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Comments for Magical Express Is Ending, But Will Anything Replace It?

magical express

Credit: Inside the Magic Kelly C.

32 Comments

  1. Jim M

    I know we think that this service is complimentary, but the truth is we pay for it in our DVC dues and Hotel fees already. The cost of the service is just factored into the price we already pay for staying at Disney. That being said, if they don’t bring something out to replace it Disney should lower dues and prices for our stays. We have been paying for it all along but will we see a price drop if it goes away. That will be interesting to see.

    1. KenG

      Yes – so right! Just like the “free” shipping we get with Amazon Prime. We pay for it in the membership and/or the item costs more than getting it elsewhere. (That is why a few years back Amazon was forced by regulators to put in other non-Prime options).

      1. donna m bailey

        Would gladly pay for transportation

  2. KenG

    One point this article does not point out is that Magical Express was born out of Disney Cruises having this, which in turn was born out of the cruise line industry that had been doing something similar for years – Especially Princess up in Alaska.
    Cruise goers needed a way to fly into their departure city and get to the ship port.
    Cruise lines needed a way to get all the passengers on the ships in a timely and orderly manner.

    Magical Express while a huge resort guest convenience was really a huge benefit to Disney. Guests always found their way to Disney World prior to ME, albeit not the easiest to do and because it wasn’t a cruise that needed to depart on time, it didn’t matter when the guests arrived at the resort.

    This was really an advantage for Disney as kept their resort guests sort of “captive” for their entire stay being they no longer needed a rental car to get their. I recall years ago, way before ME going to WDW (I live in California) and always getting a rental car which also allowed us to do day trips to other areas, NASA, theme parks, or even breaking up the trip by spending several days at WDW and then a few days somewhere else. But our last two trips (2005 and 2014) using ME we spent 100% of the time at Disney. Why? Well we already had a ticket package and/or a Premier AP, and we would have had to rent a car for the day (no Uber back then)… so basically that would have been hundreds of dollars more just for that day trip to Universal or wherever.

    So, I really do think Disney has another plan because if they didn’t it could mean a loss in the duration a guest stays. As an example, instead of 7 full days at a Disney Resort, they may opt to break it up and spend a few days at a Universal Resort as well. Not good for Disney!

  3. Gerrit Bakhuizen

    Or are they getting ready for Bright Lines (Virgin) Railway to begin operating from the airport to a new station at Disney Springs? Although it will not be ready by January 2022 – maybe Disney will operate their own bus service in the interim.

  4. Indy

    Mears, the company that actually runs the Magical Express, has already said they will continue the service as a pay service, likely minus the luggage delivery part though they did not say that in their announcement.

  5. Hank

    I would rather Disney give up restaurant and Disney store discounts. As a DVC member, with park hopper going away, as we know it and rumors that park reservations will become permanent, my magical day is slowly going away. It is a vacation and you shouldn’t have to plan everything.

  6. Heather

    I will likely choose to take the Lynx bus for $4 and some change (all day pass) and have more reason to stay off-site some/ all of those days -patticularly arrival and departure days. I get why they may need to do this though.

    1. Tim

      You will probably need to do 12 transfers, go downtown, wait 4 hours and then. And then get to west clock.

  7. Pay toilets will be the next option to be introduced at Disney. Keep those dollar bills close bye!

  8. Eileen

    They need to replace it with something. I live in NC and used to drive at least once to a few times a year. As I aged I started to fly and Magical Express truly made my travel experience stress free. The thought of vans to me is stressful as the drivers are likely to be similar to taxi drivers who drive like maniacs. I’m less likely to visit WDW without the Magical Express. It might sound a little extreme to some, but it is my own reality.

    1. Connie Krout

      I agree with you completely. The older you get the more you just want to get to MCO and not have to worry about anything until it is time to go home. There are always seniors on these buses. Is Disney willing to give up on seniors visiting the parks?

      1. Marie

        Not only seniors benefit from this service but so do families especially those with small children. Try traveling with 2 small children and all that luggage and maybe even diaper bags and strollers! The ME service was great. And much appreciated.

        1. Anne Marie

          Not to mention not needing to bother with car seats.

    2. Gorge

      If there’s no Magical Express, we’re very likely to stay off-site. It’s cheaper to begin with. And if I have to rent a car (which we likely would if there’s no ME), we’re most definitely going to consider off-site hotels. That’s a losing proposition for Disney.

  9. Rod Henry

    Let’s be honest. Disney has spoiled us. BUT with all that has happened, cutting or shifting costs is something that must be considered to reduce the red. I for one would not hesitate to pay for the service

  10. Not only seniors benefit from this service but so do families especially those with small children. Try traveling with 2 small children and all that luggage and maybe even diaper bags and strollers! The ME service was great. And much appreciated.

  11. Jodi

    I feel so strongly about this topic, our family is not happy with this service ending and almost to the point where we might reconsider even continuing to go there with all these perks being stripped away. We are a family of five with young children and this is the most convenient service the minute we step off the plane, not to mention stress-free with not having to handle all of our checked items the minute we hand them over at our airport. With that being said, we would most definitely pay “extra” for this service- but agree with an above comment in that yes, we’ve been paying for it all along. There is nothing convenient about what we’d be responsible for if this service ended. We really hope it’s replaced with a similar service whether it’s operated by Disney or another company. We think it will be replaced with a similar service with all the backlash they’ll get, but time will only tell.

