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Old 10-19-2012, 01:53 PM   #1
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Should I use DME transport? Or taxi to save time and sanity?

My family of 4 (kids are 3&5) are going to WDW in Nov/Dec. 1st night at AKL (stayed at KV AKL in 2011& LOVED) then leaving the next day for 3 night cruise. It's our 1st cruise and I'm unsure of how the transport will work. Then we are booked at the Polynesian on our return. As of now we have DME to the resort, a transfer to Port Canaveral, transfer back to Polynesian and DME to airport after...

Am I crazy? Should I skip the DME so I can optimize the one day we have pre-cruise?
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:03 PM   #2
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We're a family of five and we use DME whenever we can. For our kids, DME is part of the fun! And my husband and I love checking our bags straight through to the resort so that we don't have to mess with luggage at the airport or resort.

Same with DCL transfers - they picked up our luggage from BWI in the morning and delivered it to our stateroom on the ship. We spent the morning around the Epcot resort area and had a great early lunch at Beaches N' Cream. It was so easy and we didn't mind arriving at the port after the lunch rush.

Last year, we did 2 nights BWI, 3-night cruise and 1 night BC. We used DME and DCL transfers to the port. We could have taken a cab instead of DME (faster) or rented a car or used car service to the port (less expensive.) We knew that going in, but were really happy with our decision to use Disney transport the whole time. It was easy and festive for the kids.
Disneyland (x many), Polynesisan (x many), Beach Club (x many), Boardwalk (x3), Yacht Club, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge (x2), Animal Kingdom Lodge, Port Orleans French Quarter, Dolphin, Coronado Springs (x3), Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans-Riverside, All Star Sports, All Star Music, 2011 Disney Dream, 2012 Disney Wonder to Alaska, 2012 MNSSHP, 2013 Disneyland 10K, 2014 Princess Half Marathon and 5K

January 2015: WDW Marathon and 5K (AOA/AKL/GF/Poly)
March/April 2015: WL/CR
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:11 PM   #3
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We have been lucky with our DME experiences, waiting probably 10-15min for our bus to leave from when we que'd up in line. I would say our DME time was 50-60min from landing to arriving at the Poly.

I have a friend who only uses a towncar service and she swears that it's less time than waiting for a DME bus.

We have rented a car going either to or from the airport and it was easy to do, but probably took as much time as our DME experience did. It was convenient to not pick up our bags, schlep them to the car and leave the driving to someone else.

May 2005 AKL Pool view
July 2010 Poly Standard view- WDW and US
Aug 2012 YC Pool view- WDW, US and BG
Oct 2013 Poly Cl Lagoon view- WDW and US
Oct 2014 BW CL BW View- WDW and US

The Smith's take on the Poly- TR
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:22 PM   #4
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Having done the MCO to Disney to Port Canaveral thing more than once, my strong suggestion is to rent a car with pick up at MCO and drop off in Port Canaveral. Most of the major rental chains will shuttle you from the drop off to the cruise line for free. A one way rental like this has run me anywhere from $45 to $70 a day in the past for a full size sedan, which probably isn't much more than using a cab or airport shuttle service would run. You also have the benefit of having the car to yourself to use the whole first day which would definitely help you maximize the time you have. It also allows you to get out to Port Canaveral earlier in the morning (if you can get everyone up early) and get checked in for your cruise before the hoards of passengers that will be using the ME get there and mob the check in counters.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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Here's a loose breakdown of various times I've had...between MCO and WDW..using various types of transport.

DME....50-85 mins, usually around 70 min.

Towncar....carryon bags only.....45 mins

Towncar...checked bags......65 mins

Mears shuttle...carryon only, to the Dolphin...85 mins.

Do with that what you will.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:51 PM   #6
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Family of 5. Have done Star Limo (Stretch Limo). They played Disney Movies for children on way to resort. Have also taken Mears in a Bus and a Taxi Van. Favorite transportation (children's vote) DME hands down. Time difference has been hardly noticeable between methods of transportation. Limo may have been a little faster--not much though. Love DME!
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:53 PM   #7
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I have taken a town car for quite some years (starting in 2001) It has taken us around 30 to 40 minutes to get from MCO to the BWI. And that getting the luggage

We have had bad experiences with DME & will not use them. We decided after that we will never use them again MHO
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:54 PM   #8
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We use DME, it's free, never had a long wait, and don't have to deal with luggage.
Past Trips:
Aug 2003 WDW Marriott Courtyard, [B]Aug 2005 [/BSeaWorld, Universal, Busch Gardens Hilton Garden Inn, ]Aug 2007 WDW CBR, Jan 2008WDW WL, Aug 2008St. Pete Beach, Universal-HRH, Sea Workd & Aquatica- Hyatt Place & Doubletree, Jan 2009WDW AKL, Aug 2009Key West Sheraton Suites, Cocoa Beach Hampton Inn, & WDW POR/WL, Jan 2010WDW Poly, Jan 2011WDW POR, Aug 2011WDW POR/BC CL, Jan 2012WDW WL, Aug 2012AKL CL, Jan. 2013POFQ Aug. 2013 WDW Pop, GF, YC Jan 2014POR, Aug 2014 Universal Portofino Bay, & WDW GF,

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Old 10-19-2012, 11:53 PM   #9
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Stick with ME...if you rent/etc. you would also need to secure carseats for the little ones. Riding on ME is a treat for the kiddos.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:43 AM   #10
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I personally have not done DME because we stay in a villa and always rent a car, but sometimes our guests have used Magical Express and it goes well. I think the only time I have read here about complaints was when it first started. Also if the persons flight came in very late, or very early. That seems to be the weakest area. Other than that, it's free and is maybe 15-20 minutes more than a service you pay for.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:59 AM   #11
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I love DME, but when we went last November, we had a 90 minute wait in line. Was not fun. Line was halfway thru the airport. Since we are going again this November, we are renting a car. I don't want to deal with the waiting in line. Went last April during spring break and had no line. Don't really understand that, but not taking any chances this year. Was 90.00 to rent a car for 8 days. Totally worth it to me.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:54 AM   #12
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We have never used ME but have heard many great thing about the service. Our first time to Disney in 1999 we used the service Disney provided which I believe was Mears. We have been there several times since and have always used a car service. Actually it's not that expensive but very convenient for several reasons. Your driver is waiting for you at the bottom of the stairs as you are headed to claim your luggage and is very helpful in the loading of such. You are then taken directly to your resort unless you choose to stop for snacks and drinks. They give you a 30 minute stop (publix/walgreens)and believe me the money you will save versus buying the same products at a resort can offset the fare by a good bit. The price is about $110 + tip and that includes round trip service. It will save you a lot of time at each end. They typically use late model Lincoln towncars unless your party is greater than four, if so they will use a larger vehicle. It has always worked great for us and we will continue to use one of the two services we have used. I won't mention any names because it is not permitted by this website. Good Luck with your choice and have fun.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:49 AM   #13
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AKL will be one of the last stops on a DME trip due to its location for time concerns.

For sanity, you have the trade off of luggage claim.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:48 PM   #14
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I am a newbie on DIS and really appreciate all of the info!
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:13 PM   #15
You gotta love a great plan like that
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Welcome to the Dis Tonja! You've found the place for Disney experts right here(not that I'm one).
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