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News Disney's Magical Express to end after 2021

PirateFrank

Well-Known Member
Do you think that this decision is being partially driven by the reduced capacity percentage at each park and thus reflective of decreased attendance?

I do. without knowing the details of WDWs contract with Mears, I suspect the pricing structure is a combination of fixed/base and variable costs. Like a flat rate plus an increased factor for each passenger or bus that goes from MCO to WDW and back. Perhaps, due to covid, the reduced number of guests visiting WDW have fallen below the cost-effectiveness of even the lowest price structure on the contract.

My thinking is that when WDW attendance starts returning to normal, we will see a return of DME - but it won't be free, similar to the cost of transfers to port Canaveral for a Disney Cruise.
 

bcoachable

Well-Known Member
Thats certainly part of the calculus as well....and those families are free to make such a decision. However, what I was referring to was the knee-jerk reaction that the loss of DME immediately destroyed the value of staying on property - without any calculations of the cost of rental cars, ride-shares, or factoring intangible costs like accessibility to disney transpiration within the resort. These families were clearly placing a value on some of those perks of staying on property prior to this change. So it just seemed odd to me to make such a sweeping knee-jerk reaction with the loss of DME, one small aspect of those perks.

...and my point to the person whom I was responding to, was that there are plenty of families out there prepared to die on the DME hill (a vernacular he used in his post).
My vision of the knee jerk reactions is that It might not be knee jerk. It might be an accumulation of cutbacks over the last few years - with DME being the straw that does the Camel in. Thanks for the educated, respectable dialogue, btw.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
Personally, I don't understand the strong visceral reaction to the loss of DME, as I stopped using them 3-4 years ago (I can easily save 1 hour by simply grabbing an Uber from or to the airport). I'd rather pay the money and get to my hotel quicker.
"Things people who don't have carseat-aged children say."

Even if I had infinite money and wanted to rent a car, hauling three car seats through two airports is something I have absolutely zero interest in. Ubers with a single car seat are expensive and hard to get, two car seats impossible, and three car seats forget it.
 

HarperRose

Well-Known Member
You'd be surprised. I personally know of several families that have hard-shifted their planning in light of this. They, flat out, will stop considering on-property lodging after 1/1/22, knee jerking out an assertion that losing DME makes on-property lodging no longer worth the extra cost. What I find mildly amusing in such a proclamation is that these same folks aren't considering the cost of taxis/ride shares in and out of the parks (or rental cars) as something they might have to absorb if they go off property.

Personally, I don't understand the strong visceral reaction to the loss of DME, as I stopped using them 3-4 years ago (I can easily save 1 hour by simply grabbing an Uber from or to the airport). I'd rather pay the money and get to my hotel quicker.

But make no mistake, there are people that view the loss of this "free" item as a deal breaker, while failing to consider the cost of transpiration from off property.
If I have to rent a car, anyway, I'm staying off-site in much nicer, larger and cheaper accommodations. You didn't use it, great. It's not surprising you don't "get" why people are upset.
 

raymusiccity

Well-Known Member
I do. without knowing the details of WDWs contract with Mears, I suspect the pricing structure is a combination of fixed/base and variable costs. Like a flat rate plus an increased factor for each passenger or bus that goes from MCO to WDW and back. Perhaps, due to covid, the reduced number of guests visiting WDW have fallen below the cost-effectiveness of even the lowest price structure on the contract.

My thinking is that when WDW attendance starts returning to normal, we will see a return of DME - but it won't be free, similar to the cost of transfers to port Canaveral for a Disney Cruise.
Good point. I was surprised that we had to pay for the 'Disney Cruise Bus' last year. I thought that for the money they charged for the cruise, the very least would be a 'free' bus ride to get from the Contemporary to the terminal. I'll bet most people that see the Mears buses with the 'port hole' decorations believe that it must be Disney taking guests to a cruise. I guess everything will be an 'add on' expense when things get back to 'normal'. :(
 

J_Carioca

Well-Known Member
Just announced. EMH are gone! But now EVERY park will open an hour earlier for resort guests EVERY day. A win in my book.
Responding very late, but...this is most definitely NOT a win in my book. Not all of us are morning people who want to get up at 6am on our holidays to press through a crowd to get into the park as it opens. The fact that they are taking away evening EMH is a huge loss. Evening EMH were a great time to get on some of the biggest attractions with much shorter waits. Plus, it was great being in the park as the crowds thin somewhat and you know you still have a couple of hours left.