    1. KATELYN KUCEYESKI

      Agree with you.

    2. Ken Thompson

      I totally agree. it’s not just the transport service. I drop off my bags at the airport in my city and I know I won’t have to touch them again until there in my room. Started using this service when my daughters were young, but even now they are teenagers it’s just super convenient. In the boarding lounge of our airport my daughters would say I look like vacation dad! They aren’t going to be able to say that anymore if I have to wait at the baggage carousel in Orlando airport and then find my own transport to WDW. We will have to reconsider our plans for Disney 2022.

  12. Colleen

    The options all point to a need to pay for the service and take care of your own belongings. They are now charging for parking at the resorts as well so it would make sense that it would go back to a paid shuttle, taxi or livery service. As for the train to Disney springs, I can’t imagine as a young parent holding your small children AND your luggage and traveling on what could be a full Disney bus to your hotel. Reservations are also no surprise. Disney has been trying to “herd the crowds” since fast passes started. I agree that part of the fun is to be a little spontaneous so I am saddened at all these changes and went from yearly to when my DVC points expire.

  13. Kent

    There are certainly several options to get to the resorts and I’ve used several without issue. However, the part I will miss most is the luggage service. When you have several traveling in your party, not having to deal with luggage at arrival and departure was such a convenience.

  14. Lilo

    I think it’s horrible to end Magical Express and the Resort help both to and from the airport.

    Disney has been purposely out pricing middle class families of all generations. This is just another step as has been constantly showing their DISCRIMINATION against them. Every family even if they have to save for a couple of years should be able to go and enjoy. Not COMPLETELY PRICED OUT! It’s completely outrageous. Look around not everyone makes 500,000. A year. They are Blessed to pull 50,000 a year. Then they can’t even afford to buy their children a sucker bigger than their head a popcorn drink and toy for a Parade that now STINKS! Disney you are blowing it.!!

    1. Grogoo Sr

      WDW discriminates against guests who bring down their per capita spending averages. Low spenders get in the way of $$$ people. *Happy* whale guest = more money parted with.
      Disney will always be one step ahead and figure out a way for everybody to pay their share of the magic. Try to cut a trip budget one way? You’ll pay in another way. One obvious way is by being more inconvenienced than a higher paying guest. You gotta work for any discount you find, lol.

  15. Ned

    The Disney Magical Express service is truly a magical service. Honestly, I can’t believe there wasn’t a separate fee for this. I would definitely be willing to pay a fee for this service. Having my bags picked up from the airport and delivered to my room; and then taken from the resort and put on the plane is my idea of luxury. We senior citizens have a real struggle with luggage.
    Disneyland offers a bus service from LAX via a private company (no luggage service), but it is still worth the fee.

  16. Jeff

    Somehow, someway we were paying for it, nothing is free, and this takes away a bit of their magic. Renting a car makes no sense staying in the park, and I’m sure we will see no price decrease anywhere. Already, looking to our next trip there next year, and just adds to the worries and stress and traveling. And, possibly a bit of money that won’t be spent in the parks and hotels.

  17. Duchyrama

    I can’t see a free service coming back.

    It doesn’t make financial sense like it used to for WDW. They aren’t making as much of the money back with resort shops and food anymore. Visiting patterns changed with more guests doing multiple short trips a year, like DVC and APs. Providing round trip DME on all those short trips eats into profits.

    I don’t mind not sharing the increased cost of this service. We barely use it anyway and will pay accordingly when necessary. Is that the way? No crying.

  18. Cindy

    Magical Express is part of the experience. I would love to see it remain or something similar.

  19. rex

    my wife & I have been sailing on Disney cruise line for 12 years we have always paid 40 dollars / person to port Canaveral and back. we always thought a fee was added to the magical express. we always look forward to riding the bus. it’s a lot better than driving! now they don’t send the bus out until its full.

  20. Bob

    The Magical Express Service was part of management’s guest service strategy focused on keeping WDW guests on-site. WDW guests who stay on site send considerable more money than off-site guests. If Disney does not replace the service, they will loose significant revenue. Any one who has used this service on past WDW vacations, knows very well the value and help this service provided. Especially on WDW vacations with children and family members.

  21. Renee

    How many times after a WDW Disney Resort stay have you received marking ads for Adventures By Disney or Disney Cruise? All the time! Resort guests, including DVC members, are the target market for ABD and DC! They hope after a positive impression with a WDW Resort stay we will be ready to travel the world or cruise with them. In fact, they expressly state in ABD marketing materials that we can expect the same level of service we have come to know from Disney and they provide hassle-free vacationing by taking care of things like, “airport greeting and transfer to hotels, and baggage service!” Yes, Disney KNOWS these logistics issues ARE A HASSLE. They willfully just ADDED hassle for WDW Resort guests! The added hassle to their primary target market for higher priced vacationing products. Who in their right mind would trust Disney to provide hassle free world wide travel when they can’t make a simple trip to Walt Disney World hassle free? Poorly done Disney. I sincerely feel this was a bad decision not only for guests but for Disney as well.

  22. KATELYN E KUCEYESKI

    Wondering if there have been any updates on options that will be available come 2022?

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