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News Disney's Magical Express to end after 2021

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Although, those tens of thousands of other hotel guests will be split up among four parks instead of having everyone in one park because of EMH.

Not a huge fan of this change, and I'll miss the nighttime EMH especially, but this will probably end up being fine.

Ideally, yes, but chances are the vast majority of those guests will be at the Magic Kingdom. Possibly Hollywood Studios too depending on what happens with Rise of the Resistance, but at the moment they'd already know if they needed to go to DHS or if they missed out on a boarding group.
 

Vegas Disney Fan

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I don't see much of a market for the train between the airport and WDW. I'm not sure who exactly such a route would appeal to... the family of 4-5 with a bunch of luggage? No way they'd want to lug stuff and have to switch transportation. The business travel going t a meeting at the Yacht and Beach Club? They'd probably have expenses paid by work and would travel directly. The couple going on their honeymoon? The 4 generation family with great grandpapa and his walker?

The train from airport to WDW would work for a budget traveler willing to deal with some inconvenience to save money. While I would "never say never" about trying to pigeonhole people, I don't think that's much of WDW's guests. This isn't where 20 some year old backpackers go on vacation.

That's not to say that a stop at WDW doesn't make sense. It does - but I'd expect it to mostly be used by Florida residents taking the train from Miami or Tampa and points in between so they don't have to drive and could have a relatively direct trip.
The train from CDG to Disneyland Paris is very similar. You get your bags, take them on the train with you, unload at the DL station, and then load them onto a resort bus outside the station. The downside is it’s more luggage maneuvering, the upside is the high speed train takes 10 minutes compared to a 35 minute drive.

We‘ve done the trip via commuter rail (RER - about $10 and took an hour, would never do this again with luggage), via hired car (about $30 and about 35 minutes), and via the high speed train (about $45 and 10 minutes) and IMO the high speed train is by far the best.

I enjoy the Magical Express but if the train can get me out of traffic and to my resort a half hour sooner than a car I’ll be on it.
 

sanctumsolitude

Active Member
I'm trying to determine whether this is actually a big deal to people, as this service was incredibly convenient and affordable, or if this is just the straw that broke the camel's back. After cutting free Magic Bands, stopping work on Tron & GOTG CW, discontinuing SOTMK, and now EMH and this, I wonder if people have had hit.

I also wouldn't be surprised if Disney has been dipping their toe in the water when it comes to cutting costs and seeing what they could get away with. With the horrible reception to this, I'm interested to see if/how they continue.
This one feels different than everything else. For many it was/is something that separated staying at a Disney resort from others. It was a sign that Disney did things differently to make the vacation as enjoyable as possible. It had its flaws but it was always nice knowing it was an option.

The magic band one is also annoying but not to this extent. At least you can still buy magic bands (with a preorder discount still I think?). We will have to see what transportation options will replace DME, but right now there is no exact replacement.
 

Vegas Disney Fan

Well-Known Member
This one feels different than everything else. For many it was/is something that separated staying at a Disney resort from others. It was a sign that Disney did things differently to make the vacation as enjoyable as possible. It had its flaws but it was always nice knowing it was an option.

The magic band one is also annoying but not to this extent. At least you can still buy magic bands (with a preorder discount still I think?). We will have to see what transportation options will replace DME, but right now there is no exact replacement.
Mears has already put out a press release saying they will continue the bus service, it’ll just be a pay service now.
 

Kram Sacul

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
So what is the value proposition to visit Walt Disney World now? $500 hotel rooms, broken or closed attractions, limited hours, no complimentary transportation from MCO (this is huge, especially with families). Limited menus, over priced meals... What else am I missing?

Unseen magic? I have no idea. When I see the videos of the crowds all I can think of is how many sad and pathetic suckers there are lining up to experience a half-assed WDW.
 

Vegas Disney Fan

Well-Known Member
Although, those tens of thousands of other hotel guests will be split up among four parks instead of having everyone in one park because of EMH.

