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Disney Magical Express to be Discontinued

Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
13,773
Glasgow
You’d be as well staying at a 3rd party hotel at Disney Springs. You’ll get the same benefits and save money and probably get a better room.
 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,360
Pittsburgh area
Not something I ever used since i drive to Florida. But WDW tourists that I've come into contact over the years seemed to love that service and spoke highly of it. Ride services, trains or whatever available, this
decision still will probably upset a lot of Disney customers. Taking away something that was free for a long time is always a questionable business decision that can have negative repercussions down
the line concerning future vacations. Disney sure seems in a self destructive mode with many of their recent decisions. All those years of perhaps the best marketing in US business, and super solid brand loyalty,
are not impervious. Disney is taking some real chances that their brand loyalty will not suffer.
 

Grabnar

V.I.P.
Aug 5, 2018
1,296
Not something I ever used since i drive to Florida. But WDW tourists that I've come into contact over the years seemed to love that service and spoke highly of it. Ride services, trains or whatever available, this
decision still will probably upset a lot of Disney customers. Taking away something that was free for a long time is always a questionable business decision that can have negative repercussions down
the line concerning future vacations. Disney sure seems in a self destructive mode with many of their recent decisions. All those years of perhaps the best marketing in US business, and super solid brand loyalty,
are not impervious. Disney is taking some real chances that their brand loyalty will not suffer.
I really wonder how much of this would still be happening without Chapek? I know he's a popular boogeyman for a lot of cost-cutting measures, but even with covid I feel like the last few years has been Disney working down a list of "Things we'd like to replace with an upcharge" that some McKinsey adjacent firm came up 5 years ago.
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
25,105
Orlando
Burying the lede here a bit with ignoring that EMH are also ending!

100% a way to increase the number of nights available for After Hours with minimal impacts to day guests.
Disney has been phasing out EMH for years. I remember the years where MK would close to DAY GUESTS at midnight and then have EMH for 3 hours until 3am. Then EMH went down to two hours. And then one. Now gone. What people are paying for with the After Hours parties used to come standard with staying on-site.
 

Grabnar

V.I.P.
Aug 5, 2018
1,296
Disney has been phasing out EMH for years. I remember the years where MK would close to DAY GUESTS at midnight and then have EMH for 3 hours until 3am. Then EMH went down to two hours. And then one. Now gone. What people are paying for with the After Hours parties used to come standard with staying on-site.
And they wonder why they keep losing ground to Universal :think:
 
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Legacy

Veteran Member
Jul 27, 2015
8,515
First, the train isn’t opening in 2022. It will maybe be 2023 or ‘24. So that’s going to be a big gap of... nothing? Strictly ride shares? Because, here’s the biggest issue with this change.

Magical Express allowed guests to go from the airport to their hotel in one straight shot. They could sit down and not get up until they got to their destination. The train doesn’t provide that. Strictly going to DS necessitates a transfer, which is a hassle. It’s an even bigger hassle with kids. Disney fans accustomed to the convenience of the Express are unlikely to be fans of that, especially if they have kids.
 

JungleSkip

Premium Member
Feb 15, 2010
21,979
The Mushroom Kingdom
First, the train isn’t opening in 2022. It will maybe be 2023 or ‘24. So that’s going to be a big gap of... nothing? Strictly ride shares? Because, here’s the biggest issue with this change.

Magical Express allowed guests to go from the airport to their hotel in one straight shot. They could sit down and not get up until they got to their destination. The train doesn’t provide that. Strictly going to DS necessitates a transfer, which is a hassle. It’s an even bigger hassle with kids. Disney fans accustomed to the convenience of the Express are unlikely to be fans of that, especially if they have kids.
You also didn't have to worry about lugging your baggage around from the plane to a train to a bus. It went right to your room.

I can't see this as being anything but a downgrade
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
25,105
Orlando
And they wonder why they keep losing ground to Universal :think:
I mean, we are on a Universal focused site and we constantly talk about them, so I think it seems like Universal is gaining way more than they actually are. Make no mistake, Universal is making gains on Disney, but I don't think Disney has lost all that much market share to Universal.

If I was coming out of state and planning a 7-day vacation, i'd be on the fence as to whether I want to do 2 days at Uni/5 at WDW or 3 at Uni and 4 at WDW. Disney's greatest weakness (how far spread out the parks are) is also a strength for the business. The parks being so spread out means people are only going to do one park per day in most cases. At Universal, I could easily hit almost every ride at both IOA and USF if I planned to come at the right time. Even during fairly busy times when i've done the parks with out of town family, we've been able to hit most rides in both parks in the same day. I just don't feel the need to spend the extra time at Universal yet unless I want to go to VB. Epic Universe will help them a lot as it's not attached to the existing campus, so you can't hop to it so easily, meaning you'll have to spend extra days on site.
 

Legacy

Veteran Member
Jul 27, 2015
8,515
You also didn't have to worry about lugging your baggage around from the plane to a train to a bus. It went right to your room.

I can't see this as being anything but a downgrade
Which is what I thought Express did. I never used it.

