In January 2021, Walt Disney World Resort announced that its popular Magical Express airport bus service will be ending on January 1, 2022.
In addition to impacting Walt Disney World Resort Guests who are traveling into Orlando International Airport (MCO) from destinations around the world, the suspension of the Magical Express will affect Disney Cruise Line travelers once cruising is able to resume.
Many Disney Cruise Line Guests often use the Disney’s Magical Express buses to get to and from their Disney Resort hotel and MCO, if they are booking one night or more at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel before or after their Disney Cruise. Now, Disney has clarified that although the Magical Express is ending in 2022, Disney Cruise Line transportation is here to stay in some capacity.
A new announcement said:
As previously shared, Disney’s Magical Express will no longer be available as a transportation option between the Walt Disney World Resort and the Orlando International Airport (MCO) beginning in January 2022.
As a result, private transfers will be the only option available to purchase through Disney Cruise Line for Guests who have added pre- and/or post-nights at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel to their cruise reservation. If Guests are not interested in Private Transfers, information on alternative transportation options between the Walt Disney World Resort hotels and the Orlando International Airport can be found at https://orlandoairports.net/parking-transportation/.
Guests may continue to purchase ground transfers through Disney Cruise Line for travel between the Orlando International Airport and Port Canaveral (Airport to Port, Port to Airport) and/or between a Walt Disney World Resort hotel and Port Canaveral (Resort to Port, Port to Resort). As are reminder, Disney’s Magical Express service will continue to operate for arrivals through 2021, including for Guests visiting as part of Disney Land and Sea Packages.
As mentioned, previously, many Disney Cruise Line passengers would book vacation packages that allowed them to stay onsite at Walt Disney World Resort either before or after their cruise. Then, the Disney Cruise Line bus service would pick them up at their Disney Resort hotel for travel to Port Canaveral to board the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy, the Disney Magic, or the Disney Wonder.
Families who plan to set sail on Disney Cruise Line will either have to add transportation via Disney to their vacation packages, use ride sharing services, or rent cars. Since Port Canaveral is about an hour from Walt Disney World Resort, this could cost quite a bit, particularly for those Guests who are traveling on a budget.
Currently, the official DCL website states the following information about ground transportation to and from Port Canaveral, the closest port to MCO:
Ground transfers between Orlando International Airport and Port Canaveral are available for purchase. Airport transfers are available on embarkation and debarkation days only, for $39 per Guest. We recommend calling (800) 951-3532 to add ground transfers in advance, as only a limited number may be available for purchase upon arrival. Please be prepared to provide your inbound and outbound flight details. Private transportation options, including Minnie Vans, are also available.
The website also says the following information regarding transportation to and from the port, if a Guest has booked a stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel before or after their cruise:
Pre- and Post-Cruise Hotel Stays and Transportation
If you’ve booked a hotel stay with us before or after your cruise, transfers are available, for an additional fee, between the airport, hotel and cruise port. Call us at (800) 951-3532 for more information or to add these transfers.
Note that the above information, although current, is subject to change, as with all of Disney’s policies. Therefore, if you are interested in booking a cruise, we highly recommend working closely with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner who can ensure that the transportation you need is fully booked.
The fact that transportation can still be booked directly through Disney will undoubtedly be a huge comfort and convenience for travelers in 2022.
At this time, it is not known if Disney will, at some point, be adding a new transportation option for those setting sail on the Disney Cruise Line fleet.
Currently, all Disney Cruise Line cruises remain suspended — it has also recently been confirmed that passengers will have to wait until 2022 at the earliest to book an Alaska Disney cruise. Mexico Dinsey cruise itineraries, Bahamian cruise itineraries, and more are still scheduled to return in 2021, but this could change amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The cruise operator’s first Triton Class ship, the Disney Wish, is slated for a Summer 2022 maiden voyage. At this time, it is not yet known when Castaway Club members and the general public will be able to book a stateroom onboard.
What do you think about this news? Did your family rely on Disney’s Disney Cruise Line transit or Disney’s Magical Express?
If you are interested in learning more about booking a Disney Cruise Line vacation on any Disney Cruise Line ship at a future date, contact the experts at Academy Travel. They can help you set sail from Port Canaveral to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, in the Bahamas or book another itinerary to anywhere in the world!