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View Full Version : Using WDW Transfers to Airport After Cruise??


kahluacream
12-26-2010, 05:49 PM
Hi There,

My family is so excited to be taking our first Disney cruise this summer. We are going to stay at WDW for 3 nights before the cruise, and I'm leaning towards using a towncar service so that we can arrive at the port earlier on departure day. For post-cruise travel, I have a couple questions for the experts on this board:

1. How is using Disney transportation from the port to the airport after the cruise? Recommended or not? :confused:

2. What time does the Disney cruise bus generally get to MCO?

3. What departure time do you normally aim for on your return flight?

Thanks! Happy Holidays! :santa:

kcashner
12-26-2010, 05:57 PM
The biggest question is whether you are on a participating airline or not. If so, you can do onboard check in which means that you will get your luggage tage and boarding passes in your cabin. You will place luggage outside your stateroom on the last night and not see it again till you arrive at your final destination airport. In that case, DCL transfers are amazing.

Otherwise (non-participating airline), you will claim your luggage in the terminal and take it to the bus. Not a huge deal, but not as nice as the other way!

OK, they start filling an airport bus as soon as people start coming out of the terminal. As each bus fills, it departs for MCO and they start filling the next one. I've seen them just designate the bus as "airport" and I've seen them separate it into terminal A and terminal B, so you never know on that. It's easy either way, and you don't wait long for the bus to fill unless you are "lucky" enough to be on the last bus. In that case, we waited 45 minutes while they did a "sweep" of the ship to be sure everyone was off.

You will want to be at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight, MCO is one of those airports that recommends 3 hours. I've gone thru security in 15 minutes and also taken 90 minutes. Obviously you'll save some time if you don't have to check luggage. It's a 45 minute drive from port to MCO....so you'll want to be on the bus 3-4 hours before your flight.

Question 2--the bus will arrive at MCO between 8:30 and 10:30 depending on how quickly you got out of the terminal and onto a bus.

Question 1--recommended by whom? Personally, I find it the easiest way to go. Depending on your numbers, other methods may be less costly. Frankly the onboard check in is well worth the expense! And they show a "see you real soon" video on the way to the airport.

Question 3--DCL says not to book a flight before 12:30, although I've done 11:30 flights many times with no difficulty. If you book air thru DCL, THEY will put you on flights any time after 11. IF the ship clears Customs on schedule, you can do an earlier than noon flight, but it is a little risky. I had one cruise where the "big doors" didn't open till after 9.

kahluacream
12-26-2010, 06:16 PM
Thanks so much for the quick reply. Is Southwest a participating airline right now? I didn't see it listed anywhere.

Also, the Disney Cruise Line website recommends 12:30 as the earliest flight departure time?

What is the latest we would probably be let off of the boat? Is there a method for determining which group cruisers disembark?

Sorry for so many questions... As I said before, this is all new for me!

plutospup
12-26-2010, 06:43 PM
Frankly the onboard check in is well worth the expense!

Is there a charge for onboard check in? I thought it was free if you purchased DCL transfers from the port to MCO.

kcashner
12-26-2010, 06:47 PM
On DCL you do not disembark in groups. You eat your breakfast and walk off whenever you are ready. Customs has generally cleared the ship by 7:30 and you can leave any time after that (an announcement is made). Everyone is asked to be off by 9:00. Your assigned breakfast time will be based on your dinner seating on the last night; if you don't like your assigned time you can eat at the buffet on deck 9.

Correct that DCL recommends that you not schedule a flight before 12:30. However, I've had THEM book me on an earlier flight (made me laugh, got there with lots of time to spare).

Southwest is a big question right now. Over a year ago they started participating with Magical Express (to/from WDW). About 3 or 4 months ago they issued a blurb in an employee newsletter that said they would now be a participating airline with DCL, but it didn't give a starting date. I haven't sailed since October (at which time they were not participating) and havn't heard from anyone who can confirm whether or not they are participating as of today.

No, there is no charge for the onboard check in. However, using DCL transfers costs more for my family than renting a car to get to the port. Also, if we have a late flight, it is nice to have a car for the day--get lunch and chill before heading to MCO.

clten
12-26-2010, 08:32 PM
The only thing I would add to kcashner's responses would be on the flight time. Yes, you can do earlier flights than 12:30 and most likely get there in plenty of time. But they do have a cavet on the onboard airline checkin. If your flight is before 1pm, you have to be off the ship by 8am or they will pull your luggage. They do have a checklist checking off the names. We had a flight that was scheduled to depart at 12:50 and yes they made us get off by 8 am. (I didn't want to risk them pulling our luggage). So the least desirable departure for us is between noon and 1pm. You have to be up and off early and have a longer than necessary wait in the airport.

mmouse37
12-26-2010, 09:31 PM
Is there a charge for onboard check in? I thought it was free if you purchased DCL transfers from the port to MCO.

No extra charge for OAC program...just the cost of the transfer.....70.00 round trip pp or$35.00 pp for one leg of transfers....the obvious choice is the one way from the ship to MCO to take part in OAC.

MJ

Billinaz
12-26-2010, 10:30 PM
For us with 5 people, it makes much more sense to rent a minivan for the trip at less than $100 than to pay $175 for a bus to the airport.

darwinsrule
12-27-2010, 07:46 AM
For us with 5 people, it makes much more sense to rent a minivan for the trip at less than $100 than to pay $175 for a bus to the airport.

If money is the only issue there are better options. We will happily pay the extra money for the convenience of not having to haul luggage and the car seats around. It is a vacation. Paying for easy, more importantly to have someone else make your life easier, is well worth it. Hell, not seeing the baggage again till the plane lands in Buffalo is one of those things I would gladly pay for - I really hate hauling 4 suitcases and car seats through airports - have I said that already?

ruadisneyfan2
12-27-2010, 09:56 AM
If money is the only issue there are better options. We will happily pay the extra money for the convenience of not having to haul luggage and the car seats around. It is a vacation. Paying for easy, more importantly to have someone else make your life easier, is well worth it. Hell, not seeing the baggage again till the plane lands in Buffalo is one of those things I would gladly pay for - I really hate hauling 4 suitcases and car seats through airports - have I said that already?

I agree. Sometimes it's just worth paying more than you have to. After all, we all know we're paying more to cruise DCL, right? There are cheaper options for cruising but we'd rather not. Cheapest way doesn't mean it's the best way.

For PC to MCO, we've tried the rental car method twice, Happy Limo once, and DCL transfers with onboard check in twice. OBCI is definitely the way to go for us. We make sure to fly participating airlines home just to be able to use this service.