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News Disney's Magical Express to end after 2021

HuffsAhoy

Active Member
In the Parks
No
I remember similar issues coming up in the online debates around the time DCA was being built. Some people online swore that people really didn't care about all that theming, story, etc. and were just interested in rides. Then it opened...
Unfortunately, those of us who appreciate the intricate theming, story, etc are in the minority. It is crazy to see so many of the hoops some jump through to defend major failures. There is no real outrage because they have been conditioned to see it as normal.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately, those of us who appreciate the intricate theming, story, etc are in the minority. It is crazy to see so many of the hoops some jump through to defend major failures. There is no real outrage because they have been conditioned to see it as normal.
In the case of DCA, though, I feel those of us who were arguing that theme and story were important were ultimately proved right. Disney ended up having to spend more or less the initial cost of the park again to retrofit theming onto it.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
I feel 100% the same way.

If Disney parks become something I'm no longer interested in but are still wildly successful, then so be it and they will just become a somewhat retro nostalgic interest about which I might buy books and watch documentaries. If more people like the current iterations, then I can't expect the world to bend to my tastes. Still, I have the same query about the longterm impact of all these changes. If the parks all become high-priced Disney movie parks, I find it hard to imagine they will remain the cultural phenomena they were in the past and that the cache they're still coasting on.

I remember similar issues coming up in the online debates around the time DCA was being built. Some people online swore that people really didn't care about all that theming, story, etc. and were just interested in rides. Then it opened...

To be fair, it's not like they've completely given up on theming or even come remotely close to that. Rise of the Resistance is incredibly well done and Galaxy's Edge itself is highly themed (I don't think the theming actually works all that well and neither does the land, but they absolutely tried).

However, that's right next door to Toy Story Land, which is a mess. There are the giant, unthemed boxes for Guardians and TRON, and the new Ratatouille addition that is themed, but in a haphazard way and not especially well-designed. Then there's the renovations to hotels and places like Beaches & Cream that have tended to remove theming in favor of a more generic look.

It's certainly not all doom and gloom, but things haven't been trending in a positive direction.
 
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flynnibus

Premium Member
To be fair, it's not like they've completely given up on theming or even come remotely close to that. Rise of the Resistance is incredibly well done and Galaxy's Edge itself is highly themed (I don't think the theming actually works all that well and neither does the land, but they absolutely tried).

However, that's right next door to Toy Story Land, which is a mess. There are the giant, unthemed boxes for Guardians and TRON, and the new Ratatouille addition that is themed, but in a haphazard way and not especially well-designed. Then there's the renovations to hotels and places like Beaches & Cream that have tended to remove theming in favor of a more generic look.

It's certainly not all doom and gloom, but things haven't been trending in a positive direction.

Just like in DCA - the differences seem to be when there is a champion or project motivation that has carte blanche vs every other project. In DCA it was Cars Land that was done to the 9s.. yet in the same exact park, they phone it in for pixar pier, and other projects. It would seem the rules are not equal.. but differ depending on the person holding the green light.
 

brettf22

Premium Member
Was booking a room for September 2021, and when asked if I needed ground transportation, I was given a choice between DME and renting a car through Alamo. Has this always been there and I’ve just been oblivious?

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Skibum1970

Well-Known Member
I agree that it was a short-sighted move that will cost more in the long run. Even if they did it because DME wasn't keeping people on property anymore for the entire week, they failed to grasp the very simple concept that DME (and 60-day Fastpass windows, and EMH) helped to get people to book hotels on property in the first place. Without DME (or those other perks), it's a slippery slope... we have to pay for all our transportation now, so we might as well rent a car... and if we have a car and there's no touring advantage to being onsite, we might as well book a hotel off-property that's both better and cheaper than Disney... and since we're going offsite every day, let's take some of our meals off-property and save some money... and since we don't need a hotel and ticket package, we'll buy our tickets more cheaply from a third-party seller, too...

And so, due to just a couple of penny-pinching business decisions, families like mine might still be coming to WDW (because, darn it, we still love the place even though our affection sometimes feels one-sided), but Disney will be getting 25-30% of what we used to spend when we stayed and dined almost exclusively onsite. DH and I have already looked at the pros and cons, and have decided that our short August WDW trip (this year, so still with DME, and admittedly staying onsite with the "extra days" ticket offer) will be, to borrow a phrase from Peter Pan, our "last night in the [very expensive] nursery." In the future, we'll explore opportunities off-property.

It's rather telling that every one of the items listed on Disney's own webpage dedicated to the "Benefits of Staying at A Disney World Hotel" has already been truncated (e.g., "transportation," with hours so abbreviated you'll be lucky to make it from your hotel to a park rope drop even if you take the earliest bus/gondola/boat/monorail), or discontinued (Fastpass, dining plan, EMH, free Magicbands), or will be gone by next year (DME). https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resort-hotels-benefits/

To me, this is one of the best descriptions that I've read. We literally just returned and lamented that the Magical Express is ending (although we had a nightmare of a time getting on a bus when we first arrived). I am already thinking about our next trip and questioning if I would stay at one of the nearby hotels (Hilton Bonnet Creek) or not. I think that it will come back down to: Do we want to experience the Disney Resort experience (ex. Wilderness Lodge) or would we rather save some money by staying offsite but close? As some mentioned, Mears will still offer transportation (for a currently undisclosed amount) and thus we might still use this option instead of renting a car or using Uber.
 

Jedijax719

Well-Known Member
Yeah @Weather_Lady you nailed it. I might add to that by staying off-site, it is much harder to dine at Disney. Likewise, by staying on-site, it is very difficult to dine off site and even impractical to do so. So I guess they are throwing away the baby with the bathwater. They are trying to save money by not having to pay for DME (I have no idea how much that cost Disney) and, I guess, things like EMH, but by doing so they are throwing away all the money that comes with those things. I hope they have REALLY good money crunchers and, for their sake, figured out that it's all worth it.

