News Disney's Magical Express to end after 2021

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Why? It's probably true. The only way they are justified in eliminating the service, is if they believe that attendance/profits will not decrease further past the point of spending the money on the service. If they know a lot of people are already getting rental cars/ubers/other buses, why should Disney waste money on their own transport?

DME just wasn't profitable anymore and that's why it's gone. It's simple.

Because they've framed it as though eliminating it provides more flexibility for guests, which is nonsensical (moreso in their original statement, although they still hinted at it in that email). Removing an option never provides additional flexibility. People always had the choice to use DME or not.

I'm not arguing whether eliminating it made sense for Disney -- just that their PR around it has been silly.
 

matt9112

Well-Known Member
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You can get the exact same transportation now, you just have to pay for it. Mears ran shared shuttle service before DME, during DME to non Disney resorts and runs MearsConnect currently The incoming and outgoing luggage service can't really be duplicated without Disney's involvement. That's what made the service unique. The transportation part of DME made bus service free.


Thats everything.....you can have the same vacation you remember...its just not part of your admission price.

$$ here and $$ there.
 

el_super

Well-Known Member
Because they've framed it as though eliminating it provides more flexibility for guests, which is nonsensical (moreso in their original statement, although they still hinted at it in that email). Removing an option never provides additional flexibility. People always had the choice to use DME or not.

I'm not arguing whether eliminating it made sense for Disney -- just that their PR around it has been silly.

Yeah their PR is almost always silly. But it's hard to frame something that makes sense from a business perspective, as an overall positive for the guests that are angry it's gone. I think everyone here realizes that a financially successful Disney is in everyone's best interest, even if it's not the most fun thing to talk about.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
Why is Disney going to give you a “free” ride to their resort so you can then Uber over to the Olive Garden for dinner? Bob didn’t kill DME, rideshares and online grocery delivery did.

Hook.. line and sinker. You took the hook Disney offered.

DME never existed because Disney wanted to be warm and cuddly, it was to get you on property with no way to escape. Now that there are multiple ways to leave property or order things to the property DME’s existence is no longer warranted.

There always was multiple and even cheap ways to leave property.. Rentals, taxis, ride shares have been around the entire time. Orlando has classically been one of the CHEAPEST rental car markets in the country. The biggest difference uber/lyft brought to the equation was a cheaper adhoc than taxis. But it wasn't earth shattering different.. just cheaper.

DME provided a disincentive for people to be self-mobile by being 'even cheaper' than the alternatives. It provided a means wrap up your vacation before you even left home. Disney's MYW ticketing model was setup to disincentivize spending time somewhere besides WDW.

Changes like the elimination of no expiration and the elimination of DME were just straight up money decisions.

In the world of 'at your fingertips' ride shares, it just streamlines leaks that have always been there. It doesn't fundamentally change anything. Asking the concierge for a taxi was always an option too.

Elimination of DME is just like most of the cost cutting of late - why give away what people will willingly (or even begrudgingly) pay for?

Service is no longer an expectation - It's a productized offer if you want to pay for it.
 

castlecake2.0

Well-Known Member
Hook.. line and sinker. You took the hook Disney offered.



There always was multiple and even cheap ways to leave property.. Rentals, taxis, ride shares have been around the entire time. Orlando has classically been one of the CHEAPEST rental car markets in the country. The biggest difference uber/lyft brought to the equation was a cheaper adhoc than taxis. But it wasn't earth shattering different.. just cheaper.

DME provided a disincentive for people to be self-mobile by being 'even cheaper' than the alternatives. It provided a means wrap up your vacation before you even left home. Disney's MYW ticketing model was setup to disincentivize spending time somewhere besides WDW.

Changes like the elimination of no expiration and the elimination of DME were just straight up money decisions.

In the world of 'at your fingertips' ride shares, it just streamlines leaks that have always been there. It doesn't fundamentally change anything. Asking the concierge for a taxi was always an option too.

Elimination of DME is just like most of the cost cutting of late - why give away what people will willingly (or even begrudgingly) pay for?

Service is no longer an expectation - It's a productized offer if you want to pay for it.
Yes there were always taxis before, but as I said, I’ve seen the shift in Guest behavior first hand over the last decade with the advent of smart phones. Im not going to argue about this though. And I didn’t take “the hook”, I agree that it makes business sense even if t’hérite PR spin on it is spotty.
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
It's definitely easier to get around now.

Rental cars may be cheap, but they're still a hassle. I found them useful for longer trips when I did multiple off-site excursions.

For shorter visits, in the past, I was less likely to visit Universal for a day trip for example. A rental car would make no sense for that. There were tours available, but those are pricey. Ride share makes it highly convenient and affordable to escape the Disney bubble for a day or two.

DME just doesn't keep me onsite like it used to.

I don't like that it's gone but my last trip I only used it one way. It saved the two of us $32. Yeah, it's "nickel and diming" but at the end of the day a lack of DME isn't going to impact any decision to visit WDW.

The way I can see this being a mistake is that they're removing something that gives guests a much greater perceived value than actual value.

It was just so convenient and "magical" to go straight from the arrival gate to a Disney bus. It's something that felt special. The relatively low amount per guest Disney spent on the service probably went a long way to making people feel that doing Disney on site is "worth it".
 

GrumpyFan

Well-Known Member
Something Disney seems to have lost sight of is the "life long fan" aspect of their fan base. To make this post as short as possible it comes down to this:


Obviously they could drop prices over the next few years and reinstate removed things but under Chapek I highly doubt that.

