Disney's Magical Express/RAC - What "Participating Airline" Really Means!

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by Chip 'n Dale Express, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. diskids2

    diskids2 <font color=CC66CC>Not above grovelling for a tag

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    How long do you wait for your Magical Express Bus to leave and take you to the resort?
     
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  3. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    A typical breakdown....
    1. 10-15 mins from plane to DME..if you don't stop for food
    2. 10 mins in line at the DME counter (I've been in line for 30 secs and as long as 18 mins)
    3. up to 20 min wait in bus line....or you could get right on a bus..average time about 10 min.
    4. up to 20 mins on the bus, waiting to leave

    I have gotten to the DME counter, waited 5 mins in line, then been directed to the appropriate resort bus line, and just walked down the que and onto a bus. Waited about 5 mins on the bus, then it left. Obviously, I was one of the last to board the bus.

    Once the bus leaves, it is about 30 mins to WDW...you can add another 20 mins to that if you are the last stop. So conceivably, you could take as little as 50 mins to get to the resort after deplaning, or as long as 90 mins if nothing works in your favour.....65-70 min is the average time from plane to resort.
     
  4. diskids2

    diskids2 <font color=CC66CC>Not above grovelling for a tag

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    Does it make sense to have someone wait and get the luggage while someone else waits at the DME counter. Does it also make sense to have someone wait on the bus line as well....we have three adults in our party.
     
  5. cmesq61

    cmesq61 DIS Veteran

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    You don't have to touch your bags. DME does it all--that's why it's magical! Just go get in line at DME. If you have little ones, you may want to hit the potty before DME.
     
  6. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    I'm going to assume that you are tagging your bags with the DME yellow tags. If that's so, you won't see your luggage until you get to your resort.
    But, you may be thinking of lugging your checked bags (no yellow tags used) to the DME bus with you. If so.....
    The arrival area of the airport is on level 3, baggage claim is on level 2, with DME on level 1, with the rest of ground transportation. So, someone would have to stay on level 2, wait for the bags, then lug them, all by themselves, down a level to level 1, and meet up with the rest of the party.
    Only one person is needed to wait in the DME checkin line. The rest of the group can wait in the lounge area. When the checkin process is done, everyone then goes to the appropriate bus line, where the CM may want to see your voucher as you get in line.
    Believe me, you are not going to be popular if you try to send some people to wait in the bus line, while others get the luggage and one person checks you all in...wait until you see the dirty looks you get as you, or the person with all the luggage, tries moving up the line saying...'Excuse me, trying to get to my party.' Not a great move...at least in my opinion.

    Let DME take care of your luggage, have one person get in line for checkin, then all of you head to the bus line. You aren't going to make up any time by trying to split the group up. Besides...what are you going to do if those in the bus line are able to board the bus, but the luggage person isn't there yet?? Or, the person with the vouchers?? Just do things the way they are supposed to be done. It's only 70 mins.
     
  7. CleveRocks

    CleveRocks <font color=red>Rock 'n' Roller Coaster worshipper

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    I'm assuming from your question that you are choosing to NOT take advantage of the DME luggage handling.

    No, I don't think it would make sense to do it that way. It's possible it could cause a headache for you and for others.

    The wait at the DME counter might be negligible. So might the wait to get on the bus. You wouldn't be able to get on the bus while the other person in your party is at baggage claim, because they will need their bus voucher stamped at the counter.

    Even if they COULD get on the bus while you're waiting on the bus, what if the bus leaves and your party-member still isn't there yet? You'd attempt to hold up the bus to wait for that person. There will be one of two results: you will be asked to leave the bus if you want to travel on the same bus as that person; or you will have a lot of angry and frustrated people on the bus because your party's actions are holding up the bus.

    Buses are supposed to leave a certain amount of time after the first guest boards the bus. The bus is not held for specific individuals or parties (in other words, you are not assigned to a specific bus ... buses run all day).

    I hope this info helps you understand the process, as you decide what will work best for you guys.

    As for my opinion, I echo what others have said ... let DME handle your bags for you. Pack your carry-ons with your immediate needs (which is always good advice no matter where you fly, just in case the AIRLINE delays your bags).
     
  8. diskids2

    diskids2 <font color=CC66CC>Not above grovelling for a tag

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    Ok. Let me take a breath.

    First....It could be the way I worded my question...but I would NEVER even attempt to make the bus wait for me or my party. Please see this from my orignial frame of reference. I have never used DME before. I only used Mears many years ago and we waited (both trips) about 30 minutes for our bus to even come. We are arriving at 5 pm at night and I only wanted to see if I could cut down on "wait times". My original thought was that the person on the bus line would in no way even get on a bus....let alone have it wait....before anyone else got there.

    Now that I got that out of the way......

    Thank you for the information regarding the process/procedure. We are not letting DME handle our luggage because of our late arrival and I don't want to wait until close to 11 pm (or potentially wait) to get our bags and unpack. One reason we are flying the day before we tour the parks is that we want to get settled in. It looks like I can have one person wait on the DME line and the other three get the luggage and then everyone meet up at the bus area. If the DME counter line is very short, then it won't hold any other guests up and if it is long...we saved some time.

    Thank you again for your help in explaining how it all works to me....I LOVE THESE BOARDS!
     
