PDA

View Full Version : ME Negative Experiences


joeathome167
11-13-2009, 01:51 PM
Just picked up my ME and travel documents from AAA. This will be the first time using ME and not renting a car. I hear nothing but good things about ME and was wondering if anyone has had a BAD experience with Magical Express from MCO.

We will be flying Southwest and are aware we can't check our bags upon departure with RAC.

Thanks for the info.
Joe

goofy4tink
11-13-2009, 01:55 PM
The vast majority of guests have good DME experiences. But, it all depends on what you consider 'good'. I have used DME many times. My average time, from gate to resort, is about 70 mins. There have been only two times that it took longer than that. One time it took close to 90 mins, and another time it was 75 mins. The vast majority of times ran about 60 mins...which I have no problem with.
You will make mulitple stops, but usually no more than 3, and they are quick ones.
You will have to be ready to head back to MCO about 3 hrs. before your flight departs, which some feel is way too early. I just figure accordingly and deal with it. It only gets me to MCO about 25 mins sooner than if I had a car service pick me up.
All in all...for something that we don't pay oop for, I think it's a terrific service. Not for everyone, but for most it works quite well.

CleveRocks
11-14-2009, 06:41 AM
Just picked up my ME and travel documents from AAA. This will be the first time using ME and not renting a car. I hear nothing but good things about ME and was wondering if anyone has had a BAD experience with Magical Express from MCO.

We will be flying Southwest and are aware we can't check our bags upon departure with RAC.

Thanks for the info.
JoeOf course there have been some bad experiences. It's bound to happen. In fact, it's a statistical impossibility that there would NEVER be bad experiences using ANY system.

But the fact is that these bad experiences are rare exceptions. If you are having second thoughts about using DME, then you will find confirmation of your doubts in that small handful of stories.

It would be just as well to ask about negative experiences with car services or car rentals ... these are good options, too, but they too have some rare bad experiences, just like DME.

sassyredhead
11-14-2009, 07:28 AM
Both trips with ME were great. I love getting on the bus and starting the magical experience as soon as we pull away from the curb. Our luggage was waiting in our rooms when we arrived both times. And, best of all, it's FREE!

brianm27
11-14-2009, 09:01 AM
OP, you did not mention where you were staying, but Southwest is "testing" RAC at POP and all 3 All-Star Resorts. It may be expanded at any time to other resorts. At first, it was only POP.

Our experience with RAC and SW at POP was excellent. Our SW boarding passes were delivered to our room at 4:30 AM along with luggage tags. When I wheeled the bags down to check in, we did not even need to stand in line because of the luggage tags, just show photo ID.

I hope Southwest goes resort wide soon.

CarolMN
11-14-2009, 09:51 AM
Of course there have been some bad experiences. It's bound to happen. In fact, it's a statistical impossibility that there would NEVER be bad experiences using ANY system.

But the fact is that these bad experiences are rare exceptions. If you are having second thoughts about using DME, then you will find confirmation of your doubts in that small handful of stories.

It would be just as well to ask about negative experiences with car services or car rentals ... these are good options, too, but they too have some rare bad experiences, just like DME.

What he said - you can find NEGATIVES about anything if you seek them out.

Given that people here are much more likely to post a negative than a positive (esp here, lol), I think that pretty much says most ME experiences are good, or at least not worth of complaint.

Does that mean a good experience for you is guaranteed? Of course, not. But the odds are very definitely in your favor. :)

simzac
11-14-2009, 09:58 AM
We have used ME 3 times now.:thumbsup2Kind of hard to find anything negative about something that's free. JMO

backyardponder
11-14-2009, 10:12 AM
We used DME for the first time a few weeks ago. It went well. If I think really hard, here's the negatives I came up with:

- Long walk from Southwest to the DME pick up location. Of course, I'm heading to WDW and expect to do a lot of walking anyway, so this was a warm up.

- Fairly long line waiting for the bus, but it moved really fast...maybe 15 minutes. Of course, I'm going to WDW and expect lines. They just don't hide them at DME like they do at Pirates of the Carribean.

- DME didn't take me straight to my resort. We had 2 stops along the way. Not much different than taking a bus back from the parks and it gave me a chance to peek at resorts I hadn't seen before.

So, I guess I'm grasping at straws...but you asked for negatives. I'd definately do DME again and again and again.

PEANUT1
11-14-2009, 10:20 AM
We are not fans of Disney transportation at all!! We always rent a car but last May we decided to save money and try ME and the park buses. We were not impressed and not happy. We waited over an hour for a ME bus. (we were staying at the Beach Club Villas).

During our stay, we really didn't like the hassle of waiting for buses especially when we had dining reservations and tired kids at the end of a long day. We noticed that on most of our buses we were waiting a very long time for ECV's to be loaded onto buses (don't flame, I have no issues with ECV's just that it really impacts how long the bus ride is).

