Magical Express to end in 2022

mattpeto

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
I'm relatively a new Disney poster. I'd like to get some perspective a bit...

Just asking some of the oldies, how does eliminating DME compare to some of the older perks that may have got chopped previously?

It sure seems like the collective fanbase is pretty beat up at losing DME. I'm one of them.
 

MickeyWaffles

Registered
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
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.
Is there really demand for more value resorts?

I don’t mind most of the vloggers. They help me stay connected to the parks when I can’t be there. I love seeing them cover the latest food, drinks, festivals, construction updates, etc. I appreciate what they do. 🤷🏻‍♀️
 

JasonH

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 26, 2018
Not sure if it's been posted (I'm not scrolling through 26 pages of posts), but one of my favorite Disney Vlogers, Michael Kay, made an entire reaction video to the news.

I only mention him because while he lives in Florida now, 1.5 years ago he made his vlogs as a frequent flier and traveler to MCO and used the Magical Express on every single one of his trips. So I thought his view had enough of a unique perspective to consider for this change. It pretty much mirrors the Petes' views (both Warner, our beloved podcast leader, and Pirone, who wrote this: The Disney Bubble Burst—It's Time to Stop Giving Them a Pass (wdwinfo.com)

How Could They do this? Magical Express CANCELLED! - YouTube

And - if you don't watch it, yes, he's also questioning *** is going on.
 

skeeter31

Registered
Joined
May 3, 2012
I'm relatively a new Disney poster. I'd like to get some perspective a bit...

Just asking some of the oldies, how does eliminating DME compare to some of the older perks that may have got chopped previously?

It sure seems like the collective fanbase is pretty beat up at losing DME. I'm one of them.
It’s tough to say. Everyone is going to have the “thing” that is most important to them. DME doesn’t bother me at all as I only used it once in its 15 years if existence and hated the experience. Otherwise we always rented a car or now drive from Tampa. EMH were more of a favorite for us, particularly evening hours. But new things always come along that replace older things.
For me, the worst loss in my Disney time was when DVC stopped giving owners length of stay passes for free with every stay on points. That was such a wonderful perk in the early days of DVC and allowed my parents and I to travel a ton when the bought into DVC in 94.
 

JasonH

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 26, 2018
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.
Well, yea, it's always been that way. I think there are enough value resorts. The real problem is the pricing - we're paying the same prices we were 2 years ago (if not more) for less features. A lot less features. No shows, no meet and greets, etc. If anything I would assume Disney World would be hugely discounted right now because of the 20,000+ layoffs and cut features.

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.
Vloggers (some of whom run this site) make up maybe .001% of the population of people that visit the parks. As far as privacy is concerned, well, you're also being recorded before you even go through security by Disney themselves. The Magic Bands are basically glorified RFID tags that track you all around the parks. If you're worried about privacy, being in the background of some video shouldn't concern you. Your real concern should be with how Disney is tracking you with the Magic Bands and Bluetooth, and especially with Wifi if you use that in the parks.
 

SaintsManiac

Wait for it.
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
I'm always amazed at this undertone of disdain for those of us who are still overall satisfied with Disney and will continue to vacation there, even staying onsite.

As if we are somehow naive or less intelligent...
Honestly I skipped out on much of today’s posts because I was getting really annoyed with it. Glad I saw this post, though!

People need to stop telling everyone how they should feel.
 

