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News Disney's Magical Express to end after 2021

Notes from Neverland

Well-Known Member
I've already shared my disappointment earlier in this thread, but one other item I forgot to note:

We've attended conferences in Disney and we've hosted our own event in Epcot for family/friends. One of the selling points for both was the convenience and ease of getting to Walt Disney World. Get to the airport and Disney takes care of the rest. There was no guess work for newcomers who had no clue what to do. It was a really nice perk for non-Disney audiences coming to Disney World. Many conference goers and family/friends from our event commented on how amazingly easy it was.
 

tanc

Premium Member
Seeing those who just say "just use Mears" is just sad. ME is a great service, no one wants to book this stuff like it's the 1990's anymore. It also is Disney themed, and super cozy. I always look forward after a long day on a plane taking the coach to the resort and watching whatever is on the screen. It's an exciting experience that nothing else can really rival.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
Seeing those who just say "just use Mears" is just sad. ME is a great service, no one wants to book this stuff like it's the 1990's anymore. It also is Disney themed, and super cozy. I always look forward after a long day on a plane taking the coach to the resort and watching whatever is on the screen. It's an exciting experience that nothing else can really rival.
Aren't the current Magical Express busses owned by Mears?
 

tanc

Premium Member
"Vacationers have more options to choose from than ever for transportation, including ride-share services that save time and offer more flexibility to go where they want, when they want. In light of this shift, when Disney Resort hotel bookings open for stays in 2022, we will no longer offer Disney’s Magical Express service for airport transportation, starting with arrivals Jan. 1, 2022. We will continue to operate the service for new and existing reservations made at Disney Resort hotels for arrivals throughout 2021. Additionally, complimentary transportation options – such as buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner – will continue to be available within Walt Disney World Resort for Disney Resort hotel guests, including to and from all four theme parks."

This is a statement from Disney, and honestly it sounds hard to believe. Back in 2019 the buses were completely packed each time I rode them, even at like 5AM in the morning... just is so weird. I also really don't like how Disney is handling all these cancellations of magical services or whatever. They need to do a FAQ and explain certain things, it's just unprofessional to give little insight about the future, since people may want to have a whole trip planned before... makes me not feel the magic anymore. I really don't think I will go to Disney for a while after all these recent changes.
 

Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
I wonder how long it will be until they start charging to use the on site transportation
Originally when WDW first opened until the early 1980s, one had to pay for a seperate 'Transportation Ticket' to use the Monorials and ferry boats.

So if WDW decided to start charging a fee for using Transporation again, it would be a 'throwback' to a former era.

Fans love throwbacks.
Nostalgia!



-
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
There was a line about transportation continuing to be free “for wdw resort guests” - not sure if that means anything or not.

I wonder if they're considering limiting park hopping to WDW resort guests. That would be an easy way to limit the use of internal transportation without having to implement any kind of checks because non-resort guests would have little reason to use the buses, as well as being a pretty huge perk to staying on-site. Non-resort guests might occasionally take a bus to a resort for a meal, but not in large enough numbers to really matter.

I suppose they would also use the buses to get to/from Disney Springs, but I don't think Disney would want to limit access to that regardless. The biggest flaw in that plan is EPCOT dining -- they may need park hopping from non-resort guests to keep those restaurants full (but maybe not, if any non-resort guest who goes to EPCOT that day can't leave to go to another park).
 

MileZXO

Active Member
This is sad for me as a UK visitor every other year, we only stay on site for 2 reasons.. theexpress from the airport (after a 10hr flight its great to just be left in the hands of disney) and the Dining Plan.

If both are gone I dont think we'd bother with staying onsite.. the dining plan is the only thing keeping us from splitting our 2 week holiday with visits to universal, seaworld and dining on I drive each night.
 

LovePop

Active Member
I'm looking forward to the train Brightline that will connect airport to Disney Springs in 2023. I love trains. It should run every half hour or more frequently, which isn't too bad for waiting. I don't mind hauling luggage because I have 2 teen sons who can do it. Once I get to DS, we can uber to the hotel.

I know that sounds complicated, but I suspect that's what Disney is expecting everybody to do in the future. I mean, why else have a train line from airport to WDW? It's to remove the DME. There can be no other reason.

Disney can resume the luggage hauling option so that people can take the train to DS without luggage, then jump on the DS resort bus. That way, each hotel's DS bus doubles as the airport bus. And those who want to haul luggage will have to take uber at DS. It's more clumsy than the DME, but not impossible.

I only wonder how close the train station will be to the bus station?
 

nickys

Premium Member
I'm looking forward to the train Brightline that will connect airport to Disney Springs in 2023. I love trains. It should run every half hour or more frequently, which isn't too bad for waiting. I don't mind hauling luggage because I have 2 teen sons who can do it. Once I get to DS, we can uber to the hotel.

I know that sounds complicated, but I suspect that's what Disney is expecting everybody to do in the future. I mean, why else have a train line from airport to WDW? It's to remove the DME. There can be no other reason.

Disney can resume the luggage hauling option so that people can take the train to DS without luggage, then jump on the DS resort bus. That way, each hotel's DS bus doubles as the airport bus. And those who want to haul luggage will have to take uber at DS. It's more clumsy than the DME, but not impossible.

I only wonder how close the train station will be to the bus station?
Disney doesn’t do the luggage service in house.

