Recent ME & Extra Magic Hours Experience

JFM

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 26, 2005
We had great experience. I received luggage tags 6 days prior to leaving. We used the tags and checked in bags in the Pittsburgh airport. We landed in Orlando airport via Southwest at 11:10 AM Thursday. Directed by cast members to ME desk and after brief review of paperwork we were sitting on the ME bus at 11:50. We pulled out of the airport at 12:00 Noon and after one brief stop at French Quarter, we were at PO Riverside at 12:45. The room was ready so we freshened up and were out the door, and were at EPCOT by 1:35. I did take one small carry-on with essentials and one change of clothes in case luggage was late or lost. When we came back that evening our luggage was in our rooms. PO staff told me it was delivered ~ 3:00. Only negative was upon leaving, we did have to be ready to leave PO 3 hours prior to our flight.
Overall, it was a very smooth!!! Actually it was faster than our 1993 trip when we used Mears.
I must admit the extra magic hours was not what I had hoped for. In 1993 we used the E-ride night at MK which was great. No lines, no waiting. This trip we used the extra magic hours at MGM 10-1:00 AM & MK 11:00 - 2:00AM. It was very crowded. The Rockin' Roller Coaster had a 65 minute wait at 11:15 at night. There were actually waiting times during the extra hours which were longer than during the regular hours. I'm not sure whether the Extra Hours are worth it. It would be interesting to see what the crowds would be like at that same park the morning after the Extra Magic Hours????
 

DebbieB

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 24, 1999
Thanks for the report.

How was Southwest out of Pittsburgh? The one thing I'm not crazy about trying them is the only return non-stop is late morning. Air Tran has a non-stop at 5:41pm, which allows a 1/2 day at a park the last day. It's good to have some options, it used to be USAir was the only choice for non-stop.
 

JFM

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 26, 2005
Deb,
This was our first time with SW out of Pittburgh. Everyting was great. Our return flight was the latest SW had at that time, which was 11:35AM. We had to be at front of PO at 8:15 AM. It worked out well considering we used the extra magic hours the night before.
Here are some tips with SW since they don't have assigned seats. SW has 4 classes of priority for boarding, 1) pre-board for parents/children under 4 and for wheelchair patrons, 2) A class, 3) B class, 4) C class. One way to get the A or B class is to print out boarding pass at 12:01AM the day of your flight. This is the earliest you can get the boarding pass. We ended up with A class on the flight down. Since I could not find access to a comp/printer the night before we left, we got our boarding pass at time of check-in at Orlando Airport. This was a B class pass. Also, used small SW check in on lower level. This is the level that ME buses will drop you off. Lines were significantly shorter than main SW check-in on next level. To make sure our family could sit together, we got in the B line as soon as they permitted (which was about 30 minutes prior to flight.
You should double check SW rules/reg on their website. I saw several families that had surprises. One family with 2 parents, 2 children under 4 and one grandmother were using the pre-board line and SW officials told grandmother that the line was for children under 4 and their PARENTS ONLY. She had to go to the back of the B line. Bummer.... Although her family did save her a seat once they were inside.
Good Luck
 

Nanajo1

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 23, 1999
I didn't think that SW was a ME participating airline. I'm so glad to hear that you used it without any problems. I like flying SW.
 

DebbieB

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 24, 1999
Nanajo1 said:
I didn't think that SW was a ME participating airline. I'm so glad to hear that you used it without any problems. I like flying SW.

JFM - thanks for the info.

Nanajo1 - SW is not participating in ME. You can still use ME if your airline is not participating, the only benefit you do not get is you can't check your luggage in at the resort for the return, you have to check it in at the airport.
 

Nanajo1

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 23, 1999
DebbieB said:
JFM - thanks for the info.

Nanajo1 - SW is not participating in ME. You can still use ME if your airline is not participating, the only benefit you do not get is you can't check your luggage in at the resort for the return, you have to check it in at the airport.
Thanks.
 









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