PDA

View Full Version : Who normally books a town car but will take Magical Express because its free?


lsteadman
02-16-2005, 09:58 AM
I would normally book a town car; however, because magical express is free I will use it for my return trip portion.

For my upcoming trip, May 3rd I was thinking about using Mears shuttle the one-way price is $30.00 1 adult, 1 child. My only concern is getting off a Mears bus at the All-Stars and having a bus load of people trying to check in all at the same time.

OR

I could go with the one-way town car $50.00 1 adult, 1 child. My only concern is getting out of the town car and a bus load of Mears people trying to check in ahead of me. :rolleyes:

Well, 50/50 chance!

What are you going to do far as your transporation to/from park with the arrival of Magical Express!

Now for the ringer questions - Do you think towncar services will lower their prices since Disney is offering a little more competition in the "transportation" area? Free or $80.00 towncar service.

How much is "time" worth to you? Let's discuss!

Lewisc
02-16-2005, 10:13 AM
Given the price of gas, airport fees and insurance I can't see the better towncar companies being able to discount their fees much.

People paying for a suite in the deluxe hotels will probably stay with the towncar but families staying in value and moderate resorts will probably give Magical Express a shot.

I suspect some of the towncar drivers/companies will be hurting.

takemetoo
02-16-2005, 10:22 AM
We had planned on using a towncar for the first time on our next trip, but scrapped that plan when I heard about FREE Magical Express! Both times we've used Mears we were not in a herd of people at check in, so you might get lucky if you do go that route. Last trip we were the only ones going to ASMo on Mears (the only other couple was going to ASSp).

Wish Upon A Star
02-16-2005, 10:28 AM
I do like the idea, however, I think I'll just stick with renting a limo because I hate to have to stop at all the other resorts and drop other guests off.

I'd rather pay to get taken directly to my resort. :sunny:

murcor
02-16-2005, 10:35 AM
Im in the process of debating the same thing Town Car vs free Mears shuttle.

We used Tiffany Town Cars in January and said we would always use them for now on. It was so quick and conveniet, it was worth the extra $$

Whatever you decide, have a great trip :cool1:

Angela

Lewisc
02-16-2005, 11:15 AM
I'd think a towncar would be faster than Magical Express BUT with Magical Express you don't have to wait for your luggage. If Disney is able to reduce your waiting time to about 10-15 minutes and lump stops together, one bus just for the MK resorts for example, the difference may not be as much as you'd think.

Remember some of Mears buses would make offsite stops, GP, MOWC, on the way to Disney. Magical Express won't be making those stops.

Horace Horsecollar
02-16-2005, 11:25 AM
Now for the ringer questions - Do you think towncar services will lower their prices since Disney is offering a little more competition in the "transportation" area? Free or $80.00 towncar service.

How much is "time" worth to you? Let's discuss!
I agree with Lewisc, who wrote, "Given the price of gas, airport fees and insurance I can't see the better towncar companies being able to discount their fees much." My guess is that the towncar services will reduce their fleets and that some of their drivers will need to seek other employment. But the towncar companies will continue to price their services at rates that allow them to stay in business and make a profit. Towncar services don't depend entirely on Disney guests. Also, there will continue to be Disney guests who prefer the privacy, individual attention, grocery stop service, and not having to wait for other guests or to make other stops.

Yes, time is worth a lot to me. With Magical Express, we will no longer spend any time going to the baggage claim and waiting around for bags from our flight to start coming off, and then, eventually, for all of our bags to arrive.

Instead, we'll go straight to the Disney Welcome Center. Of course, the open question is how long it will take to check in at the Welcome Center and how long it will be until our assigned coach leaves. Ideally, we'll be on our way faster than with a towncar. Also the coach will make somewhere between zero and three stops. I assume they'll send coaches to resorts that are near each other (such as the Epcot resorts or the Magic Kingdom resorts).

Keep in mind that this isn't just a rebranding of the old Mears coach and van service. Although Disney is contracting with Mears, this will be a new service, with a new fleet. Chances are that service will be far more frequent and coaches will make far fewer stops because so many more guests will use Magical Express than the current Mears service.

