This was my very first time using the luggage option on the magical express. I haven't stayed on WDW Property since 2006 so you can imagine how excited I was?! Please know that the Magical express employees really work for Mear's & aren't "real" Cast members.
PRE -TRIP:As soon as you book your trip you will be asked if you need Magical express. Since I didn't book a package I just called ME myself to give them my flight information. I traveled w/ a friend from Kansas & it was a nightmare! We called FOUR times to try & get her flight information added. She called twice & I called twice. A week & half before our trip I called for the fourth time & the nice lady on the phone said the magical express tag isn't needed & all you have to do is give the ME desk your luggage tag information & it will make it to the hotel. I got my tag but my friend never ended up getting hers. She didn't want to chance her bag not arriving so she just picked up her bag herself. I did use the service. The only bad part of the service was my friend not getting her tags even though we called numerous times.
You will receive your luggage tag (pictured below) along w/ a booklet with your flight information on it. You need this booklet in order to use the service. I believe they can be linked to the magic bands as well. I used my booklet & was fine. Please read the directions on the luggage tag before you put it on. I was a bit wary of it being so loose but I had no issues. You will also put on the luggage tag from your home airport to MCO on your checked bag as well.
MCO ARRIVAL: I landed 20 minutes early so I ran to the ME area of the airport. ;) There are signs everywhere & it was very easy to find. You will get out your booklet or Magic Band scanned before they tell you which number line to enter. I was the first person in my line & had to wait 20 minutes until they started to load my bus. There were only about 6 people on my bus. I was excited the French Quarter was the first stop on my bus. :) I did notice that the line next to me never had to wait & that line was for the high end resorts. Just an observation. :) All of the All-Star hotels are on one bus so be prepared to wait if that is your area. That line was the longest of all of them.
Departure: The day before your check out you will receive an envelope with your Pick-up time & ticket. You cannot board the bus without that confirmation! You have to pre-pay for any checked bag that has fees. There is a number on the confirmation for the MCO Airport baggage & they can do it for you over the phone. They close at 11pm so keep that in mind. I had to call the morning of to pre-pay. You will check your bag down at the Magical Express counter & they will ask for your ID & if you pre paid for your luggage if applicable. Disney has a deal w/ a lot of airlines but not all of them. Please check this beforehand. You will not see your bag again until your home airport & they give you your actual boarding pass. Remember to tip the driver even if the driver doesn't help you with bags. I had an awesome driver so I hope you are lucky enough as I was!
Experience: I was seriously stressed that Disney was going to lose my bag. My friend & I went to Downtown Disney for a few hours & when we got back to the room my bag was in the room by the front door! I was SO happy & grateful for this FREE service! If I ever stay on WDW Property again I will definitely use this service.