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News Disney's Magical Express to end after 2021

dav23

New Member
We usually start our trips with a few days staying at Universal so DME was never a big component of the 'immersion' but was definitely a convenient perk to getting back to the airport. Honestly the luggage service and airline checkin at the resorts is what I would miss most. I do think the effect DME has on the "value" of staying on site is overstated. The biggest perk to staying on site is proximity and ease of getting to/from resorts while always staying in the bubble. Just my opinion but I don't think the first and last hour of a trip really take away from the experience that much.
 

Rich Brownn

Well-Known Member
There was absolutely a time not even too long ago where staying on site at a value resort was a good financial decision.
It's astounding to believe but back in ancient days when I worked at the Holiday Inn Maingate (west) in the 70s, the Contemporary was the exact same price as our rooms!!! (And the work "resort" hadn't been tacked on yet!)
 

Fable McCloud

Well-Known Member
I hope that Disney includes some sort of transportation in the future. Magical Express was a cute way to start the trip, and always made me feel excited. While I'm sure there will be some sort of bus/train transport by 2022/2023, I'm sad it won't be an included perk. I'll gladly by a ticket on whatever they offer, because I will NOT rent a car just to get to and from the airport.

I don't want to drive on my vacation. I get way too stressed out driving in unfamiliar/crowded areas.
 

bpiper

Well-Known Member
Brightline update on their route from MCO to Tampa via Disney:

According to the Tampa business journal, Brightline and the FLDOT have restarted negotiations that had been suspended for a year due to Covid-19.

The final lease agreement for the right of way is subject to several conditions, according to a March 1 FDOT letter to Brightline President Patrick Goddard, including:

  • Agreement that Brightline will submit a ridership and toll diversion study and analysis with updated traffic and methodology and documentation acceptable to CFX and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise.
  • Agreement on which method will be used for Central Florida Expressway Authority and FDOT to recover any loss of toll revenue due to the construction and operation of the Brightline system.
  • Agreement that Brightline will develop plans that are 15% complete to be reviewed by FDOT and the expressway authority on the location and dimensions of Brightline's corridor
  • Agreement that Brightline will submit 30%, 60%, 90% and final design plans for comment by FDOT, with final design subject to approval by FDOT
  • Agreement to provide a lease valuation that addresses the concerns raised with the previously submitted study
  • Need for a resolution from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority that it supports the Orlando-to-Tampa connection

Brightline must address these points by July 31, the article reports.

So it looks like Brightline will probably have to have higher fares for Disney bound passengers to compensate the state/toll authority for lower toll revenue on the Greenway.

Also it was announced that construction of the Miami to MCO segment is at 49% of completion. The train company is on track to have construction completed in the fourth-quarter of 2022 and start service in 2023 after necessary safety inspections.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Brightline update on their route from MCO to Tampa via Disney:

According to the Tampa business journal, Brightline and the FLDOT have restarted negotiations that had been suspended for a year due to Covid-19.

The final lease agreement for the right of way is subject to several conditions, according to a March 1 FDOT letter to Brightline President Patrick Goddard, including:

  • Agreement that Brightline will submit a ridership and toll diversion study and analysis with updated traffic and methodology and documentation acceptable to CFX and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise.
  • Agreement on which method will be used for Central Florida Expressway Authority and FDOT to recover any loss of toll revenue due to the construction and operation of the Brightline system.
  • Agreement that Brightline will develop plans that are 15% complete to be reviewed by FDOT and the expressway authority on the location and dimensions of Brightline's corridor
  • Agreement that Brightline will submit 30%, 60%, 90% and final design plans for comment by FDOT, with final design subject to approval by FDOT
  • Agreement to provide a lease valuation that addresses the concerns raised with the previously submitted study
  • Need for a resolution from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority that it supports the Orlando-to-Tampa connection

Brightline must address these points by July 31, the article reports.

So it looks like Brightline will probably have to have higher fares for Disney bound passengers to compensate the state/toll authority for lower toll revenue on the Greenway.

Also it was announced that construction of the Miami to MCO segment is at 49% of completion. The train company is on track to have construction completed in the fourth-quarter of 2022 and start service in 2023 after necessary safety inspections.

I'll be surprised if the connection from MCO to Disney Springs is open before 2025, and even that might be optimistic.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
So FDOT built roads with rail corridors set aside but will now penalize someone for using those corridors and potentially improving traffic. Yeah, that makes sense.
Yeah, "we don't care if people have another transportation option just don't impact our toll revenue and pay us for those people that might have been on our roads".
The fiefdoms in Florida are amazing
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
So FDOT built roads with rail corridors set aside but will now penalize someone for using those corridors and potentially improving traffic. Yeah, that makes sense.

I imagine it's at least partially a result of Florida not having a state income tax. Those departments have to get money from somewhere.
 

Jedijax719

Well-Known Member
This is HORRIBLE and just found out about. My family went in 2018 and had a great time. We were planning to go again in 2021 but of course COVID-19 had other plans. Now, I find out there is no Magical Express. We were so looking forward to staying at the Wilderness Lodge when things get back to normal. Now, I can't see us going to WDW at all. Renting a car is a hassle and a LOT more expensive.

The on-site resorts are going to suffer big time. No dining plan, no magic bands, no fast pass, and now no Magical Express. I guess no Disney then!
 

SteveBrickNJ

Well-Known Member
This is HORRIBLE and just found out about. My family went in 2018 and had a great time. We were planning to go again in 2021 but of course COVID-19 had other plans. Now, I find out there is no Magical Express. We were so looking forward to staying at the Wilderness Lodge when things get back to normal. Now, I can't see us going to WDW at all. Renting a car is a hassle and a LOT more expensive.