Chip 'n Dale Express
02-16-2005, 12:17 PM
Just to add to what Horace said... From what I am to understand, it will be Disney cast members who will be running the show. Mears will only be driving. Disney CMs will be doing all the scheduling for the motorcoaches.

I'm hoping to have more info on Friday...

goofy4tink
02-16-2005, 01:03 PM
After using the Mears shuttle on our first trip, I decided to go with a towncar service from then on. But, in June we will be giving the MagicExpress a shot. What we save will pay for a nice meal at WDW and not having to wait around for our luggage is a huge plus. Besides, when we use the towncar, we try to figure out a way to get all our stuff in carry-ons. That just doesn't cut it for us and I end up doing laundry several times. So, in June MagicExpress will be taking us to BCV and picking us up at POR. Well, unless those of you who use it before then report back that you've had some serious issues!!!

caitycaity
02-16-2005, 01:07 PM
when we first started going to disney we used mears. we never have a problem, but now that we have more money, we usually take a towncar. i've been debating going with magic express since it's free.

Horace Horsecollar
02-16-2005, 01:14 PM
Just to add to what Horace said... From what I am to understand, it will be Disney cast members who will be running the show. Mears will only be driving. Disney CMs will be doing all the scheduling for the motorcoaches.

I'm hoping to have more info on Friday...
And Mears is just one contractor. There are other entities involved. From the press release:
<blockquote>In addition to partners at Orlando International Airport, Walt Disney World developed this innovative service in conjunction with private and public sector leaders including: the Mears Transportation Group, the largest provider of ground transportation to the Walt Disney World Resort; BAGS Inc., the provider and innovator in off-airport passenger check-in services for the hotel, convention, cruise and airline industries; ARINC Incorporated, a leading global provider of technology systems for airports and airlines; the Transportation Security Administration; and airline partners including: American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Song, United Airlines and Ted. Walt Disney World hopes to add other air carriers to the resort airline check-in service in the near future.</blockquote>
Please let us know what you learn on Friday.

mark smith
02-16-2005, 01:38 PM
I'm a happy limp guy every time. For $55+tip, I get personal direct door to door service w/ a grocery stop. The time "saved" w/ baggage handling and"direct check-in" will surely be lost w/multiple stops,getting in line at welcome center(not to mention no grocery stops, which save $);And do not believe this is truly free-ticket prices have recently been increased(when you extrapilate the true breakdown cost on most ticket options w/the new plan) and resort rate increases. Of course yoy have to stay at WDW resorts to use this service(and again w/no grocery stop will have to purchase everything at WDW at WDW prices(other than what you have lugged in your suitcases). If I owned a limo service, I would certainly not lower my prices, I would continue to market greater convienence and service to the higher end clientelle that already utilizes services like Happy Limo.

beccasmom
02-16-2005, 02:05 PM
We'll give it a try when the service includes my preferred airlines - USAirways or SW. They weren't included the last time I checked. I love the towncars, but I love free much more! :cool1:

Lewisc
02-16-2005, 02:07 PM
We'll give it a try when the service includes my preferred airlines - USAirways or SW. They weren't included the last time I checked. I love the towncars, but I love free much more! :cool1:

Incoming it doesn't matter what airline you fly. You can use them for transportation to the airport you just can't check your luggage at the resort. You'll have to get your luggage off the bus and check it yourself.

m&m's mom
02-16-2005, 02:12 PM
I am one of those that used Mears the 1st trip (before I knew better) and used towncars ever since then.
This trip I am one that will try Magical Express this time or until I hear lots of bad stories.
That will save us $125.00 - van w/tip.

Okiemom
02-16-2005, 03:14 PM
Since we don't go until Nov, I am going to wait and see how it works for everyone. I do have that advantage. I really never waited that long for my luggage, and I agree it will take that much time to sign up at center and wait for bus to fill, and for bus to deliver to resorts. So, time will tell.

Chicago526
02-16-2005, 03:16 PM
Fortunatly, my trip isn't until October, so I'll be able to "see it in action" by reading all the trip reports, before I have to make a decision!

