NEWS: Mears Issues Statement on Disney’s Magical Express Service Being Discontinued

Disney World will no longer be offering the Magical Express starting January 1st, 2022.

Disney’s Magical Express

The airport bus transfer was complimentary for guests staying at a Disney World resort. The buses were operated by the Mears transportation company. Mears has made a statement regarding the closing of the Magical Express.

The Magical Express will be unavailable next year, but Mears will continue operations in the Orlando area. Mears spokesperson Roger Chapin stated to Spectrum News 13, “Disney made us aware of their decision. While we are disappointed Disney will no longer offer this service, we intend to continue offering transportation services between the airport and all area theme parks and hotels to meet the demand of our visitors now and in the future.”

Mears Bus Transportation at the Swan and Dolphin

Disney stated that the reasoning behind suspending the Magical Express is because “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.” Disney is referencing the growing popularity of Lyfts and Ubers and lowered guest use due to the global health crisis. The Tweet below also notes that the termination will coincide with the expiration of the contract between Disney and Mears.

Mears is separate from the Disney company and will offer their own transportation to and from the Disney World property. Guests will still have access to theme park transportation like buses, boats, monorails, and the Skyliner. We’ll continue to update you on all information regarding vacations at Disney World.

What’s your mode of transportation when traveling to Disney World? Let us know in the comments!

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52 Replies to “NEWS: Mears Issues Statement on Disney’s Magical Express Service Being Discontinued”

  1. We always use the Magical Express coming and going – it will be a big disappointment as our family comes together from several states so this was a great perk. Expecially leaving because we usually stay an extra day or two and depended on the Magical Express to take the rest of the family members so we didn’t have to disrupt our fun time.

  2. We travel to WDW twice a year by plane and use DME every time. I know the DME system was expensive for Disney but the DME offered guests a great start and end to their vacations. It got you in the mood and gave you great expectations of things to come. I’m sorry to see it go. Before DME service Mears was charging $25 round trip per person. And I think it got up to $35 for each adult. I quess that is a good starting point for Mears.

  3. We have visited WDW several times and we love the Magical Express even when we arrived at the registration desk just as our hotel bus was pulling out. It always put us in the Disney spirit before we arrived at the Parks. We will miss it!

  4. I can’t wait to see who buys the Walt Disney company within the next several years. All the cutbacks are signaling something.

    The price gouging of guests is getting ridiculous. I guess the goal is to get less people to show up.

  5. This means that coming from the U.K., we won’t feel like it would be easier to stay at Disney for our whole trip as we do right now. If we’re being asked to find our own way to the resort then we may as well choose any resort, no longer necessary to just look at Disney. We are much more likely to start or end our 3 week trip with a week at Universal instead of just visiting for a couple of days. This will end up saving us a lot of money on Disney resort stays in the end.

  6. My family of 6 just used Mears this past week. We stayed at the Dolphin and the Magical Express did not drop off there. Our driver Alex was amazing. He was courteous, on time and we went straight to our hotel without having to make multiple stops. Hard to get an Uber or Lyft when you have 6 with luggage. To us it was worth the extra money.

  7. This is disappointing news. One of the things I loved about a WDW vacation was that once we checked our bags at our home airport, all of our transportation needs were taken care of.

    This change makes off property lodging more attractive.

  8. I remember using Mears before ME. It was a bigger hassle, you had to get your own luggage, do your own check-in on the way back. This is one more reason to give up going to WDW. I get they have lost a lot of money due to the pandemic, but they are really putting a wdw vacation out of reach.

  9. I had only not used a Rental Car, my first three visits to WDW. I do remember using Mears from MCO to WDW. One time using a car service pre Lyft or Uber. I have always preferred using a rental. I like not having to wait for a crowded bus. Come and go as we please. And we do leave the Disney Bubble. I do understand how some people liked using Magical Express. And Disney enjoyed the fact that you were a captive audience. But Disney will not lose out. I know that more people are renting cars now. Perhaps a by-product of COVID-19. That said, Disney added their parking fees in 2017 at Resorts. That is a pure money maker with “ZERO” overhead. As someone stated earlier with the Brightline Rail coming available in 2022 from MCO to Disney Springs. Placing DME on the shelf. Is a good move for them. And you still have a captive audience from those that take the train. Brilliant!

  10. Very disappointing. We ALWAYS used the ME. Was it really free? Probably not, but it was still super convenient especially with kids. Traveling with children and luggage can be stressful and by offering the ME service, it took a lot of aggravation off of our trip. Disney just keeps cutting and cutting. Now,you either have to rent a car and add on that cost plus the cost of parking at the resort, or use a Mears bus , or a ride share such as an Uber all adding additional costs or now they are talking about a train. What good is taking a train from the airport to Disney Springs? How do you get from Disney Springs to your resort?? The whole thing is just ridiculous and a deal breaker for our family. We will not be returning, waaaaay too much of a hassle and now even more of an expense.

