Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Disney’s Magical Express Airport Service Saves the Day

The Rubik's Cube stair tower at Disney's Pop Century Resort.
Photo Credit: Christopher Gould

As a travel professional I have had plenty of opportunities to visit and learn about the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. I’ve been planning client trips there for years, but my latest trip to Disney was the most special, because it was my first as a parent.

I was excited to try out a new service that Disney recently began offering at Walt Disney World – Disney's Magical Express Service. The Magical Express is available to guests that are staying in one of Disney’s own resort hotels. The service is designed to make your arrival at Walt Disney World swift and carefree.

When your plane lands at Orlando Airport you can bypass baggage claim (your checked luggage will be delivered to your hotel room by Disney) and head directly to the Disney Welcome Center where you board luxury motor coaches that will take you to your Disney Resort hotel. During the ride, a short welcome and orientation video is played which really ramps up the excitement and anticipation for kids.

Disney’s Magical Express sounded great, but it turned out even better for my family. We took an afternoon flight from Raleigh to Orlando and arrived just as a thunderstorm began. As we left the aircraft by jetway, a crew member informed us that the airport had declared a “code red” weather alert, which meant that no personnel were allowed to work outside until the storm had passed. That meant no bags would be unloaded until the code red was over.

Our aircraft was a small 50 seat regional jet and we’d gate checked our stroller and our larger carry-on bag. Those items are unloaded first and delivered back to you right on the jetway; except during a code red. As we walked down the concourse towards the Disney Welcome Center, I wondered what would become of those items. Because I expected to handle them as carry-on items, they weren’t tagged with the special Disney tags that would speed them to our hotel room.

At the Welcome Center I gave some information about our gate-checked items to a friendly staff person who told me not to worry. We boarded our bus and were soon at Disney’s Pop Century Resort where we checked into a room in the Eighties-themed building. We had a nice dinner and we returned to our room. After a few minutes, there was a knock at the door, and all our luggage arrived – even the gate-checked stuff.

The next day, I overheard people talking about the previous night’s situation at the airport. The code red lasted for over two hours and huge crowds clogged the baggage claim and ground transportation areas afterwards. Thanks to the Magical Express, our experience was totally different.

Disney is offering Magical Express Service at no charge to Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests through 2006.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi... just happen to cross your site...

Im planning to go to Tokyo or Hong Kong Disney this Christmas. Hoho and I found some stuffs from Hong Kong Disneyland here as well:

I will definitely take tones of photos there!!!

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