To sum it all up...we won't go without a car again..it is just too convenient for us to have one.:thumbsup2

Jestocost
11-14-2009, 10:49 AM
You might as well also post to find out who has had a bad experience with cabs, rental cars, town cars, etc. I can provide personal horror stories for virtually all of the above. The bottom line is that most of the time all of those work just fine, but sometimes things can go wrong with any one of them. One bad experience with any one of those options doesn't mean it is by definition a bad way to go.

For me it boils down to picking an option that works best for your personal preferences. I don't like driving on vacation and I don't like cabs, and we've always found Disney transportation to be perfectly fine for our touring needs. As a result, DME is great for us; we like the price and the luggage transfer service, and our experience has been well within expected norms. Others can't imagine being without a rental car. With very few exceptions, the criticisms of DME that I see are more from people whose experience was within expectations, but the service just doesn't fit their style. That's perfectly fine, but it doesn't suggest "problems" with DME; just that it's not for everyone.

Calgary DISHeads
11-14-2009, 01:08 PM
Not bad (but define bad?) long - both times we have used it we sat in the bus forever waiting for it to leave - one time was to POP and the second to the Poly. I would say POP was 2 1/2 hours from bus to hotel, and the Poly was over three, now that one was in the middle of the night. Are we doing it again - of course - third time lucky right :worship:

summerlady
11-14-2009, 01:19 PM
Last week was the 3rd time we've used ME and we wouldn't do it any other way. :)

CleveRocks
11-14-2009, 01:21 PM
Not bad (but define bad?) long - both times we have used it we sat in the bus forever waiting for it to leave - one time was to POP and the second to the Poly. I would say POP was 2 1/2 hours from bus to hotel, and the Poly was over three, now that one was in the middle of the night. Are we doing it again - of course - third time lucky right :worship:
WOW! You had two VERY unlucky experiences. If DME takes 2.5 hours to get you from airplane to resort, then I personally define that as a BAD experience. A very bad one.

A very rare bad experience, or rather, TWO very rare bad experiences.

If that sort of thing happened to me twice, I wouldn't be as positive about DME as you are (luckily, I've had 3 PERFECT experiences).

Some people are "the glass is half full" people, and some are "the glass is half empty" people ... I think you're in the "I'm just glad I even have a glass" group! :rotfl:

goofy4tink
11-14-2009, 01:58 PM
We used DME for the first time a few weeks ago. It went well. If I think really hard, here's the negatives I came up with:

- Long walk from Southwest to the DME pick up location. Of course, I'm heading to WDW and expect to do a lot of walking anyway, so this was a warm up.

- Fairly long line waiting for the bus, but it moved really fast...maybe 15 minutes. Of course, I'm going to WDW and expect lines. They just don't hide them at DME like they do at Pirates of the Carribean.

- DME didn't take me straight to my resort. We had 2 stops along the way. Not much different than taking a bus back from the parks and it gave me a chance to peek at resorts I hadn't seen before.

So, I guess I'm grasping at straws...but you asked for negatives. I'd definately do DME again and again and again.
What a great way to look at it!!!!


As I've said (as well as many others)...the majority of the time it is going to take an average of 70 mins to get from your plane to your resort. there are many variables. But, there can also be variables with renting a car or using a car service. It could take 30 mins for your luggage to arrive at baggage claim (mine always takes at least 20 mins!!!). Your towncar driver might not show up..doesn't happen a lot, but can happen. Or you could have to go in search of him..has happened to me. Or, you could run into a glitch at the car rental counter.
What I'm trying to say is that no one method is going to be perfect 100% of the time. And no one method is going to work for each and every family.
Me? I hate the thought of navigating some of those park parking lots...they confuse the bejeebers out of me, and I wasn't even the one driving!!!! And at nighttime?? Forget it.
I have no issue with DME. Yes, there have been times there has been something to slow us down. Same thing with the resort buses to and from the parks...they usually work just fine if you understand the system. You can only give it a shot...if you don't like it, don't use it again. It doesn't cost you anything..if you get to WDW and decide you really need to rent a car, then you should be able to do so..it may cost more but it is doable.

dburg30
11-15-2009, 09:04 AM
The one time it took us 2 hours to get to SSR (which was the first stop even) I still wasnt disappointed in the service. I really dont see me ever not using WDW transportation, unless of course they discontinue the DME service. I dont know what I'd do at that point...

ruedebuci
11-15-2009, 09:47 AM
We are not fans of Disney transportation at all!! We always rent a car but last May we decided to save money and try ME and the park buses. We were not impressed and not happy. We waited over an hour for a ME bus. (we were staying at the Beach Club Villas).

