PDA

View Full Version : Disney's Magical Express [questions]



seoulcontrol
05-13-2007, 02:15 AM
Hey guys,

So I did some research on a few websites about the Disney Magical Express, and I have a few questions.

1 - One website showed a list of the airlines that the DME works with. It said that inbound domestic airlines were not restricted, but outgoing has Alaska, Delta, American, Continental, Jet Blue, Northwest and United. I'm flying with Southwest, so does that mean that I can't use DME back to the Orlando airport?

2 - Also, how reliable is the service? Like do I just head straight towards the bus without even glancing towards baggage claim?

3 - The site from #1 (I'm not sure if I'm supposed to name the site or not...) also stated that the service runs from 5am-1pm? So if I land at 5pm, I'm screwed?

Thanks in advance for the replies.

mom22gls
05-13-2007, 03:38 AM
Hey guys,

So I did some research on a few websites about the Disney Magical Express, and I have a few questions.

1 - One website showed a list of the airlines that the DME works with. It said that inbound domestic airlines were not restricted, but outgoing has Alaska, Delta, American, Continental, Jet Blue, Northwest and United. I'm flying with Southwest, so does that mean that I can't use DME back to the Orlando airport?

2 - Also, how reliable is the service? Like do I just head straight towards the bus without even glancing towards baggage claim?

3 - The site from #1 (I'm not sure if I'm supposed to name the site or not...) also stated that the service runs from 5am-1pm? So if I land at 5pm, I'm screwed?

Thanks in advance for the replies.

The websites listed have on-site check-in at Disney. You can use DME with any airline. If it is not a "participating" airline, you will check in at the airport (or on-line at the hotel), and have your luggage transported to the airport with you, and will check your luggage there, just as you would with any other shuttle service. If it is a participating airline, you check your luggage at your hotel, and they will take it to the airport for you. I assume the hours you reference refer to this check-in service, not the DME service itself. We have been using non-participating airlines, and use the DME service. You just check your luggage with bell services when you check out of the hotel, can go to the parks for awhile, if your flight is later in the day, come back to the hotel before your scheduled pick-up time (which will be about 3 hours before your flight-with the security and checking luggage, etc. you will not be waiting around at the airport for a long time, but should get there in plenty of time), bell services can take your luggage, on a cart, to the pick up area, which will be near bell services, anyway. You present your voucher to the driver, they load your luggage, and off you go. We have found it to be quite reliable, with luggage brought to the room (you don't have to wait for it at your room), within about 3 hours, maybe less. You should pack a set of clothes in your carry on, and any other necessities, such as prescription medication, and, perhaps pajamas, and sample nighttime toiletries, if you are arriving late in the evening, and maybe a bathing suit, if you are arriving earlier, and may want to relax at the hotel. We've used it several times, with no problems whatsoever, and have gotten to the hotel in about the same time we would have, using any other form of airport transport. In short, your airline doesn't matter.

Drince88
05-13-2007, 05:10 AM
mom22gls got it covered, I think.

One addition for you, seoulcontrol, since you're flying Southwest. You can have guest services at your resort check you in 24 hours before your flight, or you can do it at any guest services in a park. This applies to any airline that does on-line check in, but it can be especially crucial with Southwest.

If you have a web-enabled cell phone or that type of device, you can do it yourself and just print it out at the airport, but for those of us with just regular-ole-cell phones, figuring out where you can check in to get that 'A' on your boarding pass is pretty important.

efoxx
05-13-2007, 05:37 AM
WE had some severe problems with Disney transportation on our recent trip, including DME. I'm not so sure right now it's a good thing.

on our return trip to the airport the bus was almost 40 minutes late, when it finally arrived there was not enough seats for everybody needing to go. bus driver promised another bus would be soon. don't know about that one as we boarded the first bus. despite the fact that the bus was now full we stopped at the BW so the bus driver could tell a half dozen anxious people that their bus (our bus) which by then was close to an hour late was full and they would have to await another bus. then back on the road for what was the most out of the way trip to the airport I have ever been on, including a tour of the western WDW property that after 10 minutes drive put us less then a mile from where we started. trip took almost another hour to drive to the airport, and by the time we got there we had an hour and 10 minutes to check bags and get through security.

another perplexing thing. the driver made a big deal about which airline we were flying on, and seperating baggage for each airline. infact he almost made one couple not board because the SWA baggage compartment was full, yet when we finally got to the airport he just opened the doors and through bags out in one big pile.

