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View Full Version : Has anyone taken a cab instead of DME?


Mom2micayla
08-03-2010, 09:48 AM
I was just reading the UG, and it seemed like they were pretty down on DME and the time it takes, all the lines, etc. I am not sure if we'll take DME or a cab to our resort. I am just curious if anyone has taken a cab and how much it cost? How long did it take? Just trying to weigh the odds and budget for the cab if necessary. TIA :goodvibes

disneyfaninaz
08-03-2010, 10:01 AM
Hmmm. Paying for a cab after you wait to get your luggage, dragging said luggage out to the curb to wait for a cab, or getting in a line that moves fairly quickly to a nice air conditioned tour bus that gets you to your resort in an average of 70 minutes, where they transport your luggage to your resort for you and place it in your room about 3 hours after you check in all at no charge.

I don't know what UG stands for, but they may just have a gripe with DME. Personally, I have used DME, I love DME and would never even consider taking a cab.

Just my humble opinion.

kaytieeldr
08-03-2010, 11:35 AM
UG = Unofficial Guide = The 20xx Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. It's a pretty realistic and entertaining guide to visiting and touring, well, Walt Disney World :teeth:. I haven't bought one in a few years; I guess it's time. I'm not sure why they'd be so down on Magical Express either, considering they're so fair-minded when comparing one's own transportation to the onsite buses to get between the resorts and the parks.

OP, ignore the book's 'advice'. The long lines are intermittent and move quickly; most Guests now are sent right from the podium to the bus lines - no need to go all the way to the Welcome Center counter. Buses come and load relatively quickly.

Average time from deplaning to getting to one's resort using Magical Express is 70 to 90 minutes. Note, that's from the plane to the resort - it includes getting to the tram, to the main terminal, down to the ground level, checking in, getting on the bus...

When you take a taxi, you have to add in time spent waiting for your luggage. You also can't predict the cost. You can estimate it, sure - but the meter runs even in a traffic jam or at a long traffic light; if the driver doesn't take the most direct route, it costs you more; and you pay tolls. Oh. And you don't save a whole heck of a lot of time, if any. Magical Express? No cost.

Jestocost
08-03-2010, 11:38 AM
Anecdotal evidence on these boards would suggest minimal--if any--time savings for using a cab if you have checked luggage you need to collect vs. DME if you use the luggage transfer service. If you have only carry-on bags and can head straight from the plane to the cab line you could save 20-30 minutes vs. DME.

Of course, there can be a wide variation in experiences using either method of transport and your individual experience may vary vs. the norms. I know that there have been reports of DME taking 2+ hours to deliver guests to their resort, although the average time is closer to 70 minutes. However, I personally have waited more than two hours for luggage to come off of the carousels, although most often it takes much less time.

Mom2micayla
08-03-2010, 12:36 PM
FWIW, we likely won't have any checked bags. It's just DH and I so we'll probably just bring a carry-on each.

We're arriving on Friday, March 18 at 4:30pm. I'm not sure if we'll hit "spring break" crowds then or not. I'm hoping not since a good chunk of schools have Spring Break right around Easter. Hopefully that means DME won't be too long? It makes it hard to figure out the optimal time to make an ADR for the night when you have no idea how long DME will take. That's part of the reason I contemplated taking a taxi. But free is certainly nice.... :goodvibes

shaffercrs
08-03-2010, 01:05 PM
If I were going to use transportation other than DME, I would look into a Town Car not that more expensive than the taxi. :)

Alesia
08-03-2010, 01:16 PM
A cab will cost a minimum of $60, plus tip. It will be more if traffic is heavy.

We arrived last year on Friday, March 20th and the line was very long. But it moved quickly and we were at Pop Century 72 minutes after we stepped off the plane. That included a bathroom stop in the airport.

I would absolutely recommend ME.

Mom2micayla
08-03-2010, 01:37 PM
A cab will cost a minimum of $60, plus tip. It will be more if traffic is heavy.

We arrived last year on Friday, March 20th and the line was very long. But it moved quickly and we were at Pop Century 72 minutes after we stepped off the plane. That included a bathroom stop in the airport.

I would absolutely recommend ME.


