Magical Express to end in 2022

yulilin3

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
I believe it's been going on since at least 2005-6 (15 years?). I really appreciated ME and baggage check back then when my kids were babies. It was truly magic. Now that they're grown (well, almost), we rented a car the last time and didn't use ME or the baggage check. But, I know how valuable that is for others. I'm still upset about the loss of "free" magic bands and the luggage tags. The marginal cost there demonstrated to me that this wasn't about the pandemic; it was about increasing profit margins.
correct, anyone thinking this is about safety is sadly mistaken. Also those thinking this is purely a direct consequence of loss of money due to covid is partly mistaken. Most of the cuts we see now have been in the plans for quite some time, covid just gave the perfect excuse to execute them.
When I say fairly new I mean there has always been ways to get to Disney without ME. Mears used to be the shuttle of choice and still continues to operate. Like I said before we are seeing a cut on perks that came about the loss of money due to 9/11. EMH, DDP, DME, all were creations of Disney to entice visitors to come.
After this period ends we may see a return in some form of these perks, the difference is that we (as in everyone) don't know how long covid will directly affect the way people travel or even IF they can travel
With 9/11 it was easier because it was a matter of creating peace of mind in the traveler (safe to travel by air especially) bag checks became a thing. The rebound from 9/11 took about 5 to 7 years. With covid it's so unpredictable and new that it's harder to speculate when things will get back to normal
 

ford91exploder

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Since DME began we’ve always used it, now we rented a car too as we always went as a extended family, it was who lost at rock paper scissors who drove the rental because the bus trip was always a memorable bookend to the trip. Especially going through the Disney gate on the way in

this cut is the inevitable result of a management team who neither likes nor visits theme parks and think they exist only to shill the latest IP fad.
 

Waiting2goback

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Secondly.

I have seen the following said:

Bob Chapek is cheap and/or doesn't understand or respect the Disney legacy or the lifers who make the brand what it is. Both of these are very likely true.

Disney has to do whatever it takes to re-coup the money lost due to the Covid situation. This is also likely true.

I don't think either of these are the reason for this decision.

I may be completely off base here, but I genuinely think the reason for all of this is Chapek and company want to turn Disney World into Disneyland. Look at the park prices Disneyland commands. I think they want WDW to be a locals park complex. For years, DL was for locals, WDW was for travelers. I think they want to change that narrative.

I think a couple of things happened: the influx of people moving to the Orlando area, especially those moving specifically to be near Disney World, has boomed over the last decade. And, I think they realize the local presence is much stronger than ever before. It's not just people who *happen* to live in Orlando who are wanting to go somewhere fun for the day or weekend or whatever. It's people who live in Orlando specifically because they will be going to the parks. And, I think Disney sees this.

I think they saw the demand when they re-opened the parks, which was carried primarily by local or in-state travelers. I think attendance, eventually, exceeded what they expected to come from a largely majority local audience. Park passes were consistently taken from the resort pot and distributed to the AP and day-of pot. Now...this was to be expected of course, that resorts would suffer because of people not traveling. But the fact that local traffic picked up so much of that slack...I think whatever hope there was for DME to continue probably died at that point.

I might be completely off. It's just a gut feeling that the powers that be are wanting to transition WDW into a more local destination, ala Disneyland.

I don't think this is the case at all. DL has 3 hotels on property. WDW has how many, and keeps on building them? Of course they are delayed now but there are/were plans to build more.

As long as Chapek is in charge I will assume anything he takes away related to cutting costs. When Shanghai went over budget we lost the parade and it has yet to come back, among many other things. WDW is a money printing machine and people keep showing up so why wouldn't they keep taking things away to save money. I may be wrong but I picture him and his team sitting in a board room laughing while they say, "Let's take away as much as we can and raise the prices as much as possible to see how much these idiots will pay before they stop coming." And people keep showing up. As much as I hate it because they are taking away the stuff that meant the most to me I get why they are doing it as business people, because they can. On my last trip I was walking down Main Street and the Citizens of Main Street were doing their thing. My family continued on to their ride of choice and I stopped to get them on video. These are the things that made Disney to me. But if people keep showing up why would they ever bring it back.
 