Disney has shown that they no longer care about this group of their guests.
We are the ones who complain the most, yet keep coming back again and again regardless, yet typically spend less.
In some ways, we're the ones that have forced Disney into this position.

We, the fans, broke Walt Disney World. It took 50 years, but it's our fault that it has gotten too expensive and too complicated. How? We turned WDW into THE vacation destination by going back again and again, telling our friends and family how great it was and turning them on to the magic and creating demand that exceeds their available capacity. Disney, in an effort to meet or keep up with that demand, and still keep investors and new (first time) guests happy have been forced into a corner of constant price increases, cutting certain services and now a complex planning and reservation system that discourages the masses from visiting. Basically, they're in a position now where they must have a high entry point and get only those with deep pockets to come. The common fan, like most of us here, isn't (and hasn't been in quite a while) their target audience.

So, what's the solution? I think the only thing they can do is to continue raising prices, or build a new resort somewhere in the US, to help relieve some of the pressure of WDW.
 

GrumpyFan

Well-Known Member
Why? It's probably true. The only way they are justified in eliminating the service, is if they believe that attendance/profits will not decrease further past the point of spending the money on the service. If they know a lot of people are already getting rental cars/ubers/other buses, why should Disney waste money on their own transport?

DME just wasn't profitable anymore and that's why it's gone. It's simple.
That might make sense if they are offering as a "free" service that's actually built in to the cost of the room, but why not just continue it and push the cost back to the guest?
But, again, it was added into the cost of the room, so was it really not profitable any more? I feel like there's something missing to this story because from a guest satisfaction and retention factor it just doesn't add up, for me at least.
 

el_super

Well-Known Member
That might make sense if they are offering as a "free" service that's actually built in to the cost of the room, but why not just continue it and push the cost back to the guest?
But, again, it was added into the cost of the room, so was it really not profitable any more? I feel like there's something missing to this story because from a guest satisfaction and retention factor it just doesn't add up, for me at least.

The room rates are already maximized to what they think the market will accept. If an increase in the cost of service was going to push the room rates past an additional 10%, Disney may have been more concerned that would have a negative impact on reservations, than removing the service (again, due to the flexibility).

I think you're probably right that there is a piece of the puzzle missing. Considering the timing (at the start of the calendar year) it seems that maybe Mears or the Airport wanted a significant cost increase to renew the contract and Disney just didn't think they could make it work.

On the other hand, and to backtrack a bit from what I said before, it's also possible that Disney actually DID want to continue the service, but Mears declined, thinking they could make more money doing it themselves. But we will never really know...
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
No need when you can just ride the bus to MK and go to the Olive Garden in Town Square. They did just raise the price of their (admittedly delicious for MK) Tour of Italy by $2, though…

Olive Garden offers a gourmet dining experience compared to the food we got at Tony's Town Square 4 years ago. I understand it's improved since then, but it would be hard not to. I didn't know it was possible to take a simple dish like chicken parmesan and make it almost inedible.
 

ToTBellHop

Well-Known Member
Olive Garden offers a gourmet dining experience compared to the food we got at Tony's Town Square 4 years ago. I understand it's improved since then, but it would be hard not to. I didn't know it was possible to take a simple dish like chicken parmesan and make it almost inedible.
Yeah, it was actually pretty good (again, for MK) this past October. Better than anything else I can find in that park.

Biggest let-down for me, recently, was BoG. Costs twice as much as Tony’s and it is certainly not twice the quality. Although we did dig our heels in and demand to wait for the West Wing. If you are going to charge me $60 a head, I won’t be in the damn music box room where all the bad footstools and teacups are sent.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Yeah, it was actually pretty good (again, for MK) this past October. Better than anything else I can find in that park.

Biggest let-down for me, recently, was BoG. Costs twice as much as Tony’s and it is certainly not twice the quality. Although we did dig our heels in and demand to wait for the West Wing. If you are going to charge me $60 a head, I won’t be in the damn music box room where all the bad footstools and teacups are sent.

I'll never go to BoG again. The food is not very good and the interior isn't impressive enough to justify the pricing; it feels too much like a cafeteria (the West Wing, as you mentioned, is a bit better). I'd rather pay that price to eat at Cinderella's Royal Table -- the food isn't any better (and may be worse), but you're basically paying for the setting in both places and I think the dining room inside the castle is a better setting.

I think the best meal I've ever had at the Magic Kingdom is the Crystal Palace breakfast buffet. It's hard to make a bad breakfast buffet (although the one at Boma is far better than Crystal Palace).
 

mikejs78

Premium Member
I'll never go to BoG again. The food is not very good and the interior isn't impressive enough to justify the pricing; it feels too much like a cafeteria (the West Wing, as you mentioned, is a bit better). I'd rather pay that price to eat at Cinderella's Royal Table -- the food isn't any better (and may be worse), but you're basically paying for the setting in both places and I think the dining room inside the castle is a better setting.

I think the best meal I've ever had at the Magic Kingdom is the Crystal Palace breakfast buffet. It's hard to make a bad breakfast buffet (although the one at Boma is far better than Crystal Palace).
I enjoyed BoG when it was semi-QS for Breakfast/Lunch. Food then was decent and (for MK) expensive but not ridiculously so. Now that it's Prix Fixe $62/person and only and TS, I won't be eating there again.
 

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