If I do decide to use it, it would only be on the return. This is our honeymoon, and I love the idea of pulling up to the GF in a stretch limo, and letting the bell hop know we are Conceirge guests. I'm not normally a snob, but I like the idea of doing this trip first class all the way (except we have to fly coach 'cuz of Ted :( ) But taking ME on the way home makes sence, plus it would save us money.

kirbsam
02-16-2005, 03:37 PM
Think I will continue to use town cars. Used tiffany in the past and count on using them again in october. The grocery stop, the personal service and the direct service is worth a hundred bucks.

CarolA
02-16-2005, 04:02 PM
I am planning to try Magical Express along with Wegoshop for my October trip.
As I read it you can use Magical Express even if it is not on a preferred airline. The difference being you would have to deal with your luggage on the return.

simzac
02-16-2005, 05:13 PM
The point about the grocery stop is a good one, but since we do not ever make one, we are going to use Magical Express this year. We never plan any parks on our arrival or departure days, so time isn't of the essence to us. The towncars have been great, but we figure Magical Express will be a nice change of pace. And as another poster said, free is hard to pass up.

Dopey Sharon
02-16-2005, 05:33 PM
Since we don't go until Nov, I am going to wait and see how it works for everyone. I do have that advantage. I really never waited that long for my luggage, and I agree it will take that much time to sign up at center and wait for bus to fill, and for bus to deliver to resorts. So, time will tell.

I'm doing the same thing. We aren't going until December, so I'm waiting to see how it works out.

Right now, I have a reservation for a towncar, but if Magical Express turns out to be great, then I may try it out. I do need to shop for some food, though, but the savings from the towncar is still more than buying some food at the grocery store at OKW. At least I don't think the prices for a few things would cost $100 more at OKW than Publix...could it? :scared1:

Pink Flamingo
02-16-2005, 06:37 PM
Our group will be giving ME a try this July/Aug ~ can't beat the price! I think this is a great incentive for those staying on site. We enjoyed using the town car services in the past, but we can't pass up the ME savings.

eeyoreforever
02-17-2005, 08:12 AM
Incoming it doesn't matter what airline you fly. You can use them for transportation to the airport you just can't check your luggage at the resort. You'll have to get your luggage off the bus and check it yourself.


Just want to make sure I understand correctly. If I'm flying on SW, which is not one of the "approved" airlines, they will handle my luggage for me when I arrive in Orlando. But, when I leave Orlando, I will have to handle my own luggage? Does that mean that we can still ride on the Magical Express bus, but we have to put our luggage on the bus and get it off the bus? Don't mean to sound dense here, just want to be sure.

Thanks for the help!

localdriver
02-17-2005, 08:23 AM
Yes, you can use the Magical Express.

Your luggage will be handled by Disney upon arrival.(regardless of airline)

For your return, you are responsible for getting your luggage to the motorcoach, and getting it checked in at the airport, just like you would if you were travelling today.

newholidayx2
02-17-2005, 10:15 AM
Although DS & I have flown just the 2 of us to FL we have never had to get ourselves from MCO to WDW
This will hopefully be a help this Aug

murcor
02-17-2005, 11:54 AM
shuttle. Even though Disney handles your luggage, wouldnt it accompany you on the same bus to the resorts? Therefore, making you wait for them to get your luggage and everyone else's before the bus leaves the airport?

Im not sure on this, so I thought I would ask.

Thanks

Angela

sluggo
02-17-2005, 12:06 PM
Your luggage will go on a separate truck to your resort, so you will not have to wait on it.

Sluggo

MaryJ
02-17-2005, 12:31 PM
DD and I are going to give ME a try in May. I know it will be new and all the bugs may not be worked out of the system, but as someone else said, You can't beat the price. We will miss the grocery stop, but may give Wegoshop a try, or else just pick up a few things at the resort.

TammyC
02-19-2005, 08:08 PM
Anyone else just feel better knowing that you have your luggage with you?? (instead of waiting and hoping that it finds you later!)

murcor
02-19-2005, 08:53 PM
Angela

Dopey Sharon
02-19-2005, 08:58 PM
Anyone else just feel better knowing that you have your luggage with you?? (instead of waiting and hoping that it finds you later!)

