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View Full Version : We LOVED Magical Express


marmar
05-16-2005, 11:38 AM
:cool1: I was totally surprised! We had a great expertience with ME.
Arrived Wed May 11, returned Sat May 14.

Originally I was very concerned about doing ME during Start up. We normally rent a car. I am the driver and I have to deal with the rental car line, and keep track of the navigating. I wanted a chance to relax the WHOLE trip.

We did not receive our tags (I thought), so I watched this site for directions and experiences. I called the week before our trip and Margie made sure they had all the flight information and told me pretty much the same directions I read here. I tied PINK SATIN ribbons on our suitcases. And stuck a yellow sticker that gave our NAME and WILDERNESS LODGE on the back of our luggage tag. My husband is normally paranoid about luggage and I was surprised that he didn't tell me to cancel and get a car.

When we got off the monorail shuttle from the AMerican gates we saw 3 ladies with big white MICKEY GLOVES waving. We went to the one that was free and she gave us directions to the first floor ME desk. Because we paid attention to the directions, we got to the desk before the mobs from our flight the 2 other flights that arrived simultaneously. No wait. The gentleman that help me was tremendous. He had a card with pictures of all the luggage types and asked for any other distinguishing characteristics on the luggage. He said it would take about 3-4 hours for our luggage to get to the hotel. We were then directed to the queue for the Wilderness Lodge. Again almost no line. Several of the other lines were quite long, but busses appeared quickly so no one waited long.

The busses are VERY nice. Several of the folks riding our bus had brought their own luggage from Baggage claim. But most folks had only their carryon to put in the bus's luggage compartment. We had few children on our bus, and the driver never turned on the video. We stopped at the Poly & GF, dropping off one family at the Poly and 4 older ladies at the GF. THis took me totally by surprise since the Queue we were in said Contemporary & Wilderness Lodge. I thought our driver was lost when he made the left turn toward the Poly.

We checked in at the WL. Since we had no luggage we didn't have to wait for bell service to free up, and were in our room 5 mins from arrival. Our luggage arrived 3.5 hours after our plane landed. It got there just as we were leaving for our Dinner PS at Artist Point.

Fri AM we received the envelope under our door with directions on what to do the next morning. Our Flight was at 6:20pm and we were told we should be out front at 3:20 for the 3:35 bus. Luggage should be checked a minimum of 3 hours before flight time. Sat morning, we packed the luggage and went down to check in before we headed off to the park. This was the only wait we had. The wait was mostly caused by people who obviously did not read the instructions. NO, YOU CANNOT CHECK IN FOR SOUTHWEST AIRLINES! ALL PEOPLE IN YOUR PARTY MUST BE THERE TO SHOW THERE ID's! YOU CANNOT CHECK IN MORE BAGS THAN THE AIRLINE ALLOWS ! YOU SHOULD KNOW YOUR FLIGHT # or AT LEAST THE AIRLINE & TIME (how a person cannot know what airline they are on is beyond me). All this and there were only 3 families in line in front of us. The poor man at the desk was actually relieved to see us. It took less than 2 mins for us to get our passes and check our luggage. We had waited almost 20 mins for the families before us, and one of them was the Southwest couple who didn't check in.

We arrived back at the Lodge, got something cold to drink and headed out front at 3:15. The busses were running 25 mins late so we were told that the 3:35 folks should get on the 2:55 bus which arrived at 3:20. Since we had no luggage, we promptly boarded the bus. Folks with non participating airlines had to attend to getting their luggage loaded. I was surprised at how well the Magical Express folks & the bell service handled it. It took about 10 mins to load the bus and move on. Again, it took longer than it should have because there was a luggage cart that they weren't sure should be loaded. The driver & the bell Service person asked 3 separate times if the Johnson family from XXXX was on board, with no response. Finally a loud man in the front seat hollered the persons name and on the 4th attempt someone responded. Again slowed down by my fellow travelers! We picked up another large group at the Poly. Here we were less than 5 mins. Our driver played the required Disney DVD that reminded us how much fun we had and that we should come back as soon as we can. I was thrilled when the driver started the Chip & Dale cartoons. The cranky noisy children were suddenly silent! (one of the concerns I had with signing up for ME originally was that I do not deal well with someone else's small children. I invisioned a bus full of noisy, crying, misbehaving children along with the rude adults that seem to be everywhere at WDW. There will always be rude adults but the children were great.... especially with the Cartoons playing)

The Bus stopped at Terminal B first. This terminal's airlines are mostly ones that participate in resort check in. So we were on to terminal A quickly. And since we were all checked in. We wandered around the shops at the airport and then back to our gate. Our luggage arrived with us on our flight.

When we got home I noticed a stack of catalogs on the kitchen counter. Our cleaning lady stacks my clutter. At the bottom of the stack was a Fed EX envelope from ME. Our luggage tags had arrived in time. 5 days before we were to leave. I just hadn't noticed the envelope in the stack.

WOuld we do ME again? ABSOLUTELY !!! :goodvibes

VickiVM
05-16-2005, 12:08 PM
Thanks for the positive report. It seems that they are slowly getting better at this and sounds like the majority of the hang ups are from guests who don't know what the heck they're doing (or supposed to be doing), not necessarily Disney.

We test it out next Wednesday and I was glad to get a middle-of-the-week perspective as I'm hoping a weekday vs. weekend will be less hectic.

Thanks and welcome home ( :) or :guilty: - take your pick)

DisneyDreamer2
05-16-2005, 12:31 PM
We did ME 5/10-5/14 and had a very positive experience as well. Our drivers never showed the movies though. And our return bus from POR was 40 min late as well. Overall, though ,very positive. We'd use it again.

bevgray
05-16-2005, 08:02 PM
I had a very good experience and will definitely use Magical Express on my next trip. Things went as promised. Only two main cautions:

Make sure you have a carry on so that you can get comfortable upon arrival at your hotel. My bag took about three hours to reach my room.

The day before you are to leave, you should receive a letter from Magical Express with a toll free number. Make sure you call and confirm your flight number and number of people in your party. On my return bus, the driver was scheduled to pick up only 25 people from three resorts. He ended up with a full load and some people had to get off because they weren't scheduled for that particular bus and he had to accomodate those guests who were.

ktbugsmom
05-17-2005, 11:05 AM
thanks for your post. I was not even going to consider ME, but after reading some of the comments, I just may try it in January. Since we travel with 2 kids, we always have a carry on bag with extra clothes (spills happen!). Plus, I have never been able to get right into my room when we get to WDW anyway. I figure by the time we get to our resort, try to check in, then head to the park, our bags will be in our room. No need to deal with storing luggage and worrying about that. Since the ME service is free, I can save about $100 - which can be spent on having groceries delivered to my room!

I think the issue here is planning and control. Yes, there will be glitches and not everyone will be happy. Heck, I reserved a towncar one year, only to have them not show up. I had to wait 45 minutes for them to send a replacement - after waiting 30 minutes for my bags.Then they would not allow a grocery stop because they were running late. Problems happen. The key is to try to be flexible and not let it ruin your vacation.

The good news is that eventually you will be at WDW! :)