Posts Tagged With: Disney Magical Express

A Passport to Happiness

So last week we had an exciting mail day!  I know…I know.  Really?  Mail?  Exciting?  Doesn’t mail just mean bills, catalogs, credit card offers, and other junk?  Sure…usually.  That day, however, was one of those rare days when you get something special.  You immediately run to the house to show your spouse.

So, what was it that caused today to be one of those days, you ask?

Well, that day we got this:

Your passport to happiness  :-)

Ok, I still don’t get it.  What exactly is that?

Well, I generally look as this little packet as my “passport to happiness”.  It is the travel vouchers and luggage tags from Disney’s Magical Express, needed for my upcoming trip (16 days, but who is counting) to Walt Disney World.  Receiving this in the mail each time we travel is, in my book, a vacation milestone.  Once I receive this, I know that my trip is imminent, and I can start to get excited and start the official countdown.

Not familiar with Disney’s Magical Express?

What is Disney’s Magical Express

If you are staying at one of Disney’s resorts during your vacation, Disney provides complimentary round-trip shuttle service from the Orlando International Airport.  Disney’s Magical Express also includes luggage delivery.

By using this service, you can step off the airplane, and head directly to the Magical Express bus for your transportation to your Walt Disney World Resort hotel.  There is no need to wait for, or transport your luggage.

How it works

After you have secured your flight arrangements, contact your Vacation Planner (me of course 🙂 ) with your flight info, or of course if you have decided to do something crazy like do all of the planning yourself, and not use my services, you can contact Disney directly to reserve your spot on Disney’s Magical Express.

Approximately 3 weeks prior to your departure, Disney will mail you your very own magic envelope (and you too can begin celebrating).  Inside the envelope, you will find your travel vouchers and luggage tags.  When you are checking in at your departure airport, make sure that you have attached the luggage tags to your bags.  If you do this, you won’t have to worry about your bags again.  The next time you will see them is when they are delivered to your room at Walt Disney World.

An important side note here.  When packing, make sure you pack your travel vouchers in your carry-on bag.  You will need these vouchers in order to board the Magical Express motor coach.

Now, back to your trip….

When you arrive at the Orlando International Airport, you can pass right by the baggage claim area, and make your way downphoto credit:  Disney to Level 1 of the Main Terminal (B Side).  At the Magical Express check-in, they will check your vouchers and direct you to board the correct motor coach.

Now, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and let your vacation begin.  As you travel on board the motor coach, you will be treated to a cute video that will give you all the highlights of Walt Disney World.   This is one of our family favorites, and something we look forward to each trip.  To me, it is the official start of vacation.

Disney’s Magical Express will transport you to the front door of your resort.  All you need to do is check in, and start soaking in all the Magic.

But wait, what about your luggage ??

Disney’s Magical Express service will collect your bags and deliver them directly to your room within 4 hours of the time you check in at the resort.

Time for another Public Service Announcement:

Something else you will want to keep in mind is since you will not have your luggage with you when you check in to the resort, you will want to make sure that you pack anything that you will need for the first couple of hours in your carry-on bag.  (Medicine, park tickets, reservation numbers, etc).  

So, on your next trip to “the World”, don’t stress out about transportation from the airport.  Sit back and let Mickey handle the driving!

Have questions, or comments?  Feel free to contact me.

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Categories: Destinations, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Night on the Savanna

The countdown has begun! 

In 27 days (but who is counting) we will be returning to one of my favorite places in all of Walt Disney World! Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Animal Kingdom Lodge Sign   (Photo credit: rustyalaska)

As you pull up in front of the resort, you can tell that something is different about this place.  Not only is it the size of the place, it just has a different feel to it.  You can’t quite put your finger on it though.  When you step out of the car (or usually in our case, the Disney Magical Express bus), you feel so completely enveloped by the sights and sounds.  (If you listen carefully, you can hear African-themed music playing in the background.)  You don’t know quite what to expect.  You walk up to the front doors, and as they open, you start to get a real appreciation for the size and scale of this resort.

030113-FL-WDW-animal_kingdom_lodge-lobby

Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby (Photo credit: obfusciatrist)

The Amazing Lobby

As you step through the front doors, you will most likely hear a collective, “Wow!” coming from those who walk through the door with you.

Animal Kingdom Lodge, an African-themed deluxe resort at Walt Disney World, opened in 2001 and hosts more than 1,300 rooms.  The resort boasts thatched ceilings, large beams and showcases many real African artifacts.  The lodge is situated in a way to allow for an expansive view of the 43-acre African Wildlife Preserve.

The Animals

If you pass through the lobby, you will step into an area called Arusha Rock.  It is a rock platform that gets you up close and personal with the wildlife roaming the savanna.  Animal Kingdom Lodge wouldn’t be called that without the animals!

More than 30 different species of wildlife roam 4 different savannas.  Among the animals that call this place home are, Reticulated Giraffe, Zebra, Antelope, Okapi, Thompson’s Gazelle, Ostrich, and White-Bearded Wildebeest.

Giraffe at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Giraffe at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the greatest things about the savanna, however, is the fact that many of the rooms come with views of the savanna.  It’s a wonderful thing to be sitting on your balcony and see a Giraffe wander by.  Sometimes they feel close enough to touch!  The last time we stayed there, we had the pleasure of two giraffe coming over just under our balcony and bedding down for the night.  It was a breathtaking sight.

And, if you are really ready for an up-close view of the animals, you may choose to reserve a spot for a tour of the Wanyama Safari.  This is an adventurous guided drive through one of the safaris that offers the opportunity to spend some time with the members of the Animal Kingdom Lodge animal program team.  You will enjoy wonderful photo opportunities of the animals and architecture of Animal Kingdom Lodge.  After the safari, you will return to Jiko (one of a few restaurants at the resort) for an amazing dinner.

Restaurants

Speaking of restaurants, Animal Kingdom Lodge offers two award-winning restaurants, Jiko-The Cooking Place and Boma-Flavors of Africa, as well as a The Mara, a counter service restaurant.

Other Activities / Amenities

If the adventure with the animals is too much for you, or you are just looking to kick back, you could also choose to relax at the resort’s 11,000 square foot zero-depth entry pool.  Uzima pool also offers a 67 foot long slide.

With all of this and more to offer, Animal Kingdom Lodge is an amazing place to stay, and would be a wonderful choice for a family stay at Walt Disney World.

Categories: Destinations, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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