LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Dec. 28, 2004) -- Walt Disney World announced an innovative new service today called "Disney's Magical Express" which offers complimentary airport shuttle, luggage delivery and airline check in for Disney hotel guests.
Beginning May 5, 2005, guests of Disney hotels* using Disney's Magical Express service can check their bags at their hometown airport, bypass baggage claim at Orlando International Airport (OIA) and board state-of-the-art motor coaches to the Walt Disney World Resort -- as their bags "magically" appear in their room upon check in. The round-trip service, which is available and complimentary during Disney's Happiest Celebration on Earth event (which also begins May 5, 2005), is designed to give Disney hotel guests the stress-free vacation they want.
With Disney's Magical Express service, a family of four can save more than $80 (based on round trip shuttle or taxi transportation, plus tip, for two adults and two children).
"We are extremely excited to add Disney's Magical Express to the extensive list of ways we make Disney guests' vacations easier and more enjoyable," said Al Weiss, president of Walt Disney World Resort. "In essence, this benefit provides a hassle-free experience for our guests from the airport to our hotel room door and back again."
"Disney's Magical Express service will set new standards for convenience, value and comfort for guests traveling between the airport and Walt Disney World Resort," Weiss added. "Orlando International Airport is one of the premiere airports in the world. We believe Disney's Magical Express will not only transform the airport experience for Disney hotel guests, but will further enhance the world-class status of OIA and drive additional visitation to Central Florida."
* Disney's Magical Express service will not be available to guests of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels, the Shades of Green and the seven hotels near Hotel Plaza Boulevard.
How Disney's Magical Express service works:
Disney's Magical Express must be booked at least 10 days prior to arrival through disneyworld.com, Disney Reservation Center by calling 407-W-DISNEY or a travel agent beginning Jan. 2, 2005. The service commences May 5, 2005.
Guests check their specially-tagged luggage at their departure airport.
Upon arrival in Orlando, guests bypass airport baggage claim and go directly to the Disney Airport Welcome Center.
Guests board state-of-the-art motor coaches that take them to their Disney hotel.
A team of Disney representatives at the airport will pick up guests' luggage and transport it to their hotel room.
Disney's Magical Express service makes guests' return to OIA hassle-free as well. This convenient system lets guests flying with participating airlines avoid airport check-in lines by enabling passengers on domestic flights to check their luggage and receive a boarding pass before ever departing their Disney hotel. As an added benefit, guests with flight departures later in the day no longer have to worry about their luggage after they check out of their hotel. They can simply check their luggage at the Resort Airline Check-in Desk and then enjoy the last day of their stay.
In addition to partners at Orlando International Airport, Walt Disney World developed this innovative service in conjunction with private and public sector leaders including: the Mears Transportation Group, the largest provider of ground transportation to the Walt Disney World Resort; BAGS Inc., the provider and innovator in off-airport passenger check-in services for the hotel, convention, cruise and airline industries; ARINC Incorporated, a leading global provider of technology systems for airports and airlines; the Transportation Security Administration; and airline partners including: American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Song, United Airlines and Ted. Walt Disney World hopes to add other air carriers to the resort airline check-in service in the near future.
Congressman John L. Mica (FL-7), Chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Aviation, called Disney's announcement "welcome news."
"Not only does resort airline check-in provide a convenience for the traveler, it also helps to expedite and improve security checks by reducing congestion during the busiest times," Mica said. "By combining Walt Disney World Resort's destination volume and operational expertise with BAGS' innovative processes and exclusive technology, a new industry model will be established."
Disney's Magic Your Way
Disney's Magical Express is the newest addition to Disney's Magic Your Way program, an exciting new plan, which allows Walt Disney World guests to create their own tickets and vacation packages for a customized vacation. Starting Jan. 2, Walt Disney World Resort guests will be able to purchase tickets to the various theme parks, attractions and other entertainment offerings that are tailored to the length of their vacation and the interests of their group -- and allow them to save more per day based on their length of stay. Under Magic Your Way, a family of four will be able to enjoy a six-night/seven-day Walt Disney World vacation -- including a stay at a Disney Value hotel, with theme park tickets -- for as little as $1,500.
Disney's Magical Express is also added to the long list of premier benefits that are afforded to guests staying at Disney hotels. This includes the recently-announced Extra Magic Hours, where each day one of our theme parks opens one hour early or stays open up to three hours after regular park closing for guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. **
"Disney's Magical Express adds even more value to a Walt Disney World vacation," Weiss said. "And with the myriad of new attractions and shows premiering this spring in conjunction with the Happiest Celebration on Earth -- our global celebration marking 50 years of Disney theme park magic -- the timing couldn't be more perfect."
Booking Disney's Magical Express
Walt Disney World guests can book Disney's Magical Express starting Jan. 2 along with the new Disney's Magic Your Way tickets and packages. Guests can log onto the new disneyworld.com, call the Disney Reservations Center at 407-W-DISNEY or contact their travel agent.
** Valid theme park admission and resort identification required.
What People Are Saying About "Disney's Magical Express"
"At Orlando International Airport, we pride ourselves on delivering the best passenger experience possible. Recently, we were ranked by J.D. Power and Associates as the second best airport in the world for customer service. This new initiative is the wave of the future for our business and will further strengthen our leadership position as one of the world's top airports."
-- Bill Jennings, Executive Director, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
"We are witnessing a revolution in the airline industry. As always, Walt Disney World is taking the lead in providing their guests an unparalleled vacation experience. The future of passenger services is landing squarely in the lobby of each Disney hotel."
-- Craig Mateer, President, BAGS Inc.
"Mears has been providing transportation for the Walt Disney World guest for more than 30 years. During that time, we have had the opportunity to participate with Disney in several innovative guest transportation services. This new service is further evidence of Disney's commitment to exceed its guests' expectations in all aspects of their vacation experiences."
-- Chuck Carns, Chief Executive Officer, Mears Destination Services
"ARINC has been championing the benefits of off-airport check-in technology for some time. We are delighted to be part of Disney's efforts to introduce this new level of convenience for travelers."
-- Mike Picco, Vice President of Airport Systems, ARINC Incorporated
"We are delighted to participate in Disney's Magical Express. This program reinforces American Airlines' commitment to giving our passengers what they value in a practical and fast service that offers a high level of comfort and convenience."
-- Marilyn DeVoe, Vice President of Customer Service Planning, American Airlines
"Delta's Disney customers can now enjoy more convenient flight and baggage check in right from their resort. As the largest air carrier of passengers into Orlando International Airport, working with BAGS and Disney to make this service available to customers is right in line with Delta's focus on making travel simple, convenient and reliable."
-- Josh Weiss, Baggage Strategy, Delta Air Lines
"United is continuously exploring new and innovative ways to serve our customers and bring even more convenience and ease to their check-in experience. United has had a long and excellent relationship with Disney, and both United and Ted are pleased to be able to partner with the Walt Disney World Resort hotels to provide this great service."
-- Larry D. De Shon, Senior Vice President - Airport Operations, United Airlines