DisFanDad

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 23, 2016
Exactly. As I said, every change is received differently by each person. While some cuts are disappointing, I don't think it can be said that they haven't been investing in the parks with all the new stuff they have built/are building (COVID impact notwithstanding). They take things and the give things - for some it doesn't balance out and for others it does. I am sure that the decisions are guided by at least some market research too. Sure, it sucks to lose a beloved aspect of the parks, but for me, they haven't gotten near close enough for me to feel like I wouldn't want to keep going.
There is some truth to what you say but giving disney any credit for "adding" things ignores the fact that the place was a wasteland for investment for YEARS before Disney was finally forced to act because other people were investing in their parks. And for everything they've "added" there are many they have taken away, along with price increases that are in no way tied to "investments" in the parks. Sure - for some people its still something they want to keep doing, obviously, the parks are still drawing millions. I don't think there is disdain for people who still enjoy Disney vacations, but rather for people who defend this crap as if its all good, nothing to complain about, say things like "people got to disney before magical express, they can do it again after" it ignores the point, year after year, we are paying more and more, and disney keeps cutting and cutting. Again - you will point to the "investments" in the parks, but again, you need to put this in a longer perspective, and see just how little disney has done compared to changes in prices, and what they have cut.
 
  • JasonH

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2018
    Honestly I skipped out on much of today’s posts because I was getting really annoyed with it. Glad I saw this post, though!

    People need to stop telling everyone how they should feel.
    I don't think (well, I hope) that anyone here is telling people how to feel about this. For some folks, this change means nothing. For a much larger segment of people though, this change means a lot. I told my 7 year old about this change earlier today. She had tears down her face and was sad. We're headed to DW in April for her b-day and I told her we'd still have it then. But she said, "yea daddy, but not NEXT time, and that makes my heart hurt". Like. How do I even?

    I travel a lot for work. For me, it's not that much of a shift, but whereas before where I could just park my car at IAH and 'let the vacation begin', now I have to treat it more like a business trip and worry about luggage and transportation after I land at MCO. So I'm sort of used to it, but it was definitely helpful for me where I could just start my vacation at IAH and not worry about transport requirements until I landed back at IAH.

    Hopefully Disney announces something to replace DME, and no the train isn't the answer (2023 at the earliest). And yes, I know it wasn't there to start, but it's been there so long now that there are now kids that are currently parents that have always relied on DME. And now the rug is yanked.
     

    imbelle

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2003
    Bingo. It's the nostalgia and emotion that keeps Disney fans coming back even when Disney reduces the value by raising prices or offering less for the current prices. Your entire comment is spot on. The analogy to sports was perfect. It's almost an abusive relationship where the person being abused "loves" the other person and can't bring themselves to leave. It's hard to leave something you are emotionally tied to or love. But eventually, after enough years of getting walked on, many people do finally leave.
    Maybe like having a beautiful gold digger girlfriend. You want to believe she loves you but in the end you know she's only there for your money!
     

    yulilin3

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2007
    I'm sorry but shouldn't we all be having this conversation on WDW official Facebook or Twitter?
    ALSO ON...
    This is a discussion board so, yes the discussion belongs here. Im sure many have also shared their opinions on many other pages and wrote emails to Disney
     
  • EastYorkDisneyFan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2006
    I've been thinking about DME recently and how it's changed since I first used it in 2006 and when I last used it in 2019.

    In 2006 the lines in the airport were full for everyone resort zone and the buses left full, that was for two different trips one in February and one in August.

    In 2007 I only used it one way to the airport but it was pretty full by the time I got on it.

    2009 when I used it they ended up combining a few resorts that were in different zones to fill a bus.

    2019 in August going from the Airport it was pretty much a walk on and the bus left with lots of empty seats on board unlike with my previous times were they pretty much filled the bus before it left airport. Return trip was a bit different and the bus was full but that was mostly because of people having to leave earlier then they planned because of rescheduled flights due to a hurricane closing the airport.
     

    Waiting2goback

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 28, 2014
    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, Disney does sell magic. Disney sells memories, an experience with family and friends. It was all the extras that make that up if you ask me. If you take away the extra stuff you have a bigger Six Flags with Disney themed rides. My last trip with the kids we left dinner in the boardwalk and walked out to a magician setting up for his show. My kids sat down and got ready to watch. He was so funny they couldn’t stop laughing. He pulled a joke on one of my kids that she thought was a riot and as we walked back to the bus to leave she was playing the joke on other people as we walked. Most people were cracking up with her. It’s THOSE memories that we remember and I have no doubt that guy got let go. Will Disney continue for others, sure. But those extra touches add the “magic” for a lot of people.