I personally will NEVER use that one measly extra hour in the morning because I don't get up at the crack of dawn when I am on vacation. And really, by the time you get through the gates, how much extra time does that give you? Half an hour? Wow. Thanks, Disney. :rolleyes:
 

Parker in NYC

Well-Known Member
Responding very late, but...this is most definitely NOT a win in my book. Not all of us are morning people who want to get up at 6am on our holidays to press through a crowd to get into the park as it opens. The fact that they are taking away evening EMH is a huge loss. Evening EMH were a great time to get on some of the biggest attractions with much shorter waits. Plus, it was great being in the park as the crowds thin somewhat and you know you still have a couple of hours left.

I personally will NEVER use that one measly extra hour in the morning because I don't get up at the crack of dawn when I am on vacation. And really, by the time you get through the gates, how much extra time does that give you? Half an hour? Wow. Thanks, Disney. :rolleyes:
You'll get in earlier than off-site guests... Disney is officially laughing at us at this point. AP holders who planned trips based on which parks WEREN'T operating with early magic hours must be thrilled.
 

J_Carioca

Well-Known Member
Good point. I was surprised that we had to pay for the 'Disney Cruise Bus' last year. I thought that for the money they charged for the cruise, the very least would be a 'free' bus ride to get from the Contemporary to the terminal. I'll bet most people that see the Mears buses with the 'port hole' decorations believe that it must be Disney taking guests to a cruise. I guess everything will be an 'add on' expense when things get back to 'normal'. :(

I just want to make sure I understand this - you stayed at the Contemporary and then took a Disney cruise and they made you pay for the bus?!?!?!?
 

doctornick

Well-Known Member
"Things people who don't have carseat-aged children say."

Even if I had infinite money and wanted to rent a car, hauling three car seats through two airports is something I have absolutely zero interest in. Ubers with a single car seat are expensive and hard to get, two car seats impossible, and three car seats forget it.
Yeah, I feel like most of the “I don’t understand the big deal” posts in this thread seem completely ignore the impact of car seats and luggage handling for families/larger parties - including the reality that in many cases this means at least two Uber cars at best.

I think most people realize that for an adult couple or solo guest, rideshare is a reasonable alternative that is relatively neutral compared to DME (some potential benefits but also downsides). But for a family with young kids? It’s not really equivalent and that’s a huge number of WDW guests.

I’d feel less salty about such responses if people posting would at least have some sort of “families with young children might have different experiences” type disclaimer. Otherwise it feels like people are arguing against a straw man
 

J_Carioca

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I feel like most of the “I don’t understand the big deal” posts in this thread seem completely ignore the impact of car seats and luggage handling for families/larger parties - including the reality that in many cases this means at least two Uber cars at best.

I think most people realize that for an adult couple or solo guest, rideshare is a reasonable alternative that is relatively neutral compared to DME (some potential benefits but also downsides). But for a family with young kids? It’s not really equivalent and that’s a huge number of WDW guests.

I’d feel less salty about such responses if people posting would at least have some sort of “families with young children might have different experiences” type disclaimer. Otherwise it feels like people are arguing against a straw man
Or disabled people, or older people, or foreigners who might not feel comfortable renting a car and driving in a different country...

The fact is that DME was a great, great perk that made your arrival in MCO really simple and easy. And now it's gone.
 

Parker in NYC

Well-Known Member
Stay out of the coronavirus threads ;)
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PirateFrank

Well-Known Member
"Things people who don't have carseat-aged children say."

Even if I had infinite money and wanted to rent a car, hauling three car seats through two airports is something I have absolutely zero interest in. Ubers with a single car seat are expensive and hard to get, two car seats impossible, and three car seats forget it.

LOL! Great point! I'm about 12-15 years removed from needing car seats, so forgive my ignorance in that respect. I clearly didn't factor that into this. That being said, the families I was referring to in my above post are just as removed from car seats. Their calculus is literally being frustrated over having to pay an extra $30-40 for a ride from the airport to on property...and would rather spend $30/day on taxis and ride shares from off-property. To me, that's where the argument falls apart, despite the savings that an off property hotel might grant.
 