Not a huge fan of this change, and I'll miss the nighttime EMH especially, but this will probably end up being fine.
I’m excited about this change, I’ve never done an EMH morning because those parks always end up the busiest, this makes EMH a perk I can finally use.
 

DGracey

Well-Known Member
The dragon is hungry.

The Mouse has made a big misstep on this one.

This, is not merely a bus.

For a company built entirely off of magical experiences, cancelling this is so very off brand.

The Magical Express has been both the right business decision and the right customer service experience for over 15 years.

It is quite something to watch in real time a company built on decades of trust, work so actively hard to erode it.

While only Disney knows what their long term plans are, announcing this whopper without any hint or indication of something arriving in its place is a public relations disaster. The Mouse is once again using the current pandemic and economic circumstances, to accelerate a cost-cutting business decision the number crunchers have wanted to make for a long time.

But when people have more transportation choices, Disney should be providing the best choice.

For resorts that often have had 90% occupancy, this new increase in arrivals & departures from vehicle traffic (more ride-shares, taxis, car rentals and shuttles) will be a mind boggling mess.

Here’s hoping they come to their senses. But if recent history is our guide …

Today’s Team Disney Orlando knows the cost of absolutely everything, but the value of nothing.

As Abraham Maslow once said, "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail."

They are rapidly running out of nails.
 

hopemax

Well-Known Member
I can't really think of an occasion in the last 25 years that I have been doing this site that guest pushback on a major decision has made a difference.
Forgive me for not reading all 27 pages, this thread is now at, to see if someone else has mentioned it.

Eliminating Early Entry post 9/11 absolutely did affect WDW's bookings. They ended the original early entry October 2001. EMH started Oct 1, 2002. I even found the WDW Magic post announcing it https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/extra-magic-hour-coming-oct-1st-2002.14820/ Without guest pushback as a reason why people were not returning, I do not believe they would have brought it back. IMO, remembering that mistake played a roll in this early entry return announcement being packaged in with the DME news.

However, this response has the same sort of feeling that move did. Although, if they announce an upcharge it may temper it for the "Disney is a business / everything must be monetized" folks.
 

SLUSHIE

Well-Known Member
I understand the convenience but my family never used it, we always get a rental car. As for charging for parking at the resorts its also a non issue because we always drove to the park, because rental car. Paying for resort parking covers any paid parking areas at WDW for the day.

Also I wouldn't be to quick to jump on Brightline and luggage issues. We don't know what other services they may provide as far as luggage, maybe they will offer a similar luggage service that DME did, who knows.

Also just to throw this out there, there was a time when DME didn't even exist, and there was even less transportation options than there are now and will be in the future.
 
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SLUSHIE

Well-Known Member
I’m excited about this change, I’ve never done an EMH morning because those parks always end up the busiest, this makes EMH a perk I can finally use.
Agreed. Most of the time we stay off property. We were going to stay on property for the trip we had planned in April mostly for using EMH to get a Rise boarding pass.

When you stay off property EMH is a sign of which park to avoid.
 

YorkshireT

Active Member
I definitely understand that Covid has hurt a lot of companies, including Disney, but this is pretty shocking. That's a big advantage of staying on property and I'm sure the room rates will only continue to go up despite taking away benefits. I still love Disney World as a whole but it feels like they keep getting greedier and greedier year after year.
Disney share price was hovering around 140 pre covid, now it is around 180. What one hand taketh away, the other hand has given- mainly more of a captive locked down audience for Disney +.

Yes it’s taken on debt but that does not matter too much, money is dirt cheap.

I can assure you that Covid has not really hurt Disney.

What we are then looking at is the division being hurt, and it being run on a divisional basis. But given Mr Chapek will call all the shots, this is in no way surprising. I’d expect costs to be cut substantially more, despite Disney having a ‘good pandemic’. The car parking charges were all part of the plan and this has being a long time coming.

Additionally, you’ll see Disney referring to the pandemic in relation to EMH with a carefully crafted statement giving the ‘impression’ that it is now being done for safety reasons without saying so. What’s the betting it will be open on an evening with hard ticketed events?