Conceivably, the same thing could happen with the train. It would just require 1) a whole transfer network of luggage handlers at DS to transfer luggage and 2) a fleet of vehicles to distribute stuff. Neither of which I can really see Disney paying for.

This is really subtraction by addition.
 

Happytycho

Member
Mar 1, 2017
677
I'm pretty shocked right now. But I really shouldn't be. This is absolutely a cost cutting move.

I'll probably have more to say about DME vs trains later, but for now I'll just say that there's no way that this cancellation is for the trains to take on the DME role. There's going be a minimum of 2-3 years between DME ending and the train opening, assuming it ever gets built. That's not a service gap you deliberately create and hope that millions of people will ignore. This simply has to be about money.

The train station is on the opposite side of the street of DS.
East or west of Team Disney?
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
25,105
Orlando
I'm pretty shocked right now. But I really shouldn't be. This is absolutely a cost cutting move.

I'll probably have more to say about DME vs trains later, but for now I'll just say that there's no way that this cancellation is for the trains to take on the DME role. There's going be a minimum of 2-3 years between DME ending and the train opening, assuming it ever gets built. That's not a service gap you deliberately create and hope that millions of people will ignore. This simply has to be about money.


East or west of Team Disney?
I'm not good with east/west, never have been, but I believe it's supposed to go across from the West Side entrance where the Team Disney parking lot is. Or in that vicinity.
 
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WAJAS

Veteran Member
Aug 15, 2014
3,536
--Classified--
The Orlando extension of Brightline is planned to open in 2022, but the Disney extension isn't planned until 2023. Unless someone has inside info, the station location is not public yet, so nobody would know.

Brightline is meeting with the Sunrail Board in February to discuss a partnership where Sunrail will operate local service between east Orlando and Disney using the Brightline tracks. I expect we will have a better idea of Brightline's route on Disney property by then.
 
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Happytycho

Member
Mar 1, 2017
677
The Orlando extension of Brightline is planned to open in 2022, but the Disney extension isn't planned until 2023. Unless someone has inside info, the station location is not public yet, so nobody would know.

Brightline is meeting with the Sunrail Board in February to discuss a partnership where Sunrail will operate local service between east Orlando and Disney using the Brightline tracks. I expect we will have a better idea of Brightline's route on Disney property by then.
You are correct that it's not public yet, but the station location has been decided so people with Disney connections might already know. It is public that Brightline plans to enter Disney property from the east along 536, and then leave SW towards Tampa along I4. Given the amount space needed for a station and the turning radius required for a railroad, there's relatively few possible sites near Disney Springs. It seems to me that the best/most likely option would be behind (west of) Team Disney in the space between it and Typhoon Lagoon.
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
25,105
Orlando
(I’ve never used magical express)
Before I moved to Florida, I took probably close to 5-7 vacations and never once did we use DME. I know a lot of people use it, but I think we're kinda in a bubble of people who use it. I think most are either unaware of it or just would rather use rideshare services on their vacation. Many still get rental cars, although I don't really understand why someone still would. You save a crap ton of money not only in car rental money, but by not paying for parking at the parks or parking at hotel by using rideshare.
 

belloq87

Veteran Member
Dec 7, 2009
5,363
Universal Exports
Interesting to see that Disney's blog post about this has generated a basically 100% negative reaction in the comments.

Even more interesting that Disney's PR team (so far) is leaving them up; they've certainly deleted negative stuff in the past.
 
Jan 31, 2013
769
So I was mistaken, apparently all the Minnie vans were put up for sale at local dealerships. Looks like that perk is gone for good as well
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
25,105
Orlando
So I was mistaken, apparently all the Minnie vans were put up for sale at local dealerships. Looks like that perk is gone for good as well
No, I remember that story. Disney rents out those cars and it was confirmed that the cars were just being serviced.
 
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Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
13,773
Glasgow
Before I moved to Florida, I took probably close to 5-7 vacations and never once did we use DME. I know a lot of people use it, but I think we're kinda in a bubble of people who use it. I think most are either unaware of it or just would rather use rideshare services on their vacation. Many still get rental cars, although I don't really understand why someone still would. You save a crap ton of money not only in car rental money, but by not paying for parking at the parks or parking at hotel by using rideshare.
I've never used DME but I had planned to for the 2 trips I had planned for last year. It's not even that a big of a deal but it's the constant chipping away at the amenities of staying on site, mixed in with ever increasing prices and a worse overall experience.

I'll still continue to rent a car. The convenience is worth the cost imo.
 

JungleSkip

Premium Member
Feb 15, 2010
21,979
The Mushroom Kingdom
Before I moved to Florida, I took probably close to 5-7 vacations and never once did we use DME. I know a lot of people use it, but I think we're kinda in a bubble of people who use it.
I think calling the DME a "bubble" is crazy. Since it was brought about I've never stayed on Disney property and not used it, and considering the amount of people I always shared a bus with/saw waiting in the area it set off from, I think more than an insignificant percentage of guests used it.