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News Disney's Magical Express to end after 2021

Disney Analyst

Well-Known Member
Check-in is at 3p. Until then, here's some shopping...

I mean, if I was an eccentric evil corporate business leader I’d have to say... that’s brilliant.

Incredibly smart business move. Funnel people who have travelled; some for hours and hours, to Disney Springs. With potential of maintaining luggage transfer, or facilitating luggage transfer from the drop off station, guests can then explore Springs until closer to check in time.

By golly I think we are on to the ultimate plan.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
I mean, if I was an eccentric evil corporate business leader I’d have to say... that’s brilliant.

Incredibly smart business move. Funnel people who have travelled; some for hours and hours, to Disney Springs. With potential of maintaining luggage transfer, or facilitating luggage transfer from the drop off station, guests can then explore Springs until closer to check in time.

By golly I think we are on to the ultimate plan.
And who isn't hungry after getting off the plane and traveling all day? We're always talking on here about whether people can make a dining reservation by X time on arrival day. Perhaps Disney Springs food venues need the boost.
 

Disney Analyst

Well-Known Member
And who isn't hungry after getting off the plane and traveling all day? We're always talking on here about whether people can make a dining reservation by X time on arrival day. Perhaps Disney Springs food venues need the boost.

They are pretty busy I believe, especially at night. Although I’m sure lunch / brunch service can use a boost.
 

Rutt

Well-Known Member
They have literally taken away everything I love about the parks.
Welcome show? Gone
Magical Express? Seeya
Street atmosphere? Farewell
Promotions and incentives to come? Lol nice try.

The rides are cool and all but the insane difference in cost between going here and say a weekend at Canada's Wonderland and Great Wolf Lodge hardly seems justifiable anymore. I just don't understand the thinking anymore, it's like they're actively trying to kill the parks.
 

Chip Chipperson

Well-Known Member
I'm under the impression that if the busses are forced to Springs, then luggage transfer will remain, as Disney does not want suitcases on Disney Transport buses (they aren't really made for it).

That still sounds like getting a bus at Disney Springs will be a nightmare if there will be both new arrivals from the airport and guests already staying at the resorts all trying to get the same buses to the hotel. I certainly hope they allow Mears to drop off at the hotels.
 

el_super

Well-Known Member
The Mouse has made a big misstep on this one.


Probably not.


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.

I wouldn't be surprised at all, if the entire strategy here was related to the Disney Genie and the budding corporate relationship with Lyft. It would absolutely make sense if, with a strong focus on technology and scheduling, Disney wanted something that could be adopted to work within stricter timetables while being more flexible and nimble. Something that buses couldn't do in a way that individual drivers could. Apps could monitor driver locations and assign pickups and routes in a way that creates deeper efficiencies.
Plus, replacing hundreds of diesel buses, with smaller, electric/hybrid vehicles would also work toward their environmentality initiatives.

On the Disney Genie front, it would also make sense to bundle a highly rated existing service (Magical Express) with the new service to encourage sign-ups. Much in the same way that MaxPass at Disneyland was tied into the Photopass service. Getting baggage/pickup service at the airport might justify paying the extra fee for the new service.

Mears, as a company, is in a really rough spot. They are losing a lot of their major contracts at the moment, and will effectively be reduced to a cab company that also charters buses instead of a major transportation operator.

Uber and Lyft are dominating transportation at this level and companies are going to be hard pressed to catch up at this point.

LAX re-engineered their pickup/dropoff experience in part, because of the impact of Uber and Lyft (LAXit). It wouldn't surprise me at all if they were also working on gaining influence and interjecting their business into conversations occurring at all major US airports, including MCO. Which would lead to this announcement potentially being something that Disney was pushed into doing either due to pressure from Lyft, directly on Disney, or actions taken by MCO to support Uber/Lyft and ridesharing as a whole.
 

Chip Chipperson

Well-Known Member
And who isn't hungry after getting off the plane and traveling all day? We're always talking on here about whether people can make a dining reservation by X time on arrival day. Perhaps Disney Springs food venues need the boost.

I know that my wife and I almost always end up heading to Disney Springs on our arrival day. We usually get in too early to check in, so heading there kills more time for lunch than just eating at the resort QS location. I still wouldn't want to be dropped off right there from the airport, though - even without my luggage. That would be such a massive downgrade from a free bus to the resort (I know, it's built into the room rates but those aren't dropping) to paying for a service that still requires a transfer to another service (whether that's a free resort bus or a paid taxi/ride share) just to get to the same place.
 

el_super

Well-Known Member
I'm under the impression that if the busses are forced to Springs, then luggage transfer will remain, as Disney does not want suitcases on Disney Transport buses (they aren't really made for it).

I will mention here though, that the Disney Transport buses are already setup to make multiple stops at some resorts, where the Magical Express buses currently are not. It would make sense in a future state, when you don't want guests going to a central lobby to check in, that they would want to divert more guests to more direct busses/transport that can drop them off closer to their rooms.
 

doctornick

Well-Known Member
I know it’s too soon for all of you who are mourning the loss of MDE, but I never really understood how so many fans came to see riding in busses as a magical part of their Disney vacation. People Mover trains at MCO, then a charter bus to your resort, then a city bus to the parks. As someone who routinely rides the bus to get around in my city, it just never seemed that special. I always wished for more from Disney in transportation—something original (PeopleMover, autonomous pods, Monorail, SkyLiner etc.) within WDW and to/from the airport.

