Disney's Magical Express comes to an end tomorrow - what you need to know

Dec 30, 2021 in "Disney Magical Express"

Disney Magical Express new look for 2018
Posted: Thursday December 30, 2021 10:48am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

After more than 15 years of transporting guests from Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World, Magical Express comes to an end for arrivals beginning January 1 2022.

Disney will continue to operate the service for arrivals through the remainder of 2021, and departure transportation will be available through January 10 2022 for eligible Disney Resort hotel Guests with an arrival date on or before December 31, 2021.

Magical Express was launched in 2005 and quickly became a popular option for guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels, often saving hundreds of dollars on transportation costs. The service was operated by a third-party vendor Mears Transportation.

The closure was announced in January 2021, and in a statement, Disney said: "Vacationers have more options to choose from than ever for transportation, including ride-share services that save time and offer more flexibility to go where they want, when they want. In light of this shift, when Disney Resort hotel bookings open for stays in 2022, we will no longer offer Disney's Magical Express service for airport transportation, starting with arrivals January 1, 2022. We will continue to operate the service for new and existing reservations made at Disney Resort hotels for arrivals throughout 2021. Additionally, complimentary transportation options – such as buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner – will continue to be available within Walt Disney World Resort for Disney Resort hotel guests, including to and from all four theme parks."

Officially, Disney is suggesting alternative forms of transportation, including using official Disney transportation partners - Lyft ride share and Enterprise rental cars.

There are also other third party options that have opened up to meet the needs of Disney guests.

Magical Express operator Mears is offering its Mears Connect service. Mears Connect serves Orlando International Airport and the Disney resort area with two service levels - Standard and Premium. Standard is a shared service on bus or van, making a limited number of stops on the way to your destination. Premium is a direct service with limited to no wait time.

Introductory rates for the standard round trip service are $32 per adult and $27 per child. Premium rates are $200 for up to 4 passengers and $55 per additional passenger.

Another Magic Express alternative is Transportation Management Services Sunshine Flyer, a themed motorcoach bus experience.

The Sunshine Flyer's buses are late model, premium motorcoaches with themes that center around old-fashioned passenger cars and train engines from the 1920's.

Tickets for The Sunshine Flyer must be booked at least four days ahead of arrival. Tickets are $17.00 per adult, $12.50 per child each way. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.sunshineflyer.com.

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Chip ChippersonMar 28, 2022

That's when you get out and run away yelling, "You'll never catch me, coppers!"

PatchesleeMar 28, 2022

Or it turns into another add-on for an additional price. Disney subcontract someone to pick up/drop off luggage at airport, reinstates bag delivery, etc.

lewiscMar 28, 2022

Disney isn't allowing ride share drop offs at the Contemporary unless the pax is a registered hotel guest or has an ADR at one of the restaurants in the hotel. YMMV

GoofyernmostMar 28, 2022

Just another reason why the train is not really an option.

JoeCamelMar 28, 2022

If luggage isn't allowed on the transportation what are they called those kind of Conestoga wagons and sherpa packs people dragged to the parks? I could live for a month out of what they take in there

crazy4disneyMar 28, 2022

just a suggestion next time get dropped off at the Contemporary and walk over or better yet in that parking lot area to save some walking.

AylaMar 28, 2022

Luggage isn't allowed on Disney transportation, so you're either walking to your resort or taking a cab/uber/lyft from DS when you could have just taken an uber from the airport directly to your resort.

GoofyernmostMar 28, 2022

It will be if you don't mind dragging your luggage to the train and then when you get to WDW (Disney Springs) you drag your luggage to the bus stops and find the bus that will take you to your resort or pay for some other transportation from there. Doesn't seem like something I would want to do.

lewiscMar 28, 2022

The initial pricing was more reasonable. Minnie Vans guaranteed 2 car seats. Biggest advantage. Minnie Vans dropped off and picked up at THE MK and not the TTC. Another plus. Otherwise the service appeals to guests who are willing to pay a premium for Disney branding and Disney driving

MisterPenguinMar 28, 2022

When your Uber driver shows up in a car that's barely staying in one piece, the Minnie Vans look more attractive. But they're still to expensive for stingy me. I'll continue to roll the dice with ride-share...

Weather_LadyMar 28, 2022

I don't know, but people were paying more for the Minnie Van service even before it got shut down, even when DME was still operating. I confess, I've never understood the appeal of Minnie Vans. People were paying limo-level pricing just for a car with dots on it. When it comes to Disney though, people's math gets weird. Happens to everybody, so no judgment...

TinkwingsMar 28, 2022

Yes now I think on it.....but it was soooooooooooooooooo wonderful NOT to think about it....just worked wonderfully for us for so many trips. 😁

AylaMar 28, 2022

It was run by a third party, Bags, Inc.

jinx8402Mar 28, 2022

They just haven't updated that page to remove the Luggage service verbiage. Remember, airline check-in was a separate service from the Magical Express. You did not need to take Magical Express to use the RAC service. The only way Minnie Vans will have that service is if Disney decides to bring back that service for all guests.