TheMaxRebo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
correct, anyone thinking this is about safety is sadly mistaken. Also those thinking this is purely a direct consequence of loss of money due to covid is partly mistaken. Most of the cuts we see now have been in the plans for quite some time, covid just gave the perfect excuse to execute them.
When I say fairly new I mean there has always been ways to get to Disney without ME. Mears used to be the shuttle of choice and still continues to operate. Like I said before we are seeing a cut on perks that came about the loss of money due to 9/11. EMH, DDP, DME, all were creations of Disney to entice visitors to come.
After this period ends we may see a return in some form of these perks, the difference is that we (as in everyone) don't know how long covid will directly affect the way people travel or even IF they can travel
With 9/11 it was easier because it was a matter of creating peace of mind in the traveler (safe to travel by air especially) bag checks became a thing. The rebound from 9/11 took about 5 to 7 years. With covid it's so unpredictable and new that it's harder to speculate when things will get back to normal
agreed, which make the timing of this clear (to me at least) that ending DME is not really driven by Covid. They will be ending it at 1/1/22 - a point at which things could be starting to come back as far as people being willing to travel and thus they would need things to promote people coming to the parks/staying in their hotels - eliminating a "perk" is not a way to attract people

Obviously the timing is driven by when the contract is up, but to me this must be a longer term play

Now, maybe they install something else at a cost, so they get more $ from people willing to pay it - and then if needed they can add it in "for free" with a package - so now you get a bonus perk for coming! (that just gets you pack to where you were before, but seems like something extra)
 

DVCSunDevil

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Disagree about the car service. I use Tony Gibbs for airport pick up/drop off. He drives a ten passenger van, so plenty of room, and only charges $100 round trip. He also includes a 30 minute grocery stop for no extra charge
Is that $100 round trip for the entire group? That's not bad if so. We have always stayed at Shades of Green, which DME didn't service. So we always arranged transportation ahead of time via van services. This April is our first DVC trip (we closed last year) and we were originally going to use DME, but we just cancelled because we don't want to be in a bus full of people during covid. We may have to look into Tony Gibbs. Thanks for the heads up!
 

DVCSunDevil

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Disagree about the car service. I use Tony Gibbs for airport pick up/drop off. He drives a ten passenger van, so plenty of room, and only charges $100 round trip. He also includes a 30 minute grocery stop for no extra charge
And do you mean Tony Hinds? I can't find info for Tony Gibbs.
 

Illinois76

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
I don't think this is the case at all. DL has 3 hotels on property. WDW has how many, and keeps on building them? Of course they are delayed now but there are/were plans to build more.

As long as Chapek is in charge I will assume anything he takes away related to cutting costs. When Shanghai went over budget we lost the parade and it has yet to come back, among many other things. WDW is a money printing machine and people keep showing up so why wouldn't they keep taking things away to save money. I may be wrong but I picture him and his team sitting in a board room laughing while they say, "Let's take away as much as we can and raise the prices as much as possible to see how much these idiots will pay before they stop coming." And people keep showing up. As much as I hate it because they are taking away the stuff that meant the most to me I get why they are doing it as business people, because they can. On my last trip I was walking down Main Street and the Citizens of Main Street were doing their thing. My family continued on to their ride of choice and I stopped to get them on video. These are the things that made Disney to me. But if people keep showing up why would they ever bring it back.
This is what every operating committee of every publicly traded company does.

How do we (1) increase revenue and (2) decrease cost?

The only difference is that WDW fanatics are the only ones that feel like they're owed a sacred cow covenant.

If you don't like the prices you pay or the value you get, spend your money elsewhere like you would for any other product or service.

But this weird obsession about things like 'Walt's vision' baffles me.
 
  • middlechild

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 4, 2013
    They will be ending it at 1/1/22 - a point at which things could be starting to come back as far as people being willing to travel and thus they would need things to promote people coming to the parks/staying in their hotels - eliminating a "perk" is not a way to attract people

    Obviously the timing is driven by when the contract is up, but to me this must be a longer term play
    Wonder if Mears was increasing the ask due to expected employee cost related to rising minimum wage? Will this decision, to stop DME, come back to haunt Disney when AB5 is implemented country-wide and Uber and Lyft are changed into a more traditional cab model? Taking a regular cab from MCO is way more expensive than the cost today, I believe.
     

    skeeter31

    Registered
    Joined
    May 3, 2012
    Wonder if Mears was increasing the ask due to expected employee cost related to rising minimum wage? Will this decision, to stop DME, come back to haunt Disney when AB5 is implemented country-wide and Uber and Lyft are changed into a more traditional cab model? Taking a regular cab from MCO is way more expensive than the cost today, I believe.
    Well, there’s no guarantee AB5 would be nationwide as California does a lot that other states don’t follow. Second, Disney wouldn‘t have it haunt them as they wouldn’t be paying it, guests would be. As far as Disney is concerned, as of 1/1/22 it’s up to guests to get to property on their own, they’re not going to care how or how much those people are paying to do so.
     
    Last edited:

    Tiki Birdland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2017
    This is what every operating committee of every publicly traded company does.

    How do we (1) increase revenue and (2) decrease cost?

    The only difference is that WDW fanatics are the only ones that feel like they're owed a sacred cow covenant.

