The time has come, and as of yesterday (Dec 31, 2021), Disney’s Magical Express has ceased its operations of bringing guests from Orlando International Airport (OIA) to the resorts of Walt Disney World.
Eagle eyes may still see the busses around the various resorts for a few more days because Disney’s Magical Express will still be bringing eligible guests who arrived by December 31, 2021, back to the airport through January 10, 2022.
But now what? What options are there for Disney guests needing transportation to and from OIA?
Disney’s Magical Express was a service operated by Mears Transportation, who has created its own replacement called Mears Connect. Service starts at $32 round-trip per adult with discounts for children.
A similar, but themed, motorcoach transport called The Sunshine Flyer will start operations on February 1. Service is $17 each way per adult with discounts for children.
Rideshare Services and Taxis
Rideshare services Lyft, Uber, and Wingz are allowed to pick up at OIA. Rates vary wildly depending on size of vehicle needed and if surge pricing is in effect (which usually happens during extremely busy periods). On average you can expect the rideshare rates to start at $40 each way.
Taxis are available and their fees are metered, so the rate will depend on the exact hotel the guest is traveling. On average you can expect rates to start around $60.
Another option is to rent a car, but just for the arrival and departure days. Enterprise is the official rental car provider of Walt Disney World Resort, so you can rent a vehicle from Enterprise, or its sister companies Alamo and National, at the airport and return the car on property. On the return, pick up the car on property the day before and then drop off at the airport before your flight.
This may be the best option if you’re staying at a property with kitchens as you’ll have a vehicle that first day to drive somewhere to grab groceries. You’ll also have a vehicle on your last day in case you want to see more of Orlando. The downside is you’ll have to pay resort parking fees for the days you have the vehicle.
Which ever option you choose, none, unfortunately, will be complimentary like Disney’s Magical Express was.
As to why Walt Disney World decided to end the service, it states:
“A one-size-fits-all approach to airport transportation no longer meets the needs of our Guests today. Guests have far more options to choose from compared to when Disney’s Magical Express service was introduced more than 15 years ago. These options are becoming more popular for vacationers, providing more flexibility and saving time so they can better plan their day at their convenience.”
Regardless, no more complimentary Disney’s Magical Express service means guests will now have an added expense to their vacation budgets.
What are your thoughts on the closure of Disney’s Magical Express? Let me know in comments!