  11. I used ME once and it was fine, but I like having a rental car so much better. However, I completely understand why people are upset. I felt this way when they started charging for parking, raised dining prices, made you plan everything 6mo in advance (something I cannot do with my job), etc…. We used to go to Disney 1-2 times a year. We always stayed in Deluxe Resorts, on property, dined out, etc.., we were good customers. We have not been back in 3 years now. This was due to a persistent effort over the last few years to charge more, offer less and it became more work than fun. They way to change this is to NOT GO TO DISNEY. Every time they do this, I see lots of upset people on the blog, but then the parks are packed to capacity. I missed Disney at first and will still go back again at some point, but being away allowed me to be more objective about what they offered. I am hoping if more dedicated fans refused to pay more for lower and lower quality, they will reverse course. They have some amazing cast members, but much of the rest has been sadly declining.

  12. Our family travels to Disney every 2 years. We were scheduled to come in 2020 but due Cov-19 we cancelled . We were going to planning on coming in July 2021 but with all the changes with having to have a reservation to go to the parks no park hopping no extra hours,if we drive having to pay to park although I think if you are paying $300.00 to 500.00 per night for your room parking should be covered. Now eliminating the Magical Express believe it or not everyone doesn’t do uber or lyft. We believe it’s time to start looking for alternate vacations spot. I have always considered Disney as one of the best but it’s not family oriented now. It’s lost it magic!!!!
    It was fun until everybody stayed home.

  13. Disney Park Management has lost the magic of what made Disney World a magical experience for guests. As a DVC owner and annual pass holder, the reasons why I have gone to WDW so often over the past 35 years is because of the Disney service extras and the cast members. Disney management has taken away most of highly valued guest service extras. It appears, based upon the actions of Disney management, the plan is to close or significantly downsize WDW. I may not go to WDW in the future unless the focus of Disney management changes. Disney is loosing the magic!!!

  14. Has always been with Magical Express. I really am extremeely disappointed in the way Disney is now treating its guests. It seems it is becoming more expensive with fewer amenities which Disney once was applauded for. It is disgraceful that they have diven deeper into the almighty “dollar” concept as opposed to providing the fun experience they once believed in. WHAT A SHAME

  15. My favorite thing about ME was not having to worry about my luggage. Just get off of the plane and go! Disney is just doing away with so many things that benefitted the guest and made our stay more enjoyable. What are they offering to replace it (besides the train??). I realize that ME was never ‘free’, but they are not going to reduce the cost of the vacation package because they don’t offer it anymore. So again, we’re just going to wind up paying more. I never considered another option when ME was available. Very, very sad and disappointed.

    1. My first thought was how much more attractive the less expensive off-property lodging will be. The ease of the ME was a big reason we stayed at a Disney resort.

  16. With all of the benefits of staying on property, I think it will really hurt occupancy rates. rates at on property hotels are much higher but since they are taking away free magic bands, free luggage tags, free Magic Express with luggage handling and extra Magic Hours ( they are going to go to a 30 minutes early admission to any park instead of an hour to chosen parks), and no dining plan available , I think their occupancy rate will be hurt. If I have to find my own transportation form the airport, I will probably rent a car, If I stay on property, I have to pay $25-$40 a day to park it, so I may as well keep the rental and pay the daily parking rate at each park since I would have to pay it anyway at the Disney hotel, unless the offsite hotel I am staying at has a free shuttle. And just think, you could get dinner at a decent regular priced restaurant on your way back toy your hotel since you have the car and drive thru fast food for breakfast on the way to the park too. Disney charged a premium for their rooms for all those extras but now there is little reason to pay the premium. The concept of the Magic Express and all the buses between parks was to keep you on property so they would get extra park days out of you and all meals, even aspirin and diapers LOL They wanted a captive audience. Now with a rental car, even if you are staying on property , you are more apt to give Universal or Sea World a day or so…..

  17. Honestly, we never used the Magical Express. We have used Happy Limo for every trip since 2009 since they offer a grocery store stop. We always picked up a case of water, breakfast items, fruit and snacks to save money that way. Saving on food was always more important than the free ride.

  18. News Flash: The days of Disney doing ANYTHING for the sole pleasure of a guest ended long ago. This is a financial decision, plain and simple. And they have already factored in all of this discontent.

    1. We haven’t gone in like 5 years because of this. I think in the future, Iger and Chapek will really be seen as stewards of quarterly stock prices, not of the brand or commitment to excellence the company was founded with.