as I was getting off the bus I and several other pax noted the sign that said "gratuity always excepted for exceptional service". none of us felt the service was even exceptable much les exceptional when I picked up our bags he stuck out his hand and I ignored him. he replied "thanks a lot fella".:mad:

for me it's worth paying for a town car as there is a lot less stress.

bradk
05-13-2007, 07:18 AM
in regards to #3 as I don't think that was answered, that's for the Resort Airline Check-in (RAC) service which is only for participating airlines, so flying on SWA, it wouldn't apply to you. for those that are, guests are allowed to check in no less than 3, no more than 12 hours before the flight. so actually, any flights between 1 am - 8 am are ineligible.

but as far as DME goes (the buses that is), they operate 24/7. luggage delivery service on incoming guests usually stops around 11 pm, however, unless you request your luggage be delivered (which could be the middle of the night)

sbnuggie
05-13-2007, 08:35 AM
The service runs 24/7 and we experienced it first hand.

We arrived at MCO from our cross country flight at 11:30 pm, walked downstairs to DME and there were several busses waiting and castmembers everywhere waiting and anxious to help. We were on a bus in 5 minutes and off we went.

We flew United so we never had to retrieve our luggage. We got to the resort, PO-R at a little after midnight and we were asked if we wanted our luggage delivered to our rooms or just wait until we called when we woke up. We decided to wait but the option is given to you if you want your bags delivered in the middle of the night.

Our flight home was at 7am, so DME sent us a note saying to be at the bus stop at 4am in front of the Resort. The day before I called Bell services and they scheduled a pickup of our bags from our room at 3:30am. They picked up the bags on time and put them right at the bus stop. Bus arrived promptly at 4am, driver hopped out, put them in the bus and away we went. Once at the airport he sets them outside and you have to take them to check in yourself. It's due to security these days. DME was flawless for us (party of 7) and a truly painless experience, 2 thumbs up.

ChuckC
05-13-2007, 10:16 AM
WE had some severe problems with Disney transportation on our recent trip, including DME. I'm not so sure right now it's a good thing.

on our return trip to the airport the bus was almost 40 minutes late, when it finally arrived there was not enough seats for everybody needing to go. bus driver promised another bus would be soon. don't know about that one as we boarded the first bus. despite the fact that the bus was now full we stopped at the BW so the bus driver could tell a half dozen anxious people that their bus (our bus) which by then was close to an hour late was full and they would have to await another bus. then back on the road for what was the most out of the way trip to the airport I have ever been on, including a tour of the western WDW property that after 10 minutes drive put us less then a mile from where we started. trip took almost another hour to drive to the airport, and by the time we got there we had an hour and 10 minutes to check bags and get through security.

. . .

for me it's worth paying for a town car as there is a lot less stress.

This story sounds familiar. Two trips ago (October of last year), I had a similar experience on the return trip to MCO. I had less than an hour to clear security, grab a bite, and board my flight.:eek:

Never again, I said to myself. So on my last trip (March of this year) I decided to take a taxi. Fifty dollars (including tip) later, I realized I made a bad mistake.:crying:

So on my next trip (Sept.-Oct. of this year), I think I'll tell DME to pick me up early. My flight is scheduled to depart at 7:30 PM and I like to get to the terminal at least 3 hours before takeoff. So I plan to ask to be picked up around 3:30 PM.

Can I do this without having to lie about when my flight is leaving?

Just as an aside. DME is wonderful for arriving flights. I've had no problems with missing baggage or late bus transportation.:)

GusMan
05-14-2007, 08:01 AM
...when I picked up our bags he stuck out his hand and I ignored him. he replied "thanks a lot fella".:mad:
Thought I read somewhere that gratuities were included with DME, so I never have felt obligated. However, I do tip if they are friendly and helpful. Sounds like you unfortunately got a rude driver or one that was taking his bad day out on people.


Can I do this without having to lie about when my flight is leaving?
My take: Just let them know that you want to be picked up earlier. Then if it does not work, "adjust" your flight departure time. I dont think it will make a big difference to them.

bradk
05-14-2007, 08:25 AM
the only DME tip included is luggage delivery directly to the room - what you are not required to be there for. bus driving and storing and retrieving luggage from under the bus is not covered.

JeffG
05-14-2007, 08:42 AM
the only DME tip included is luggage delivery directly to the room - what you are not required to be there for. bus driving and storing and retrieving luggage from under the bus is not covered.

