MagicExpress / check-in / Animal Kingdom logistics

Magic Express picking us up 8:30ish Orlando airport. Bringing our own luggage bc getting in ungodly late night before and staying airport. Then to AK Kidani. (30 min? 60+ bc rush hour? How bad Orlando rush hour?) Check in, get them to hold our luggage, pick up stroller, general time-suck. 60 min? Then bus to Animal Kingdom. What time should I guesstimate we arrive Animal Kingsom? 11? 11:30? Noon? Debating Tusker House lunch reservation, versus seeing what’s up w/Tiffins, versus RF Cafe. We are Landry’s select, so RF may be better if uncertainty, can just have short wait there. Tusker would be fun if everyone agrees would DEF make it by 11 and Tffins is not open or not good option for another reason. Thoughts?

Hard to tell because of traffic and how long you will have to wait for the bus to fill and then the other resorts it may go to. A bit confused with you “bringing own luggage” comment. I may suggest getting a car service. It does cost more - but you may just be more relaxed etc.

Also we always brought a stroller - there is nothing special about WDW that our “At home stroller” couldn’t handle.


Not an Orlando resident, but I have some experience driving there. Orlando traffic can be hard to predict. Rush hour will be “heavy”, but not like LA parking lot heavy; it moves, but not at “highway speed”. If there is an accident that blocks any lanes, it will log jam. 60 min is probably a “safe” number to use for the drive; if all goes smoothly, it will be less. I’ve never had check-in take more than about 15 min, and luggage drop off even less than that. I have NO idea about strollers. Actual bus ride from Kidani to AK is 5-10 min, but you might have to wait for a bus.

There are a lot of variables that are difficult to control. I hate to feel rushed/stressed trying to make tight time schedules (especially on vacation), so I always use the “better safe than sorry” approach. Were I in your place, I would make my ADR for 12:00 (perhaps as early as 11:30) so if the unforeseen happens, I don’t miss it, and if everything works perfectly, the “worst case” would be some extra time to tour before I ate (which isn’t really a bad thing).

I would keep the first day light and maybe book a dinner instead. You don’t want to start your vacation off in a frantic mood.

I don’t know the particular reason why you are staying at MCO (although we have contemplated doing it at times)

However if you are coming in late (which is what i assume the situation is). I recommend hiring a car service and getting to AKL that evening even if it is late.

We just recently flew in and didn’t get to the hotel until 1am. I felt a bit “what a waste” in spending the money - but once there was so glad that we could sleep in just a bit and have an UNRUSHED morning.

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It’s generally a good idea to give 3 hours from the time you expect to head to ME before making any kind of concrete plans, Orlando traffic is very unpredictable. If you give them an estimated arrival time when you do online check in you will often already have a room available when you get there even early in the morning. We’ve gotten a room as early as 9am before. The Landry’s select is probably the best idea for lunch that day. It also works at Yak & Yeti if you want something a step up from RFC.

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