Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Disney's Magical Express

Disney's Magical Express is a fabulous, free service offered to guests flying to Walt Disney World who are staying on property. Not only do they provide free transportation from the Orlando airport (MCO), but they'll also handle your checked luggage. You check it at home, and the next time you see it will be in your hotel room!

The service works on the way home, too! You can check in for your flight right at your hotel. They'll check your luggage there and give you a ride to the airport. You'll pick your bags up again at baggage claim at home.

If you are staying on Walt Disney World property, and plan to arrive by plane, you'll want to add Disney's Magical Express (DME) to your vacation package. You simply add the service to your package and you, or your travel agent if you book with one, will provide them with your flight information when you get it.

You'll receive yellow luggage tags for everyone in your party. (These are different than those that come with your Magic Bands.) They should come in the mail, or from your agent, a couple weeks before your trip and should be affixed to your luggage before you check it with the airline. If for some reason you do not receive them in time, it's quite alright. You would simply keep your baggage claim tickets to give to to the DME Cast Members upon check in.

A letter detailing what you should do before your trip and upon your arrival will accompany the tags. If you have your Magic Bands you can check in using those, but it's nice to have the letter with you for the handy map.

So, here's what this looks like in action...

Check your bag when you arrive at the airport. You'll want to have a day bag with you for your carry-on, as it could take around 3 hours for your luggage to arrive to your room.

When you arrive at MCO (Orlando airport) look for the Disney's Magical Express signs and follow them to Side B, Level 1.

Check in using your MDE letter or your Magic Band. You'll be asked here to confirm your return flight home, so have the info handy.

They'll direct you to the appropriate line for your resort motorcoach. The bus may make multiple stops, so allow 45-75 minutes for travel time.

The bus will drop you off at your resort lobby for check-in. If you've done on-line check in, you may be able to proceed directly to your room if you've gotten the info via text or email.

This is a great added value to your trip. In addition to DME, Disney provides transportation to and from the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs. There's no need to even rent a car- they've got you covered! What a savings!

We've had nothing but great experiences with Disney's Magical Express and recommend it to everyone!!

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple

Younglings, aged 4 to 12, are invited to learn the ways of the Force at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple is a popular, free activity with multiple shows per day. Advanced registration on the day of the show is required. Registration begins at park opening, even with early extra magic hours. Because availability is limited, and it's on a first-come, first-served basis, it's recommended that you arrive early to proceed registration when the park opens for the day. All participants must be present at the time of registration.

Registration takes place at the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost. This is located between the 50's Prime Time Cafe and the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. You'll enter the park and should walk down the left side of Hollywood Boulevard. You'll take a left after the shops and pass Hollywood & Vine and 50's Prime Time Cafe. From there you should see the sign for Jedi Training sign ups.

The participants must be present at time of registration. They'll ask them a few questions to make sure they can follow directions and won't mind being in front of people in a show setting. It's a good idea to have your itinerary with you with any FastPass and dining reservation times. They'll do their best to find a show time that works for you. The show last 20 minutes and they'll have you arrive early to get ready. These shows are first-come, first-served, so if the only times left interfere with FastPasses, You may have to rearrange that instead if it's important that your little one participate.

Please arrive on time at the time they designate. This allows them to account for everyone and see if any stand-ins will be able to participate in the show. They'll entertain the kids with trivia while they pass out the Jedi robes and go over some rules and guidelines with them.

From there you'll be directed to the staged area, which has expanded to two stages. Don't worry if you don't get that front and center spot. They'll have a PhotoPass photographer on-hand to capture lots of great action shots. Participants will receive a card afterward that can be used to link the photos to your MyDisneyExperience account. (If you plan on attending, this is a great reason to pre-purchase the Memory Maker!)

The younglings will learn how to use a lightsaber and a sequence of moves proven to defeat the Dark Side. Once they've learned the ways of the Force they'll have an opportunity to use those new techniques to battle the Dark Side!

(The following photos are from Jedi Training Academy, before it was expanded and changed to Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. They'll give you the concept though.)
You can see the PhotoPass photographer getting up close here

Check out the awesome edits you can make to the PhotoPass photos in MyDisneyExperience!

The kids have a great time, and the show is a lot of fun for the adult spectators as well! If you have any Star Wars fans aged 4-12 who don't mind being on stage with other kids, this is definitely an activity you should plan on adding to your next trip!

Please keep in mind, the shows are done outside and could be canceled due to inclement weather. I would still show up at your designated time, despite rain. They've been known to try to reschedule people if they have room in other shows, or will provide another fun alternative to the missed show ;-)

Feel free to comment if you have any questions or if you'd like to share your experience with Jedi Training!

 This post carries a disclosure Level of 0. Please see my disclosure page for more details.