DVC Should Pay for Mears Transportation

Chuck S

DVC Co-Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2000
If parking at the park werent absurdly expensive, that would also solve this problem. People look for another place to park when they are given a reason not to use the main parking area.
Remember, though, that parking at the parks is free for onsite guests and those with APs, so the problem is either those that are staying offsite, or those locals without APs. So...a solution would be to restrict parking at that resort to those with Boardwalk room reservations, other onsite guests, and AP holders...unless you have a confirmed dining reservation. And dining reservation parking could be limited to 3 hours. Much like they do at the Contemporary and other monorail resorts.
 
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crisi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
We bought before ME was a thing - it was a nice perk while we had it, but we got along fine without it, and will get along fine without it again.

If Mears sets their ME charge too high, they won't get business. Uber/Lyft for Orlando is minivan central - you can put six in that minivan and all your luggage and get to WDW one way for $30 or less. A taxi is only $30 - and again, lots of minivans (and in Orlando many taxis have car seats - and Uber will set you a car with a car seat.

(I had thought that ME was a marketing charge for Disney, including DVC - and that we weren't paying for it will dues because it was coming out of the 'enforce the bubble' marketing budget)
 

Turn the Page

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 23, 2013
I can see it being $40 to $50 per person round trip, I just went with a friend and I could not get the car for less than $275 for the 4 day trip and that was economy. I started looking back in January when we decided. Granted it was spring break. So far, for my June trip is $334, and July is around the same.

So, even a family of 5, with luggage, is going to be similar. I just don’t see it being that much cheaper to rent a car unless it’s a short trip. And, there is an ease of using transportation as well. So, I think the savings has to be a lot for some people to choose the rental car.

Again, some will but I just don’t think it’s going to be overwhelming enough to swamp the parking lots.
DH and I are going to Florida for a week in late October. 4 nights in St Augustine followed by 3 in WDW. We need a car for the first part of our trip and I assumed we would take it back to MCO then use ME like always but it turned out to be a grand total of $20 extra to keep the car the whole week. So we're driving straight to RIV and parking it until we head to the airport.

I have always enjoyed ME but something tells me i'm going to get spoiled this trip with our own car and if Mears charged $50 pp round trip I will probably just rent a car for the week.

We will see though.
 

Grumpy Mouse

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
No one, including Disney, has a clue about how this will all play out.

Based on 2009 DME numbers and WDW annual attendance growth, it is likely that DME services in the neighborhood of 9-10k riders daily. That's a lot of folks that have to find alternative transportation on a daily basis. Ultimate pricing will be determined by good ol' market economics - supply and demand. It's not gonna be pretty.

But Disney does know one thing: it ain't their problem anymore.

The new Disney normal in a post-covid world. Brought to you by the happiest place on earth.
 

KAT4DISNEY

Glad to be a test subject
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
No one, including Disney, has a clue about how this will all play out.

Based on 2009 DME numbers and WDW annual attendance growth, it is likely that DME services in the neighborhood of 9-10k riders daily. That's a lot of folks that have to find alternative transportation on a daily basis. Ultimate pricing will be determined by good ol' market economics - supply and demand. It's not gonna be pretty.

But Disney does know one thing: it ain't their problem anymore.

The new Disney normal in a post-covid world. Brought to you by the happiest place on earth.
Yep. Plus Orlando itself has grown and changed so much with more traffic since the advent of DME. It will get figured out as everything does but does have the potential to be rather a mess.
 

Brian Noble

Gratefully in Recovery
Joined
Mar 23, 2004
Owners would pay for it, not Disney, We cover it now as part of dues. I would bet the majority of DVC owners would choose not to see an increase in dues to cover it for all.
I suspect that the cost of ME was not fully charged to the hotel budgets, but instead was subsidized by other units within WDW. It was originally designed as part of a three-pronged strategy* to create a more captive audience among WDW guests, preventing non-Disney businesses from siphoning off guest attention and spending after Guests arrived in Orlando. The idea was that Guests without cars spend a larger fraction of their time within WDW's borders, and therefore a larger fraction of their vacation's dining and entertainment spend goes to Disney.

Disney has since decided that ME is no longer delivering what it was intended to deliver, and so it is being discontinued. I can think of a couple of potential reasons for that. Ride sharing services (Uber, Lyft, etc.) have significantly reduced the "friction" of getting offsite without your own car. The Resorts now charge for parking**, disincentivizing car rentals with the stick of a daily charge rather than the carrot of ME.

If my suspicion is true, continuing an ME-like service for DVC Members would cause Dues to go up, because the service would no longer be subsidized. Worse, Mears likely offered an attractive rate due to economies of scale, and a DVC-only rate would probably be less attractive because DVC hosts only a fraction of the Guests Resort-wide.

