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Disney adds private car transportation service at Walt Disney World – the Minnie-Van

Uber, Lyft, Minnie-Van? Yep, Disney has officially launched its entry into the ride-sharing field for guests at its Central Florida resort. Announced at the D23 Expo just last weekend, this Minnie Mouse themed transportation service is already testing with resort guests at Walt Disney World.

Okay, technically, these aren’t ride-sharing as Disney owns the vehicles, not the drivers. The real purpose is to transport guests around the resort with out the wait or perceived discomfort of a bus. The real threat is to Mears taxis, which Disney has other partnerships with (including Disney’s Magical Express and the Disney Cruise Line busses).

The Minnie-Van service officially opens later this month for guests at Disney’s Boardwalk and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club, but it has been soft opening for the last few days.

As with ridesharing apps, you arrange your own private Disney vehicle right from your smartphone. Your Minnie Van will be driven by a Disney cast member who will whisk you to anywhere in the resort in magical style. During testing the cost for this service has been a flat fee of $20. That’s subject to change when it exits the soft opening phase.

I’d glad to see Disney moving into this space and hope they find a price point taht works for both the average guest and those who are more used to private cars. Having a service like the Minnie Van in place when autonomous vehicles finally do arrive on the scene, will leave Disney better prepared than most organizations for the seismic shift that day will herald.

If guests prefer, they can still use a regular taxi or a ride-share app. But they won’t have certain advantages that the Minnie-Vans do have – like dropping guests off right at the front gate for Disney’s four theme parks.

If you’ve spotted the Minnie Van’s driving around property or snagged one for a ride yourself, let us know how your experience goes.