Walt Disney World’s Magical Express 101

Credit: Disney Tips

Magical Express is an amazing benefit of staying on property at a Disney Resort. Magical Express is Disney’s shuttle service that takes you to and from the airport and is included for no extra charge with your resort stay. This prevents the need to pay separately for a shuttle or worry about transporting your luggage, since Disney takes care of it all for you and lets your vacation begin from the moment that you arrive at the airport. Here is Magical Express 101 for you to help ensure you know what to do and what to expect:


6. Managing your reservation

You will want to make sure that you update your Magical Express details to include your flight information. If you know this information at the time of booking, you can add during that time. If not, you can do this over the phone by calling the guest reservations line, or online through your My Disney Experience account. If you have any doubt about whether this is set up correctly, then just call. It is easy and they will make sure everything is set up for you. This is first step to ensure that you get your travel documents and that everything is ready to go. You can’t utilize Magical Express if you aren’t signed up for it!

5. Your luggage tags and documentation

About 21 days before your trip, you will receive your travel documents. In these documents will include your flight information (confirm that it is correct and matches your itinerary), directions and maps for what to do when you arrive at the airport and your luggage tags. There will be a luggage tag for each member of your party. The luggage tags will need to be placed on your checked luggage. Be sure to follow the directions on the how to apply the tags, since you won’t want to remove the back label from the entire tag, and only remove from the designated sections. You will want to do this before you leave for the airport so that you don’t forget and it is one less thing to worry about.

4. What to do with Magic Bands

You will also receive your Magic Bands around the time that you receive your travel documents. These are an exciting arrival and come in a box with personalized names for each band. (Hopefully you customized your bands from your My Disney Experience account before they shipped. You can do this as soon as your vacation is booked so that you don’t forget. There are also reminders that appear within My Disney Experience.) You want to either wear your Magic Bands or pack them in your carryon baggage. You will use your Magic Bands at the Magical Express queues to confirm which line to get in and to confirm your reservation. This will give you a good feel for how the Magic Bands work and what the checkpoints look like since they are the same for FastPass+ and park entry.

3. Once you arrive at the airport

As long as your flight arrives before 10PM (flights after 10PM won’t be eligible for baggage service and you will have to collect your luggage and then proceed to the Magical Express station), you will go directly off of the plan and to the section of Orlando airport for Magical Express. This will be your first taste of Disney and the amazing cast members. You won’t have to worry about collecting your checked luggage. This will be delivered to your room a few hours behind you. You will use your Magic Band to check in for the Magical Express and be lined up to catch your bus to your resort.


2. Enjoy the ride

Once your bus arrives, you will board with your carry-on luggage and gate check items. The seats are similar to what you would expect on an airplane with 2 rows with 2 seats per row. Pay attention to where the drop-down TV monitors are and try to position yourself where and your kids can best see the screen, if you can. During your drive to your resort, you will be entertained with a video included your favorite characters and overviews of the amazing things that you can experience on your Disney vacation. Then, there will be short cartoon films with the classic Disney characters. It is really entertaining and is a great start to your vacation to build the anticipation for resort arrival and check-in.

1. The “Tragical” Express

Well, as we hate to admit, all good things come to an end! It’s definitely the least favorite part of the vacation and the departure bus has been un-affectionately named the “Tragical” Express. You will receive your departure documents on your door the day before you depart. If your airline is eligible for early check-in and printing of boarding documents, then Disney will take care of that for you and they will be included in your travel documents. The day of your departure, you may be able to gate check your luggage from your resort. You will want to confirm the hours and airlines so you don’t miss out. Go to the Magical Express boarding section in front of you resort at the specified time on your documents. You will board the bus and be taken on the very sad ride to the airport humming the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse closing song quietly to yourself. See ya’ real soon!

About Christy Caby

I am a diehard Disney fanatic! I fell in love with all things Disney from an early age and that only increased once I first visited Walt Disney World! It led me to complete a yearlong Disney College Program working at merchandise locations within Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney-MGM Studios at that time) and I worked for Disney Parks & Resorts Technology in Project/Program Management. Now I get to write about Disney and help others plan their magical vacations! Disney holds a special place in the hearts of my entire family as my husband proposed there, we honeymooned there, took trips while pregnant with each of my boys and have visited with them many, many times from 8 weeks old through now. One of my favorite memories from each trip is always the look on my kids’ faces the first time they see the castle. I’d love to help you plan your magical vacation! Request a free quote at or look for me on Facebook at Have a magical day!