Earlier today, Disney Parks Blog announced two major changes to the Walt Disney World Resort experience moving forward into 2022.
The first alteration is the introduction of Early Theme Park Entry, as Extra Magic Hours will no longer be offered to Walt Disney World Resort hotel Guests. Secondarily, Disney’s Magical Express airport transportation service from Orlando International Airport (MCO) will be ceasing operations beginning January 1, 2022. Disney will continue to offer Magical Express transportation through the end of 2021.
Remember that Disney partners with Mears Transporation — a company not owned by Disney — to provide Magical Express as a complimentary add-on to Disney World vacations. Now, Magical Express operator, Mears Transportation, has issued a statement, indicating that shuttle services will still be available through them directly. Orlando’s Spectrum News 13 reported:
“Walt Disney made us aware of their decision,” Mears spokesperson Roger Chapin said. “While we are disappointed Disney will no longer offer this service, we intend to continue offering transportation services between the airport and all area theme parks and hotels to meet the demand of our visitors now and in the future.”
Disney’s Magical Express service launched 15 years ago as a benefit for visitors staying at Disney World resort hotels.
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Per Mears’s official website:
In addition to Orlando car service, Orlando luxury transportation and Orlando limo service, our greater Orlando transportation services include the below ground transportation options based on your needs and group size. Mears Luxe, Orlando Taxi and Orlando Shuttle services are available to and from Orlando International Airport, Orlando area hotels, resorts, restaurants, sporting events, shopping plazas and theme parks, including Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Studios® Florida, SeaWorld® Orlando and other Central Florida attractions.
In August 2020, hundreds of Mears employees — including Magic Express bus drivers — were let go as part of the mass layoffs in the tourism industry amid the ongoing pandemic.
At this time, it is unknown if a Disney-owned service will replace the Magical Express, which was a reliable transportation option for many Disney World Guests, including families with young children — Uber and Lyft do not offer car seats in the Orlando area — and those who require wheelchair accessibility.
Stay tuned to Inside the Magic for the latest details about the end of Disney’s Magical Express service as news becomes available.