The on-site resorts are going to suffer big time. No dining plan, no magic bands, no fast pass, and now no Magical Express. I guess no Disney then!
That's a good idea. I'm not being sarcastic. Seriously...Don't reward Disney with your money. If you are unhappy with them...and others as well....all who are unhappy with what Disney has done should send Disney a message by staying away.
*
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Yet.....folks COULD pay for transportation to Disney and stay on site withOUT renting a car. Once folks get dropped off at the resort of their choice they can use the usual "free" buses to get from place to place within Disney World. No need for a car each day, correct?
 

Jenny72

Well-Known Member
There's always Uber/Lyft, which is what everyone (including Disney) seems to suggest is the solution, but that is hardly the same thing. I won't use those, especially not with my kids. The drivers are not trained and I know a few people who have had either frightening or just aggravating experiences (a driver conspiracy theory rant, anyone?). At a bare minimum, it's the opposite of "magical." What does Disney think they're selling, if not "magic"? I still think this is the worst decision they've made in terms of customer loyalty and profit, worse than parking fees (which at least didn't remove anything), worse than EMH changes, magic bands, questionable ride changes, you name it.
 

SteveBrickNJ

Well-Known Member
There's always Uber/Lyft, which is what everyone (including Disney) seems to suggest is the solution, but that is hardly the same thing. I won't use those, especially not with my kids. The drivers are not trained and I know a few people who have had either frightening or just aggravating experiences (a driver conspiracy theory rant, anyone?). At a bare minimum, it's the opposite of "magical." What does Disney think they're selling, if not "magic"? I still think this is the worst decision they've made in terms of customer loyalty and profit, worse than parking fees (which at least didn't remove anything), worse than EMH changes, magic bands, questionable ride changes, you name it.
I am NOT promoting this. I am just providing a link in case anyone wants to refer to it in either a positive or negative manner.
Family Shuttle service is available...but far from free.
 

Jedijax719

Well-Known Member
That's a good idea. I'm not being sarcastic. Seriously...Don't reward Disney with your money. If you are unhappy with them...and others as well....all who are unhappy with what Disney has done should send Disney a message by staying away.
*
*
Yet.....folks COULD pay for transportation to Disney and stay on site withOUT renting a car. Once folks get dropped off at the resort of their choice they can use the usual "free" buses to get from place to place within Disney World. No need for a car each day, correct?
I would be happy to pay for something like the DME. Doesn't specifically have to be DME, but something as convenient. $100? $200? That's fine. Just roll it into the cost of a trip. But take away the headache of having to flag down a cab or, worse yet, use some sort of Uber service. Speaking of which, what does a family with little ones do? Bring car seats to Disney World just for the trip to and from the airport?

Now, the simple advise someone can give is "suck it up and rent a car" or "drive yourself to Disney World" (which is fine for folks in neighboring states but not so much for others). That's all fine and dandy, but it doesn't mean people will. Some will find other means and some will just not choose to stay on site. Some won't go at all. The cost of the latter two will be millions for Disney. I saw a video saying that between 2 and 3 million folks use the DME a year. Of course many are families, but still multiplying out for the money spent at on-site resorts, it's potentially billions a year lost if even a part of that population chooses not to stay on site.
 

SteveBrickNJ

Well-Known Member
I would be happy to pay for something like the DME. Doesn't specifically have to be DME, but something as convenient. $100? $200? That's fine. Just roll it into the cost of a trip. But take away the headache of having to flag down a cab or, worse yet, use some sort of Uber service. Speaking of which, what does a family with little ones do? Bring car seats to Disney World just for the trip to and from the airport?

Now, the simple advise someone can give is "suck it up and rent a car" or "drive yourself to Disney World" (which is fine for folks in neighboring states but not so much for others). That's all fine and dandy, but it doesn't mean people will. Some will find other means and some will just not choose to stay on site. Some won't go at all. The cost of the latter two will be millions for Disney. I saw a video saying that between 2 and 3 million folks use the DME a year. Of course many are families, but still multiplying out for the money spent at on-site resorts, it's potentially billions a year lost if even a part of that population chooses not to stay on site.
What do you think of this shuttle option?
 

DaGoof00

Well-Known Member
What do you think of this shuttle option?
Mears operates Magical Express. Used them for motor coach transport with my family before DME, lately have been using their private car service.
 

bcoachable

Well-Known Member
We (disney park fans) must be so addicted-
They know we will pay premium b/c of perks like DME, to stay on property for a room that isn’t any better than a Fairfield Inn. When TWDC takes said perk away, but doesn’t lower the premium price of the room, we all say “oh, ok I’ll still pay premium AND pay for that shuttle, no big deal!”
We are a silly breed, us fans.
I feel my brand loyalty is being abused a bit...
 

nickys

Premium Member
I would be happy to pay for something like the DME. Doesn't specifically have to be DME, but something as convenient. $100? $200? That's fine. Just roll it into the cost of a trip. But take away the headache of having to flag down a cab or, worse yet, use some sort of Uber service. Speaking of which, what does a family with little ones do? Bring car seats to Disney World just for the trip to and from the airport?

Now, the simple advise someone can give is "suck it up and rent a car" or "drive yourself to Disney World" (which is fine for folks in neighboring states but not so much for others). That's all fine and dandy, but it doesn't mean people will. Some will find other means and some will just not choose to stay on site. Some won't go at all. The cost of the latter two will be millions for Disney. I saw a video saying that between 2 and 3 million folks use the DME a year. Of course many are families, but still multiplying out for the money spent at on-site resorts, it's potentially billions a year lost if even a part of that population chooses not to stay on site.
Mears have already said they will be running a bus service to WDW from MCO. The difference is you will need to pay for it.
 

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