Many years ago when ME first started we were told by a CM that we could call and request a later pickup time on the day of departure and as long as there was space on a pickup bus they would accomadate you. Has anyone ever tried this before? We didn’t take his advice then and I have never heard of anyone doing this. I ask because it is just the DH and I and we really have no need to be at the airport 2+ hours before our flight. This past trip in March we were almost 3 hours early. I feel like I have seen enough of the Orlando airport and was just curious if anyone has ever tried this before.
You are able to do it assuming there is room. I had the opportunity and passed because it was just to close to flight time. It really depends on how many ME buses are running to the airport and stopping at your resort on the way to it. It’s really not worth taking the chance. MCO’s security can sometimes be a bit longish depending on your flight time. I hate being there that early too, but would rather that over rushing and hoping to get on the plane in time.
It’s only happened to us once but we almost missed our fight once because of ME. We were picked up at the assigned time but had at least 3 stops after we were picked up. By the time we made it through the security lines we had less than 3 minutes before our flight started boarding. You won’t know how many stops your bus is going to have before leaving WDW and going to the airport.
I’m too worried about missing our flight to think about requesting a later pickup. You never know when something is going to come up that’s out of your control.
We did our regular scheduled pickup of 3 hours before we flew out but it took us more than an hour to get to the airport because we were the first stop of several on the way to the airport. If we had to check our bags we would have been moving fast to get to the gate. Lucky that we checked them at the resort and just went to our gate. I would not tempt fate since you dont know how long it will take to get to the airport and you dont know how long security lines will be.
When checking luggage in at the resort insead of the airport, how does one take care of the baggage fees? Can these be paid at the resort, or do they have to be pre-arranged with the airline? We are scheduled with Air-tran, and they have a $15 fee per bag.
We missed our bus once because we thought it would be a great idea to go to the park on the day we left. We thought we left the park early enough but the busses from the park to the resort to forever to pick us up. Disney put us on the bus which was a half hour later than our original pick-up and we made it just fine.
The day before we left from Pop, Disney gave us a list of phone numbers for different airlines to call to pay baggage fees. We just called the number for Delta and paid for the bags we were going to check with a credit card. At the check in for baggage at the resort they had a reciept for the number of bags we were checking and proceeded from there.
Disney is also very picky about the weight limit on bags. They weighed every one and if they were just ounces over they would either make you transfer stuff around or charge you for extra weight.
I’m always worried about that on days we have a late flight. I would allow way too much time just to make sure we didn’t miss the bus then it wouldn’t be worth it to even go to the park. We usually go to Epcot if we’re staying at Beach Club so we can walk back and have total control of what time we get back to the resort.
I’ll bet a case of Mickey bars that the CM you spoke with was NOT a Disney’s Magical Express CM, because a DME CM would know better. I’m betting the CM was at a call center, or worked at a resort, or something like that. But I’ll bet anything it was NOT a person who answered the phone at DME’s direct line (866-599-0951) or a person behind the counter at the Disney Welcome Center at the airport.
Disney cast members are notorious for giving out wrong information about DME. In fact, Disney’s Magical Express will NOT give you advance permission to take a bus later than your regularly-scheduled bus from your resort back to the airport.
And the problem of not making the phone call to find that out and deciding to just chance it and wait for the next bus, the problem with that is that there might not be a next bus. DME buses don’t run on a continuous basis like Disney Transport buses (the park buses) do. If there are no reservatins for pick-ups, then there won’t be a bus swinging by your resort. DME buses, when they do pick-ups, do so at two specified times each hour at each resort. For example, Resort A might get their pick-ups (when there are reservations) at :10 and :40 after the hour, Resort B gets them (when there are reservations) at :25 and :55 after the hour, and so on).
So if someone just decided on their own (without trying to make arrangements in advance) to “wait for the next bus,” in theory there might not be a next bus for a few hours, if no one else at the resort had reservations for a DME pick-up around that time.
This year our ME bus was scheduled to pick us up 4hours prior to our flight time. I thought that was really early, but when we reached the airport, checked in and got through security, we only had 20minutes until our plane boarded. We waited over an hour in line for security alone. It was the longest experience I had ever had at an airport, and I was glad ME got me there early!
Besides, MCO is a great airport to pass time in. It’s like a mini-shopping mall!:laugh:
Just to clarify for others reading this, DME schedules pick-ups for 3 hours (plus or minus 20 minutes) before domestic flights and 4 hours (plus or minus 20 minutes) for international flights. It appears Mickey Mom was flying home to Canada, which would explain that 4 hour time period. Guests flying to American destinations would not be scheduled for a DME pick-up 4 hours before flight time.
That’s right, we were flying directly to Canada this year. Previous years we have flown domestic and were picked up 3 hours early. Not sure why the difference in pick-up times though, our check-in and security processes are the same whether we fly domestic or international.
It’s just one of those Disney rules!
MCO is one of those airports that security can take 5 minutes or an hour. (And they’ve CLOSED the expert traveler entrance.)
Far better to be at the gate wishing you had more time at the parks instead of wishing you had more time to make it to the gate and missing your plane.
My experience is get there late and the plane is on time. Get there early and the plane is late. Time to spare? Go by air!