I don't think people by and large feels it's "magical" as much as it just being integrated and streamlined. Having MDE made it feel like an integral part of the resort and overall vacation versus having to get an Uber/taxi/private van/whatever on your own.

Also, little things like scanning your MB to check in, having people point the way with big Mickey hands on, having videos on the buses, etc are little things that aren't much in isolation but are meaningful to some as it makes it feel like the vacation "starts early".

Sure, would a novel transport be cool? Absolutely, but no one is saying that MDE was like a mind blowing experience or anything. but the luggage transportation was a pretty big deal.
 

Lil Copter Cap

Active Member
I do agree that with the introduction of Genie + any other technology initiatives that we don't know officially, creating a streamlined and more personal MCO -> WDW transport makes sense. Galactic Starcruiser alone is going to pull in that crowd that can pay premium for a personal ride to and from the airport.
 

disneyglimpses

Well-Known Member
I have another theory. Disney has another plan for the Magical Express at Disney Springs in conjunction with the Brightline but isn't going to disclose it in case it doesn't materialize. They may already be in PR trouble with Splash Mountain refurb in Orlando (or anywhere) potentially not happening. There are a half a dozen other announced parks projects that are no longer happening.

Better to surprise your guests with good news, than to surprise them and then pull it away (which they have a history of doing as of late).
 

doctornick

Well-Known Member
I'm under the impression that if the busses are forced to Springs, then luggage transfer will remain, as Disney does not want suitcases on Disney Transport buses (they aren't really made for it).

Well, that's interesting....

If luggage transfer remains (technically returns post-COVID since it isn't happening now), I'd be less upset about this whole situation. The DME buses are fine but I can easily book a private van in advance. But not having to handle my luggage would be huge (Especially on the way back from the resort).
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I kind of struggle to see why the train is that much of a game changer. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great way of transportation, I don’t think everyone is thinking about what happens after. Your in Disney Springs now what? You have to transfer to another bus that probably will take forever. If your a family you have to deal with all the pieces of luggage and if you have small children that becomes a problem as well.

Ride sharing/cabs/car service/buses are really the only methods of avoiding this problem.
I feel exactly the same way. Who is going to want to deal with loading kids and possibly luggage onto a train then getting off and navigating everyone through a train station to more queues and waiting for a bus, possibly having to check-in your luggage again once you get to DS? And all this after having already spent a long day dealing with all the fun of air travel, some from other countries. As someone else has said on this thread, we're not talking about budget travellers or backpackers here, but people dropping thousands of dollars on a family vacation. Most will pay for a cab, Uber/Lyft, or bus straight to the hotel rather than deal with that hassle. I would.

Interesting that they tried to build a little WDW-style resort in Paris that largely failed to convince people to stay within their bubble in favour of the nearby attractions of Paris. Now they're replicating the Paris model at WDW.
 
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aliceismad

Well-Known Member
LAX re-engineered their pickup/dropoff experience in part, because of the impact of Uber and Lyft (LAXit). It wouldn't surprise me at all if they were also working on gaining influence and interjecting their business into conversations occurring at all major US airports, including MCO. Which would lead to this announcement potentially being something that Disney was pushed into doing either due to pressure from Lyft, directly on Disney, or actions taken by MCO to support Uber/Lyft and ridesharing as a whole.
The LAX re-engineering was a ****show when it launched. Has it evened out now? I don't doubt a possible collaboration between Disney and Lyft/Uber but it seems massively wasteful vs. biodiesel-fueled busses. At LAX, people are going to a variety of places from the hotel. At MCO, there is a considerable contingent every day that is going to Disney.
 

el_super

Well-Known Member
I have another theory. Disney has another plan for the Magical Express at Disney Springs in conjunction with the Brightline but isn't going to disclose it in case it doesn't materialize.

Yeah... entirely possible. If I am understanding this right, the Mears contract was ending in 2022, and it's possible Disney, while not ready to release any information about a new service, was contractually obligated to inform Mears of their decision within a specific time frame (maybe exactly 1 year?).

I will say, that might not be an indication that a new service isn't going to happen. It may be 90% locked in, but they aren't ready to announce just yet. If they expect a new Disney Genie/MDE+ experience ready for 2022, they would want to announce closer to a time when people would be willing to book a 2022 vacation, versus cannibalizing their 2021 bookings.
 

LuvtheGoof

Grill Master
Premium Member
One thing I haven't seen discussed here is the fact that the luggage people were a completely separate company that went out of business last year. It wasn't Disney or Mears people that picked it up for you and delivered to your resort. So if Mears does offer some sort of reasonably priced paid service, you'll still have to pick up your bags and schlep them to wherever you get the Mears bus.
 

Surferboy567

Well-Known Member
Interesting that they tried to build a little WDW-style resort in Paris that largely failed to convince people to stay within their bubble in favour of the nearby attractions of Paris. Now they're replicating the Paris model at WDW.
Didn’t even think about this. Isn’t that a bad move business wise? Wouldn’t they want to incentivize staying in the bubble? So then it would be hard to travel to competitors.
 

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