Disney’s Magic Express: Makes Limos Disappear

Two stories in the local press about how Disney’s new service that provides airport to hotel transportation for resort guests, called Disney’s Magical Express, is threatening to drive many airport and limo drivers out of business. The Limo and Shuttle association claims Disney is getting access to the airport that they can’t get, which is true.

DME is essentially an expansion of the old Mears Shuttle system, with three differences. One, Only guests staying on property at Disney World can use the service. Two, the guest checks their luggage in at the originating airport and then doesn’t have to touch it again. It will appear in their hotel room via Disney’s system. Three, since the guests never needs to deal with luggage at the Orlando International Airport, Disney has been allowed to great guests as they exit security and direct them to the waiting shuttles.

The third point is where the drivers feel like they’re getting the shaft. But it isn’t logical for the airport to insist Disney greeters wait at baggage. So I don’t think the driver will win this point.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the drivers are going to like the answer to their problem. The airport current issues 600 licenses for access to limo drivers and shuttles. That number should probably be cut back to 400 or 500 since Disney is now servicing more and more guests. Disney has figured out how to skin the cat better and unless the shuttle and limo drivers can figure out ways to improve their service, their numbers will be culled. It’s better to provide the chance at a livable wage for most of them, rather than force all of them to take a cut in pay that makes the job unable to support a family.

3 thoughts on “Disney’s Magic Express: Makes Limos Disappear”

  1. Competition is the American way! Disney simply is offering a better product. Using the limo drivers logic, rental car companies should complain about limo/taxi service.

  2. I just got back from WDW last night, and I have to say, Disney is NOT offering a better product. We are adding Magical Express to our list of things to NOT do again.

    The only reason we used it this time was, well, it was free, and we wanted to try something new. In the past we’ve used Quicksilver for our transport between airport and resort. For $95 round trip, we had a comfortable towncar, driver who took care of our luggage, and a 30 minute stop at a grocery store to stock up on fresh Florida fruit and munchies for our room.

    The magical express was crowded, they lost our reservation (even though we had a confirmation number from our travel agent) and the “gratuities accepted” stickers on every video screen inside did not leave us feeling that we’d been greeted with the famous Disney Hospitality.

    Disney had a great idea, but we felt it fell short of Disney standards. I imagine many people will do like we did and try out the Magical Express, (or continue to put up with it) because it’s free for resort guests. I for one will gladly cut back on another area of our trip to cover the cost of using a town car on our next vacation, but I fear I might be in the minority.

  3. it is not surprise that Disney offers better service to its guests.. but its not really a competition for the other limo companies.. I know many hotels with similar service..

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