Some would say this is all reasonable, others would say Disney is treating its customers willing to pony up the $ no matter what as fools.
 
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JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
I understand the convenience but my family never used it, we always get a rental car. As for charging for parking at the resorts its also a non issue because we always drove to the park, because rental car. Paying for resort parking covers any paid parking areas at WDW for the day.

Also I wouldn't be to quick to jump on Brightline and luggage issues. We don't know what other services they may provide as far as luggage, maybe they will offer a similar luggage service that DME did, who knows.

Also just to throw this out there, there was a time when DME didn't even exist, and there was even less transportation options than there are now and will be in the future.
The difference is the cost of the DME will still be included in the room rate or do you think they will lower rates?
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
Resort busses are not equipped to handle arriving guests with luggage, strollers, carry on items, etc. let alone the shear volume of guests coming from MCO on a daily basis.
It will be difficult but could be a new reality . Family of four boards the Bright line train at MCO carrying their luggage and rides the train to WDW and other tourists stops then boards busses still carrying their luggage to take them to their hotel. The bars better be open because I will need a drink. Hopefully the train doesn't break down somewhere by the gator filled swamps and residential areas of Central FL.
 
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Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
That said, Disney has a plan to offer a premium airport transfer ala the Minnie Van airport service. It is expected to be at a generally inaccessible price point for most. Whether a luggage transfer/airline check-in will still be included appears to be TBD.
Surely Disney has to realise at some point they're running a resort based around theme parks in Central Florida and not a casino in Monaco or private clifftop villas on the Amalfi Coast?

I really don't understand who with the money for all of these uncharge experiences on top of what Disney charges is happily vacationing at Walt Disney World, but I guess someone must be.
 
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Obobru

Well-Known Member
I doubt DME would be contractually included in DVC, but... in theory I've got to imagine that Disney has ben charging DVC members for their portion of the DME as part of the maintenance fees. I wonder if stopping MDE would help to lower maintenance fees (or have a lower increase) in 2022?

The difference is the cost of the DME will still be included in the room rate or do you think they will lower rates?
Let's say it costs $50m to run MDE based on my previous calculation post.

Now room stats are all over the place online but I saw 36,000 hotel rooms quoted and I added up a maximum capacity of DVC rooms as 5520 so total 41,520. Let's say occupancy is 85% which is lower than some figures I have seen but takes into account some DVC units are combined at times.

Total rooms sold 12,881,000 so $3.88 per room night is about the cost of DME. We all know that Disney never reduces room rates but it's now just added a bit more profit to each night. Maybe this saving will be passed along to DVC members so for Disney it's not a saving for those bookings.
 

doctornick

Well-Known Member
The train from CDG to Disneyland Paris is very similar. You get your bags, take them on the train with you, unload at the DL station, and then load them onto a resort bus outside the station. The downside is it’s more luggage maneuvering, the upside is the high speed train takes 10 minutes compared to a 35 minute drive.

We‘ve done the trip via commuter rail (RER - about $10 and took an hour, would never do this again with luggage), via hired car (about $30 and about 35 minutes), and via the high speed train (about $45 and 10 minutes) and IMO the high speed train is by far the best.

I enjoy the Magical Express but if the train can get me out of traffic and to my resort a half hour sooner than a car I’ll be on it.
Would Brightline be much quicker than a direct bus? I’ll admit I’m ignorant on the specifics but I suspect the comparison above isn’t all that relevant. I think WDW is closer to MCO than DLP is to CDG. And Paris is a major city with massive differences in traffic/congestion compared to central Florida. even if it’s faster, you have to deal with two different boarding/transferring luggage and depending on how the timing works out, you could get substantial time loss in the process due to that.

Taking too long never seemed like an issue for MDE to me. And it won’t be an issue on whatever Mears bus replacement will exist (or whatever company fills the vacuum) or just taking a towncar or Uber/Lyft/taxi. All those options would seem to fit WDWs core guests much better than Brightline will.
 

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