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Old 04-03-2013, 06:06 AM   #1
sephorachick
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Smile Disney Magical Express & Wilderness Lodge ?'s...

I know I have no trip planned anytime soon but how does the Magical express work? Worth it? Debating on next trip if we need to rent a car or not. Trying to convince hubby to stay on property next trip. He said he'd love to stay @ Wilderness Lodge. Is it a nice place to stay? We normally stay @ Wyndham Bonnet Creek......
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:14 AM   #2
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I use it every time I visit. It's great if you arn't planning on leaving the property.

They send you baggage tags. When you leave your airport, you drop your bags off as usual at the airport. When you get to Orlando, don't worry about your checked bags (just your carryon). Just go right down to the basement of side B (lots of signs, can't miss it) and give them your book with the ticket. They will put you on the right bus. I don't think I have ever waited more then 15 minutes for a bus to leave - they are pretty regular.

They bring you to your hotel and your bags will "magically" show up in your room shortly after you do (if you go to the park that day, they will be waiting in your room. If you are there, they will knock - takes them about 3 hours from the plane landing).

When you leave, you go down to the Magical Express desk and they take your bags for you and give you your boarding pass. They bring your bags to the airport and they just show up at your home airport on the baggage belt.

The only big con for me is you don't have a car - so if you want to go anywhere OFF property (say grocery shopping), you have to take a taxi. However, if you only intend on staying on property, it's great and worth it.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:20 AM   #3
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I should add - they have never lost a bag for me yet, but being the nervous nelly I am, I suggest medication and a spare change of clothes in your carry on just in case.

That can be extra important if you are coming from cold weather to warm weather as if you want to go to the park for a few hours while waiting for your room to be ready and your bags to show up, you might want to change.

If you do take a morning flight and get to your hotel before check in time, you can leave your carry on with bell services and head over to a park for some lunch and fun and grab your carry on when you get back to the hotel. They will text your phone (or call you if you prefer) when your room is ready and if you beat your bags after your room is ready, just call downstairs and they will bring them right up.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:21 AM   #4
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For us, the biggest advantage to Disney's Magical Express is that it means we don't have to rent a car for our stay.

But it can be distinctly un-magical if you happen to arrive at the airport at the same time as a whole lot of people. We've done everything from walk right onto a bus with big ol' smiles everywhere, to stand in line for an hour in an enormous crowd of middle school cheerleaders next to a child's pile of sawdust-covered vomit.

If you want to sell your husband on staying on-property, don't go with the Wilderness Lodge for your first stay. Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful! But it's not terribly convenient to the parks, and if you're planning to use busses, it takes a long time to get anywhere.

A best hotel for a first stay, assuming money's no object, would be the Beach Club. You're a short stroll from the back door of Epcot, and you can hop a boat over to Hollywood Studios. Not to mention, it's a deluxe resort and absolutely beautiful.

If money IS a concern, then I'd suggest staying at the Pop Century and embracing the whole motel experience. Sure, it's not fancy, but the busses are terrific. We've never had to wait more than ten minutes to go anywhere on property. When we stay at Pop, there's absolutely no reason for us to rent a car. And with the usual room discounts, the per-night cost is only about 85 dollars. And you still get the whole Disney experience with smiling, happy staff and Disney decor everywhere.

Have fun planning your trip!
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:36 AM   #5
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You might want to check out the Transportation board as I know there are several Stickies and other questions posted there about ME.

Also on the Resort Boards is this Thread on Wilderness Lodge that can give you more insight on the resort

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2969675
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerBouncy View Post
When you leave, you go down to the Magical Express desk and they take your bags for you and give you your boarding pass. They bring your bags to the airport and they just show up at your home airport on the baggage belt.
While Magical Express will get your bags to your resort it will not get them back to your home airport. You are thinking of the Resort Airline Check-in desk where you can check your luggage and get your boarding pass if you are flying on one of the participating airlines.

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/pl...rport-service/
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw50 View Post
While Magical Express will get your bags to your resort it will not get them back to your home airport. You are thinking of the Resort Airline Check-in desk where you can check your luggage and get your boarding pass if you are flying on one of the participating airlines.

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/pl...rport-service/
My bad... I think of both sides as being Magical Express, but you're right - they are different.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:06 AM   #8
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I know I have no trip planned anytime soon but how does the Magical express work? Worth it?
As far as "worth it?", note that there is no charge for DME. It is free to all guests staying in a Disney resort at WDW.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:13 AM   #9
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DME is absolutely wonderful if you fit a few criteria

1) You aren't in a hurry.

2) You don't mind turning your luggage over to a third party (although if you want, you can pick up the luggage yourself and take it to the bus). Definitely put valuables and a change of clothes in a carryon. A swimsuit too, if you want to hit the pool when you arrive.

3) You don't have a problem with being picked up for your return 3 hours ahead of your flight.

These seem to be the biggest objections, when I've seen objections to DME use. I use it all the time, but it should be noted there is no set route - your bus will go to several resorts in the same area, but yours may or may not be the first stop. Or it could be the fourth stop. Or the fifth. I've seen five resorts on a bus but no more than that. It's usually three or four.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:21 PM   #10
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I don't know if it varies by season, but when I went this past January, WL was the first stop on my ME bus's route. I can't recall who we shared it with though.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:27 PM   #11
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I don't know if it varies by season, but when I went this past January, WL was the first stop on my ME bus's route. I can't recall who we shared it with though.
Actually, there are no set routes for DME. The buses are dispatched on an "as needed" basis, so it just depends on how many guests are going to which resorts at any given time.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:00 PM   #12
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Have been to WL using the Magical Express more than once. We had smooth sailing each time.

As for park transportation (in response to Magpie), we had no complaints. The bus to MK goes to and from the park exclusively. A 5 minute ride at best. GREAT especially for first thing in the morning. The boat back in the afternoon is a relaxing way to leave the park and return to the WL. Again, the bus will zip you back in you prefer.

The Epcot bus shared pick-up with the campground, so we left a little earlier if we had a dinner reservation.

Any other stops at resorts were quick and efficient. Overall, a good experience.

I have also stayed at the Beach Club, Grand Floridian, and the Contemporary. The Beach Club bus service was by far the least convenient. Too many other resort stops and much too crowded, especially for such an expensive price tag.

The WL is lovely and peaceful, especially after the sensory overload of the parks. My non-Disney-loving husband is a big fan.

Enjoy whatever you choose!
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