When the program first started, Disney actually did promote that all gratuities were included, included those for the drivers and carry-on luggage handling. The union representing the drivers lobbied to have that changed and Disney gave in and modified this within a few weeks.

-Jeff

GusMan
05-14-2007, 08:58 AM
the only DME tip included is luggage delivery directly to the room - what you are not required to be there for. bus driving and storing and retrieving luggage from under the bus is not covered.


When the program first started, Disney actually did promote that all gratuities were included, included those for the drivers and carry-on luggage handling. The union representing the drivers lobbied to have that changed and Disney gave in and modified this within a few weeks.

Thanks for the clarification guys... Its always good to know the facts so that people make proper decisions regarding gratuities and the like.

topmouse
05-14-2007, 09:03 AM
We are flying Frontier (which I understand is not a DME airline). Does this mean that we have to lug our baggage to the DME bus? If so, what purpose do the luggage tags serve?

Also, will the desk at the Disney hotel get on-line (at a non-Disney partner airline) and get boarding passes for the return flight home or is that just for the preferred airlines?

WDW countdown -- 25 days to go!!!! Woo hoo!

GusMan
05-14-2007, 09:10 AM
We are flying Frontier (which I understand is not a DME airline). Does this mean that we have to lug our baggage to the DME bus? If so, what purpose do the luggage tags serve?

Also, will the desk at the Disney hotel get on-line (at a non-Disney partner airline) and get boarding passes for the return flight home or is that just for the preferred airlines?

WDW countdown -- 25 days to go!!!! Woo hoo!

Coming into the parks, they will still take your luggage to your resort hotel. Just have the DME tags on your luggage before you check in at your departure airport. They will pick them up for you and DME and take them to your room.
Going back to the airport, you will have to take your luggage to the bus where they will put it underneath for you. When you arrive at MCO, you will take your luggage from the bus to the airline check in.

For non-participating airlines, I believe they will do an internet check in for you and I am pretty sure print out your boarding passes. I usually check in via the internet then use a kiosk at MCO to print my boarding pass. That way, I dont have to worry about loosing my boarding pass yet I am still checked in.

Hope that helps.

Drince88
05-14-2007, 09:11 AM
We are flying Frontier (which I understand is not a DME airline). Does this mean that we have to lug our baggage to the DME bus? If so, what purpose do the luggage tags serve?


There is NO dfference between participating and non-participating airlines going from MCO to your resort. Never has been (but it is confusing)


Also, will the desk at the Disney hotel get on-line (at a non-Disney partner airline) and get boarding passes for the return flight home or is that just for the preferred airlines?
You have to go to guest services to do this, not the DME airline check in desk, but yes, you can do it.

Because you are NOT on a particpating airlines, you will have to schlep your own bags to the bus, and from the bus to the airline check-in desk.

bradk
05-14-2007, 09:32 AM
it's all true. while they're marketed together, Resort Airline Check-in (RAC) which is the only thing Participating Airlines applies to is very much separate from DME.

DME is handled by Mears Transportation, RAC is handled by BAGS, Inc. and you can easily use one without the other

if i'm not mistaken, BAGS, Inc. is even contracted by MCO, not Disney per se. At least they all wear MCO badges.

OhanasRules
06-04-2007, 02:59 PM
Hey All-

This question applies to magic express and all Disney bus transportation...How does it work for Toddlers? Normally in the car, My daughter uses a car seat...in the plane as well..

Do the busses support this or is it lap sitting?

Drince88
06-04-2007, 03:08 PM
No seat belts on any of the buses - so toddlers lap sit or sit on their own if there's room

On the park transportation (does NOT apply to DME), the buses do get very full at times. HOPEFULLY there are nice people that will let Mom or Dad have the seat so they can hold the toddler - or at least let the toddler sit, but if you're one of the last few getting on a very full bus, there really isn't much room to manuever switching places with someone.

Mtnthumper
06-08-2007, 11:46 AM
In regards to #2....I do not have enough time or words to express how much we LOVE LOVE LOVE DME. We have used it every time we have gone since it started and I think it is the most spectacular most helpful thing to come around. It helps you get right to your vacation. No second looks towards baggage claim! Make sure you have packed your carry on with what you will need for the first half of your day at WDW and go! Your bags will be waiting for you when you get back to your room later! We have never had trouble and after using several other transfer services before DME came around I can say it is GREAT! I would recommend to everyone staying on property! :)