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Old 11-11-2012, 06:10 PM   #1
carlat78
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Magical Express & Animal Kingdom

This is my first time going home and using ME. My plane lands around 1pm on a Thursday. Could you all tell me how long it took from the airport to Animal kingdom? Did you have to wait awhile at the airport before they departed? How many stops did they make before getting to Animal Kingdom?
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:28 PM   #2
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Hmm, it's been a while (May) since we went but we waited about 20 minutes for the ME bus (after being directed to the appropriate line) and then our stop (Kidani) was the last stop for the bus. We stopped at the Pop resorts and at least 2 other ones (don't remember which) before we made it to AKV.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:32 PM   #3
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My last stay at the AKL, we stopped at the POP, then CSR and then AKL, we stopped at Jambo House first and then Kidani.
I landed at MCO at 11:30 am, I was on the bus by 12:15 and left the airport by 12:25. I was at Kidani by 1:15. So from the time I landed to the time I arrived at Kidani, it took 1 hour and 45 minutes. It takes about 30 minutes to get from MCO to WDW.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:34 PM   #4
carlat78
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Thanks for the info. Do most people find that it takes about 2 hrs from landing to drop off?
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:51 PM   #5
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Animal Kingdom Lodge always seems to be last, unfortunately. We definitely didnt wait mire rhan 10 minutes for the bus though. We stopped at Caribbean Beach, Pop, Art of Animation and then AKL.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:28 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by carlat78 View Post
Thanks for the info. Do most people find that it takes about 2 hrs from landing to drop off?
That's on the long side. When I stayed at BWV last April, it was about 90 minutes, we stopped at POR first.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:18 PM   #7
carlat78
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Thanks for the responses everyone! I am flying in from California with a 4 yr old so I'm just trying to decrease our overall duration of travel. Don't want to fly cross country and then be stuck in a bus for hours.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by carlat78 View Post
Thanks for the responses everyone! I am flying in from California with a 4 yr old so I'm just trying to decrease our overall duration of travel. Don't want to fly cross country and then be stuck in a bus for hours.
It will take you time to get through the airport. Then you will probably spend some time waiting in line for a bus to arrive, waiting for the bus to load. If they don't stop at your resort first, you'll have to wait through the unload process at other resorts.

2 hours is safe. 1.5 hours is probably closer to average.

There isn't much time to be saved using other methods. If you rent a car or book a car service, you need to claim your own luggage. That takes time. The rental will take time to pick-up at the airport. You'll hit toll booth delays during the drive. And if you aren't completely familiar with your surroundings, it's entirely possible you will make a wrong turn on the drive and lose time there.

Renting / town car may get you there 30 minutes sooner. (Or it may not.) And it will certainly cost more than free DME.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:39 PM   #9
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If you rent a car or book a car service, you need to claim your own luggage. That takes time. The rental will take time to pick-up at the airport. You'll hit toll booth delays during the drive. And if you aren't completely familiar with your surroundings, it's entirely possible you will make a wrong turn on the drive and lose time there.
Interestingly, I've found MCO baggage handling to be much more efficient over the past few years. As often as not my bags are either on the carousel by the time I get there, or maybe five minutes after that. I suspect it is a combination of (a) ME removing a good chunk of the baggage early in the process and (b) fewer guests are checking bags to save on charges (I don't fly Southwest).

The right rental car agency can keep pick-up and toll hassle to a minimum. For example, if you are a National Emerald Aisle customer, you just walk out and drive off with a car, and can use the EZPass/SunPass lanes for a very small premium: no more than $4-$6 for the entire rental period.

Sadly, you are on your own for navigation.

But, I think Tim is about right---you save about 30 minutes on the way to WDW, and as much as 45-60 on the way back. On their own, probably not enough to justify getting the rental car, but having a car may well also make your overall vacation more convenient, depending on where you are staying and what your plans are. I generally have one unless I'm staying in the Epcot area. Even there, I'd probably get one if the water parks or DTD were in my plans.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by carlat78 View Post
Thanks for the responses everyone! I am flying in from California with a 4 yr old so I'm just trying to decrease our overall duration of travel. Don't want to fly cross country and then be stuck in a bus for hours.
If your child is like most kids, he/she will love riding DME. They have a fun movie about Disney during the ride and our DS6 likes seeing all of the other Disney buses. He even looks out for the DTD balloon on the way. DW and I actually find it to be a nice way to unwind after being cooped up in the airplane.

We usually land at about 9:10 and we are generally in a park before noon. We usually wait less than 30 minutes total between waiting to load and sitting on the bus. We are generally at Kidani within 45-55 minutes. I don't know if the waits are longer in the afternoon or during the time that you are traveling.

We are considering a rental car for our next trip, but I plan to get it at the Dolphin or CCC, instead of MCO.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:56 PM   #11
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Hi, does anyone know the order of stops when taking ME to the Contemporary? Thanks!
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:58 PM   #12
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Hi, does anyone know the order of stops when taking ME to the Contemporary? Thanks!
The order is never a set in stone, but the 2 times I've stayed at the CR, we were the last to be dropped off. If memory serves we stopped at the Poly, WL and then the CR, but don't hold me to it.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:54 AM   #13
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I agree with PP, my kids love ME! No carseats!
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:29 AM   #14
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Hi, does anyone know the order of stops when taking ME to the Contemporary? Thanks!
We were there last month, and the order of stops was Poly, GF, WL then the Contemporary.

It actually took us a little longer than 2 hours to get to BLT (Contemporary). But we also waited at the airport for an inordinate amount of time, it seemed. Our plane arrived at 8:30 PM or so. Has anyone else experienced longer than usual waits when you arrive at a really off time?
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:59 AM   #15
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We were there last month, and the order of stops was Poly, GF, WL then the Contemporary.

It actually took us a little longer than 2 hours to get to BLT (Contemporary). But we also waited at the airport for an inordinate amount of time, it seemed. Our plane arrived at 8:30 PM or so. Has anyone else experienced longer than usual waits when you arrive at a really off time?
We came at 9pm once and waited about 45 min for the bus to AKL. I had some very cranky kids! Hard to explain to a 3 year old why buses keep coming and going but we have to keep standing there....

Thanks to everyone for the Contemporary info, we have stayed at BLT before on split stays but this is our first BLT only stay. I had actually convinced myself the trip couldn't have more stops than staying at AKV, but apparently I stand corrected LOL. Oh well, it's still vacation!
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