During our stay, we really didn't like the hassle of waiting for buses especially when we had dining reservations and tired kids at the end of a long day. We noticed that on most of our buses we were waiting a very long time for ECV's to be loaded onto buses (don't flame, I have no issues with ECV's just that it really impacts how long the bus ride is).

To sum it all up...we won't go without a car again..it is just too convenient for us to have one.:thumbsup2

I feel the same way. I like having a car and not waiting for a bus.

That said, my ME experiences been pretty good.

debster812
11-15-2009, 10:15 AM
I feel the same way. I like having a car and not waiting for a bus.

That said, my ME experiences been pretty good.

DH is NOT a fan of public transportation, and he really does not mind driving on vacation. That being said, when we go to Disney, we will generally take ME from the airport, and rent from National or Alamo starting on our 2nd day. We'll usually return the car the day before we leave, and ride DME back to the airport.

We've used DME 4 or 5 times so far this way, and have always been VERY pleased, even when we were arriving late at night.

LSchrow
11-16-2009, 09:40 AM
as some others do, we take DME to/fro our resort, & rent a car (usually at the dolphin as we stay at the BWVs).
pre-DME we rented at MCO, but the convenience of not lugging luggage through an airport is worth its weight in gold (or disney dollars, depending on your perspective;)).

since we grocery shop, hit the outlets, eat off-site, etc, a car is neccessary...after 2-3 trips per year since its inception, we found DME is faster & more convenient than any other option :thumbsup2

clkelley
11-16-2009, 12:31 PM
Honestly, the only negative experiences I have had with DME are due to other guests not reading the materials ahead of time and slowing me up because they are delaying the cast at the desk or the driver to resolve their problem.

I have also had a negative experience with another guest on board who did nothing but complain the entire time he was on the bus, and scolded his poor half asleep daughter the entire time on the bus. When this guy plopped down on the bus with his family, the first words out of his mouth was "this is not Express". (FYI, I saw this family on the tram at the same time I was). I had no luggage and walked straight down to DME, and directly boarded a bus. This family boarded maybe 5 minutes after I did. I overhead, "we've been in this airport over an hour" So, whatever happened to keep them in the airport happened BEFORE the tram. He also had a maybe 6 YO daughter that was really half asleep and softly crying, probably didn't know where she was, etc.

He kept on and on about she was a big girl and why is she crying and you better shut up. Crying girls don't get vacations, etc. etc. At that point it turned into a wail. If he had just shut up, she probably would have calmed down and fell on asleep.

So, no matter how good the service is, unfortunately, most delays are going to be caused by misinformed and other guests with expectations that are too high.

MickeyCrazed
11-16-2009, 12:56 PM
I took a solo trip in October, flew Southwest, and had a very positive experience with ME. Sure, it's not as quick as renting a car, but overall, didn't take much longer either considering I didn't have to wait to collect my luggage.

Make sure you take your vouchers with you. Having them available will eliminate the need for you to wait at the ME counter, and you can immediately get in line for your bus.

JennyT2
11-16-2009, 01:09 PM
This is going to be our first time taking ME to the resort (in 22 sleeps :cool1:) and i am so happy to hear so many good experiences.
And yes, nothing works 100% of the time. Last trip we rented a town car and got stuck on an on ramp waiting for the presedential cars to go by ... it took FOREVER!!!! Nobodys fault but it still took forever and a day! No system is perfect.

koho
11-16-2009, 03:53 PM
On our trip in Oct. we used ME for the first time. On the way to the resort ME worked great. Really did not have to wait at all. On the other hand, on the way back to MCO we all most missed our flight because of ME. The bus showed up late (about 10 minutes). Then it took an extra (15-20 minutes to load the bus) and then another 40-45 minutes at the next stop. By the time we made it to our terminal, got through security and out to the gate we had about 2 minutes before they started boarding.

Needless to say that will be our last time using ME.

Ciciwoowoo
11-16-2009, 06:40 PM
Personally, the only negative we have found with ME is it forces us to take the buses to get around to the parks. The wait and crowds on the bus are not great, especially if you stay at the Boardwalk!!! (The bus is shared by 5 resorts there)

That being said, we love ME because we don't have to see our luggage again until it is delivered to our room, thus saving many painful back from lifting those bags in the past. (I have the photos of us pushing my poor Dad around AK in a wheelchair one year. Man, is that park hilly!)

It doesn't cost anything, also a great bonus. The buses are pretty nice. And well, its a way of extending the "You are there" feeling all the way to the airport!

