Complimentary airport to WDW transportation and luggage service for Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Guests
Back to the booklet in your carry-on, that is your ticket to get on the bus to Walt Disney World. After you arrive at MCO, follow the signs to Terminal B, Level 1 and go all the way to the end of the hall. Check in there with the Magical Express Cast Members and they will direct you to the proper waiting area for your resort.
You'll wait a few minutes here. I've never waited very long but I suppose it could be up to 20 minutes or so. From here you board a motorcoach (think comfy seats) and head to Walt Disney World. The overhead screens will show a Walt Disney World informational movie. Ok, let's be honest, it's a commercial but I still always enjoy it. The bus will stop at several resorts but they are located near each other and people will only be exiting the bus so the stops are reasonably quick.
Be sure to pack anything you'll need for the first few hours in your carry-on since you won't see your luggage for a while. The Disney information says 3 hours but I'd be prepared for longer than that, just in case.
On the day before your departure, you'll find envelopes hanging on your door handle. Read the enclosed letters carefully and make sure to note the time to catch the bus back to the airport. They are typically pretty punctual and won't wait for you for long. Pack this letter and your Magical Express booklet in your carry-on again, as you'll need one of them to board the bus.
For domestic flights with most airlines, you can check your luggage at your resort. Simply take your bags to the airline check-in desk, usually located near the front desk/entrance of the resort. You'll need the same information as if you were checking bags at the airport. The only difference is you'll be more likely to be greeted with a smile here. They can accept bags up to three hours before your flight, after that, you'll need to take them with you to the airport.
If you have a little time to kill on departure day and need to keep the kids occupied, check out the coloring and/or TV areas available at your resort. Old Key West has a nice room called Community Hall with arts & crafts, games, and movies playing, as well as cartoons on a continuous loop near the check-in desk.
At your designated time, board the bus to Orlando International Airport and head home. There is another movie as you leave to help pass the time. I've seen the security line wait as long as 30 minutes at MCO, but Magical Express gets you to the airport about two hours before your flight so no worries.
I hope this information helps as you plan your Walt Disney World vacation.
Disney pros, do you like Magical Express or do you prefer to rent a car? Please leave a comment below. I prefer Disney transportation and letting someone else do the driving.