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

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

  1. Horace Horsecollar

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

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    You don't have to wait until 3 hours before departure time to use RAC. You can do your RAC check-in any time between 5:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. for flights any time that day, but you must finish the process no less than 3 hours before departure time.

    Your scheduled DME pick-up time will be around 3 hours before before departure time, give or take up to 15 minutes. You should be at your pick-up location at least 10 minutes before the pick-up time.

    With a 10:45 a.m. flight, your DME pick-up time time for a domestic flight will be between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.

    I would be at the RAC counter at least 30 minutes before your DME pick-up time. There may be a line, so you may have to wait for your turn. And, as at the airport, the process itself takes a few minutes. As with any skycap service, a tip is appreciated.

    You can also get RAC out of the way much earlier. For example, you could take care of it before breakfast, have breakfast, and return to your room for your carry-ons before your DME pick-up.

    Going home is never a fun way to end a vacation. DME is a shared transportation service. MCO is a half hour away if there are no other stops and no delays, but you'll probably stop at one or two other resorts, and delays can happen. The TSA checkpoints at MCO can have long lines that move slowly. Your flight will board 30 minutes before departure. You should get to your gate before boarding begins.

    Actually, I think using RAC and DME at the end of a WDW vacation is a lot more fun than having to drag your bags through the airport to the airline counter and waiting in a line with your bags. It's great to get on a DME coach with only your carry-ons and to go straight to TSA Security and then to your gate.
     
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  3. ruadisneyfan2

    ruadisneyfan2 DIS Veteran

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    It's much better than missing your flight. If you prefer to cut it really close, you could always pay for private car service. Chances are good that they would recommend picking you up approx 3 hrs before your flight, 2.5 at the very least.

    We like to arrive at any airport 2 hrs prior and also allow some extra travel time in case of traffic delays, etc. As pp mentioned, ME buses usually stop at at least 1 other resort.

    I find it very stress free when I know we don't have to rush. ;)
     
  4. goofy4tink

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

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    RAC opens at 5am. With a 10:45am flight departure, your DME p/u time will most likely be between 7:30 and 8. You have to have your bags checked, boarding pass in hand, no less than 3 hrs prior to flight departure time...in your case, this would be 7:45. You need to be out at the DME bus stop about 15 mins prior to the stated p/u time (if you are given a time of 7:50am, you should be out, ready to go, at the bus stop, by 7:35)....which means you should be at RAC by 7am!! It can take 15 or so mins to finish your transaction...and if there are people in front of you, longer.

    This doesn't sound like a fun way to end vacation?? I have yet to find any fun way to end my WDW vacation. I guess this is better than lugging all my bags back to the airport and checking them there. Much better to take a little time, at my resort, and get that stuff all taken care of. Then, I can just get off the bus and go right to security!!!
     
  5. Kathymford

    Kathymford A little obsessed is ok....right?

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    Thanks for all of your replies. You guys are so awesome!! I decided not to do the 1045 am flight, we are not early people. It was just too early. hahaha. Thanks for all the info. This will be our third trip, but the first time using an airline that is RAC-eligible!! Very excited about that part! Thanks again. You guys are awesome. :thumbsup2
     
  6. Scrappy_Tink

    Scrappy_Tink DIS Veteran

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    Just FYI too, me and DH were staying at Bay Lake and had a LATE flight out. We tried checking our luggage in, and they said they stopped after 1:00 pm....so we ended up lugging our own luggage to the airport, even though we checked in within the required time period (no less than 3 hours)
     
  7. Horace Horsecollar

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

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    RAC is open from 5:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., so you can check your bags from 5:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. for flights any time that day.

    You must finish the process a minimum of 3 hours before your flight departure time, but that doesn't mean you can't check your bags 5 hours, 10 hours, or even 15 hours before your flight departure. (At one time there was a maximum of 12 hours, but now it just has to be the same day.)

    Considering that 1:00 p.m. is well past check-out time, I find it surprising that someone someone would still have their bags 3 hours before a late-night flight. What would you do with your bags all day? Why would someone wait until after RAC is closed?
     
  8. goofy4tink

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

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    But, you can check in at any time prior to your departure.....we've been told that you can check in as early as you want even for a flight leaving at 8pm!!! They used to tell us that you had to check in no more than 12 hrs prior to departure and no less than 3 hrs. But, it would seem that the 12 hrs has been changed to 'any time more than 3 hrs prior to departure, the same day'. So, you could have checked your bags on your way out of your resort that morning.
    I'm assuming that you just misunderstood how RAC works.
     
  9. dawnhaze

    dawnhaze DIS Veteran

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    I just want to clarify and make sure I'm going to do this right, haha. On my checkout day, I will:

    - Check out of my resort
    - Go to RAC, check in for my flight and pay for my checked bag
    - Go to the parks
    - Return for my designated DME time
    - My bag goes to the airport without further intervention on my part?

