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News Disney's Magical Express to end after 2021

This is different because for guest that take DME it is their first and last memory of their trip. When your first and last memory of your trip in Orlando becomes paying an extra fee for your trip, it changes your perspective on all the other extra money you have spent to stay on property. In many people's mind that perk right after landing and right as they are leaving helps justify the other expenses.
I felt like I'd read about this "first and last" effect somewhere so I Googled it and it's called the Serial Position Effect and Recency Effect - people really do remember beginnings and endings more than middles, in general.
 

carnini

Member
Think I chimed in earlier but reading what has been said its about the perk going away, as it seems so many of the perks are going away.

Also as someone mentioned, its the first and last part of your trip. My kids love the Magical Express and I am glad to pay more at a Disney hotel for the Magical Express and Luggage service. If it was a cost issue, then I think most people would pay a nominal fee the ME, but I think its just short sighted (guests get to resort quicker and start spending money sooner) especially for those with Families.

We go at least once a year for the last 19 years, and with another perk disappearing I am wavering to booking what was such a magical experience. I can say, I doubt we will stay on property again, its not the one perk, its the several disappearing.
 

doctornick

Well-Known Member
Think I chimed in earlier but reading what has been said its about the perk going away, as it seems so many of the perks are going away.

Also as someone mentioned, its the first and last part of your trip. My kids love the Magical Express and I am glad to pay more at a Disney hotel for the Magical Express and Luggage service. If it was a cost issue, then I think most people would pay a nominal fee the ME, but I think its just short sighted (guests get to resort quicker and start spending money sooner) especially for those with Families.




I think this where I’m at. If they would have DME service as an add on to your resort reservation at an extra cost - but was otherwise the same service - I’d be fine with it. To me, it’s the convenience (especially the luggage handling) that’s the big perk more than it being “free”.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
We usually travel to WDW in the winter, so we always have a change of clothes available because we take the first available flight in the morning which means leaving the house around 3:30ish in the morning and being dressed accordingly. When we get to the resort, the weather is MUCH nicer so we need a change of clothes just to avoid sweating buckets while wearing jeans and sweatshirts.
Layers.

If at all possible, we try to dress in layers. Home to airport to plane is nearly all indoors, so for WDW trips, we try to keep to hoodies paired with a t-shirt. As soon as we land, the hoodie comes off.

Last winter, we bought something called a 'packable parka," that reflects one's own body heat back at the wearer. I was skeptical, as they look pretty thin, but they kept us very warm outdoors in 23 degrees F weather (not FL). Because they are puffers, they easily compact. Unpack, and they naturally puff right back up, no wrinkles. Well worth the $. Some are $$$, but ours were only about $45.

For summer, we have the raincoat version. The summer/spring/fall version packs down into one of the jacket's pockets (sandwich bag size). They double as windbreakers. In a pinch they can be paired with a hoodie, and that works down to about the mid 40's. (FL winter weather). I should add, they are super 90% of the time. Once in a while, FL gets days that are absolute drenching rain for hours. For a day like that, the plastic ponchos are better. We bring a set as back up, but haven't had to use any for several years.
 

wutisgood

Member
I actually haven't taken the magic express back to the airport in the last couple years since they made the pickup earlier. I generally roll through TSA pre like an hour before takeoff (offseason). I wonder if returns were down because of that change.

I do wonder what more people staying off site will do to disney hotel prices. They do compete on the open market to a point if rooms are available and are listed on other sites besides the official one. It's possible we quietly see some more discounts or priceline listings if they arent selling unless disney would rather the rooms sit unused.
 

corran horn

Well-Known Member
I actually haven't taken the magic express back to the airport in the last couple years since they made the pickup earlier. I generally roll through TSA pre like an hour before takeoff (offseason). I wonder if returns were down because of that change.

I do wonder what more people staying off site will do to disney hotel prices. They do compete on the open market to a point if rooms are available and are listed on other sites besides the official one. It's possible we quietly see some more discounts or priceline listings if they arent selling unless disney would rather the rooms sit unused.
There's going to be people to make up the volume I imagine. They don't have a demand problem.
 

wutisgood

Member
There's going to be people to make up the volume I imagine. They don't have a demand problem.
The changes haven't kicked in. We don't know how much money people are going to have to spend either when they do. Disney in recent years has closed hotels or sections of hotels to keep occupancy high even a bit before covid though.
 