  9. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    There you go....sounds like a good plan. When you are heading to the DME checkin area (level 1) you will go right by the baggage claim area (level 2). Leave some party members there to grab the bags when they come out. Another adult can head directly to DME and get checked in. As I said, there is a seating/lounge area, across from the DME checkin counter. If the checkin adult is still in line, those arriving with the bags can just sit down and wait. Or, the checkin person can wait for the luggage group to arrive. Then, everyone can head over to the bus lines..which are about 20' away from where you have all been sitting.
     
  10. CleveRocks

    CleveRocks <font color=red>Rock 'n' Roller Coaster worshipper

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    I never implied that you would attempt to make the bus wait for your party. i was just explaining the process with an example so you could learn how the process works. Nothing more!:flower3:
     
  11. Disneyfan71

    Disneyfan71 Paging Mr. Morrow, paging Mr. Tom Morrow, your par

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    Even if we fly Southwest can we use the DME? Will we get luggage tags? Reason why I ask is b/c with Airtran it's amost $800 for us and $500 for Southwest--we're going the week before Easter and typically airfares are higher b/c there's more of a demand. I used to work for the airline ;)Anyways, just wondering if Southwest is a participating airline. . Thanksl.
     
  12. Disneyfan71

    Disneyfan71 Paging Mr. Morrow, paging Mr. Tom Morrow, your par

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    Even if we fly Southwest can we use the DME? Will we get luggage tags? Reason why I ask is b/c with Airtran it's amost $800 for us and $500 for Southwest--we're going the week before Easter and typically airfares are higher b/c there's more of a demand. I used to work for the airline ;)Anyways, just wondering if Southwest is a participating airline. . Thanksl.
     
  13. Horace Horsecollar

    Horace Horsecollar <font color=blue>DVC members represent a unique ca

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    Please reread post #1 in this sticky thread.

    The short answer is that there is no such thing as a participating airlines list for Magical Express -- so you can use inbound Magical Express transportation and luggage transfers with any airline, including Southwest. And you can use outbound Magical Express transportation with any airline, including Southwest.

    The participating airlines list only applies to the Resort Airline Check-in (RAC) remote skycap service at your Disney resort.

    Southwest does not participate in RAC, so, on the way back to the airport, your bags go in the luggage hold of the motorcoach, and you check your bags at the airport.
     
  14. twojo21

    twojo21 disney bride 32106

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    does anyone know the phone number or better yet the website to book magic express? thanks!
     
  15. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    You need to contact whomever you booked your WDW reservation with. If you did this through Disney, give them a call and they will get you added. If a TA did it for you, then they need to make the reservation.
    There is no website to make a reservation on. The only website that allows that is the DVC site. Or, there is sometimes a website that deals only with corporate groups.
     
  16. Dopey Sharon

    Dopey Sharon Proud Mimi of our first grandchild, Lily

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  17. nandc619

    nandc619 Earning My Ears

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    I know the first post says anyone on any airline may receive their boarding passes at the Lobby Concierge desk. It also says bags can be checked up to 12 hours in advance, but I know Southwest is not a participating airline, so no baggage check there. My question is how early can we get our boarding passes? Southwest allows you to check in online 24 hours in advance, but I didn't know if the 12 hour restriction would apply to the boarding passes as well as the bags.
    Thanks!!
     
  18. nandc619

    nandc619 Earning My Ears

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    I knew I had two questions! This one's a little different... I read in one post on here that they weighed your baggage prior to you checking it at your lobby concierge. Would they weigh your bag for you, even if you weren't checking it at the resort? Those "over 50 lbs" fees really add up, and I'm horrible at guessing! Just a thought...
     
  19. CleveRocks

    CleveRocks <font color=red>Rock 'n' Roller Coaster worshipper

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    nandc619,

    I'm afraid you're mixing-and-matching a few different things.

    You can check-in and get your Southwest boarding passes 24 hours in advance at your resort's Lobby Concierge desk, or at Guest Services at any of the parks and at Downtown Disney.

    The 12-hour rule has to do ONLY with Resort Airline Check-in, which is the service that's available only to guests flying on "participating airlines." So that has nothing to do with you.

    I've never heard of Lobby Concierge weighing bags. That gets done by Resort Airline Check-in, but I'm very sure that's only for people actually using RAC ... it isn't available for just anyone to use for their own informational purposes ... they use that scale as part of the Resort Airline Check-in process, exactly as would be done at an airport ticket counter.

    I mean, if the RAC desk is totaly empty (it's open daily from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.), I guess it couldn't hurt to ask the guy to weigh your bags just for giggles. But please keep in mind that if he does this for you, a tip would be proper ... the staff at the RAC desk are not Disney employees, and you should tip them just like you would tip a skycap at an airport curbside check-in podium.

    I hope this clears up the process for you.

    ENJOY YOUR TRIP!
     
  20. nandc619

    nandc619 Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for the info! I actually found a cool little gadget online that you just hook onto your bag and it will weigh it for you... so I'll probably try that route! (I just hate having to move stuff between bags at the airport when you find out one is over 50lbs!)
    But again, thank you! I'm glad to know we can check in for our flight 24 hours in advance! Now it's just waiting for March to get here...
     
  21. George69

    George69 Mouseketeer

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    What gadget? Can I have the site and price? Thanks, :):flower3:
     

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