Disney’s Magical Express is an Accessible Shuttle Service!
Magical Express is a free bus service that can get you and your luggage from the Orlando International Airport to your Disney World resort, and back again. It also allows some guests to handle their airport check-in at their resorts. If you haven’t read all about it yet, check out our step by step guide to Disney’s Magical Express transportation here.
On this page we’ll discuss some of the additional things you need to know if you’re using Magical Express with a wheelchair, scooter or other ECV (electronic conveyance vehicle). Here goes!
You can call Magical Express if you have any questions.
Call Disney’s Magical Express at (866) 599-0951. Magical Express is actually run by Mears Transportation. The direct line to Mears for any questions that the Disney’s Magical Express Cast Members can’t answer is (800) 759-5219.
Signing up for Magical Express with a Wheelchair, Scooter or another ECV (electric convenience vehicles)
If you’re be bringing a wheelchair or ECV, you’ll want to notify Disney. Some of the Magical Express buses are not able to handle wheelchairs and ECVs. If you let them know in advance, they’ll bring one that can handle them. If you are unable to let them know in advance, that’s okay but you may have to wait for an accessible bus to be brought in.
When you’re registering for Magical Express online, Mark off the box on the form saying that you’re bringing a wheelchair (see the image below). If you’re travel agent is making your plans, ask them to tell Disney about this.
Call and confirm that Magical Express knows you’ll be bringing a wheelchair, Scooter or ECV.
However you sign up – phone, online or through your travel agent, we’d suggest that you confirm that Magical Express is aware of your needs for both legs of your trip by calling before your trip. You can call the direct number to the Magical Express: (866) 599-0951.
Is there a size limitation for your wheelchair or ECV on Magical Express?
Yes. It must be a maximum of 32 X 48.
Do you have to tell Disney that you need a lift bus in advance?
No and yes. It depends on the part of your trip we’re talking about.
No you don’t HAVE to let them know in advance for your ride from the airport to your Disney resort – If you don’t let them know in advance that you need a lift bus, on the way to your resort they’ll still take care of you, but it might take longer to get the bus you need.
Yes for your ride from the resort to the airport – You MUST let them know in advance. Here’s the problem. On your return trip if you haven’t notified them in advance, you may not be able to get an accessible bus in time to make your flight. They suggest that in this case you arrange your own transportation to the airport.
Tip: Some people like to arrange an earlier departure just in case there’s a mix-up or delay with the buses. Keep in mind that not all of the buses have lifts, and each lift bus could potentially be servicing multiple resorts.
Getting to the Magical Express Welcome Area from your airplane
Disney will not provide wheelchairs at the airport. If you need a wheelchair to get to the Magical Express area, you’ll need to work that out with your airline in advance. For all of the airline gate locations it can be a long walk to the Magical Express Welcome Area.
Boarding the Magical Express Bus – For those who can NOT transfer
When you arrive at the Magical Express Welcome Center in the airport, you’ll want to remind the Cast Member that you’ll need to stay in your wheelchair or ECV during the ride. The Cast Member will direct you to the appropriate line. There may be a short wait required if they have to call in a different bus.
If you’re unable to transfer from your wheelchair, scooter or ECV, Disney should be able to allow you to board using a lift as long as your chair meets the maximum size requirements of 32 X 48. (See below for directions for those using oversized wheelchairs and ECVs).
Prior to letting the other guests board, the Cast Member will board you using the lift. Only the person who is in the chair is permitted to ride up in the lift. Anyone else will need to use the stairs in the front of the bus. Before 2008 some guest reported that they were allowed to stand on the lift to enter the bus. This changed in 2008 and no one is allowed to stand on the lift. If you see websites or forum posts that say differently, be aware that this is outdated information.
Once you’re on the bus, they will strap your chair down. There’s only space for two wheelchairs or ECVs to be strapped down. They can take more wheelchairs and ECVs under the bus, which will require transferring to a seat.
If your chair has power, it must be turned off. If it’s a manual wheelchair, the breaks must be put in the locked position.
For three wheel scooters, although you can stay on the scooter if necessary, they’d prefer you to transfer if possible as these are not as stable as they’d like. However if you’re unable to transfer, Mears says that they’ll allow you to stay in your scooter.
Once you’re all set they’ll let the other guests board at the front of the bus.
Boarding the Magical Express Bus – For those who CAN transfer
When you arrive at the Magical Express counter in the airport, you’ll want to let the Cast Member know that you can transfer to a bus seat. You’ll be able to take your wheelchair, scooter or other ECV to the steps of the bus. From there you’ll have to walk up the stairs. They will reserve you a front seat on the bus.
If you need physical assistance up the stairs, you’ll need to have someone with your party help you up. Please remember that the Magical Express employees can’t help you get up the stairs.
Boarding the Magical Express Bus for Those who CAN Transfer but CAN’T Climb the Stairs
If you’re unable to handle the stairs but you can transfer to a seat, they’ll provide a wheelchair and take you up the lift. Once you’re on board, you’ll be able to transfer. Most Magical Express buses have wheelchairs on board for this purpose, but not all do. This means that you may have to wait for them to secure you a wheelchair for this purpose.
Oversized scooters and ECVs on Magical Express.
If you can not transfer, and your scooter, wheelchair or ECV doesn’t meet the size requirements, they can call in a shuttle van or a taxi that has a bigger lift space. There’s usually a vehicle nearby, but there still may be a wait.
If you can transfer, and you have an oversized scooter, wheelchair or ECV, they still may be able to store it under the bus. This will depend on its folding capabilities and size. If it can’t be stored underneath, they should be able to call you in a shuttle van or a taxi that has a bigger lift space.
Boarding the Bus with a Walker or Other Mobility Device
If you have a mobility device like a walker, you’ll be able to have that stored under the bus. If the walker has a seat and breaks, it’s likely that they’d let you use the lift if you need it.
If your device doesn’t have a seat and breaks, and you’re unable to walk up the stairs of the bus, they may be able to get you a wheelchair to use just to go up and down the lift. However they do not guarantee that they can provide the wheelchair. If they can get you one, they’d take you up the lift and you’d then transfer to a regular chair. The’ll store your device under the bus.
Boarding issues with certain chairs
We were contacted by Dorothy Russo Jester who had this to say about a potential issue with her daughter’s wheelchair and the Magical Express lift:
“If you look at the picture of the lift and look on the left (see the arrow we added) you will see a gap….. The gap will not effect most chairs as their tires are too big to fall through but as for my daughter’s chair it is a concern that if she does not back completely straight one on her smaller wheels could fall through and that opening causing her 400 pound chair to teeter in the air and would be a disaster…… Keep in mind manual chairs and scooters are fine as are power chairs driven by a precise driver but for my daughter it is just not worth the risk….
We still sign up for the magical express and upon arrival I explain my situation and so far they have agreed with me and call a personal van or shuttle for us.”
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