Average Magical Express Time to Resort?

Hi, first time poster. Our flight lands at 8:35am and we are hoping to fit quite a bit into our first day. Our plan right now is to do Chef Mickey’s for lunch with characters before heading to Magic Kingdom for the afternoon. Any suggestions on how much time we should allow from the airport to Kidani Village? We won’t be able to get into our room so we plan to head straight out to enjoy the day. Suggestions on reservation time for Chef Mickey’s?

The general rule of thumb is to schedule your first must-do thing at least three hours after your flight lands. If all goes smoothly, you could be there as early as 11:00, but making an ADR for 11:30 would be a sure thing.

The actual bus trip from the airport to any resort is about 45 minutes. There are lots of things that add time before and after that though - picking up luggage, getting from your gate to the bus area, waiting for the MDE bus to fill up and leave, extra stops before your resort. Then it will take a bit of time to get oriented and to leave things with bell services.

Going directly from Kidani to the Contemporary will take 20-30 minutes if you go by Uber or taxi. If you go by bus, it will take a bit longer, but it shouldn’t be too frustrating. Just take the first AK or MK bus that arrives, then either transfer to a Contemporary bus from AK or walk from MK. The whole process will take 45 minutes to an hour.

Clarification: those times are best-case scenarios. Any step could take a lot longer! That’s why 3 hours is the safest recommendation.

You are landing at 8:35? So 9:00 before you get to DME? Sometimes you wait 30 minutes for it to leave. AKL has always been the 2nd or 3rd stop for DME (depends on what other resort(s) you you to. So 10:15? You need to leave your luggage with bell services and get to the bus-10:30? Ride to MK (stop at Jambo) 30 minutes at best (11:00), walk to CR 11:15?

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You’re so much better at giving clear, concise answers @PrincipalTinker!

Quick clarification from OP. Are you flying from US or International?

If the latter, you need to allow 2 and up to to 3 hours to get through immigration and customs. Then add @PrincipalTinker’s timings to that!

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We are from the US. We have a direct flight into Orlando, so we don’t have to worry about missing connections or anything. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your input! Our ADR day is Thursday and I’m overwhelmed trying to map everything out. With two kids under 4, it’s just hard to predict how they will do with a busy schedule :smile:


I personally would plan lunch for as close to noon as possible, just to be on the safe side. There’s enough to see at both resorts that you can easily kill 15-20 minutes on either end if you arrive more quickly.

FWIW, Chef Mickey’s has breakfast that day until 11, and then brunch reservations start at 11:30. I just searched for a party of 4 on 11/28 and there’s no breakfast times available at the moment, but plenty of times after brunch starts at 11:35.

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One thing to include in the “padding” of the ADR time is how much your little ones will want to see things in the resort on the way to your lunch. If they are animal lovers then you can potentially save yourself some day of stress and push your ADR to 12 or 12:15 if possible. It may make for a long stretch between breakfast and lunch so a snack on MDE may be good. If I was three and the resort had elephants, HOLY COW!! I NEED TO SEE THEM!! :blush:


You are so right! My 3 year old loves animals, so that would be a great way to use any extra time we might have. Thanks for the suggestion!

You can certainly watch all sorts of animals, but not elephants I’m afraid! They’re just on the safari.

The savannahs at both Jambo and Kidani are separate from the safari at the park.

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Honestly, I’d choose Sanaa for lunch on arrival day if I was staying at Kidani. It would be so much easier! You can ask for a table by the windows, watch the animals while you eat, and fill the kids up on bread. Chef Mickey’s will be great if that’s what you want to do, of course. I’m just thinking logistical.

Ooo, follow up. I forgot you were planning to go from lunch to MK. That’s why you chose Chef Mickey’s! Never mind! Ignore that last piece if advice!

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