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Here we were sitting on our bed at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort at midnight. We had flown in that evening, grabbed some dinner, and expected to find our luggage sitting outside our room. But despite being well past the delivery time, still no luggage. My heart was sinking–Disney’s Magical Express had lost our luggage!
What is Disney’s Magical Express?
If you fly into the Orlando airport (MCO), Disney offers complimentary transportation to guests staying at the Walt Disney World Resorts. They will also take your luggage from the plane and deliver it to your hotel room without you ever having to touch it. Which leads to my story.
The night the Magical Express lost our luggage
We had taken an afternoon flight on this occasion so we arrived at 8:00 pm– 2 hours before the cut off time for the luggage service. Our Magical Express luggage tags had been securely secured to our bags, and we didn’t give them a second thought as we boarded our bus.
Once at Disney World, we grabbed some dinner and headed to our room to relax. We only had 1 day at Disney World and had an early start planned for the next day. Our one goal was to check out Pandora in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If we weren’t going to wait hours in line for the main attraction Flights of Passage, we needed to get there well before the park opened.
And we waited…
Knowing it could take several hours to get our luggage, I had packed our pajamas in our carryons. We settled in to watch TV and wait. And we waited and waited.
As it got closer to midnight, we began calling the front desk. They assured us that it was on its way. We fell asleep waiting.
Where it all went wrong
When we opened the door the next morning, there were still no bags. This time we headed down to the front desk to the problem in person.
We never found out how or why this happened, but our luggage had been placed in storage instead of being delivered. The worst part was the storage wouldn’t even open for another hour which wouldn’t open hour- well past park opening.
The real problem
As you can imagine, we were pretty upset by this point. Not so much mad, but more frustrated. When the manager asked what they could do to make it right, I asked for fastpasses for Flights of Passage. They said those were the only fastpasses they couldn’t give us because of the ride’s popularity.
I explained to them how we had planned our entire trip to Walt Disney World around seen this new land. We were actually in Florida for a cruise and had added an extra day onto the trip just for this.
We were now later than we wanted to be, had no clean clothes to wear, and no idea when we would see our stuff again.
How Disney solved the problem
That’s when Disney worked its magic. The manager took us to the closed gift shop, let us in, and told us to pick out whatever we needed for the day. Did you know you can get adult toiletries, socks, and undies in the resort gift shop?
Within a few minutes, we were changed and on our way to Animal Kingdom. The manager also gave us each 2 fastpasses (good for any ride outside of Pandora) to help make up for lost time.
It all worked out
We finally made it to Animal Kingdom just after it opened, and were able to get in line for Flights of Passage with only an hour-long wait. The rest of the day was amazing, and most importantly, we left feeling valued by Disney.
Tips for when Disney makes a mistake
Here’s the thing…even Disney makes mistakes. Yes, the Magical Express may lose your luggage, your food may not be cooked right, or your hotel room may be less than satisfactory. But Disney prides itself on customer service and will do what they can to make it better.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some tips to resolve the problem quickly:
- Stay Calm- Staying Calm will help you more than anything. You will not get very far if you don’t remain somewhat calm. As I said, we were upset, but there was no yelling or threatening. It was always a two-way conversation where both parties were working towards a solution.
- Be Reasonable- Make a reasonable request to resolve the situation. I didn’t demand they pay for our entire trip. All I asked for were fastpasses. Although that wasn’t a solution in this case, the manager knew I could be reasoned with and provided a great solution to the problem.
- Be Clear- Be clear what your problem is. Here’s where I failed. They thought we were upset that the Magical Express had lost our luggage. But once we knew where it was, and that it was on its way, we were fine. Our actual problem was we wanted to be at the park early, but had no clothes to change into. Once they understood that, the problem was resolved quickly.
Disney is in the business of making magic, but even they drop the ball sometimes. If that happens to you, find a cast member, follow the tips above, and let Disney do their job. For additional tips on dealing with bad situations that are out of Disney’s control (weather, ect.), check out When Things Go Wrong.