8 Ways That Disney World Transportation CHANGED in 2021

Last year was a big year for Disney transportation!

What a year for Disney transportation!

We had monorail shutdowns and Skyliner crashes, the return of Park Hopping, and the loss of Magical Express. In fact, there were so many changes over the 12 months that it was hard to keep track of all of them.

So today we’re going back in time (a week or so) to round up the full list of ways that Disney World transportation changed in 2021!

The EPCOT Monorail Reopened

A long-awaited change in Disney World was the reopening of the EPCOT monorail. We understood why it wasn’t open at first (no Park Hopping!), but even after Park Hopping returned, we had to rely on the bus for six months before monorail service resumed from EPCOT to the TTC. It makes park travel a little bit easier, especially for guests at monorail resorts.

EPCOT monorail

The Monorails Got A Fresh New Look

And speaking of monorails, they got a fresh new look this year! One by one, the various trains got interior updates, with new seats, upholstery, paint, and graphics. They seriously look fresh and so much more up to date and modern!

Monorail yellow got a new look!

50th Anniversary Wraps

For the 50th Anniversary, Disney was determined to celebrate in every conceivable way, so the decorations even extended to the various transportation options. Multiple Skyliner gondolas and buses got 50th Anniversary wraps as well as one of the monorail trains, Monorail Gold. Be on the lookout for the special designs throughout the next 18 months!

It’s the Most Magical Skyliner on Earth!

Buses Got Some Fun Messages

And speaking of the 50th Anniversary, the buses got some unique messages for the occasion! Instead of the front screens reading their usual catchphrases, you might catch a bus that says “Celebrating 50 Years of Castle Proposals” or “Celebrating 50 Years of Turkey Legs.” (Although we’re not exactly sure WHO is celebrating that one!)

The buses have fun messages on them!

Trams Are Back…Almost

One big change that we were really thrilled about was the return of the parking lot trams. They were shut down and tucked away in the back corners of the parking lots for nearly two years, and in December, they came back to Magic Kingdom. Disney hasn’t yet released dates for the return of trams to the other three Parks, but we’re ready for them to come back in 2022!

They’re coming back!

Park-to-Park Transportation Came Back

When Park Hopping started back up on January 1, 2021, it made sense that park-to-park transportation returned with it. At first, we were limited to just buses, the Skyliner, and the Friendship Boats, but the EPCOT monorail came back later on. Keep in mind that some of these options only run beginning in the afternoon, closer to that 2PM Park Hopping time constraint.

You can get (almost) anywhere with Disney transportation!

Tons of Rule Changes

And throughout the year, we’ve had quite a few health and safety rule changes for Disney transportation. Even when masks weren’t required for a short while in Disney World, they were still required on some forms of transportation. We’ve also noticed quite the fluctuation in capacity limits for things like buses and Skyliner gondolas — buses and monorails are now stuffing in as many guests as possible, and gondolas are seating more than one party again.

Health and safety changes happened frequently.

Magical Express Carried its Final Passengers

And finally, we have to talk about the biggie…Magical Express. This complimentary transportation to and from the airport ended on December 31, 2021, and guests are now required to use a paid service or to rent a car. It’s a loss that many Disney fans continue to mourn, so it’s definitely a hot topic of discussion.

Disney’s Magical Express

Those are some of the biggest transportation changes we had last year! We can’t wait to see what 2022 holds in terms of changes, so stay tuned to AllEars for all the latest Disney World news!

Click Here to See Changes Coming in 2022!

Which of these changes was the best? Which was the worst? Tell us in the comments!

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2 Replies to “8 Ways That Disney World Transportation CHANGED in 2021”

  1. Seems to be a problem with Mears Connect, at least today. Our son and his party had their airport return reservation and were at their resort waiting for the bus. After an hour, they were able to grab one of vans that was dropping off guests for a ride back to the airport. They heard that some marathon runners had missed their flights because of the mix-up today. May be a very good idea to have a backup plan. You may need to use it!

  2. The best was the new monorail interior colors, but the worst was getting rid of the free Disney’s Magical Express.