DisneyHead123

Active Member
You'd be surprised. I personally know of several families that have hard-shifted their planning in light of this. They, flat out, will stop considering on-property lodging after 1/1/22, knee jerking out an assertion that losing DME makes on-property lodging no longer worth the extra cost. What I find mildly amusing in such a proclamation is that these same folks aren't considering the cost of taxis/ride shares in and out of the parks (or rental cars) as something they might have to absorb if they go off property.

Personally, I don't understand the strong visceral reaction to the loss of DME, as I stopped using them 3-4 years ago (I can easily save 1 hour by simply grabbing an Uber from or to the airport). I'd rather pay the money and get to my hotel quicker.

But make no mistake, there are people that view the loss of this "free" item as a deal breaker, while failing to consider the cost of transpiration from off property.

I think part of it is that if you're staying on property, you're already talking emotional currency, not literal US currency. If you wanted to plan out what makes the most sense dollar for dollar in money-to-benefits ratio, there's no way staying on Disney property comes out ahead on any metric - unless, again, the intangible emotional benefits of staying on property are pretty high to you. Part of the emotional benefit is thinking of Disney as a company that really values customers and goes above and beyond in service. I think the ME issue made people feel more like Disney was treating them like suckers (to quote Les Mis - "Two percent for looking in the mirror twice, Here a little slice, there a little cut, Three percent for sleeping with the window shut"). Part of it is maintaining the image of people as "the esteemed guest", I think.

To be fair, I'm still not at all convinced that this was just a financial decision, at least not in the ordinary sense. If it was financial, maybe it was a drastic one that had to be made due to Covid, and if it wasn't, maybe there was something else going on behind the scenes with the contracts involved. I'm still hoping there is more to the story.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
Personally, I don't understand the strong visceral reaction to the loss of DME, as I stopped using them 3-4 years ago (I can easily save 1 hour by simply grabbing an Uber from or to the airport). I'd rather pay the money and get to my hotel quicker.

But make no mistake, there are people that view the loss of this "free" item as a deal breaker, while failing to consider the cost of transpiration from off property.
I've long considered time = $.

If you roughly figure the cost of getting to WDW (plain, train, auto), park tickets, hotel/parking, food (difference between normal average and eating at WDW) per waking hour, it normally wasn't hard to come up with it roughly costing $25/hour to be on vacation at WDW. Mind, my calculation won't be the same as someone else's, because each of these variables has variation, but here's some rough numbers for family of 4:

air - 200/per person
hotel - 255/night including 12.5 tax = 446 per person (if 4ppl/room)
park tickets - varies, 7day roughly runs 84 per day =589/week
mostly eating home vs. mostly eating out/mostly QS, roughly 60 more/day per person (now prices are low, buffets aren't open) = roughly 420/week/person

Using these numbers, I get roughly $14.75/waking hour. If a taxi/uber saves an hour of time, and costs $25 =6.25 per person, it is well worth the money.
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
If you wanted to plan out what makes the most sense dollar for dollar in money-to-benefits ratio, there's no way staying on Disney property comes out ahead on any metric
It used to. Staying at a value resort and not paying for parking at Disney theme parks would usually be the best value compared to off site options.

Same if you were flying in and using magical express.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
It used to. Staying at a value resort and not paying for parking at Disney theme parks would usually be the best value compared to off site options.

Same if you were flying in and using magical express.
I don't know that was ever a universally held opinion. A number of times, I was able to stay offsite for less $. I've been running the math for over 20 years.

Many people have long thought whole house/condos were the best value.

But then again, many people felt the Swan/Dolphin were the best value. They were long readily in the $100-125/night range, with the location and most the amenities of the WDW deluxe hotels.

Oh, and the Bonnet Creek hotels also have their dedicated fan base.

Oh, and many DVC owners will also happily explain why they feel DVC is the best value.
 
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HarperRose

Well-Known Member
I don't know that was ever a universally held opinion. A number of times, I was able to stay offsite for less $. I've been running the math for over 20 years.

Many people have long thought whole house/condos were the best value.

But then again, many people felt the Swan/Dolphin were the best value. They were long readily in the $100-125/night range, with the location and most the amenities of the WDW deluxe hotels.

Oh, and the Bonnet Creek hotels also have their dedicated fan base.

Oh, and many DVC owners will also happily explain why they feel DVC is the best value.
He said compared to off-site resorts. Literally everyone knows it's cheaper to stay off site.
 

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