I put the cart in front of the horse! Now what

Cubs Brian

Active Member
Original Poster
Okay let me explain, family of 4 traveling from Chicago to WDW from July 5-10. We were looking to do a “ semi low cost “ trip due to having to cancel a Hawaii trip. Free dining came at the perfect time. We had always planned on driving as each family member can drive. But.......... some some reason I was checking out airfare and came across a deal on American that was way to good to pass up, it was even cheaper than if we drove. Here’s my dilemma, we arrive on the 4th a day prior to our arrival date. Later evening flight. We wanted to take advantage of Magical Express but need a place to stay that night. We’re thinking about the hotel at the airport ( Hilton I think but I could be wrong). Would we be able to go back to the baggage claim area where the ME bus picks up in the morning and use it? I’d imagine it shouldn’t be too difficult to get back to airport in the morning or is it.
 

bunnyman

Well-Known Member
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The airport hotel is a Hyatt. As for ME, don't know the exact answer you're looking for, but based on a situation last year I can give you some info. Last year I was returning a Disney intern home from a stay there, and was staying at Coronado Springs. The car we were taking back north via the Autotrain ran into troubles, and needed work. I needed a rental car, and none were available on property, so I had to get back to the airport the day before we were checking out. I spoke with the Manager at the hotel, and she told me that guests who sign up for the ME are allowed a round trip to the airport. Since I was technically only using it one way (i.e. to get to the hotel from the airport), I was still entitled to a return trip to the airport. She got me on a late night return trip ME, I picked up my rental car, and drove it back to the hotel. It had nothing to do with a matching flight.

If I were you I would just call the ME folks, explain your situation, and they'll probably be able to sign you up for when you need the transfer.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
Yes, you can stay somewhere else your first night and take DME from the airport to your Disney hotel.

One way to arrange it is simply to, instead of giving Disney your "real" flight information, give them flight information for a flight that's arriving the next morning (around the time you want to board DME). Don't worry - they're not going to verify if you're really on that flight. They only want guests' flight information for planning purposes so they have a ballpark idea how many guests are arriving for the buses on what days, and when. If your plans change, you can go back to the same site (link below) and update your information.


Of course, you could also see if adding on a night to your Disney hotel reservation might be more convenient for that first night instead. If doing so would place you outside of the acceptable arrival dates for free dining, you can add it as a separate "room only" reservation and it won't impact your free dining package. We did this once ourselves -- and since we booked our "room only" reservation in the same room category as our package, they were able to assign us the same room for both the "room only" and the package at check-in, so we didn't have to change rooms. Obviously, that option is subject to availability...
 

VaderTron

Well-Known Member
Yes, you can stay somewhere else your first night and take DME from the airport to your Disney hotel.

One way to arrange it is simply to, instead of giving Disney your "real" flight information, give them flight information for a flight that's arriving the next morning (around the time you want to board DME). Don't worry - they're not going to verify if you're really on that flight. They only want guests' flight information for planning purposes so they have a ballpark idea how many guests are arriving for the buses on what days, and when. If your plans change, you can go back to the same site (link below) and update your information.

Until the fake flight you lied about being on is delayed 7 hours and they don't pick you up till the afternoon. Murphy's Law and all that...😝
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
Until the fake flight you lied about being on is delayed 7 hours and they don't pick you up till the afternoon. Murphy's Law and all that...😝
I think maybe you're confused about which end of DME we're talking about. DME doesn't "pick you up" when you arrive at the airport. You show up at the airport DME center, swipe your MagicBand (which confirms your onsite hotel reservation - it has nothing whatsoever to do with your flight) along with the nearly-constant stream of guests who happen to be arriving there at the same time. They you are directed to the line for the next bus to your resort. The buses come and go continuously, so anyone's arrival a few minutes or hours after they were "expected" won't have any bearing on their ability to get on a bus. It's just that you can't take DME from the airport to your onsite resort on a date that is prior to your check-in date, or back to the airport on dates after you've checked out.
 
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Cubs Brian

Active Member
Original Poster
Yes, you can stay somewhere else your first night and take DME from the airport to your Disney hotel.

One way to arrange it is simply to, instead of giving Disney your "real" flight information, give them flight information for a flight that's arriving the next morning (around the time you want to board DME). Don't worry - they're not going to verify if you're really on that flight. They only want guests' flight information for planning purposes so they have a ballpark idea how many guests are arriving for the buses on what days, and when. If your plans change, you can go back to the same site (link below) and update your information.

So by just going down to the DME counter in the morning I would bring my luggage with me and it would get loaded on the same bus I’m on, as opposed to having it loaded by airport employees onto the trucks the DME uses to deliver to the resorts correct?
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
So by just going down to the DME counter in the morning I would bring my luggage with me and it would get loaded on the same bus I’m on, as opposed to having it loaded by airport employees onto the trucks the DME uses to deliver to the resorts correct?
Yes. (We always do this, simply because we travel carryon-only so our luggage is with us throughout.) The buses have plenty of room underneath for luggage, and the driver will load it for you at the airport and unload it at the hotel. Just be sure to bring an extra $1-2/bag to tip the bus driver.
 

Cubs Brian

Active Member
Original Poster
Yes, you can stay somewhere else your first night and take DME from the airport to your Disney hotel.

One way to arrange it is simply to, instead of giving Disney your "real" flight information, give them flight information for a flight that's arriving the next morning (around the time you want to board DME). Don't worry - they're not going to verify if you're really on that flight. They only want guests' flight information for planning purposes so they have a ballpark idea how many guests are arriving for the buses on what days, and when. If your plans change, you can go back to the same site (link below) and update your information.


Of course, you could also see if adding on a night to your Disney hotel reservation might be more convenient for that first night instead. If doing so would place you outside of the acceptable arrival dates for free dining, you can add it as a separate "room only" reservation and it won't impact your free dining package. We did this once ourselves -- and since we booked our "room only" reservation in the same room category as our package, they were able to assign us the same room for both the "room only" and the package at check-in, so we didn't have to change rooms. Obviously, that option is subject to availability...
We’d have to stay at All Stars for it to be cost effective as our original reservation is at POR and it and all other moderates are sold out. And don’t arrive until after 10:00 pm so staying at the airport works.
 

Queen of the WDW Scene

If you don't like it then you can leave
In the Parks
No
Until the fake flight you lied about being on is delayed 7 hours and they don't pick you up till the afternoon. Murphy's Law and all that...😝
That wouldn't happen because going from MCO to your resort is an as you come they load you situation.
On the way back to the airport they are strict.
 

Queen of the WDW Scene

If you don't like it then you can leave
In the Parks
No
OP its not a problem at all.
Like a PP said the easiest way would to just give Disney flight info for a flight that arrives around the time you want to go to your resort.
Of course for the way back be sure to give them accurate info since they are very strict about timing and number of guests on each bus on the way back.
 

Rob562

Well-Known Member
If you don't want to lie to Disney about your flight info, just call Magical Express directly at 866-599-0951 and tell them what you're doing and approximately what time you're planning on taking the bus. They'll put you into the system as a non-flight arrival. (This is the same process you'd use to schedule Magical Express back to the airport but weren't departing on a flight)

Also, if you do get yellow luggage tags in the mail, do not use them. Throw them away so no one in your group is tempted. They'd get diverted as they come off the plane because of the yellow tag. Once scanned into the system there'd be an error because they're arriving a day before the reservation starts. The bags *might* get to the hotel ok, but why chance it? Grab your bags from luggage claim and then bring them with you to your airport hotel.

-Rob
 
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