Have No Car, Will Travel

Magical Express.

“Yeah, right,” I thought. “I love everything Disney, but with that name something is going to go wrong.”

These are the thoughts that rolled through my mind as we left our local airport late one night. Arriving at 1:30 in the morning was not how Magical Express usually worked and I was nervous we’d be in for a hassle or a long wait (or both) upon arriving in Orlando. This was a last minute, not-like-us, long weekend trip and we had never done this before.

My husband and I got off the plane with our carry-on bags and rather than follow the small herd to the luggage carousel, we followed the Magical Express signs down to the ground level. No crowds. This was creepy and a bad sign. All things Disney must have a crowd. It’s a rule.

Instead we followed no one. We found the desk and we were helped right away. They checked my paperwork and got us directly onto a Magical Express bus to Pop Century.

No, this wasn’t a dream. It really happened. It just isn’t the reality of Magical Express 99% of the time. Most of the time we wind and wind in a line waiting for our turn to get onto the bus. Does that mean I love it any less? Absolutely not. And here’s why:

  • Even the line at the airport when I have to wait for a bus gets me in the park spirit. What’s more Disney than waiting in line for a while to end up somewhere you really want to be?
  • I love not having a rental car. We love to spend our eight to ten days on property so not being able to leave isn’t an issue and the headaches it solves are many. We don’t have to go to a rental car place after getting off the plane. I don’t have a husband who is crabby from dealing with Orlando traffic (Let’s face it; none of us know where to go.) We don’t have to budget for the car or the many tolls.
  • It makes my favorite airport to arrive at and least favorite to leave, a breeze to deal with. I never have to deal with luggage at the airport. After booking a trip, a few weeks before I leave, I get a packet of information from Magical Express. It includes everything I need including tags for my luggage to be checked. Once those are on and I check in at my home airport, I can forget about those bags until I’m at my Disney hotel where we are “magically” reunited.  This process is reversed on the dreaded return trip.
  • I get to keep all the cool stuff that came in the mail. Remember that packet of information I told you about? It’s not just informative; it’s incredibly cute, too. I kept all the cute pieces to scrapbook. Even that luggage tag will look great on the page.
  • The video on the Magical Express bus is a great way to start a vacation. Once on the bus, Mickey and his pals will make those minutes to your resort fly by as they give you the basics. Sure, it could be considered corny by some but I think it’s the perfect way to start to get in the Disney mood. For me, my trip has begun.

To be honest, my only fault with Magical Express is that on the day you leave, you are required to be on the Magical Express bus back to the airport a full three hours before your flight departs. I mean, who wants the fun to end that soon?

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