News Disney's Magical Express to end after 2021

bcoachable

Well-Known Member
This was ultimately inevitable. The rise of affordable ride share companies has meant:

The cost to secure one's own transportation from the airport is not a deal breaker as far as the cost of a WDW visit goes, and

The convenience and affordability of getting a ride elsewhere, such as Universal, means ME is not as effective as keeping people in the WDW bubble.
But if you wanted to use it- it was there for you- and paid for by Disney… now YOU pay for it, and Disney didn’t discount a thing for you.
Inevitable? Maybe. Money Grab? Absolutely.
Welcome to the new Disney:
More Disney more family more relevant….
 

DisneyfanMA

Well-Known Member
I know most don't want to hear this, but if you have kids and are alternately going to be renting a car or using ride sharing like uber or lyft, these inflatable boosters were what we ordered. We plan to use them in our rental for our upcoming trip. I can attest they are very well made and internal bladder is very thick. It inflates by mouth in about 5 seconds. Another tip for those flying anywhere with kids still in infant carriers: back when we were in that phase, we found a luggage strap thing that let us put the carrier on the back of the rolling carry on suitcase and roll through the airport right onto the plane with the child in their carrier. The straps cost us like 10 bucks.

Here is the inflatable booster:

 

Dan Deesnee

Well-Known Member
Bob Chapek has indicated that repeat visitors are the wrong kind of guest because they do not spend as much money. He only wants first time visitors staying on property at rack rates paying for daily tickets.

The problem with that mentality is that it is the repeat visitors that often get the one-and-done crowd to go in the first place.

Tough times for Disney parks are ahead.
 

TransportationGuy

Active Member
Thank you for the alternative transportation suggestions. Mears and Sunshine sound like good options for me. 2019 was our last trip and I seem to recall reading back then that Universal Studios also had their own bus transportation they were providing for their guests as well. I wonder if they took their's away too?
Universal’s has always been a paid service and runs almost identically to Mears Connect (Also run by Mears and obviously only for the Universal hotels).
 

nickys

Premium Member
Magical Express is a relatively new addition to WDW. There was a time, like most vacation destinations, where people had to find their own way to their hotel.

It's not that unusual and I'd be surprised if it moved the needle on attendance much, if at all.

Yes, it was a great perk and contributed to the "Disney Magic" element of a WDW vacation, but at the same time there are new attractions and new transportation options (Skyliner) that add value to staying onsite.
ME was marketed as a major selling point in the U.K. for staying onsite. It was used as a counter to the more usual trend for booking a private villa within 30 minutes from the parks. Prior to the private villas becoming popular, the holiday brochures for Florida were full of motels on International Drive. The options for staying onsite through most travel companies were limited to maybe 4 resorts in those days. I’d say ME changed that quite a lot.

We loved it. The holiday began when we were seated and the video started playing. No worries about whether a taxi / Uber / town car would have enough space for luggage. No wondering if booking a town car is going to be viable, in case of a delayed flight or Immigration checks taking longer than anticipated. Just turn up and get on a bus.
 

Po'Rich

Well-Known Member
The problem with that mentality is that it is the repeat visitors that often get the one-and-done crowd to go in the first place.

Tough times for Disney parks are ahead.
It is also completely antithetical to expanding DVC. Why encourage a timeshare if you want to discourage repeat visitors? I will say that Magic Express is one of the elements that led to me buying into DVC. While I recognized that Disney was expensive even then, I was impressed by the "Disney Bubble" that kept from being penny-pinched for every aspect of the trip.

Today's Disney would have made it much more likely that my first trip was a one-and-done trip. Instead, I've been back six times since then. Disney has definitely gotten a lot more money out of me over the years than they did with just the first trip.
 

larryz

I'm Just A Tourist!
Premium Member
Some might say, who cares about 2 decades from now. But I can tell you myself and all the people I know who go to WDW frequently do so because of the magical, life altering vacations we had there as children.
...and some people bought into the dream with DVC membership. I imagine they care about what WDW will be like in 20 years.
 

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