are deluxe buses equipped with air conditioning, heating, and bathrooms. Each bus has a number of small televisions that play interesting and important information about the Walt Disney World Resort as well as classic Disney cartoons. Bus drivers will load guests from multiple Disney resorts and will make a few different stops before returning to the airport. It’s impossible to know if your hotel will be first until you board, so be prepared. The average travel time between the airport and Walt Disney World is between 45 minutes to an hour. There are instances where your travel time may be greater due to traffic. Upon arrival at your hotel, the bus driver will unload your bags, and you’re free to start your adventure! We recommend tipping your driver if they assist you with any luggage.
Disney’s Magical Express Departures
On the day before you check out from your Disney hotel, you will receive a Disney’s Magical Express transportation notice, usually placed on your door handle. This notice will include the departure time and pick-up location for your transportation back to Orlando International Airport. This spot is usually right outside the main building and check-in area for your hotel. Each pick-up spot has a Magical Express sign to help you find it. Pick-up times for motorcoach returns are usually around 3 hours prior to your flight’s takeoff (4 hours for international flights). Make sure you keep the transportation notice on hand as you will be required to present it to the bus driver before boarding. MagicBands are not accepted for boarding. As with your arrival, the bus will most likely make stops at multiple resorts before heading to the airport.
Resort Airline Check-in
Guests flying on select airlines have the ability to conveniently check-in for their flight, collect their boarding pass, and check their bags at their Disney hotel. Cast Members will assist you. in your check-in and collect your checked luggage. Your bags will then be transported to the airport and loaded on your plane and you won’t see them again until you collect them at your home airport. You will need to carry any bags you do not wish to check with Disney. Bags must weigh 50 pounds or less to check them in at the resort. Each guest is allowed one checked bag.
To use this complimentary service guests must check-in at their hotel’s dedicated desk and present a valid government-issued I.D. for domestic travel or a valid passport for international travel. In addition, Guests must check-in no later than 3 hours prior to their scheduled flight departure. (Flight delays do not extend this check-in time.) All Guests must be present at check-in. Resort Airline Check-In is open daily from 5:00 AM to 12:00 noon and is available for the following airlines:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Air Lines (U.S. Domestic Flights Only)
- JetBlue Airways
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
If you need help planning your perfect vacation, contact our friends at Key to the World Travel® for a free, no-obligation quote for your next trip. Click here.
Some Photos Courtesy Disney