    If you don't like the prices you pay or the value you get, spend your money elsewhere like you would for any other product or service.

    But this weird obsession about things like 'Walt's vision' baffles me.
    Thanks for giving me permission to do that. I really appreciate it.

    For the record, that's not what every publicly trade company does. Some attempt to balance customer satisfaction and sustainable long-term growth with profitability. Disney used be that kind of company.
     

    ChipnDale79

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 2, 2012
    The only difference is that WDW fanatics are the only ones that feel like they're owed a sacred cow covenant.
    Consumers are allowed to be frustrated when a product they're paying for increases in price and yet decreases in value.

    Every single time people complain about prices going up, there's always people that comment, "disney is a publicly traded company, they have the right to charge what the seem fit", as if people are just supposed to be like..."oh, ok, nevermind, because they can charge whatever they want, i guess i have no right to be upset and i'll just keep smiling about it."

    Disney sells "magic", they arent like anyone else, its literally why people travel from all around the world to visit Disney World. People spend thousands of dollars on these vacations, and when there is that amount of money involved in a product, people expect a certain thing.

    At the end of the day, people have the right to have an opinion and express their displeasure.

    I for one would like to see people express that displeasure by cutting back on certain purchases at disney as well. As a consumer, its their right to do that, and i hope thats what the average disney consumer does.

    This forum is a community that comes together because of our love for all things disney, when people are upset with disney, they are going to complain here. its just a fact.
     
  • DisFanDad

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2016
    well, assuming it stays at all 4 parks, that should help to split the crowds up and in 30 mins you should still be able to get in 1 headliner at maybe a 2nd or at least be in a short line for the 2nd

    Not the same as having that full hour to sort of take it easy and still get things done, but feels like the equivalent of an extra FP or 2

    So at least there is *some* benefit to the new EE structure ... some will find it better, some will find it worse, but at least there is "something" there

    Vs. just flat out taking away Magical Express (pending any replacement of course)
    *some* *Potential* benefit for *some* people :)

    I mean, of course you are right, we will have to see how this all shakes out. My guess is that this essentially ends up like there being no EMHs, and parks open 30mins earlier. I mean, you can currently get 1 or 2 headliners in with little or no wait if you rope drop at the non-EMH park(s). I'm not sure anyone is going find this "better" than EMHs to be honest, though better I suppose than just regular rope drop sure.
     

    Illinois76

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2016
    Consumers are allowed to be frustrated when a product they're paying for increases in price and yet decreases in value.

    Every single time people complain about prices going up, there's always people that comment, "disney is a publicly traded company, they have the right to charge what the seem fit", as if people are just supposed to be like..."oh, ok, nevermind, because they can charge whatever they want, i guess i have no right to be upset and i'll just keep smiling about it."

    Disney sells "magic", they arent like anyone else, its literally why people travel from all around the world to visit Disney World. People spend thousands of dollars on these vacations, and when there is that amount of money involved in a product, people expect a certain thing.

    At the end of the day, people have the right to have an opinion and express their displeasure.

    I for one would like to see people express that displeasure by cutting back on certain purchases at disney as well. As a consumer, its their right to do that, and i hope thats what the average disney consumer does.

    This forum is a community that comes together because of our love for all things disney, when people are upset with disney, they are going to complain here. its just a fact.
    Point taken.

    And, honestly, you hit the point that fairly or unfairly frustrates me the most.

    I totally understand and appreciate that, as customers and fans, this community of people is frustrated when the cost of a Disney trip is devalued through (1) rising costs and/or (2) less offerings.

    But, as you stated, the ONLY way Disney changes course is when the top line shows the stress - and that only happens when people stop spending.

    This isn’t happening and leads to my sacred cow comment.

    If your favorite restaurant starts making crappier food and charging more, you ditch it and find a new favorite. Disney fans don’t seem to do this and that’s what baffles me.
     

    ChipnDale79

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 2, 2012
    Point taken.

    And, honestly, you hit the point that fairly or unfairly frustrates me the most.

    I totally understand and appreciate that, as customers and fans, this community of people is frustrated when the cost of a Disney trip is devalued through (1) rising costs and/or (2) less offerings.

    But, as you stated, the ONLY way Disney changes course is when the top line shows the stress - and that only happens when people stop spending.

    This isn’t happening and leads to my sacred cow comment.

    If your favorite restaurant starts making crappier food and charging more, you ditch it and find a new favorite. Disney fans don’t seem to do this and that’s what baffles me.
    i agree with a lot of what you say. the only way to effect change at disney, is by complaining with your wallet.

    I do feel like because of what this site is, people are going to come here to vent and complain about what we're all here for, Disney.
     

