Disney’s Magical Express gets new lease on life

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If you’ve been to Walt Disney World in the last year and you stayed at one of the Disney owned hotels, there’s a good chance you took advantage of Disney’s free airport shuttle service – Disney’s Magical Express. This service has been making most guests happy (hey, free is a very good price and not having to handle your luggage is even better) and Disney Management likes the fact that more guests don’t rent cars and therefore are less likely to leave the Disney property during their stay.

Of course, this has made a number of people unhappy. Car rental companies have seen a small drop in business, but are worried about a larger drop as DME comes out of beta. Airport Limos and Shuttles have been the hardest hit losing more than half of their previous fares to the Disney property. Additionally, both groups have been upset because they see the airport treating Disney with special rules and fees.

Putting aside those arguments DME is a great thing for the airport and Orlando. At the airport it eases crowding in the baggage and check-in areas allowing the airport to support a higher capacity without having to build new terminals. For Orlando, the busses act like a light-rail line (but without the costs of building one) taking many cars off the roads and saving the county from having to do repairs or expansion of its infrastructure.

So it was no suprise when I read that the Airport and Disney have negotiated a deal to run Disney’s Magical Express at the airport through 2011. Neither side got exactly what they wanted and the limo, shuttle, and car rental companies will just have to adjust to the new facts of life. But in general, this is a good thing for Disney’s customers and for Orlando.

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7 thoughts on “Disney’s Magical Express gets new lease on life”

  1. It’s like my adolescent life- boy (that’s the shuttles, limos and me) meets smoking hot girl (that’s Disney), they share a few laughs, enjoy each others company and just as the boy becomes so involved he can’t remember life before said girl- she finds something that works better and moves on. Of course that’s where the similarities end, as in my story boy moves on also and finds someone better while girl gains 40 pounds and marries a guy in prison, but you see the point (I had one didn’t I?).
    Disney gave you a good ride boys, but they are moving on- so you best do so too.
    As for the guests arriving at the airport, how could it be any better? A free ride, no baggage time, and the “official” Disney experience starts that much earlier.

  2. Disney’s Magical Express does NOT end!

    Wait a minute. Did I not say, one day ago, that the Disneys Magical Express will end in December and now I’ll say it will not end. Maybe I should have waited a day before writing something about the Service. Only one day later the Orlando Sent…

  3. After our abysmal experience riding the magical express, the limo companies will continue to get my cash on future visits.

    Magic express could not find our reservation, even with our confirmation number, we had to wait in a line until enough people to merit a trip to our resort showed up, and then make the trip with a bunch of strangers.

    After waking up at early to catch our flight out of Chicago, surviving the flight and dealing with the counter mix-up, the last thing I wanted was to be crowded into a bus with a bunch of equally crabby children.

    Make no mistake, the busses and drivers are not cast members, they are contracted employees of MEARS. This was painfully obvious to us, and I imagine to anyone else expecting the famous Disney hospitality.

    I’m sure it’s more economical for those with larger families on a tight budget to take Magical Express, but in the future, as we have in the past, we will continue to book Quicksilver.

    It is well worth the money to have someone greet us in baggage, take our luggage for us, and drop us off right at our resort. The only stop we made was at the Publix to pick up fresh fruit to have on hand in our room. No waiting, no stress, just a smooth transition from the lethargy of travel into a refreshing start to our adventure in the World.

  4. Disney gets special treatment because they have the economic power to command it. I feel bad for those who get hurt in the process, but it will shakeout in a way that works for everyone. Maybe some of them should try to partner up with Universal to offer some sort of similar service, instead of whining about Disney. Find a way to make another opportunity.

  5. I agree with Brian in regard to them finding new opportunities. Sure, it stinks that some people get hurt by this, but really, all they’ve been doing is living off of Disney anyway- the company doesn’t owe them anything.

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