That's great to know. Maybe I'll just stick with DME after all. :)

Thanks for the info, everyone! :goodvibes

pooch
08-03-2010, 04:55 PM
Many here swear by Town Car Services and others by car rentals but we have used DME for our last 4 trips with no issues. The longest wait was 80 minutes but we had just missed the bus to our resort and waited a longish time at the airport (20 min on the bus - we were first on). But, if yu don't need a grocery stop (car service) and don't plan on needing your own vehicle for anything, I would not spend the $ on a taxi just to get to WDW. In this case, UG is wrong.

purple figment
08-03-2010, 09:24 PM
Since you're arriving at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, you might want to find out if commute and/or weekend getaway traffic will affect your travel time and cab fare.

We've taken ME and it has never taken more than 60-75 minutes to get to our resort. I'm not sure why UG dislikes ME, but my experiences have never been like theirs.

Eyore4Ever149
08-03-2010, 09:59 PM
Im trying to figure out FL Tours vrs ME.
We did ME 7 years ago, when it was just Mears, and it wasn't a great experience. I remember having to sit on the ground and wait for a bus to come, then sit on a shuttle and wait for it to leave- then stop at 2 other resorts before ours. Going back wasn't any better, I remember we had to get on the bus 4 hours before our flight time, but this was back when we could arrive at our airline check in desk 40 min before the flight without issues.

The next trip we used FL Tours, but our reservation had been subbed out to some guy who didn't work for FL Tours, and he told us how much he hated WDW the whole way to our resort.

After that all our trips have been with a rental car- so no more than 30min on the road, we have never hit traffic.

However, this trip we are on a budget and trying to cut where we can, but I don't want to add hours to our travel time.
I have a 4yr old and a 1yr old, and my husband and myself.

I don't know if I should do a FL Tours or ME. I will be keeping my luggage with me, so I will pick it up from baggage claim and bring it with me to the welcome deck.

Our flight out will either be at 1:30pm or 5:30- we haven't decided yet

I'm concerned about the extra travel time we may run into, particularly because of the baby.
I like free...but I can't decide if it's really convenient or not.... I can only go by my experience when it was Mears (I know it's still Mears, but it seems to be run by Disney folks now??)
At the moment we are booked to check in at OKW, move to BWV the next day and depart from BWV (we are waitlisted for the first night).

dzorn
08-03-2010, 10:11 PM
Im trying to figure out FL Tours vrs ME.
We did ME 7 years ago, when it was just Mears, and it wasn't a great experience. I remember having to sit on the ground and wait for a bus to come, then sit on a shuttle and wait for it to leave- then stop at 2 other resorts before ours. Going back wasn't any better, I remember we had to get on the bus 4 hours before our flight time, but this was back when we could arrive at our airline check in desk 40 min before the flight without issues.

The next trip we used FL Tours, but our reservation had been subbed out to some guy who didn't work for FL Tours, and he told us how much he hated WDW the whole way to our resort.

After that all our trips have been with a rental car- so no more than 30min on the road, we have never hit traffic.

However, this trip we are on a budget and trying to cut where we can, but I don't want to add hours to our travel time.
I have a 4yr old and a 1yr old, and my husband and myself.

I don't know if I should do a FL Tours or ME. I will be keeping my luggage with me, so I will pick it up from baggage claim and bring it with me to the welcome deck.

Our flight out will either be at 1:30pm or 5:30- we haven't decided yet

I'm concerned about the extra travel time we may run into, particularly because of the baby.
I like free...but I can't decide if it's really convenient or not.... I can only go by my experience when it was Mears (I know it's still Mears, but it seems to be run by Disney folks now??)
At the moment we are booked to check in at OKW, move to BWV the next day and depart from BWV (we are waitlisted for the first night).

Are you already bring a car seat? You will need one for the taxi.

Denise in MI

Eyore4Ever149
08-03-2010, 10:14 PM
Are you already bring a car seat? You will need one for the taxi.

Denise in MI

No, Im not, but I'm not considering a taxi- Im comparing FL Tours to ME- FL Tours provides car seats for free.

disneyfaninaz
08-04-2010, 12:06 AM
DME is totally different than when you used Mears 7 years ago. While Mears operates the buses it is very streamlined process. Depending on the day and time, you may or may not have other resort stops. It is so nice to be able to get off of the plane, make your way towards the DME desk and be directed to a bus, driven to your resort, check in and then have your luggage delivered a few hours later. There is no waiting on the curb, you wait in a nice air conditioned building and then escorted to the proper bus for your resort.