This is one thing I'm waiting to hear about when the Magical Express reviews start coming. I understand that this is how luggage is handled for the cruise people, but I'm a little leery about not getting my luggage myself.

Bill From PA
02-20-2005, 07:55 AM
I usually time our arrival to milk the most out of our vacation and I hate wasting a travel day (or hour for that matter). Next March the plan is a 6:30 am flight out of PHL, MCO at 9, Tiffany to WDW resort with a stop for bottled water, drop the bags and be in Epcot before WS opens. We've done this before using Dollar's FastLane, but I don't see this senario working out with this new service. If reports come in here that it's faster than I expect, I'll consider it, otherwise I'll pay for TC to get that whole first day in.

Bill From PA

blanq
02-20-2005, 09:40 AM
We have used towncar transfers, except for our 1999 trip where we tried a Mears Shuttle (which wasn't horrible, but certainly not as convenient as having a driver waiting for you to whisk you off to an air conditioned private car). Anyway, I am a sucker for saving a buck too, so we will give ME a go for our fall trip...unless the reports come back indicating we should steer clear at all costs.

Horace Horsecollar
02-20-2005, 12:23 PM
Anyway, I am a sucker for saving a buck too, so we will give ME a go for our fall trip...unless the reports come back indicating we should steer clear at all costs.
It will be interesting to read the reports during the first few months of the Magical Express service. I have no doubt there will be some horror stories.

There will be guests who won't see their bags until the next day. The real reason will tend to be that their airline didn't load the bags properly at their home airport or connecting airport. Those bags wouldn't have been at baggage claim either. That happens today.

Some guests will arrive at the Disney Welcome Center at the airport just after a coach to their resort has left. They'll watch coach after coach leaving for other resorts until another coach departs for their resort.

Because each Magical Express coach will make 3 or 4 stops, some guests will arrive at their resort at the first stop but others will have to wait until the last stop.

And if a guest faces all three of the situations above, they'll post reports "indicating we should steer clear at all costs."

My guess is that Magical Express will work well for most guests most of the time. Their luggage will get to their resort fairly quickly. The wait at the airport will be reasonable because Disney will know ahead of time when guests will arrive and will schedule the coaches accordingly. And even if a coach makes several stops, the stops will be brief.

lclark0621
02-20-2005, 02:09 PM
I think I need to hear some reviews of the Magical Express before I consider usin it.

I don't get how Disney gets through the security issues with this. I mean how many do they answer the "Have you packed your own bags & have they been with you the whole time?" question?

I like using a town car. We go straight from the airport to our hotel. And on the last day of our trip, if we are leaving late (like this year), we can stay in the park as long as possible.

Like in April, we are flying at 7:15pm out of Orlando. Our towncar driver is picking us up at 5:00pm at the hotel. If I had to worry about a shuttle going to several hotels, I dont think we could spend as long in the parks.

But like I said, I will need to hear some reviews before I make any decissions for our next trip.

MagicKingdom05
02-20-2005, 02:18 PM
This is my first trip in 4 years and will be using a towncar service. However, for my May trip I am taking advantage of the free Magical Express transportation because it saves $100.

barbaraann
02-20-2005, 02:48 PM
We Used A Towncar On Ou First Trip And Really Liked It. Last Year We Used A Rental Car, Which Was A Real Pain. This Year We Will Use The Magical Express. We Are Arriving About Check In Time So I Will Probably Pack A Carryon With A Day's Supply Of Items Just In Case There Is A Problem With The Luggage. Mostly People Need To Be Very Patient When They Are Traveling. I Guess When We Are Of To Disney We All Get A Little Anxious. Its A Good Idea To Go Easy The First Day. We Are Off To Dd That Day. So We Will Not Be In Ahurry.

cbrfan
02-20-2005, 03:51 PM
A hundred bucks is a hundred bucks. We'll try Magical Express. As far as luggage goes, I fly everywhere thinking it's going to get lost and pack my carryon accordingly.

