All-New Disney’s Magical Express Alternate Revealed With New Theme

in Walt Disney World

The Sunshine Flyer

Credit: The Sunshine Flyer

If you are missing Disney’s Magical Express, we may have another themed alternative for you — and it is not what you think.

We have known for months that Disney’s Magical Express service would be coming to an end as of 2022, but Disney continued to run the service from Resorts to Orlando International Airport for Resort Guests until January 10. In replacement of Disney’s Magical Express, Mears started up Mears Connect. Considering Mears ran the Magical Express service, this seemed like a smart move for the company, as they could now charge for Guests to bring them to and from their Disney Resort to MCO.

The Sunshine Flyer
Credit: The Sunshine Flyer

When Magical Express ended, Mears issued a statement noting: 

“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.”

When the offering began, round trips will cost adults $32.00 each and children $27.00. One way travel will cost adults $16.00 and kids $13.50. If you want premium direct service, you will have to pay $200.00 for four Guests and an additional $55.00 per extra Guest. Now, that premium service, called “Express Service” has jumped to $250.00!

The Sunshine Flyer
Credit: The Sunshine Flyer

Related: Magical Express Shuttle Operator Still Offers 2022 Reservations 

The $50.00 increase is a large one for a family of four, but it does mean that there will be plenty of legroom for all members and that you will have a secured pick up and drop off. Plus, as we have noted, Uber and Lyft costs seem to be rising from MCO to Disney World, so this stress-free way of transporting you and your party may be worth the extra $50.00. It should be noted that each additional passenger will cost $55.00.

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Although it does the job, the Mears Connect busses are just a standard coach bus, and for many Disney fans who loved the Magical Express, the idea of losing the Disney theming and magic was the real reason they were sad, more so than the practicality of the transport it provided. Now, it may not be Disney, but The Sunshine Flyer is a themed motor coach bringing Guests into the roaring 20s’ while they head to their Walt Disney World Resort!

The site notes:

The Sunshine Flyer brings the era of 1920’s rail travel to the start of your vacation. The Sunshine Flyer’s buses will bring you and your family from Orlando Airport to Walt Disney World® Resorts on a late model, premium motorcoach with a theme centered around old-fashioned passenger cars and train locomotives. From the bus designs to drivers and staff dressed as 1920’s rail conductors and engineers, the Sunshine Flyer experience starts shortly after you step off the plane.

Cast Member Mask
Credit: Disney

Each motorcoach will be wrapped either as a 1920’s era locomotive or passenger car. No two vehicle designs will be the same, providing a distinctiveness for each Sunshine Flyer ride, giving first time riders and returning guests a new experience and photo opportunity each time they ride the Sunshine Flyer.

You can also check out a video below to get a clearer picture of what The Sunshine Flyer looks like:

As you can see, the theming it largely placed on the wrap of the bus, and the driver is costumed to resemble a conductor which is a really fun spin on the storyline. Considering trains play such a big role in Walt Disney World history, this is a perfect way to enter the Most Magical Place on Earth.

In terms of pricing, the tickets cost $17.00 per adult and $12.50 per child for one-way, or $34.00 per adult and $25.00 per child for a round trip from your Disney Hotel to Orlando International Airport, which is highly comparable to the Mears Connect pricing.

What do you think of The Sunshine Flyer? Let us know in the comments below. 

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!


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