Let it be known that those who were going to use DME are not going to suddenly decide to drive to Disney. People who would drive to Disney would always have driven to Disney anyway. I'd say it's probably the same for renting cars.
 

TikibirdLand

Active Member
Let it be known that those who were going to use DME are not going to suddenly decide to drive to Disney. People who would drive to Disney would always have driven to Disney anyway. I'd say it's probably the same for renting cars.
I'm likely an outlier. I was planning on flying to Orlando and taking DME from MCO. With this announcement, I may drive to save on the rental car expense/hassle. Sounds like the rental counter is going to be CRAZY in '22. Then again, with none of the entertainment opening in '22, we may plan a different vacation. Planning used to be so easy.
 

note2001

Well-Known Member
I've used DME many times as it's already rolled into our DVC dues and it wasn't too annoying. As of the last few years the service has gotten horribly slow adding in as many stops as possible, waiting for full buses and making us leave an hour earlier.

The value was in the luggage service which brought our bags to the airport for us. That service wasn't always there, I remember being amazed by it when it was added and would gladly pay for it again.
 

homerdance

Premium Member
I've used DME many times as it's already rolled into our DVC dues and it wasn't too annoying. As of the last few years the service has gotten horribly slow adding in as many stops as possible, waiting for full buses and making us leave an hour earlier.

The value was in the luggage service which brought our bags to the airport for us. That service wasn't always there, I remember being amazed by it when it was added and would gladly pay for it again.
DVC claims it’s not part of your dues. But I find it hard to believe. You can still pay for the bag service, which I agree is the biggest convenience of MDE
 

note2001

Well-Known Member
DVC claims it’s not part of your dues. But I find it hard to believe. You can still pay for the bag service, which I agree is the biggest convenience of MDE
I didn't see a service that is being provided for return from Disney to the airport, only the other way around.
 
At this point, convenience and feasibility from a safety perspective are my biggest question marks. For at least the next several years. JetBlue is expected to be the only airline in terminal C and getting to the intermodal station from there requires some (to be determined) form of transportation. From existing A/B, you have to find your way from your flight, over a sky train to the terminal, get off of that and find the next people mover to get you to the intermodal terminal.

*Presumably Disney could take your bags and do something with them while in the terminal, but that would require going down to the first floor, drop bags, and back to the third to get the peoplemover. Mind you right now, people currently get lost constantly trying to find the 1st floor on B Side.*

Next, you’ve waited for your train and now have to board (maybe with, maybe without luggage)

*The intermodal terminal is publicly accessible meaning any bags coming over would presumably need to be security screened.*

After your scenic tour of Meadow Woods, twenty minutes later you arrive at DS. There you have to disembark on the elevated platform, get your little ones and whatever bags you have with you down to the ground level to pick up your Uber/bus/undisclosed next means of transport. With Disney Traffic and depending on resort or park you’re going to, you then have a 10 (Sarasota/Port Orleans) to 20 (All Stars, MK resorts) to 30 (AK resorts) trip to your hotel.

While a train will definitely be ‘A’ option, I think it’s far from a silver bullet and will be unimaginably inconvenient. Thus, you’re left with all of that, an Uber, a taxi, a rental car, or the Mears Shuttle for anything that’s remotely convenient.
 

412

Well-Known Member
It's rather telling that every one of the items listed on Disney's own webpage dedicated to the "Benefits of Staying at A Disney World Hotel" has already been truncated (e.g., "transportation," with hours so abbreviated you'll be lucky to make it from your hotel to a park rope drop even if you take the earliest bus/gondola/boat/monorail), or discontinued (Fastpass, dining plan, EMH, free Magicbands), or will be gone by next year (DME). https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resort-hotels-benefits/

As of this morning, Disney has revamped the "Benefits of Staying at Disney Resort Hotels" page, scrubbing any mention of FastPass+, Extra Magic Hours, Magic Bands, or Disney Dining Plans. 😑

(Compare previous page and current page)
 

nickys

Premium Member
As of this morning, Disney has revamped the "Benefits of Staying at Disney Resort Hotels" page, scrubbing any mention of FastPass+, Extra Magic Hours, Magic Bands, or Disney Dining Plans. 😑

(Compare previous page and current page)
Doesn’t make for great reading, that’s for sure. They’ve even left up the blurb about FP+ , after a disclaimer that it isn’t currently available. Guess it’s a psychological move, makes the page seem fuller, albeit of non-existent benefits.
 

runnsally

Active Member
I've used DME many times as it's already rolled into our DVC dues and it wasn't too annoying. As of the last few years the service has gotten horribly slow adding in as many stops as possible, waiting for full buses and making us leave an hour earlier.

The value was in the luggage service which brought our bags to the airport for us. That service wasn't always there, I remember being amazed by it when it was added and would gladly pay for it again.
I gotta believe the luggage service comes back - easy enough for WDW to strike a deal with a third party and add the service as an up-charge. No-brainer.
 

nickys

Premium Member
Airline resort check-in has been discontinued, and I wonder if it will return since it seems to have been part of DME. We're going in May, and crazy at it sounds, that service is probably the one I'll miss most.
The return service wasn’t run by DME or Mears, it was airline employees I believe. Although offered alongside DME it was open to anyone flying domestically on certain airlines. It could come back.
 

nickys

Premium Member
You just made my day! (I hope you’re right.)
I didn’t say it will. Or even that I think it’s likely. But I know it’s popular. We’ve never used it as even if flying via a hub airport you can’t use it if your final destination is international (maybe Canada qualifies).
 

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