fam4jc
02-20-2005, 04:20 PM
We will be using Magical express for our Dec trip and using a shopping service in leu of the limo grocery stop. I feel saving the 100 bucks is important enough a savings to give it a try. If it's hard, slow or looses luggage, we'll go back to a limo service. BUT if the limo companies offer really good discounts, I may change my mind :teeth:

Mrs. Potts
02-20-2005, 04:32 PM
I don't know. I'm waiting to hear reviews when it starts. We've had bad experiences with Mears and I have said, "Never Again". We used Florida tours for our November trip and they were great. Still, the price tag for Magic Express makes it tempting! Hmmmmm..... :confused3

Horace Horsecollar
02-20-2005, 05:14 PM
I don't get how Disney gets through the security issues with this. I mean how many do they answer the "Have you packed your own bags & have they been with you the whole time?" question?
In fall 2002, at the direction of the TSA, the airlines stopped asking the two "standard" check-in questions -- "Have your bags been in your possession at all times?" and "Has anyone unknown to you asked you to carry anything on board?".

Disney and the contractor that's providing the baggage check-in service at the resorts (BAGS Inc.) have worked out the secuity issues with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). I quoted part of the press release earlier in this thread:
<blockquote>In addition to partners at Orlando International Airport, Walt Disney World developed this innovative service in conjunction with private and public sector leaders including: the Mears Transportation Group, the largest provider of ground transportation to the Walt Disney World Resort; BAGS Inc., the provider and innovator in off-airport passenger check-in services for the hotel, convention, cruise and airline industries; ARINC Incorporated, a leading global provider of technology systems for airports and airlines; the Transportation Security Administration; and airline partners including: American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Song, United Airlines and Ted. Walt Disney World hopes to add other air carriers to the resort airline check-in service in the near future.</blockquote>

kelscross
02-20-2005, 09:00 PM
We're going to do the Magical Express to the resort and do a cab/towncar for the way back to the airport. I'm sure you have to leave super early like you do with Mears and we do not like to do that.

Horace Horsecollar
02-20-2005, 10:14 PM
We're going to do the Magical Express to the resort and do a cab/towncar for the way back to the airport. I'm sure you have to leave super early like you do with Mears and we do not like to do that.
According to the Travel Agent FAQ for Magical Express:
<blockquote>How will Guests know what time the motor coach leaves from their Resort to the airport?
The Guest will receive a departure notice the day prior to check-out advising of the motor coach pick-up time based on the provided flight information. The general rule of thumb is 2 3/4 hours prior to the flight departure. </blockquote>
The rule of thumb for towncar services is 2 1/2 hours. I'm not sure I'd pay $50 for an extra 15 minutes. And if I were flying with one of the participating airlines, I would certainly prefer to get my boarding pass and check my luggage at my WDW resort, rather than having to lug my bags and check in at the airport.

Chip 'n Dale Express
02-21-2005, 12:25 AM
I don't get how Disney gets through the security issues with this. I mean how many do they answer the "Have you packed your own bags & have they been with you the whole time?" question?

Like a previous poster mentioned, they no longer ask those questions. However, even if they did need to, it would still happen. When you check your bags at your origin, you're at the airline's check in desk at the airport. On your return trip, you'll still check in at the airline's check in desk to recieve your boarding pass, however, the desk will be located at your resort, instead of at the Airport. The people who will be checking you in for your flight are not Disney CMs, but rather TSA approved airline personnel.

barbaraann
02-21-2005, 07:41 AM
I have been wondering what happens to luggage that you want to carryon the airplane but you do not want to carry around all day while you spend your last day in the theme parks. Let me clarify this: You pack your suitcase that you want to be checked at the airport, but you have a smaller carryon that has your valuables, undeveloped theme park pictures, prescious souvenirs, those things that you usually do not check; but carryon so they are close by. Where do these go while you spend the day at Magic Kingdom? Can you leave them with Bell Services? I am now sitting on the fence about this issue, after wondering about lost luggage and countless resort pickups and stops along the way.

safetymom
02-21-2005, 07:52 AM
You can check your carryons at bell services till you are ready to head to the airport.