I'd think with a 4 and 1 year old in tow, you really don't want to have to deal with getting your luggage and than dragging it to DME. Just bring what you need for your first few hours in a carry on or diaper bag and enjoy Disney hospitality from the moment you leave the airport.

Eyore4Ever149
08-04-2010, 06:47 AM
DME is totally different than when you used Mears 7 years ago. While Mears operates the buses it is very streamlined process. Depending on the day and time, you may or may not have other resort stops. It is so nice to be able to get off of the plane, make your way towards the DME desk and be directed to a bus, driven to your resort, check in and then have your luggage delivered a few hours later. There is no waiting on the curb, you wait in a nice air conditioned building and then escorted to the proper bus for your resort.

I'd think with a 4 and 1 year old in tow, you really don't want to have to deal with getting your luggage and than dragging it to DME. Just bring what you need for your first few hours in a carry on or diaper bag and enjoy Disney hospitality from the moment you leave the airport.

Thanks Wendy, the first part of your paragraph really helps me think DME is a viable option, but I definitely will not use the luggage tags- my bags have to be with me at all times. The arriving part sounds like it goes pretty smoothly, but what about departing?

Jestocost
08-04-2010, 09:05 AM
Thanks Wendy, the first part of your paragraph really helps me think DME is a viable option, but I definitely will not use the luggage tags- my bags have to be with me at all times. The arriving part sounds like it goes pretty smoothly, but what about departing?

If your bags have to be with you at all times, how do you deal with checking them for the flight? Realistically, there's a better chance of the airline misdirecting your luggage than there is something happening to it with DME's luggage transfer. You've already handed your bags off to someone else, so what's another couple of hours of having someone else deal with them?

Regardless, picking up your own bags eliminates any potential for time savings with DME. Depending on your airline you also may have to drag your bags from level two up to level three, the across to the other side and down to level one to catch DME.

All that's left as an advantage to DME then is that there's no extra charge.

Also, for your return to the airport DME will pick you up approximately three hours before your scheduled flight time. In addition, whether you use DME or not, you still can take advantage of the resort airline check-in service (RAC) if you are flying on a participating airline. That way you can check your bags and get your boarding passes at the resort before you leave and then head straight to security once you get to the airport.

Mom2micayla
08-04-2010, 09:19 AM
So when using DME on the way home, it's 3 hours before flight time? That kind of stinks. :rotfl: I was thinking maybe 2, but I suppose 3 makes sense so they have plenty of time to get you to the airport and checked in at least an hour before your flight.

kaytieeldr
08-04-2010, 09:24 AM
Im trying to figure out FL Tours vrs ME.
We did ME 7 years ago, when it was just Mears, and it wasn't a great experience.Ah, but Mears is Mears, and Magical Express is Magical Express. While Mears provides the buses and drivers, Walt Disney World operates the service. Entirely different :teeth:

Magical Express takes an average of 70 to 90 minutes between when you enter the terminal from the plane to when you step off the bus at your resort. You say your rental car experience has been 30 minutes, but you're timing your actual driving time - not getting from the plane to the main terminal to baggage claim to the rental counter to the garage... put that all together and Magical Express is comparable, if not faster. And free :)

but I definitely will not use the luggage tags- my bags have to be with me at all timesBut, respectfully, they're not 'with' you on the plane. Yes, we all expect our luggage to be loaded on the same flight on which we're traveling, but sometimes things go wrong. Bags get missed; bags get tagged wrong. The airline eventually gets it right - but if you yellow-tag your Disney-bound luggage, Magical Express will claim and deliver it when it arrives at MCO. The passenger doesn't have to hang around the airport until the luggage carousel stops, then still wait and fill out the lost luggage documentation.

Another thing to consider over the next few (tropical storm/hurricane months) is that if there's lightning in the vicinity of the airport, no ground crew will be on the tarmac - for safety reasons.

kaytieeldr
08-04-2010, 09:25 AM
So when using DME on the way home, it's 3 hours before flight time? That kind of stinks. :rotfl: I was thinking maybe 2, but I suppose 3 makes sense so they have plenty of time to get you to the airport and checked in at least an hour before your flight.
Well, actually, the airport wants you there two hours prior to departure - and at MCO, there's an excellent chance you're going to need a good portion of that time to get through security!