    Right? I'm flying US Air. I'll be taking my backpack (carry-on) with me on my check-out day so it's not an issue. Is there anything else I need to do?
     
  10. ruadisneyfan2

    ruadisneyfan2 DIS Veteran

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    IIRC last summer, we had to pay our luggage fees by phone to B.A.G.S.
    They gave us a confirmation # to show that our fees were paid. Then go down to RAC to give them our bags and get our BPs.

    Most times that we stay onsite, it's pre-cruise so it's not very often we go home after checking out. Maybe someone else can confirm this.
     
  11. dawnhaze

    dawnhaze DIS Veteran

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    Actually, now that I look, Mousesavers says the same thing you are. Thanks for pointing that out! Doing it by phone won't be so bad. :thumbsup2
     
  12. Horace Horsecollar

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

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    You basic steps are correct.

    Just a few more options and thoughts...

    You can go to the RAC desk at your hotel to check your bags and get your boarding passes any time after RAC opens at 5:00 a.m. You don't have to wait until after you check out from your resort room.

    After you check you bags with RAC, you won't see your bags again until baggage claim at your home airport. Your bags will be transported to your airline at Orlando International in a truck in a secure, TSA-approved cage.

    Instead dealing with a backpack all day, you can leave you carry-ons with bell services until your return to your resort for your DME motorcoach pick-up.

    Be sure to allow enough time for all steps. For example, returning from a park to a hotel can take much longer than you might think, especially if your taking a WDW Transportation bus mid-may.
     
  13. ruadisneyfan2

    ruadisneyfan2 DIS Veteran

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    It was not difficult. You just have to allow enough time for everything and also take the time to read the instructions that they slide under your door.

    :goodvibes

    Have a great time!
     
  14. dawnhaze

    dawnhaze DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for all the info. My backpack is actually my day bag so I'll be keeping it with me, but it's good to know that the resort can hang onto carry-ons, in case I need to do that on any future trips. :)

    I have a 9AM ADR on my departure day, so my plan is to check out and go to RAC before I leave for that meal. I'm glad I can do this anytime after 5AM.

    I'm planning on at least 90 minutes for Disney transportation anywhere. If this means I'm early for things, well, I'd rather be early than late. :thumbsup2
     
  15. paults

    paults <font color=red>HOME IS WHERE BWV IS<br><font colo

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    Ok , I cna't remember but my inlaws are using DME both ways. I booked it for them. Coming in they are staying at BWV and on the last day moving to POP C and leaving from there the next day. They got there DME package with everything in it. When I booked it I listed both BWV coming in and PC leaving. Do I need to make another ressie for leaving or will Disney know from the voucher that they are at PC last day.
     
  16. goofy4tink

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

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    Usually, I get two different packets..one for my arrival resort and then another one for my departure resort.
    What does their departure voucher say???
     
  17. STLDisney_Freak

    STLDisney_Freak I don't have a short attention span, I just.....OH

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    It has been awhile since I've used the magical express services. We are flying down on August 31 and I know that they will pick up our luggage coming down. Does Southwest participate in the services on the way home? Can I check them in at the hotel? I just want to confirm because last time I used the service SWA didn't participate, but were thinking about it.

    Thanks!
     
  18. goofy4tink

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

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    SW now fully participates in RAC. You could always tag your checked bags and have them taken to the resort regardless of your arriving airline.
    It was only the departure that caused confusion. But now? SW is participating...so you can check those bags at your resort, get your boarding passes issued and go off and do your thing until it's time to report to the DME bus..if that's how you are heading back to MCO.
     
  19. Deesknee

    Deesknee <font color=blue>When we were kids (long time ago)

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    We have never done a connecting flight. This Nov. we will have to change planes in NY (JFK). I am wondering how this will work.

    Will we ck our bags in Boston as usual. Then the airline will transfer it from one plane to the other? Or are we responsible for getting our baggage at JFK, then rechecking it into the new flight? Then it will be sent from the Orlando airport to our hotel?

    Thanks. ... hope this makes sense. I am really really nervous about having a stop over/changing plane flight. It is DH, myself (I'll have a manual wheelchair), and DD(9).
     
  20. jcarwash

    jcarwash DIS Veteran

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    Yes, when you have a connecting flight, the airlines tag your bags with both your originating flight and your final destination flight. When you arrive at JFK, the bags are unloading from your Boston flight and then loaded onto your connecting flight. You don't have to do anything.

    With the yellow DME tags on your bags, your bags will be transported from the Orlando airport (MCO) to your Disney resort, and will be delivered to your room.
     
  21. Deesknee

    Deesknee <font color=blue>When we were kids (long time ago)

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    Thank you so much. That rests my mind a bit. My other concerns I will address my other concerns on a different post. Thanks again!
     

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