    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.
    You originally said what baffles you is people who refer back to Walt’s vision. I’m one of those people that discusses Walt and his vision. His vision built the company and made it what we love today. Look back on history and see all the major companies that went out of business when they were once powerhouse companies. It was a result of bad decisions and forgetting about their customers. For the people that don’t remember, Disney was dangerously close to being taken over back in the 80’s before Eisner took over. How did Eisner save the company? He focused on customer service. He built hotels. He built the bubble and made coming to Disney, and staying on Disney property EASIER! He believed in “plussing” things to add value, just like Walt did. Now they are slowly stripping all those things away while raising prices.

    To be clear, I don’t think Disney is going out of my business in my lifetime. I think Chapek will eventually piss people off enough that he work himself out of a job and then hopefully another customer focused CEO will be brought in to get people back in the door.

    Bingo. It's the nostalgia and emotion that keeps Disney fans coming back even when Disney reduces the value by raising prices or offering less for the current prices. Your entire comment is spot on. The analogy to sports was perfect. It's almost an abusive relationship where the person being abused "loves" the other person and can't bring themselves to leave. It's hard to leave something you are emotionally tied to or love. But eventually, after enough years of getting walked on, many people do finally leave.
    I love Disney. I miss not being able to go right now. I would love to jump in a plane and head to DL this weekend but the virus prevents it of course. But I didn’t grow up a Disney fan. I wasn’t introduced to it until my first honeymoon in my early 20’s and I fell in love on that trip. But I lived 24 years with other vacation options. I grew up camping and the place we went my whole life brings as much of the “home” feeling as Disney does but at a cost of $400/week, not $7000. Disney has made it easy to change the direction of my vacation dollars with their decisions, while padding my savings accounts. When Disney returns to caring about their guests I’ll be back because I love it. But for the time being I’ll follow the news and wait for the news of the next cuts or thing they are charging for. I see the Dapper Adams going away soon and charging for the monorail as some of their future decisions.
     

    ChipnDale79

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 2, 2012
    I agree, Disney does sell magic. Disney sells memories, an experience with family and friends. It was all the extras that make that up if you ask me. If you take away the extra stuff you have a bigger Six Flags with Disney themed rides. My last trip with the kids we left dinner in the boardwalk and walked out to a magician setting up for his show. My kids sat down and got ready to watch. He was so funny they couldn’t stop laughing. He pulled a joke on one of my kids that she thought was a riot and as we walked back to the bus to leave she was playing the joke on other people as we walked. Most people were cracking up with her. It’s THOSE memories that we remember and I have no doubt that guy got let go. Will Disney continue for others, sure. But those extra touches add the “magic” for a lot of people.
    someone quoted back to me that disney doesnt sell magic, they sell theme parks. But what you outlined above is exactly what i meant by that. It's called the bubble because its supposed to transform you away from every day life and the world. its family time, its laughter, thrills, and some breakdowns...but its magic. It's what Walt wanted.

    We have a local theme park called Carowinds, where for a family of 4 we can get into for the full season for what it costs our family to spend 1 day at Disney. They arent comparable. Carowinds is fun, but its not magic. What disney does is what sets itself apart from the Carowinds of the world. That magic is why they are able to charge so much, once they start to take those things away, i fear that it'll just be another Carowinds on steroids.
     

