There are a few perks of vacationing at Disney World that many people assume cost extra, such as FastPass and transportation to the parks. Another great “extra” of staying at a Disney Resort is Magical Express, Disney’s free airport shuttle and luggage service.
After you book your flights, you should call Disney (or have your Travel Planner call!) and register for the service. Before your vacation you will receive special yellow luggage tags and a booklet with Magical Express vouchers. Please note that these luggage tags are the paper type with ends that are like stickers; they are just like the ones that the airline will put on your bag when you check it at the airport. They are NOT the luggage tags that Disney frequently gives you as a souvenir, the hard plastic type that contains a card with your name and contact info.
Prior to leaving for Disney, you will put the yellow luggage tags on all luggage that is being checked at the airport. After you check it at your home airport, you won’t see it again until it is in your room at Disney World; it truly is magical!
Upon arrival at Orlando International Airport (MCO), you can bypass the baggage claim. Go straight to the Magical Express counter (Main Terminal Building – B Side – Level 1). They will take your voucher and you will board the shuttle to your resort. Please be aware that most of the shuttles will be scheduled to stop at a few resorts that are located near each other. The trip from MCO to your resort should take around 40-50 minutes, depending on which resort the shuttle stops at first.
When you get to your resort, you will check in as usual. If your room is available, you can take your carry-on baggage up to it and begin to get settled. Your luggage will usually arrive a couple of hours after you do, so it might make more sense for you to go do something, like visit a park or hang by the pool. Keep in mind, though, that whatever you need for these activities should be packed in your carry-on luggage, since that is all you will have available when you first arrive at the resort. If this seems problematic, you can opt to pick up your checked baggage before you leave MCO. Here’s how that works: Don’t put the yellow tags on the luggage back at home; stop by baggage claim at MCO and retrieve your bags; the Magical Express will put your luggage in the undercarriage and bring it with you to your resort.
When your vacation nears its end, you will be told when to report to the Magical Express pick-up location at your resort (usually 3 hours prior to flight time). Depending on your airline, you can check your luggage at your resort (see Notes below); you will see it again at your home airport. The Magical Express will take you back to MCO, and you’ll be on your way home.
The Magical Express shuttle is available 24 hours, but the luggage service is only for flights arriving between 5AM and 10PM. If your flight arrives outside of those hours, you will need to go to baggage claim, get your bags and bring them with you on the Magical Express.
The following airlines are available for Resort Check-In:
Delta Air Lines
International guests can use the Magical Express service, but they still have to follow Customs; afterwards, your luggage will be re-collected and brought to your resort.
- Magical Express Testing New Bus Stop at Downtown Disney (disneytribune.com)