I agree with those who say that leaving for the airport hours and hours early on the day of departure is a bummer, but I also understand that Disney would rather err on the side of caution and I appreciate that. I wouldn't want to risk missing my flight.

carrie6466
11-16-2009, 08:22 PM
We had one bad ME experience out of 4. We got the the line for the CBR bus at about 11:15 am and stood there forever. I guess because there was no one else waiting. Eventually the put us on a bus with people going to other resorts. By the time we got the the check-in desk at CBR it was almost 2:30.

Other than that, we've had great experiences. My DH hates driving when he's on vacation, so it works for us to use Disney transportation.

Twoboysnmygirl
11-17-2009, 06:12 AM
What is RAC, why doesn't Southwest offer it, and how will it affect my trip if I'm planning on flying SW?

Thanks! I swear, just when you think you have been around and know everything, someone comes up with something you don't! ;)

goofy4tink
11-17-2009, 06:27 AM
What is RAC, why doesn't Southwest offer it, and how will it affect my trip if I'm planning on flying SW?

Thanks! I swear, just when you think you have been around and know everything, someone comes up with something you don't! ;)
RAC is 'remote airline checkin'...think of it as curbside service, just very far away from the curb!! Only some airlines participate in the program at WDW. With RAC, you are able to check your bags right at the resort you are staying at, get your boarding passes issued and then go about your business on your last day. When it's time to head to MCO, you just go right to securitym, no stopping to checkin or such.
SW hasn't started participating fully yet. They are running trials at the value resorts at the moment though. They had a successful trial at POP so included the All Star resorts in the trial. We'll see how that goes and hopefully SW will add the other WDW resorts as well.

The one thing to remember with RAC is that the counter at the resort opens at 5am, and closes around 1pm. You have to have your bags checked and boarding passes issued no less than 3 hrs before flight departure. So, if you have a flight that leaves before 8:15am, you won't be able to use RAC...so plan accordingly.

Twoboysnmygirl
11-17-2009, 07:26 AM
So if they are not offering it or I cannot use it, can we still check out but leave our bags in resort storage while we hit a park and then when we come back to go to the airport we would take the bags on ME and check them when we arrive at the airport? Is that how it would work? (sorry for all the questions) Not worried about boarding passes, I will get those 24 hours before leaving, it's easier that way with SW.

joeathome167
11-17-2009, 08:29 AM
Of course there have been some bad experiences. It's bound to happen. In fact, it's a statistical impossibility that there would NEVER be bad experiences using ANY system.

But the fact is that these bad experiences are rare exceptions. If you are having second thoughts about using DME, then you will find confirmation of your doubts in that small handful of stories.

It would be just as well to ask about negative experiences with car services or car rentals ... these are good options, too, but they too have some rare bad experiences, just like DME.


Not having second thoughts. Just have never used the service and all I hear is how great it is and to justify all the positive I've read I wanted to hear if anyone had a negative experience.

keishashadow
11-17-2009, 08:43 AM
Not having second thoughts. Just have never used the service and all I hear is how great it is and to justify all the positive I've read I wanted to hear if anyone had a negative experience.

That is a rather subjective phrase, really depends upon your expectations.

Mine weren't met (over 90 minutes once were on the bus, with 2 stops pre our resort). Excessive delay was caused by the off-loading of luggage that many guests had drug along with them.:rolleyes1

I'd only consider it again if:

* reasonable rental car rates were not to be found and, even then, would probably hire a towncar; economizing elsewhere on the trip to make up the difference if needed.

* they instituted ban on onboard luggage or designated express buses for those who didn't have more than small lap carryon.

Good luck to the OP:wizard:

Missytara
11-17-2009, 10:38 AM
I can tell you there was a couple with two small children that had a very bad experience with the DCL service, but it was of their own making. They failed to read the package and didn't have any of their transportation vouchers, no baggage tags, no baggage claim tickets, barely remembered what flight they came in on.

They complained how long the process took for them to get to the bus. The time was spent for Disney to go out of their way to call the airline, confirm their baggage claim tickets numbers, confirm their baggage had arrived and then went and retrieved it.

Sure, there will be snafus, but most of the time either someone's expectations are too high; they just refuse to sit back and relax and enjoy the ride; or they make their own misery.

To me, no vacation is complete unless you don't have to rent a car and figure out how to get to where you are going, have to stop and get gas, worry if you are going to get a flat tire, handling your own luggage, etc. Disney and the Cruise lines have spoiled me rotten, and I love it!

dburg30
11-17-2009, 10:54 AM
So if they are not offering it or I cannot use it, can we still check out but leave our bags in resort storage while we hit a park and then when we come back to go to the airport we would take the bags on ME and check them when we arrive at the airport? Is that how it would work? (sorry for all the questions) Not worried about boarding passes, I will get those 24 hours before leaving, it's easier that way with SW.

Yes, if SW isnt at your resort at that point, you take your bags with you and check them in yourself at MCO.