    DisneyAuntie12

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 15, 2016
    What I don't understand is that even if you see it as a coldblooded "it's just business" type decision, I still don't think this one makes a lot of sense. The Motley Fool is usually pretty good on financial analysis and they seem to agree in this article. I'm genuinely puzzled about what they were thinking on this one. My best guess is that

    1. They are absolutely hemorrhaging money from Covid and this is necessary simply to stay open at all.

    2. It's genuinely just a bad decision - I tend to think that with the money to hire financial geniuses Disney simply isn't going to make those, but then I remember that bureaucracy and internal politics can result in really bad decisions happening in almost any setting. Bob/s From Accounting just doesn't get it and has made this his mission for years and finally has his day.

    3. It's a temporary decision due to Covid / contract haggles / restructuring the system while it's closed, but they don't want to say that for whatever reason so it will simply be "back by popular demand" in a year or two. Also possible they could bring it back as a paid system, but I still don't think that makes sense from a financial perspective. They'll still likely lose out on resort guest spending if people get in the habit of making their own plans regarding transportation and competing services spring up to fill the void - and once that competition is there, it will be much harder to go back to the "everyone just relies on the ME" model.
     

    DVCSunDevil

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2020
    I agree, Disney does sell magic. Disney sells memories, an experience with family and friends. It was all the extras that make that up if you ask me. If you take away the extra stuff you have a bigger Six Flags with Disney themed rides. My last trip with the kids we left dinner in the boardwalk and walked out to a magician setting up for his show. My kids sat down and got ready to watch. He was so funny they couldn’t stop laughing. He pulled a joke on one of my kids that she thought was a riot and as we walked back to the bus to leave she was playing the joke on other people as we walked. Most people were cracking up with her. It’s THOSE memories that we remember and I have no doubt that guy got let go. Will Disney continue for others, sure. But those extra touches add the “magic” for a lot of people.



    You originally said what baffles you is people who refer back to Walt’s vision. I’m one of those people that discusses Walt and his vision. His vision built the company and made it what we love today. Look back on history and see all the major companies that went out of business when they were once powerhouse companies. It was a result of bad decisions and forgetting about their customers. For the people that don’t remember, Disney was dangerously close to being taken over back in the 80’s before Eisner took over. How did Eisner save the company? He focused on customer service. He built hotels. He built the bubble and made coming to Disney, and staying on Disney property EASIER! He believed in “plussing” things to add value, just like Walt did. Now they are slowly stripping all those things away while raising prices.

    To be clear, I don’t think Disney is going out of my business in my lifetime. I think Chapek will eventually piss people off enough that he work himself out of a job and then hopefully another customer focused CEO will be brought in to get people back in the door.



    I love Disney. I miss not being able to go right now. I would love to jump in a plane and head to DL this weekend but the virus prevents it of course. But I didn’t grow up a Disney fan. I wasn’t introduced to it until my first honeymoon in my early 20’s and I fell in love on that trip. But I lived 24 years with other vacation options. I grew up camping and the place we went my whole life brings as much of the “home” feeling as Disney does but at a cost of $400/week, not $7000. Disney has made it easy to change the direction of my vacation dollars with their decisions, while padding my savings accounts. When Disney returns to caring about their guests I’ll be back because I love it. But for the time being I’ll follow the news and wait for the news of the next cuts or thing they are charging for. I see the Dapper Adams going away soon and charging for the monorail as some of their future decisions.
    I see your points, but I will respectfully disagree that Disney doesn't feel magical. It feels like you are in another world when you are in the bubble. I said in another comment that there are all sorts of "types" of vacations: WDW, cruises, beach vacations, camping, international, etc. None of these can replicate the feelings and vibe of the other ones. They all have their own uniqueness. Me and my family also take other vacations beyond WDW (cruises, beach house rentals, Europe), but none of those vacations feel like WDW. I am certainly not going boycott WDW because they eliminated a shuttle from the airport to the resort, especially when I am sure there are business reasons why (covid, Mears, etc). I also try to be patient when decisions like this are announced, as later announcements usually follow that help soften the blow. For instance, what if Disney offered a baggage service? The train/bus combo would be a MUCH faster option than the DME, so if they offered a baggage service to/from the airport I think that would be an improvement over DME. I remember when the parks closed last year due to covid and all the comments on here were how Disney/DVC was evil and that all our points were going to expire. There was a lot of freaking out going on. I cautioned that everyone should take a breath and give DVC time to sort things out...they aren't out to sc*ew everyone. What happened? DVC announced policies to help everyone keep their points.

