Disney’s Magical Express is one of the best parts when arriving at Orlando International Airport. The complimentary mode of transportation brought magic to Guests before they even arrived at Walt Disney World property.
Disney’s Magical Express service will no longer be offered starting with arrivals January 1, 2022. The service will continue to operate for new and existing reservations made at Disney Resort hotels for arrivals throughout 2021.
So with that being said, I started to think about what possibilities could lie ahead for those arriving at Orlando International Airport and wishing to visit Walt Disney World Resort. Could Disney bring a new bus service to Guests? Or will Walt Disney World offer a service similar to Minnie Vans? With a new service, I also wonder if Disney will charge for that service or if it will be free just as Magical Express was?
Here are some options that I think Walt Disney World could decide to offer moving forward, following the end of Disney’s Magical Express.
Disney’s Magical Express
First, let’s talk Disney’s Magical Express. In case you aren’t familiar, Disney’s Magical Express is a complimentary mode of transportation that brings Guests to and from Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Walt Disney World Resort.
In addition, before the current pandemic began, the Magical Express service would also take care of Guests’ checked luggage bags for them. Prior to leaving their home, Guests would place a specific luggage tag onto the checked bags and once they arrived at Orlando International Airport, Magical Express Cast Members would find those bags and bring them to your hotel for you!
The Walt Disney World website describes this service as:
Disney’s Magical Express Service provides transportation for Disney Resort hotel Guests between Orlando International Airport and their Disney Resort hotel via motorcoach. Reservations are required to use this service.
Board a motorcoach at Orlando International Airport and we’ll transport you to your Disney Resort hotel.
When you make a Disney’s Magical Express reservation, you can begin your vacation the moment you step off the plane. Guests can avoid the inconvenience and cost of driving or finding ground transportation. With this special benefit of staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, you’ll get from the airport to your accommodations in the comfort of a motorcoach. You’ll also enjoy a complimentary ride back to Orlando International Airport on the day you check out of your Disney Resort hotel.
Will Disney Replace the Magical Express Service?
Now that we know Walt Disney World will be ending its complimentary service beginning in 2022, what can Guests expect moving forward? Well, here are some options for what I, personally, think Disney could bring to Orlando International Airport.
Please keep in mind that this article is pure speculation and Disney has not confirmed anything replacing Magical Express at the time of publication.
A New Bus Transportation
As Disney’s Magical Express is coming to an end in 2022, Disney’s contract with Mears Transporation is also ending. This leads me to believe Disney could end up creating their very own Disney-owned bus transportation service, similar to Magical Express.
If Disney World were to go this route, it would help create even more of a “Disney Bubble” that would help continue Guests’ vacations to begin the second they step foot in Florida. With this being said, the company would have two clear options — charge a fee for the bus service or keep it complimentary like Magical Express was.
It is unclear if Disney is going to add a new transportation option from Orlando International Airport at this time, but personally, I would love to see another bus or shuttle service come so that traveling to Florida from out of state would still be stress-free.
A Service Similar to Minnie Vans
Another option Disney could provide is a service similar to Minnie Vans that would be used only for travel to and from Orlando International Airport for Walt Disney World Resort Guests.
Now, if Disney were to opt for a Minnie Van-type service, it is more than likely Disney would charge an extra fee simply because having multiple cars traveling to and from MCO could get expensive with gas, tolls, drivers, etc.
Will Disney World Charge For a New Transportation Service?
Well, this all depends. As I mentioned earlier, I think if Disney were to go the route of a new bus service, they could add a small fee to Guests’ vacations just as they do for Disney Cruise Line. On the other hand, they could keep it a complimentary service for Guests, which may draw more people in.
But if they were to opt for a Minnie Van-type service, I would think that Disney would need to charge, otherwise they will lose way too much money.
What do you think Disney will do once Magical Express officially ends? Would you pay for Disney-owned transportation, or would you opt for a third party? Let us know in the comments below.
Editor’s Note: The opinions reflected in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Inside the Magic overall.