--------------------------

*: The other two were the Dining Plan (offering a discount to those committing to eating all their meals in Disney restaurants0 and the MYW Ticketing structure (offering a sharp discount for theme park days after about the 3rd or 4th). Both were introduced as the same time as ME.

**: I suspect the parking charges were designed to bias the mix of Resort guests more heavily in favor of fly-to Guests and away from drive-to Guests. At the time, hotel occupancy was in the low 90s, with significant unmet demand. If I was able to pick between a guest that drove their own car vs. one that flew to Orlando, I would probably want the fly-to Guest because they have fewer options for leaving property. But, once the parking charges were in place, it made ME at least partly redundant.
 

KAT4DISNEY

Glad to be a test subject
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
I suspect that the cost of ME was not fully charged to the hotel budgets, but instead was subsidized by other units within WDW. It was originally designed as part of a three-pronged strategy* to create a more captive audience among WDW guests, preventing non-Disney businesses from siphoning off guest attention and spending after Guests arrived in Orlando. The idea was that Guests without cars spend a larger fraction of their time within WDW's borders, and therefore a larger fraction of their vacation's dining and entertainment spend goes to Disney.

Disney has since decided that ME is no longer delivering what it was intended to deliver, and so it is being discontinued. I can think of a couple of potential reasons for that. Ride sharing services (Uber, Lyft, etc.) have significantly reduced the "friction" of getting offsite without your own car. The Resorts now charge for parking**, disincentivizing car rentals with the stick of a daily charge rather than the carrot of ME.

If my suspicion is true, continuing an ME-like service for DVC Members would cause Dues to go up, because the service would no longer be subsidized. Worse, Mears likely offered an attractive rate due to economies of scale, and a DVC-only rate would probably be less attractive because DVC hosts only a fraction of the Guests Resort-wide.

--------------------------

*: The other two were the Dining Plan (offering a discount to those committing to eating all their meals in Disney restaurants0 and the MYW Ticketing structure (offering a sharp discount for theme park days after about the 3rd or 4th). Both were introduced as the same time as ME.

**: I suspect the parking charges were designed to bias the mix of Resort guests more heavily in favor of fly-to Guests and away from drive-to Guests. At the time, hotel occupancy was in the low 90s, with significant unmet demand. If I was able to pick between a guest that drove their own car vs. one that flew to Orlando, I would probably want the fly-to Guest because they have fewer options for leaving property. But, once the parking charges were in place, it made ME at least partly redundant.
OR the thought is simply to remove the expense of DME (CHOPek) while at the same time increase the parking fee income.
 

Brian Noble

Gratefully in Recovery
Joined
Mar 23, 2004
OR the thought is simply to remove the expense of DME (CHOPek) while at the same time increase the parking fee income.
Which would also be fine. After all---occupancy was in the 90s with significant unmet demand, so prices are going to go up, and there seems to be a lot of pent-up demand for people wanting to vacation in the After Times. This particular way of increasing them (adding parking/removing ME vs. a straight increase in room rate) has the added bonus of biasing the Guest mix in favor of fly-to folks.

When the resorts and the parks are bursting at the seams, you are going to end up paying more one way or the other. I suppose you can be grumpy about executive leadership making those decisions, but what else would you expect them to do?

Either way, the portion of the cost that was born by the hotel budgets will no longer be charged to DVC owners. If I'm right, it wasn't that much, but I've got no special access to How Things Work. For all I know, the entire cost of ME was on the resort budgets (and therefore charged to Owners).
 

Shamus

CHARTER MEMBER - Disney Information Station Boards
DVC Gold
Joined
Dec 8, 1999
No one, including Disney, has a clue about how this will all play out.

Based on 2009 DME numbers and WDW annual attendance growth, it is likely that DME services in the neighborhood of 9-10k riders daily. That's a lot of folks that have to find alternative transportation on a daily basis. Ultimate pricing will be determined by good ol' market economics - supply and demand. It's not gonna be pretty.

But Disney does know one thing: it ain't their problem anymore.

The new Disney normal in a post-covid world. Brought to you by the happiest place on earth.
Park attendance growth has no real effect on ME ridership.
You would need to look at changes in room numbers and occupancy levels for WDW Hotels.
 

Deb & Bill

DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
The price of fuel might also be something Disney is considering with eliminating DME for free. By next January, fuel prices could be increased a dollar a gallon or even more.

The other issue in the old days was Uber wasn't permitted to pick up at Orlando, only drop off. I know because my son had to find a way to get home from the airport when he still was working for Disney. He could take an Uber to the airport, but needed a ride back.