And 2023 is the earliest. Remember the track work hasn’t even broken ground yet.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
"Vacationers have more options to choose from than ever for transportation, including ride-share services that save time and offer more flexibility to go where they want, when they want. In light of this shift, when Disney Resort hotel bookings open for stays in 2022, we will no longer offer Disney’s Magical Express service for airport transportation, starting with arrivals Jan. 1, 2022. We will continue to operate the service for new and existing reservations made at Disney Resort hotels for arrivals throughout 2021. Additionally, complimentary transportation options – such as buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner – will continue to be available within Walt Disney World Resort for Disney Resort hotel guests, including to and from all four theme parks."

This is a statement from Disney, and honestly it sounds hard to believe. Back in 2019 the buses were completely packed each time I rode them, even at like 5AM in the morning... just is so weird. I also really don't like how Disney is handling all these cancellations of magical services or whatever. They need to do a FAQ and explain certain things, it's just unprofessional to give little insight about the future, since people may want to have a whole trip planned before... makes me not feel the magic anymore. I really don't think I will go to Disney for a while after all these recent changes.
This popped up on my Instagram from The Onion today and made me think a lot about this response from Disney!

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.46.57 pm.png
 
Just some food for thought, I worked for Mears a couple years back and learned the following.

- Disney absorbs the lions share of the up front cost of the DME buses as they (contractually) are only used for that contract
- Contractually, Disney replaces the fleet at around 1,000,000 miles - Roughly when mechanical issues take their course.
- Something big is happening at MCO in 2022 and I’m not talking about Brightline. That’s when Terminal C will open aka when Disney would have to build out an additional operation and get more buses. Instead of a fleet of ~35 buses, you’d be looking closer to 50 initially (and more after C is built out
- Mears for its part was surprised about the news, but shuttles are historically the bread and butter of their business as the company was founded on park shuttles and corporate events (Orlando has the third largest convention center in the world)
- Disney World has multiple long term contracts in place for massive events on site (Ex. Varsity Cheer, in house Marathons, several private corporations) that have all traditionally relied on DME. The vast majority of these organizations have worked with Mears longer than DME has been around. What’s the point? In addition to Mears simply running their own service, they essentially have built in customers in large numbers.
- If Mears wanted to start a service that mimics DME as closely as possible, they wouldn’t even need Bags if they decided to use their existing/additional in-house staff that typically service corporate clients
- Lastly, at least one member of the Mears leadership sits on GOAA’s board, so they’ll be heavily involved/aware of establishing the replacement.

For Disney, I’m sure it’s about the money. For the partners, it’s just time to pivot and get back to the bread and butter
 

ParentsOf4

Well-Known Member
That is your take from that? You are reading to much into that. They are just saying the data shows less people are using ME and either renting cars, taking direct shuttles, Uber etc. Sure some people love ME but less and less than 5-10 years ago.
No, I'm not reading too much into it. That's exactly how it's written, which is my point. Someone working in customer relations should know better than to write a sentence like that.

Of course that's not what they were trying to say, but it's what they said.
I’d like to see this data.
I agree. I see more people using ME than I saw years ago.
Prior to 2020, I doubt the number of people using DME had dropped. It's free transportation to and from the airport, with Disney taking care of your luggage for you.

Let's consider Disney's statement, particularly the part that was bolded (and got this particular conversation started):

Vacationers have more options to choose from than ever for transportation, including ride-share services that save time and offer more flexibility to go where they want, when they want.​

Disney did not state fewer are using DME, only that there are more options. Disney's statement is factually accurate.

The real issue here is that DME is not as profitable for Disney as it once was. When Disney created DME in 2005, an important financial consideration was it allowed Disney to capture all your vacation dollars. You were stuck in the bubble. With ride sharing, this is no longer the case.

I think corporate Disney is making a mistake. DME and EMH were (IMO) the primary reasons for paying Disney's exorbitant prices to stay onsite. The value of a Disney room has now dropped precipitously. It's time to start looking at offsite options.
 
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JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
Just some food for thought, I worked for Mears a couple years back and learned the following.

- Disney absorbs the lions share of the up front cost of the DME buses as they (contractually) are only used for that contract
- Contractually, Disney replaces the fleet at around 1,000,000 miles - Roughly when mechanical issues take their course.
- Something big is happening at MCO in 2022 and I’m not talking about Brightline. That’s when Terminal C will open aka when Disney would have to build out an additional operation and get more buses. Instead of a fleet of ~35 buses, you’d be looking closer to 50 initially (and more after C is built out
- Mears for its part was surprised about the news, but shuttles are historically the bread and butter of their business as the company was founded on park shuttles and corporate events (Orlando has the third largest convention center in the world)
- Disney World has multiple long term contracts in place for massive events on site (Ex. Varsity Cheer, in house Marathons, several private corporations) that have all traditionally relied on DME. The vast majority of these organizations have worked with Mears longer than DME has been around. What’s the point? In addition to Mears simply running their own service, they essentially have built in customers in large numbers.
- If Mears wanted to start a service that mimics DME as closely as possible, they wouldn’t even need Bags if they decided to use their existing/additional in-house staff that typically service corporate clients
- Lastly, at least one member of the Mears leadership sits on GOAA’s board, so they’ll be heavily involved/aware of establishing the replacement.

For Disney, I’m sure it’s about the money. For the partners, it’s just time to pivot and get back to the bread and butter
Sounds like the monorail situation. Large capital outlay = NG board response so bye DME
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
I know that sounds complicated, but I suspect that's what Disney is expecting everybody to do in the future. I mean, why else have a train line from airport to WDW? It's to remove the DME. There can be no other reason.
It is not a train line between Walt Disney World and the airport. It is a train line between Miami, Orlando and Tampa that will stop at Walt Disney World and the airport.
 

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