    I, personally, think Disney is a smart company. I think they are smart enough to know that unhappy customers will take business elsewhere. They also know that keeping everyone in the "bubble" equates to more $$ being spent in the bubble. They have hard data to back that up. I will give them time to figure out alternatives to DME. But that's just me.
     

    SaintsManiac

    Wait for it.
    Joined
    Dec 9, 2014
    I see your points, but I will respectfully disagree that Disney doesn't feel magical. It feels like you are in another world when you are in the bubble. I said in another comment that there are all sorts of "types" of vacations: WDW, cruises, beach vacations, camping, international, etc. None of these can replicate the feelings and vibe of the other ones. They all have their own uniqueness. Me and my family also take other vacations beyond WDW (cruises, beach house rentals, Europe), but none of those vacations feel like WDW. I am certainly not going boycott WDW because they eliminated a shuttle from the airport to the resort, especially when I am sure there are business reasons why (covid, Mears, etc). I also try to be patient when decisions like this are announced, as later announcements usually follow that help soften the blow. For instance, what if Disney offered a baggage service? The train/bus combo would be a MUCH faster option than the DME, so if they offered a baggage service to/from the airport I think that would be an improvement over DME. I remember when the parks closed last year due to covid and all the comments on here were how Disney/DVC was evil and that all our points were going to expire. There was a lot of freaking out going on. I cautioned that everyone should take a breath and give DVC time to sort things out...they aren't out to sc*ew everyone. What happened? DVC announced policies to help everyone keep their points.

    I, personally, think Disney is a smart company. I think they are smart enough to know that unhappy customers will take business elsewhere. They also know that keeping everyone in the "bubble" equates to more $$ being spent in the bubble. They have hard data to back that up. I will give them time to figure out alternatives to DME. But that's just me.

    Can't love this enough!

    I told my husband yesterday that I just want to go and walk around. I don't even care about rides right now. Yes we will get on them, but just being there would be enough for me.

    The Epcot resorts area is the best location in WDW to me. It's like being on another planet sometimes. I need that more than a ride right now.
     

    DVCSunDevil

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2020
    Can't love this enough!

    I told my husband yesterday that I just want to go and walk around. I don't even care about rides right now. Yes we will get on them, but just being there would be enough for me.

    The Epcot resorts area is the best location in WDW to me. It's like being on another planet sometimes. I need that more than a ride right now.
    Yes! Exactly. We had to cancel our DVC trip last April (obviously) and we now have one booked for this April. When we booked it we weren't sure what the park situation was going to be, but then we decided we didn't really care. Just walking around and spending time at the BCV pool would be good enough. Of course our kids are ecstatic that the parks are open, but we would have enjoyed the trip regardless.
     

    Krandor

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2014
    What I don't understand is that even if you see it as a coldblooded "it's just business" type decision, I still don't think this one makes a lot of sense. The Motley Fool is usually pretty good on financial analysis and they seem to agree in this article. I'm genuinely puzzled about what they were thinking on this one. My best guess is that
    I don't use DME personally but this seems like a bad move. I know I've told people before how you can fly in and not have to even worry about your bag and they were amazed at it being available. It is a big selling point.

    I do still wonder if this may be a negotiating tactic. We saw disney do some similar things with anaheim at DLR. Wouldn't surprise me if Mears due to covid came up with a large number to renew thinking disney would just take it and so disney is calling their bluff. We'll have to wait and see if anything changes.

    To cancel something like DME without announcing a replacement (paid or not) just seems very shortsighted. I don't think this story is over yet.
     



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