Disney Cruise Line Transportation Questions

mom+3girls

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
I have always driven to the port and have only used Disney's Magical Express to WDW never to the Port.
We would be taking Disney Transport from MCO to the Port.
My questions are:
Do they schedule you a time to show up and you are on the next bus or do you just show up, get in line and wait?
How noisy are the buses?
Is it a comfortable ride, or are you packed in like sardines, like the buses at resorts?
How crazy is it when you arrive a the port and you get off the bus?
What is the earliest time the buses leave from MCO?
Thanks for you help.
 

bbn1122

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
I have only done it once’s. Same buses they use to get to WDW. So, they are the big comfy buses. Noisy, not really, they play the videos, so most people are chilling and watching those. But, I guess you could have some noisy guests.

It was a long time ago but if I remember correctly they ask you for flight information, so they know when to expect you and how many in your party.

I remember it being very smooth at airport. I can’t remember crowds at port.
i feel like there are always crowds, especially right when port opens.

I am not sure how early they run. They probably do not get there before port opens. Just my guess Hopefully, you will hear from others.
 

PrincessShmoo

DIS veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
I have always driven to the port and have only used Disney's Magical Express to WDW never to the Port.
We would be taking Disney Transport from MCO to the Port.
My questions are:
Do they schedule you a time to show up and you are on the next bus or do you just show up, get in line and wait?
How noisy are the buses?
Is it a comfortable ride, or are you packed in like sardines, like the buses at resorts?
How crazy is it when you arrive a the port and you get off the bus?
What is the earliest time the buses leave from MCO?
Thanks for you help.
You join the line, check in, and are on the next available bus.
425685
Not particularly noisy. It's a bus. They have DCL videos running.
425690

Seats are comfy, with seat belts. Lots of knee room.
425684
You get off the bus and directly in line to enter the terminal. Yes, lots of people, but organized.
425687

425693

425691
The transport desk opens at 9:00. The first bus departs when full. Subsequent buses depart every 20 minutes, or when full, whichever is first.
 
  • karen4546

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2012
    The buses are not included in your DCL charges. They are an additional fee. They are like the Magical Express buses and not like the theme park buses. The ride is comfortable. We left MCO at 9am and arrived shortly after 10 I think. We were on the ship by 10:30ish but no later than 11am.
     

    mom+3girls

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 25, 2005
    You join the line, check in, and are on the next available bus.
    View attachment 425685
    Not particularly noisy. It's a bus. They have DCL videos running.
    View attachment 425690

    Seats are comfy, with seat belts. Lots of knee room.
    View attachment 425684
    You get off the bus and directly in line to enter the terminal. Yes, lots of people, but organized.
    View attachment 425687

    View attachment 425693

    View attachment 425691
    The transport desk opens at 9:00. The first bus departs when full. Subsequent buses depart every 20 minutes, or when full, whichever is first.
    thanks for these pictures. My husband is dead set on using DCL transportation but that picture of those people standing in line. I think I now have the evidence I need to get to use Uber or a car service. YAY!!
     

    PrincessShmoo

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2009
    thanks for these pictures. My husband is dead set on using DCL transportation but that picture of those people standing in line. I think I now have the evidence I need to get to use Uber or a car service. YAY!!
    Actually that line was before the desk opened. Once open, the line goes pretty fast, as there's usually like 3 buses waiting for the first rush.

    We've done it twice, and both times were were on the first bus, departing around 9:10, at the ship by 10:15.

    Biggest downside with that is, having to wait in the terminal for boarding to begin. I much prefer arriving at the terminal around 12:00-12:30, after boarding has begun, but before the resort buses start arriving.
     
  • mom+3girls

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 25, 2005
    Actually that line was before the desk opened. Once open, the line goes pretty fast, as there's usually like 3 buses waiting for the first rush.

    We've done it twice, and both times were were on the first bus, departing around 9:10, at the ship by 10:15.

    Biggest downside with that is, having to wait in the terminal for boarding to begin. I much prefer arriving at the terminal around 12:00-12:30, after boarding has begun, but before the resort buses start arriving.
    I like to get there between 11 and 11:30.
     

    karen4546

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2012
    That's unusual. Typically boarding doesn't begin until 11:15-11:30.
    [/QUOTE

    We were concierge and the cruise before ours had been cancelled. September 2017. We only waited a few minutes in the concierge "lounge" area and then boarded. I think the platinum cruisers boarded around the same time.
     

    bakerworld

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 24, 2010
    thanks for these pictures. My husband is dead set on using DCL transportation but that picture of those people standing in line. I think I now have the evidence I need to get to use Uber or a car service. YAY!!
    And here I am wishing my husband would ride the bus from MCO instead of burning points on a pre-night stay at AK and use DCL bus to the port the next am.
     

    hcox31

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2014
    thanks for these pictures. My husband is dead set on using DCL transportation but that picture of those people standing in line. I think I now have the evidence I need to get to use Uber or a car service. YAY!!
    It's really not that bad. No worse than any character line you might be waiting in on the ship. 🤷‍♀️
    You get in line to check in. They give you a "character card" and you wait in the seats/lobby there pictured until they call your character to load that bus. We did this in March and from time of getting into line to getting on the bus was probably an hour or so. We were at port by 12. Walked right into terminal. Zero wait in line inside and right onto the ship.
     
  • Marc D

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2016
    We use DCL (staying at the Hyatt) every time we sail from PC. We always show up just before check-in begins and only once have we seen a line like the one in the picture. It was on a VERY busy cruise on Fantasy. Most times, we just show up and check-in in a few minutes. The allocate places on the next available bus. There is no set time to show up.

    The busses are comfortable and the Disney videos (after the long DCL intro/publicity vid) get us in the Disney mood. By now, we know the trivias and “Guess the characters” inside and out, but we still enjoy them.

    When you arrive at the terminal, you enter from the right and through a security line reserved for DCL busses, so you bypass people waiting in line from the parking and other ways of getting there. I’ve read they move them to the right at some point, but we never saw that. If you get on the first two-three busses, you get inside before 10:30, when the terminal opens. You breeze through check-in at the cost of having to wait at least an hour to board. We like that. We go take pictures with characters, go outside to look at the ship and the work being done to prepare her, get our son his kid’s club band and download the Navigator on the app.
     

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