  19. This doesn’t surprise me as there’s going to be a train that connects Orlando airport with Disney Springs in service around that time. I’ve been wondering if Disney would partner with that; maybe they will provide bus/luggage service from the train station to the individual resorts. I guess we’ll see.

    1. Brightline has only said that they think by late 2023 that they might have that section done. It’ll stop at Springs and then you still have to get to your resort – with all your luggage, so that’s going to be no fun.

    2. the train won’t be operational until the end of 2022. And the question will be how often it runs. Will it be like a subway at rush hour? Imagine doing that with young kids and luggage. There is no candy coating this decision.

    3. Bus stops January 1…train won’t start until late that year…at best….so you have to drag luggage through airport to get to train….to Springs…then drag luggage through Springs gs to get bus to resort….not a good way to start or end vacation

    1. That was the exact same response I had. It was so relaxing to know that everything was taken care of the moment you stepped off the plane.

  20. This makes me sad. I wish they had at least tried to offer the service at a fee. [Adding fees for parking at resorts didn’t stop people from driving to the resorts.] I think many of us would pay for Magical Express. I liked not having to think about transportation..having it arranged for me.

  21. Flight into Orlando followed by Magical Express. Depending on what Mears would charge, they may be a replacement option.

  22. Very disappointed in this news and they may say it’s because guests have other options, but it totally seems to be a cost-cutting measure. It isn’t just the free ride that was a big perk to staying at a Disney hotel, but the handling of the luggage, checking in for the return trip to the airport, etc. Even the cheesy video on the way out of the airport made it feel like your vacation started on the ride there.

      1. Facts! Great point Rockster. I’ve always said DME is NOT a free service it’s an INCLUDED service! It was modified when the service continued summer of 2020 when DME made us retrieve our luggage. I don’t deny DME is probably not used as much but with half the resorts closed and 35% theme park capacity plus less people traveling due to Covid risk is it a surprise that ridership has been lower?

      2. So does that mean the vacation package will be less? I don’t think so. I realize it wasn’t “free” but to appear that guests have uber and lyft as other options and to make it then seem that the Magical Express wasn’t being utilized it wrong. It is obviosly cost cutting. They should be honest.

      3. Of course it was but they are not going to decrease the price of the vacation package so finding transportation will make the vacation cost higher.

  23. Wow! No one would take an Uber or Lyft from the airport when the Magical Express is free!! Just another cost Disney is cutting and adding to their guests making a DisneyWorld vacation astronomical. I’m so disappointed in Disney in this decision. Why can’t they just add a small cost on it like they do for their cruise express? This decision makes absolutely no sense. They are really making Universal Florida look better and better for a vacation in the Orlando area.

    1. Was never “free”, just built into your vacation package. Just like the so called “free” Dining Plan, it’s not free

      1. Rockstar is correct In 2005 when they started the ME, Resort prices went up to compensate for the service. And as he said the Dining isn’t free either, if you pay attention when they have special packages they either discount resort prices or give so called free dining or a couple so called free park days, they have it all figured into the ELEVATED price before they discount.

  24. We always use Magical Express to get to and from the airport. This is one of the most disappointing “cuts” Disney is making to date.

  25. To say I am disappointed in Disney stopping the Magical Express service is an understatement. I hope Mears themselves can pick up the slack. I would’ve gladly paid for the transportation service if they didn’t want it to be complimentary anymore. We have a trip planned in September which I would cancel if it wasn’t for three grandchildren and the fact that we had to reschedule from 2020. With no Fast Passes, we’ll be standing in long lines and paying for a premium stay and losing perks.

    1. Bottom of article reads: Mears is separate from the Disney company and will offer their own transportation to and from the Disney World property

      1. Maybe that’s the case, but it certainly won’t be a checkbox when you’re reserving and who knows what they’ll charge for it? And it simply adds more steps and complexity to the trip and you’re not even there yet.

  26. WE HAVE ALWAYS USED THE MAGICAL EXPRESS. VERY DISAPPOINTED THAT THIS WILL NOT BE OFFERED BY DISNEY. FIRST YOU CAN’T BOOK FLIGHTS THROUGH DISNEY.COM AND NOW YOU CAN’T GET THE MAGICAL EXPRESS. WHAT’S NEXT TO GO?THIS USED TO BE A ONE STOP SHOP. WHAT’S HAPPENING?!?!!?!!?

  27. This is cost cutting and nothing else. Really lowers – again – the value proposition of staying at WDW. And we’re DVC members. Much less on the magic hours, cast cuts, entertainment cuts, and now this.

      1. Saw in a separate article they are also doing away with magic hours. Changing to a flat 30 minutes early access to parks for hotel guests. Doesn’t seem to be any extended hours offered at the end of the day.