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Magical Express vs. Uber

Discussion in 'Ground & Air Transportation' started by LMSB, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. LMSB

    LMSB Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2017
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    My first post on WDWMagic! My husband and I will be heading down from Oct 26-Nov 2 for a delayed honeymoon, staying on site at All Star Movies- taking the first flight out of Newark NJ, landing in Orlando at 8:30AM. Our goal is to be in the Magic Kingdom by noon. We'll be purchasing a 7 day hopper pass with that day being our first.. neither of us have ever used ME, and were wondering how long of a process it is. What with the many resorts it must make stops at, folks waiting to board, etc. Would we be better off taking an Uber to our hotel? Thanks in advance!
  2. Weather_Lady

    Weather_Lady Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2012
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    Welcome, and congratulations!

    In answer to your question, can't imagine a scenario (barring some huge disaster, like your plane landing 2 hours late or something) where you'd have any difficulty arriving at the MK long before noon, if you take DME from the airport to your hotel.

    My family has generally gotten lucky -- we've always used DME, and with no stop at baggage claim (we travel carryon-only; others avoid this stop by using the DME luggage transfer tags on their checked baggage), no more than 10 minutes' wait for our bus, and not being the last stop on the route, we're typically standing at our Disney hotel check-in desk less than an hour after our plane touched down, which means we're waltzing into the MK (after dropping our bags in our room if it's ready, or leaving them with Bell Services if it's not) no more than two hours after our plane touches down. One time we had to wait 20 minutes for a bus, and were the last stop on the DME route, which made our touchdown-to-checkin time more like 90 minutes, but that's the longest it's taken us.

    Uber will get you to your hotel more directly, and a little faster if there's a driver right nearby -- once you're picked up the drive will be in the neighborhood of 30 minutes. Cost will be ~$80 (for UberSELECT, more for UberSELECTXL). If your goal is just to be in a park before noon, however, it's probably not worth the added cost.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
  3. rob0519

    rob0519 Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2010
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    You should be able to be in the parks by noon using DME as Weather Lady wrote. If she's correct about the $80 Uber estimate, that money could be more wisely spent on food and merchandise, but Uber will definitely be faster than DME. Have a magical time.
  4. Rob562

    Rob562 Well-Known Member

    Aug 30, 2004
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    Unless you're travelling with carry-on luggage only, waiting for baggage claim often eats up any time savings you'd have in the DME vs Uber comparison.

    If you happen to land while there's lightning near the airport, the luggage crews won't off-load your suitcase until it clears. That can add a LOT of time.

    Or if your bag was mishandled by the airline, DME takes care of tracking it down, something you'd have to do yourself if you weren't using DME. (Often a bag will arrive on the next plane, but unless the Guest is in the room when the bags arrive, they're none the wiser that one of their bags didn't make it there with the rest. All the Guest sees is all of their bags sitting in the room, not knowing they arriving hours apart)

    My personal average in taking DME is about 70-80 minutes from the time I step off the airplane to when I'm stepping off the bus at the hotel. Sometimes we've been the first (or only, as happened once) stop, other times the third or fourth. Except at the *very* end of the night, no DME bus should make more than 4 stops.

  5. dis_mike

    dis_mike Member

    Jul 24, 2014
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    Touching down at 8:30AM should still be plenty of time to get to MK by noon. The buses do wait for them to fill up until they head to the resorts so you could be waiting a good 30 mins or so. I've never had to wait longer than that. If you check any bags they will meet you at your room later on in the day so you won't have to go to baggage claim. Just make sure to pack everything you need for the parks in your carry-on. Uber will definitely get you to WDW faster even if you have to wait for the luggage, but I still say save the $80 and let Disney handle your transportation needs. Yeah...you'll have to wait for the bus to fill up and go to other resorts but 3 hours is still plenty of time.
  6. Mark P.

    Mark P. Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2015
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    Just depends on how much your time is worth. Before, when UberSELECT (and the aforementioned ~$80 fare) was the only option, we'd always do DME. Now that UberX is available at less than half the cost, I can't imagine we'll be waiting for the bus anymore.

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