Bob Chapek and Bob Iger

Dear Bob(s): Disney’s Magical Express

Dear Bob(s),

Today, you unleashed some not-so-magical news about Disney’s Magical Express airport transfer program. You have announced that this popular (and complimentary) perk of the Disney resort stay will be magically disappearing for all vacations with arrival dates beginning January 1, 2022. Why, Bob(s)?

Disney World transportation

Since 2005, Disney’s Magical Express roundtrip airport transfers has provided Disney Resort guests with an invaluable service.  This service (coupled with their complimentary luggage delivery) truly made the choice to stay on property a no-brainer. Just think about how much money families were able to save on a rental car or a ride share by taking advantage of this resort guest exclusive perk. It was one of the big perks, in fact, that differentiated a Disney Resort guest stay from, say, a guest who wanted to book a stay in the Swan or Dolphin resort. Here are my thoughts:

I am hopeful that this means the return of the convenient (albeit pricey) Minnie Van. This service was not brought back after the park re-openings. It was a private transportation option available to anyone for transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport as well as throughout the Disney Resort property. It utilized the Lyft app and guaranteed that your vehicle was equipped with 2 car seats and drivers who were Disney employees and who were pre screened and monitored as well as knowledgeable about Disney resorts and properties in general. Let’s face it; similar to much of the American economy in 2020, the Walt Disney Company has taken a huge loss. It makes sense that they will want to monetize what they can. This is one potential way. Back in November, Disney announced approval of the construction of a train station in Disney Springs for Brightline’s new high speed train planned for service between Miami, Orlando International Airport and Disney Springs. Perhaps this is another of Disney’s plans to monetize ground transfers? Disney also charges guests for overnight parking, so guests who may now opt for car rental will be paying a fee as well.

Piggy Bank

That being said, in the spirit of the bottom line, the bottom line is that the Magical Express did one very important thing for Disney. It made it difficult for guests to leave property. Without the need for car rental, guests were forced to stay on property to shop and dine and play. They were forced to keep the money in Disney. This is a huge factor that cannot be overlooked. In my experience, Disney NEVER does anything without extensive market research and cost analysis. I would not be surprised if Disney has something new up their sleeve to monetize these ground transfers in a way that still would not make it cost efficient for guests to rent a vehicle. Disney would be foolish not to try to continue to keep their guests on property as much as possible. What could their plan be? I don’t know. That is why Disney does not pay me the big bucks. But it does make me wonder….

This certainly is one more reason why it’s more important than ever to book your vacation with a planner like Kingdom and Cruise Travel who will be able to keep you up to date on the latest Disney developments and advise you accordingly. 

1 thought on “Dear Bob(s): Disney’s Magical Express”

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