The changes haven't kicked in. We don't know how much money people are going to have to spend either when they do. Disney in recent years has closed hotels or sections of hotels to keep occupancy high even a bit before covid though.
I am completely speculating here, but I also think that Disney might be taken by surprise in that they seem to be pursuing a somewhat male-centric business plan (a focus on big ticket items such as rides and action movies,) while some huge percentage of travel decisions are made by women (80%, according to Google.) My guess is that it is women - moms, women traveling alone, grandmas, etc. - who value the ME most, and Disney's executive team seems to skew heavily male. Again, total speculation, but I think they may have a bit of a blind spot here and be surprised at the pushback on this decision.
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
I am completely speculating here, but I also think that Disney might be taken by surprise in that they seem to be pursuing a somewhat male-centric business plan (a focus on big ticket items such as rides and action movies,) while some huge percentage of travel decisions are made by women (80%, according to Google.) My guess is that it is women - moms, women traveling alone, grandmas, etc. - who value the ME most, and Disney's executive team seems to skew heavily male. Again, total speculation, but I think they may have a bit of a blind spot here and be surprised at the pushback on this decision.
That’s a very good point. Would also point towards relying on smart phones for ordering food, checking in to restaurants, etc.

An exec. like Chapek will think he’s hip and cool by checking in on his app. A grandmother just wants to check in for dinner by saying “hi I’m here to check in for dinner.”
 

Jrb1979

Well-Known Member
I am completely speculating here, but I also think that Disney might be taken by surprise in that they seem to be pursuing a somewhat male-centric business plan (a focus on big ticket items such as rides and action movies,) while some huge percentage of travel decisions are made by women (80%, according to Google.) My guess is that it is women - moms, women traveling alone, grandmas, etc. - who value the ME most, and Disney's executive team seems to skew heavily male. Again, total speculation, but I think they may have a bit of a blind spot here and be surprised at the pushback on this decision.
It's all part of the seismic shift that is happening. It's all about the ROI now and how much money they can get from people
 
It's all part of the seismic shift that is happening. It's all about the ROI now and how much money they can get from people
Agree, but I still think they may be surprised by that ROI. Who knows how long it will take the economy to return to normal and for people to feel comfortable traveling, especially with children. In the meantime, Disney also has a new form of competition in the form of local sites like Great Wolf Lodge (not sure how long they've actually been around but I work with kids, and I can say it's been within about the past 5-7 years that suddenly that's the place to go, locally, and I assume there are similar places in other parts of the country) and houses that have been built into mini Staycation Fun Zones during the pandemic.

I feel like I'm being incredibly negative here which certainly isn't my usual stance regarding Disney - it's one of my favorite places in the world and whatever is going on with them, be it financial struggles or a miscalculated new direction, I hope it passes soon and they get back to a focus on customer service. I'll always remember getting on the ME with my mom with my nephew, the first grandchild - our first visit after a long break, since she'd taken us to the parks when we were kids. She was so impressed and kept commenting "Wow... this is how you know it's Disney, you know? They just do everything better." I really want that sentiment to remain.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
I am completely speculating here, but I also think that Disney might be taken by surprise in that they seem to be pursuing a somewhat male-centric business plan (a focus on big ticket items such as rides and action movies,) while some huge percentage of travel decisions are made by women (80%, according to Google.) My guess is that it is women - moms, women traveling alone, grandmas, etc. - who value the ME most, and Disney's executive team seems to skew heavily male. Again, total speculation, but I think they may have a bit of a blind spot here and be surprised at the pushback on this decision.

Exactly! I travel solo or with my daughters and DME is part of the safe, hassle free vacation that we enjoy. I don't feel comfortable using ride share and I really don't want to drive at WDW. DME is a huge benefit to those like me and also those who travel from the UK and other Countries that are not comfortable driving here.
 

Jrb1979

Well-Known Member
It has always been about ROI and how much they can get out of people.
I get that. A lot of what has been cut is stuff they have wanted to do for a long time. Now they can use Covid as the reason. To add to the seismic shift discussion this is a quote from Andyman8 at Disboards.

Overall, the feeling I'm getting right now seems quite distinct and not in a good way. It's not like anything I can remember. It seems like there's a lot of frustration in regional management and almost a "what's next" worry. It's almost like that "who's next" feeling that clouded over the layoffs has expanded to other areas. We, as fans, can get that way more often than we should at times, but it's highly unusual to see people broadly within the company feeling that way and even more unusual for them to be vocalizing it. It also seems abundantly clear that there are so many more cuts coming. Maybe you're not mad or upset about DME. Good for you. But I promise you that there's bound to be something they'll come for that matters a great deal to you. It certainly feels quite ominous.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
I suspect all the cuts are just short-term moves to save money and that they will then bring certain things back (as needed and if needed) to try to lure guests back to the parks when the pandemic is under control.

Sort of like a ride refurb. Take a beloved ride offline, do a light refurb, then market it as an entirely new attraction in hopes that it brings people to the parks.

They could even take the Disney Dining Plan approach and make a successor to DME (and other perks) paid services that they can then offer as included! seasonally or as-needed to generate resort bookings.
 

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