If you are flying in to Orlando International Airport (MCO) and taking the Magical Express, you may be a bit worried about getting to your bus.
Thankfully, things are pretty well labeled at MCO. There is Terminal A and Terminal B. Each terminal is separated into about 30 gates and each set of gates has a tram that brings you back to the main terminal.
Once you exit the secured area, you will want to head towards the elevators for Terminal B transportation/baggage claim. Note that if you did not receive luggage tags from WDW prior to your trip and attach them to your bags, or you are arriving outside of the 5am to 10pm window, you will need to pick up your luggage at baggage claim. (If Disney is transporting your luggage for you, allow 3 hours for it to be delivered. Packing a change of clothes, swim suit, medications, and enough diapers will really help to alleviate any stress.)
Once you get on the elevators in Terminal B, go down to level 1. Take a left and just keep on walking! At the very end you will finally reach the entrance to the Magical Express lines. Cast Members will be waiting for you to help you get on the right bus to your resort.
Be sure to have your magic bands with you – it helps the Cast Member find you in the system. Also, if you have your magic band with you and have already checked in through the My Disney Experience app, you don’t need to stop in the resort lobby. You can head straight to your room if you have recieved a text/push notice with the room number and tap your magic band to enter.
You will be sent to stand in a line. Each line holds a few different resorts worth of people. Once at the front of your line, you will tap your magic band again, and the Cast Member will send you to your bus. Note that each bus will be dropping people off at several different resorts, so you may have a 45 to 70 minute commute.
The bus driver will place whatever items you would like to stow under the bus. There is very little overhead storage, so take them up on this.
Once at your resort, they will unload everything for you. This is a great time to give them a tip. Trust us -we have forgotten cash more than once and felt terrible for not having tip money. Grab some small bills before you vacation. You really will be thankful you did.
Oh the Tragical Express. That is what Disnerds like us refer to Magical Express on the way home. They try to cheer you up on the ride with videos and trivia, but it just doesn’t work.
If you have notified Disney of your flight information for departure, the day before you leave you should get an envelope with a voucher in it on your door. This gives you your pickup time. It is typically 3 hours prior to your flight.
If you are flying with the right airline and checking in at just the right time, you may be able to check your checked luggage in with the airline right at Disney. For all the times we have flown, we have rarely had all the stars align for this to happen. Instead, we just bring our luggage along on the bus.
Be down at the Magical Express pickup location with plenty of time to spare – at least 15 minutes prior should dco.7 For every resort we have stayed at, that location has been next to the lobby, by Bell Service.
Once the bus arrives and you board, take this very important piece of advice. Don’t sit in the front. Don’t sit anywhere that you can see out the front window. Just don’t do it. Orlando streets just aren’t that magical. Get far back in the bus and soak up the bus ambiance- the lighting, videos, other people wearing Minnie ears and magic bands. You won’t regret sitting at the back of the bus, but you absolutely will regret sitting at the front!
The nice bus driver will drop you off at Terminal B. Once everyone is off the bus, he or she will unload everyone’s belongings from below the bus. After tipping the nice driver, you will slowly shuffle into the airport, get your tickets, go through TSA, find your gate, and wait. You might even shed a tear or two. You likely will pull out your phone and start planning your next vacation.
If you would like more help planning your Disney vacation, contact our friend Audra, a travel agent with Travelmation LLC, which is an Authorized Disney Travel Planner. She can help you plan the vacation of your dreams at no cost to you!