GoogleIt Mail IT Print IT PermaLinkDisney's Magical Express -- Neither Magical, Nor Express
08:30:15 AM

We arrived in Orlando shortly after 11 PM, and by 11:30 had collected luggage and had found my way to the location where I had been told to pick up my pre-reserved ride to Orlando. This year there's a new perq for people staying in the Disney hotels. It's called "Disney's Magical Express". Here's how they describe it.


Take advantage of the latest innovation in Disney's legendary commitment to service and convenience: Disney's Magical Express! This exclusive complimentary shuttle and luggage delivery service conveniently takes you from the airport directly to your Walt Disney WorldŽ Resort hotel. It's the hassle-free benefit that allows you to arrive at your meeting or event relaxed and stress-free.


Given that calling ahead for reservations was required, I presumed that it would just be a matter of arriving at the designated point, giving my name and my destination, and being immediately directed immediately to a luxurious coach for a quick ride directly to my hotel. This bing my 14th trip to Orlando in 13 years, I've seen plenty of the legendary Disney efficiency, and I figured this would be more of the same. I figured that I'd probably be subject to 30 continuous minutes of "It's A Small World" during the trip, but with the word on the street being that the hotels were going to be enforcing mandatory valet parking (for a fee, of course) I decided not to rent a car, and a little bit of Disney music and propaganda seemed a fair exchange for a free ride. It turns out that this was the the only aspect of the whole operation that I anticipated correctly.


Upon arrival at the appointed place, I saw a set of signs and cordoned off queues leading to doors, and started looking for a sign that said "Yacht Club", but a Disney-uniformed individual intercepted us and we were indeed immediately directed somewhere... but not to a luxurious coach. We were re-directed to a whole different queue.. a set of typical Mickey Mouse-in-a-maze queue, skillfully hidden out of the line-of-sight. It took about 15 minutes to work through the queue. I can't imagine what the queue must be like at a busier time of day than 11 PM. At the front of the queue, I gave our names and hotel, confirmed our departure date, and in return for all this we were given vouchers and directed back to the place where we had been trying to go in the first place.


Now, vouchers in hand, we were directed into a queue leading to the door, and at the front of this queue we were greeted by yet another Disney-uniformed person, who once again asked us what hotel we were going to and then led us out the door, where she handed us off to someone who asked us what Hotel we were going to and then took us to bus number 31, where the driver asked us what hotel we were going to. He looked rather puzzled when we said "Yacht Club" and an impromptu conference was held before our luggage was loaded on the bus and we took our seats. There were perhaps fifteen people on the bus, and a few more got on after us, and we hit the road in about five minutes. The Disney videos started, as expected, and we proceeded directly to the Carribean Beach Resort. Huh?!


Disney's Magical Express! This exclusive complimentary shuttle and luggage delivery service conveniently takes you from the airport directly to your Walt Disney WorldŽ Resort hotel.


Nope. It's an ordinary shuttle bus, doing an ordinary multi-hotel route. No different than the Mears shuttle, and it most likely really is the Mears shuttle with an inefficient process, a voucher, a video, and a paint job.


The Yacht Club Resort was the last stop.

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Comments :v

1. Mikkel Heisterberg01/23/2006 02:13:55 PM
Homepage: http://blog.lekkim.heisterberg.dk


Funny how I had exactly the opposite experience. I arrived in Orlando Airport at 2AM and within 5 minutes I was on a Disney shuttle taking me directly to my hotel (All-Sports Resort). For me it worked like a charm.

/lekkim




2. Greg Walrath01/29/2006 01:05:49 AM
Homepage: http://www.univarusa.com/


Yup, that's exactly what it is - re-branded Mear's shuttles, but free. Our route started at Coronado Springs then went to all three of the All-Star resorts. Fortunately Sporks was the first of these.

What the heck, it was free - just like Outlook




3. Danny Lawrence01/31/2006 12:46:08 PM


Meanwhile I flew down with one friend, met someone I'd been communicating with via e-mail in the baggage claim area, walked over to the garage, picked up a National Car Rental ($42 -- split 3 ways it was $15 each) and was at the Dolphin probably 20 minutes later. Sunday I dropped the car at the Dolphin before heading off to BD Day.




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I am planning to use this service. Is it recommended?




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