    DGsAtBLT

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2017
    Point taken.

    And, honestly, you hit the point that fairly or unfairly frustrates me the most.

    I totally understand and appreciate that, as customers and fans, this community of people is frustrated when the cost of a Disney trip is devalued through (1) rising costs and/or (2) less offerings.

    But, as you stated, the ONLY way Disney changes course is when the top line shows the stress - and that only happens when people stop spending.

    This isn’t happening and leads to my sacred cow comment.

    If your favorite restaurant starts making crappier food and charging more, you ditch it and find a new favorite. Disney fans don’t seem to do this and that’s what baffles me.
    Shouldn’t baffle you it’s pretty simple, Disney fans don’t ditch it even if they are unhappy with certain changes or aspects because they still enjoy or find value in the overall experience. Also a whole bunch of nostalgia and emotions wrapped up in there too.

    It’s less like being loyal to a brand and then switching it up if you are dissatisfied and more like sports fans or something. If you are a fan of a sports team, especially a lifelong one, you don’t just quit when they are playing poorly or management is making decisions you disagree with. It takes a whole lot more when you are invested emotionally or otherwise. There are some sports fans who are disgruntled for years, even lifetimes lol.
     

    Eric Smith

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 1, 2017
    Consumers are allowed to be frustrated when a product they're paying for increases in price and yet decreases in value.

    Every single time people complain about prices going up, there's always people that comment, "disney is a publicly traded company, they have the right to charge what the seem fit", as if people are just supposed to be like..."oh, ok, nevermind, because they can charge whatever they want, i guess i have no right to be upset and i'll just keep smiling about it."

    Disney sells "magic", they arent like anyone else, its literally why people travel from all around the world to visit Disney World. People spend thousands of dollars on these vacations, and when there is that amount of money involved in a product, people expect a certain thing.

    At the end of the day, people have the right to have an opinion and express their displeasure.

    I for one would like to see people express that displeasure by cutting back on certain purchases at disney as well. As a consumer, its their right to do that, and i hope thats what the average disney consumer does.

    This forum is a community that comes together because of our love for all things disney, when people are upset with disney, they are going to complain here. its just a fact.
    I agree that the only way that Disney would change course would be if they started seeing impacts to reservations or spending. Reservations would probably be more likely to have an impact. That said, Disney doesn't sell "magic". They sell theme parks, food, merchandise and hotel rooms. They do pretty much all of those things really well. They've kept raising prices over the last decade and attendance kept going up and up. If their attendance starts to drop, you'll see prices go down.

    In reality, most of us won't like this change but we'll still go, so what lesson is Disney learning?
     

    Disney Frenhines

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2013
    For the first time ever I am considering not wasting my time on Walt Disney World and instead just going to the other Disney parks worldwide. I rely on the DME because I am not comfortable using taxis.
    I'm of the opinion Disney are only interested in the really big spenders, hence the hard ticketed events, the super expensive VIP tours that cost $1000 a day (I'm not talking about things like Keys To The Kingdom tours) and the other things they do that you would need to take a mortgage out to pay for.
    Disney is not a charity and it is a business, but, you don't alienate people for the sake of it and you certainly don't pretend that removing the DME is what guests want as the email I received after contacting Jeff Vahle told me. They are making staying on site a lot less attractive, less and less EMH for resort guests, making guests use the Skyliner by discontinuing buses from the resorts around it, don't they want to consider people who don't like heights or are claustrophobic? The knocking on your resort room door for a 'daily check' is something they need to stop now! It makes me feel they don't trust me even though I paid serious dollars to stay at their value resort. It is an invasion of my privacy, it is also a security threat, I had a young man CM aggressively demand to actually come in my room to check it. I made a complaint about that because it scared me and there is no consistency either, some stay outside and quickly take a look others come in and flush the toilet (??) and have a right good gander.
    The fact they are building more luxury resorts and not choosing to build another value resort for people who can't afford the big bucks, but, still want to visit Disney proves who the Disney corporation care about; The shareholders and their dividends.
    Saying all that, I feel the magic of Walt Disney World is disappearing with all the people who visit simply to film themselves for social media, what about my privacy about not being filmed and having my image broadcast on your social media site, or think all the rules don't apply to them. I have noticed in Disneyland that a solo visitor isn't looked at twice, possibly because so many locals visit just for a day out that I'm just another one to them and while there are obviously people with cameras I noticed far less people filming, especially on dark rides and more people having fun, oh and less drunks. Not to mention it is so much easier to get to and from Disneyland from a hotel across the road, at the end of the night I just walked back to my hotel, not having to wait for a bus and watching half a dozen moderate resort hotel buses pass my stop half empty while Pop and AoA lines snake back to the new bathrooms.
     



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