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Walt Disney World to eliminate Magical Express airport transportation service: Here's how this could impact your next vacation

Some park fans are upset about the decision and are now asking for the company to reconsider.
Credit: AP / John Raoux

ORLANDO, Fla. — If you’ve ever flown into Florida for a vacation at Walt Disney World, you may have used the company’s Magical Express for a ride to your resort hotel.

That transportation service is will soon be coming to an end.

“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 announced in a blog post Monday. “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.”

Additionally, Disney World said the Extra Magic Hours benefit has been discontinued and replaced with Early Theme Park Entry. This gives guests staying at a Disney hotel to enter any of the four theme parks 30 minutes before the general public.

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Some Disney fans aren’t pleased with the decision to drop the Magical Express service and are asking for the company to reconsider. Here’s a sample of some of the comments on Disney’s Facebook page:

- “We are so disappointed in this decision made by Disney. For family’s [sic] with small kids this now means we must fly with our car seats and rent a car and then pay to park at the resort when having a rental car really wasn’t necessary before. I also have older grandparents who wouldn’t be able to get around driving in Orlando who will now either have to pay a taxi or a private car company. Huge disappointment.”

- “That is so disappointing. This was one of the main reasons I stay on property rather than choosing other options.”

- “WOW! This is absolutely huge and awful news for the future of transportation of getting to WDW. This forces the guests hand to now use ride share options or rent a car which they will have to pay a fee for parking each day. Wow wow wow...just AWFUL news for future guests.”

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- “This is disappointing that Magical Express will be discontinued. I don’t trust driving my 6 year old and 2 year old nieces in a ride share service except the Minnie Vans.”

- “Really disappointed to hear about the Magical Express going away. Part of the magic of the trip was that as soon as you landed you were on vacation - didnt have to worry about a thing - you knew you were being taken care of. Plus the wonderful drivers were talking about Disney and the on board videos really got you excited. And nothing is more exciting than when the whole bus cheers when we officially drive under the gate into Walt Disney World property. I felt comfortable traveling solo with my kids knowing that I was in Disney’s loving care.”

- “Not a great decision. DME helped set the mood for trips, not to mention ease of getting to and from hotel. Renting a car now means less time on Disney property.”

- “Terrible decision. Way to take away one of the primary reasons to stay on property or choose WDW in the first place.”

- “Very sad to hear this. We’ve used the service every trip and it is part of our memories (we love the silly video, cartoons and trivia). As a mom who plans everything, it was nice to know once I was on the plane there was nothing more to stress about.”

- “Given the barrage of disappointed comments, I wonder if you underestimated how important the magical express was to your most loyal fans. Is there any chance you’ll reconsider?”

- “I really hope you reconsider this decision. As a mom of young kids, I can't tell you how many times friends and family have asked why we visit Disney World as often as we do. The ease of travel that DME provides to families with young children is one of the reasons we keep coming back, and staying on property.”

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Editor's note: Video above was originally published on May 30, 2019.