Look, if you’ve read my blog posts in the past, you’re well aware that I don’t try to bring you the latest and greatest Walt Disney World or Disney Parks news. There are definitely tons of other blogs and websites that do a really great job of that, so this isn’t meant to be informative. But the news today that Disney is discontinuing its complimentary Magical Express bus service from the Orlando International Airport to Disney World resort hotels beginning January 1, 2022 has got me feeling some kind of way. Ok, it’s got me feeling annoyed and disappointed.
The Magical Express service first started in 2005, so I had plenty of trips to Disney World where this was not an option and I paid for a shuttle, bus, or car to get from the airport to my Disney Resort hotel. But once this was offered, it was great to know that I had a convenient way to get to the resort without booking and/or paying for one more thing. Maybe not as many people have been using this service in recent years since Disney cited that people have “more options to choose from than ever for transportation.” I know there are a lot of people who don’t want to be on a bus with a bunch of other people or who would rather hire a car that will take them to a grocery store before taking them to their resort room.
Magical Express just worked out well for me. And it was free. And let’s be honest, with prices at Disney going up for everything, every year, paying more and getting less is annoying and frustrating. To clarify, this isn’t going to keep me from going to Disney World in the future. I’m not anywhere near that level of annoyed yet. But I can definitely see how this will play into my plans in the future. I’ll be using Magical Express at least 3 times in 2021, but then for next year I’ll have to add transportation to my Disney vacation budget when I fly.
The news about Extra Magic Hours being replaced by what they are calling Early Theme Park Entry is less annoying for me, but I know a lot of people enjoyed the Extra Magic Hours. If you’re not familiar, Extra Magic Hours were offered to those staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel. They gave resort guests an extra hour to go in early before a park opened to the rest of the guests, or sometimes it was an hour or two at night/evening. But there was only one park with Extra Magic Hours per day.
This new Early Theme Park Entry benefit will allow resort guests to go in 30 minutes early to any of the four parks every day. I didn’t really do Extra Magic Hours much, except for the late night offerings (which was super fun, by the way), so I’m not really upset by this part of the changes. BUT I will say that 30 minutes doesn’t seem to be a big draw to motivate anyone to stay at a Disney World resort. Heck, I generally try to get to the parks at least 30 minutes before they open just to be able to get a little ahead of the lines.
All in all, it’s not the end of the (Disney) world, but the Magical Express news is definitely a change that I’m less than thrilled about. °O°
I posted a video to my YouTube channel about this today. You can check it out here: https://youtu.be/4Wh3nNIGWfU