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Thread: Magical Express Question

  1. #1

    Magical Express Question

    Hi all,
    I have 5 adults traveling down to WDW in mid December for 4 nights. We are staying at Saratoga Springs. I may rent a car due to this being my parent's 50th anniversary and me wanting it to be extra special so I've booked ADR's all over the place, as they've never been to the World. 3 out of the 5 in my group are fairly good sized people 200lbs then 2 of us in the around 130lb or so vicinity. I'm trying to keep costs as low as possible, therefore rent the smallest car possible so am looking to save space with the luggage. I was wondering if I could sign up for DME so our luggage goes to the resort, but not actually take the bus ourselves? I am aware of the resort luggage service for the way home and we are using a participating airline so I'm good there.
    Thanks!

     

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  3. #2

    Magical Express Question

    I don't know about using DME for luggage but no one getting on the bus at all. But my family of four have used DME a couple of times where two of us have taken the bus with our luggage and two hired a car, specifically so we could get a smaller and thus cheaper vehicle. Bagged is different from the UK though as we have to collect it even if using DME......

     

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  4. #3

    I have to imagine in today's world, they would only allow bags on the bus when there are people checked in to go with it. Sad fact of life, but necessary.

    Do any of your party have status on the airline where the checked bag count for each person may become an issue? (Like, does any one person have enough frequent flyer miles that they can check up to 2 bags for free(or 1st free and second low cost)?) Or are your parents able to share one larger bag for one of them to check and then the other could check your bag?

    My thought is that if you are all coming from the same place, you could label your bag as bag #2 for one of the other people in your party (so that you can have it picked up by MDE and hauled with them on the bus), but you can stray from the group and go get the car.

    Even at the worst case, if you had to pick up your bag and then get the car, you may still arrive at the resort before the bus does (though time to collect a bag can vary a bit). It's not like you will likely be arriving an hour apart or anything.

    Even for only 4 days, it would probably be nearly impossible to fit all 5 people and the luggage in the car. (unless everyone fits all their stuff in a very small carry on or knapsack).

    Hope these thoughts help you figure out the best path.

    -Dave

  5. #4
    Waiting impatiently for next trip quackinup's Avatar
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    Dave could be right, but your luggage doesn't actually travel with you on the bus, it is delivered by a separate vehicle so it seems to me that it would work fine. I can't imagine they scan every bag with a DME tag and cross-check to see if that person checked in at the bus. I did see a few people in other sites saying it worked for them, however on another website I found:

    I want to rent a car for my trip, but Id like to save time by having Disney deliver my bags to my room. Can I do this?
    Unfortunately not. This is called a luggage only transfer and it is not allowed.

    I tried searching the Disney site thinking I could find the words "luggage only transfer" but couldn't come up with anything.

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  6. #5

    Thanks all, and thanks scoobydooby. That's a good idea, I'm not trying to cheat the system, was just trying to save a bit of money to spend elsewhere in the world.. I think that there is no reason why some of our party can't go ahead and take the bus while I go and get the car.. didn't even think of that..

     

  7. #6

    If you rent cars often in other situations you probably already know this, but just in case:

    Make absolutely certain to not use the "Sun Pass" device to pay the tolls. If you do, the rental car company charges you a convenience fee per day, whether you go through any tolls on a given day or not. For a single trip from the airport to your resort and back, the tolls will only be a few bucks each way (varies slightly depending on the route you take), but the fee they charge is something like $4-$5 per day!.

    Check the Sun Pass on the window before you leave the airport garage. It has a flip "switch" on it for on or off. Flip it to off. If it is mounted to the window with Velcro pads, I would even remove it and put it in the glove box.

    When you go through the toll areas make absolutely sure to go to the areas to the right (clearly marked) that are meant for cash tolls. (I have no idea exactly what happens if you go through the Sun Pass lanes and there is no Sun Pass visible to the sensors, but I'm sure it involves many fees from the rental company)

    Get a receipt for each toll, just in case one of the areas decides to "read" the Sun Pass so you have proof you paid cash. I only had a problem with this one time, but it was a time when I was naive/silly enough to not collect receipts for each toll, so I had no way to prove it. I ended up eating the daily fee (in addition to the toll it dinged me for which I actually paid in cash) on that trip.

    -Dave

  8. #7
    Waiting impatiently for next trip quackinup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    Make absolutely certain to not use the "Sun Pass" device to pay the tolls. If you do, the rental car company charges you a convenience fee per day, whether you go through any tolls on a given day or not. For a single trip from the airport to your resort and back, the tolls will only be a few bucks each way (varies slightly depending on the route you take), but the fee they charge is something like $4-$5 per day!
    Do all the ones between the airport and the world still accept cash? I know a lot of them in Florida have gone cashless and you have to be set up for Sunpass or the License plate readers. On a cruise trip I had to plan a route from Lauderdale to Key West that hit no toll booths just do I could avoid the daily fee for all the days the rental car was just sitting in Key West.

    Also, at least with some of the car rental agencies, if you don't arrange to pay their daily fee in advance they will still pay the tolls and bill you for them, but they will add something ridiculous like $25 per toll processing fee. So make sure you check with the rental car company on their policies.
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  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by quackinup View Post
    Do all the ones between the airport and the world still accept cash? I know a lot of them in Florida have gone cashless and you have to be set up for Sunpass or the License plate readers. On a cruise trip I had to plan a route from Lauderdale to Key West that hit no toll booths just do I could avoid the daily fee for all the days the rental car was just sitting in Key West.

