Disney’s Magical Express was launched back in 2005 and quickly became a popular option for guests of the Walt Disney World Resorts for getting to and from the Orlando International Airport. Given the service was complimentary to resort guests, it could save hundreds on your vacation by avoiding car rentals, shuttles or taxis. There were many benefits to using the service and I had outlined them in my blog “What is Disney’s Magical Express“
On January 11th, 2021 Disney Parks released a blog talking about “A Look Ahead at Walt Disney World Resort“. In the article they announced changes including the end of the Magical Express service.
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 Jan. 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.
Many Disney fans took to social media to share their disappointment of the announcements. Some were actually quite funny and comical:
No Magical Express, no Fast Pass, No Extra Magic Hours - guys, this is just part of the 50th celebration to make it more like 1971 again!— How Bowers (@GoAwayGreen) January 11, 2021
Me: I love how Disney changes things up to keep everything fresh and new.— Jill Robbins (@JillRobbinsRJAB) January 12, 2021
Also me: I can't believe they're getting ready of the Magical Express. How dare they?
And yes...I am aware these are tiny first world issues.
Disney’s Magical Express will continue to operate throughout 2021.
Mears (who operated Magical Express) has announced a replacement service called “Mears Connect”. You can read about that here
Brightline announced in November 2020 that they had reached an agreement with Walt Disney World Resort to open a new train station at Disney Springs. With this new train service it will connect Walt Disney World with Orlando International Airport. The train is scheduled to open sometime in 2022.
How do you feel about the changes? Will you be excited for the train option?
This change will add a few layers of complexity to most vacations. There is no one transportation option that will be best for everyone. Brightline has recently confirmed that the Disney Springs station will not be available until 2023, a full year after Magical Express has ended. Once you get to Disney Springs you will then have to take a Disney bus to your resort which Disney does not currently encourage guests with luggage to take their buses. Ride-share services do have options for 1 or 2 car seats but anything more and you are on your own. You will… Read more »
It’s definitely all new things to consider when booking 2022 – but I’m really hopeful there will be something new!