...The new Disney normal in a post-covid world. Brought to you by the happiest place on earth.
They have DME at Disneyland Resort?
 

we"reofftoneverland

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 5, 2015
If it is true that less people were riding DME, as Disney said, that is kind of interesting. It seems like people are less and less interested in public transportation and more and more interested in individualized transportation. I do think people prefer to think for themselves nowadays as opposed to having a company think for them. We didn’t take ME very often, only a few times actually, but we thought it was cool when we did. I guess we liked the idea of it more than the reality. Same with the cruise transportation service. We liked the idea of it and always entertained taking it, but at final decision point we always ended up wanting to be in control of our time and we never took the dcl cruise bus. So, while I was at first shocked and dismayed that Disney is getting rid of ME, I kind of get it now. I mean we didn’t take it either. We liked the idea of it but did prefer being more in control of our day.
 

CraigInPA

Since June 1974
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
If Mears sets their ME charge too high, they won't get business. Uber/Lyft for Orlando is minivan central - you can put six in that minivan and all your luggage and get to WDW one way for $30 or less. A taxi is only $30 - and again, lots of minivans (and in Orlando many taxis have car seats - and Uber will set you a car with a car seat.
I expect the price of lyft/uber to rise due to the potential demand. Consider that the Mears bus holds 60 people and luggage, and one leaves every 5 minutes during peak hours. Assuming 4 people per family fit in that lyft/uber vehicle along with their luggage, you could need 200-300 new people offering ride share to absorb the demand. Not being able to schedule this demand, you could be looking at $100 round trips at times.
 

crisi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
I expect the price of lyft/uber to rise due to the potential demand. Consider that the Mears bus holds 60 people and luggage, and one leaves every 5 minutes during peak hours. Assuming 4 people per family fit in that lyft/uber vehicle along with their luggage, you could need 200-300 new people offering ride share to absorb the demand. Not being able to schedule this demand, you could be looking at $100 round trips at times.
It might - and there are other forces at play that might raise the rates (lawsuits and legislation around Uber/Lyft drivers status). But they have to go up ALOT to make a $40 per person round trip Mears bus competitive with the town car/taxi/ride share options for a family. A couple or traveling alone...then Mears makes sense. And when the demand goes up, a lot more people will sign up to be Uber drivers....its such an easy thing to sign up for and have as a side hussle, especially when the trips tend to be "airport to Disney, Disney to airport" - and Orlando has a lot of people in the "a little side hussle will help" demographic.

The biggest plus ME had over taxis et.al. was that we didn't have to wait for our luggage. But many people use carry ons. If you only have carry ons, a taxi is going to be faster than waiting for the bus. Even with waiting for luggage, if you are on the slow ME route where your hotel is the last stop, a taxi can beat the bus.
 

Sandisw

DVC Forums
Moderator
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
I expect the price of lyft/uber to rise due to the potential demand. Consider that the Mears bus holds 60 people and luggage, and one leaves every 5 minutes during peak hours. Assuming 4 people per family fit in that lyft/uber vehicle along with their luggage, you could need 200-300 new people offering ride share to absorb the demand. Not being able to schedule this demand, you could be looking at $100 round trips at times.
I am going to add that when we were just there the week before Easter and waiting in line for DME, we checked both ride share...it said driver couldn’t get there for 20 minutes and the one way price for over $45!!! So we waited and rode DME.
 

chrish2

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
If my suspicion is true, continuing an ME-like service for DVC Members would cause Dues to go up, because the service would no longer be subsidized. Worse, Mears likely offered an attractive rate due to economies of scale, and a DVC-only rate would probably be less attractive because DVC hosts only a fraction of the Guests Resort-wide.
There are 30,000+ rooms at WDW and I agree that if DVC tendered for Magical Express like service the rate would be notable more "per trip".

TBH the best result I see is a WDW/DVC exclusive discount been offered to consumers of the service direct.
 

dvc lover 1970

Mouseketeer
DVC Gold
Joined
May 29, 2013
I think the fee should be covered by all guests who need it, otherwise Dvc will get stuck with a bill for resort guests. I think it is something to be added, or disney can list it as a choice fee. We usually uber from mco.
 

Evita_W

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
I am going to add that when we were just there the week before Easter and waiting in line for DME, we checked both ride share...it said driver couldn’t get there for 20 minutes and the one way price for over $45!!! So we waited and rode DME.
Umm, there is always the option of a traditional taxi as well.
 

Travel60

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 8, 2012
In over 20 years, we've never used ME. Really didn't know we were paying for it. No one pays for my trip to my seasonal home, why should I expect someone to pay for my DVC trip? If you truly never need a vehicle while you are there, use a commercial service. But, I like having a car for some non-Disney time, occasional intra-Disney transit, and church on Sunday. Car rentals in Florida are pretty reasonable.
 

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