    Also, at least with some of the car rental agencies, if you don't arrange to pay their daily fee in advance they will still pay the tolls and bill you for them, but they will add something ridiculous like $25 per toll processing fee. So make sure you check with the rental car company on their policies.
    They may be migrating, but I was OK back in May for both routes I took (to the best of my knowledge, I suppose a rogue credit card charge later on from the rental company could still show up - but I hope not at this point). I took the southern airport exit route via 417 to 4 when I drove to WDW and I took the 4 to 528 route when I returned.

    On a side note, this is not the situation you are referring to, but I did encounter an exit off of 4 a while back that was not a regular booth, but just a coin bucket that you needed to have exact change for (at the time, I think there was a stack of envelopes for you to mail in a toll for people who did not have the change - not like you can turn around on the exit ramp and go back!). I'm not sure what I did differently for that trip (might have been following oddball instructions from my GPS rather than following the WDW road signs on 4), but I haven't run into that exit again.

    That's a really good point though about the lack of cash processing at some locations. I got hit with that when I visited Denver for a few days a couple years ago. The route I took when I arrived was a no toll route, IIRC. When I returned to the airport, I had a very early morning flight, so I figured I would pay the toll to save some time. I learned the hard way on that one since there was no such thing as a toll booth. I had to pay the convenience fee for each day and of course the actual toll. Luckily I was only there for 3 days.

    I guess those of us who like to drive might have to keep an eye on the changes since you mention it's already been happening in other parts of FL. I'm sure I don't know of any good way to avoid 528 or 417 when leaving the airport or returning (if it's even possible, without making a 30-40 minute trip into a multi-hour trip).
    -Dave

  10. #9
    Waiting impatiently for next trip quackinup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    I had to pay the convenience fee for each day and of course the actual toll. Luckily I was only there for 3 days.
    When I did the trip from Lauderdale to Key West and told the rental car agent that I wasn't going to go through any toll booths she argued with me for about 10 minutes telling me it wasn't possible. It was, added a little bit to the drive but not too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    I'm sure I don't know of any good way to avoid 528 or 417 when leaving the airport or returning (if it's even possible, without making a 30-40 minute trip into a multi-hour trip).
    Reminded me of my first trip from Orlando to Kennedy Space Center. I told my GPS to avoid tolls and it turned the one hour drive into about a 2.5 hour drive. Decided it wasn't worth it to avoid the few dollars in tolls on the way back. lol
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  11. #10

    So I guess with the potential for evolving toll policies/implementation between now and December for Avacrand's trip, I'll revise my original recommendation from strongly stating not to use the Sun Pass to say this instead:

    Before the trip starts, make sure to check the Sun Pass web-site to see that there are still cash booths for the intended route, and make sure to understand the rental car agencies policies if it is necessary to use the Sun Pass.

    Depending on how much you are willing to trust the people working the counter at the rental place, you can also inquire with them, some may have knowledge and share, but some may either not really know or "play stupid" and claim they don't know the local roads/toll situation down to WDW.

    -Dave

  12. #11
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    My 2 cents:
    - As you see, you technically cant let DME do your luggage transfer without someone being on the bus. Some say they have been able to do it... but I would not risk your luggage being left behind.
    - Consider Uber rather than renting. It may be easier in the long run if you plan your days our correctly.

    We at at resorts all the time... and rarely do we wish we had our own car. It can be done without having a car at all.

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  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    So I guess with the potential for evolving toll policies/implementation between now and December for Avacrand's trip, I'll revise my original recommendation from strongly stating not to use the Sun Pass to say this instead:

    Before the trip starts, make sure to check the Sun Pass web-site to see that there are still cash booths for the intended route, and make sure to understand the rental car agencies policies if it is necessary to use the Sun Pass.

    Depending on how much you are willing to trust the people working the counter at the rental place, you can also inquire with them, some may have knowledge and share, but some may either not really know or "play stupid" and claim they don't know the local roads/toll situation down to WDW.
    Thanks so much! I will take heed of the status of the tolls for our route for sure if I do end up renting. Last time I rented a car for WDW was around 2013 and they still took coins. Appreciate the reminders and advice!


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  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by GusMan View Post
    My 2 cents:
    - As you see, you technically cant let DME do your luggage transfer without someone being on the bus. Some say they have been able to do it... but I would not risk your luggage being left behind.
    - Consider Uber rather than renting. It may be easier in the long run if you plan your days our correctly.

    We at at resorts all the time... and rarely do we wish we had our own car. It can be done without having a car at all.
    thanks I may try Uber especially once in the resort to get to different resort adr's!


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  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Avacrand View Post
    thanks I may try Uber especially once in the resort to get to different resort adr's!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Ok another question.. we have reservations at Kona on our first morning at 10:45 ..can DME bring us to the Poly instead of Saratoga Springs since we can't check in until 4 pm?


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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avacrand View Post
    Ok another question.. we have reservations at Kona on our first morning at 10:45 ..can DME bring us to the Poly instead of Saratoga Springs since we can't check in until 4 pm?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    No, you have to go to your resort.
    You can check in before 4. Its that your room may not be ready till 4.

    Technically, if you do online check in, you should be able to walk off DME and walk right onto a bus to MK, then catch a mono to Poly for your Kona ressie.
    You can leave any bags with bell services if you want to head right to Kona or the parks.
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