Disney Announces Magical Express Service to be Discontinued & Extra Magic Hours Are Being Replaced

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family on Main St. USA at Disney World

Disney Resort guests will need to find their own transportation from the airport next year.

Today, January 11th, Walt Disney World Resort announced a big change on the DisneyParks blog for guests traveling by air. Effective January 1, 2022, Disney’s Magical Express service for airport transportation will be discontinued.

For those unfamiliar with the service, Disney’s Magical Express is one of the benefits of staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. It’s a Disney-themed motorcoach that carries Resort guests from Orlando International Airport right to their Resort, sparing them the inconvenience and additional cost of driving or finding their own ground transportation. The service also includes a complimentary ride back to Orlando International Airport on the day guests check out of their Disney Resort hotel.

taxis and buses parked outside airport

Those who used this service loved the feeling of beginning their Disney vacation the moment they stepped off the plane. It was especially convenient for families traveling with small children, as it offered a way for them to get to their hotel without having to install car seats in a rental car or rideshare. For a while, Disney’s Magical Express even offered a baggage transfer service, so Resort guests didn’t need to wait at the airport’s baggage claim for their luggage!

Disney’s Magical Express service will continue to operate for new and existing reservations made at Disney Resort hotels for arrivals throughout the rest of 2021. Once guests arrive at the Resort, complimentary transportation options like buses, monorails, and Disney Skyliner will still be available to and from all four theme parks.

Epcot Festival of the Arts

In the same blog post, Walt Disney World Resort discussed two additional changes that are taking place at its theme parks this year. First, the Park Hopper option has returned, along with the Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts (happening now through February 22, 2021) and the Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival beginning on March 3.

The other notable change is that instead of Extra Magic Hours, Disney Resort hotel guests and guests of other select hotels will receive Early Theme Park Entry every day, with a 30-minute early entry to any theme park. The Extra Magic Hours benefit was suspended when Walt Disney World Resort reopened last summer, and the Resort has confirmed that this benefit will not return.

Still thinking about planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation? Get two extra days added to your ticket when you buy a 4-night/3-day room and ticket package at select Disney Resort hotels for arrivals most nights through September 25, 2021. Head on over here to learn more.

Experience Disney magic at home with these official Disney Parks Recipes – no travel required! 🙌

Join The Discussion

Comments 29

  1. tarashort

    That is so sad we used the Magic express every time we went even booking Disney hotels just for this benefit.

  2. rachyb

    This was one of the biggest advantages of staying on property. We will probably drive now. I’m very sad. It made the experience magical from the time the plane landed.

  3. jeannesymonscard

    Yikes that’s a big change!!! 😭

  4. Melissa

    We’ve only been once, but Magical Express was a great convenience. Honestly, I think it makes it so some of us do Disney as part of a trip versus as a whole vacation.

    • rachrg

      Yes I agree. This will change how I vacation there with small kids. With changes that make it less of a “all inclusive feel,” I see little point in staying on their property. Their higher prices for room rates came with perks.

    • Camille

      Agreed! Us too! My kids are older now but when they were little it was everything

  5. Christie L Groh

    Another business suffering from the effects of Covid 19. Movies, parks etc. have all been suspended or restricted for a long time and I hope they do not end up closing all together. Sad.

  6. acgold

    Even though I am a Disney fan, it’s getting ridiculous. They keep taking things away and upping the price of the stays and tickets. It is so sad that so many families cannot afford to go, even cutting corners and using all the tips.

    • ktjo

      Agree. We used to go pretty much once a year from 2010-2015. 2015 we had our 4th child and the prices for a large family were ridiculous. We can take 2 nice vacations for what Disney wants us to pay for one. (And we stay at value resorts.). Same with Disney Cruises. I would love to do one but I just cannot justify spending double what we spend on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

  7. cjg

    One of the BEST perks about staying in location at Disney. So disappointing to see this as we were hoping to go again next spring ☹️

  8. Candace

    Long time Disney visitor here. Have been very disappointed with Disney over the past several years. High priced on property hotels don’t offer much anymore in terms of perks. One can pretty much access the same services off property with much cheaper rates. Never thought our family would feel that way. We truly love the atmosphere of the hotels. Getting rid of the bus service is yet another corner cut. Last time we were on property the cleaning staff was actually in such a hurry to clean our rooms, and turn them over to new guests, the morning we were checking out they actually threw the luggage items and other items away while we were at breakfast! Much too much overcrowding has taken from the experience there for sure.

    • Knelso18

      We had this happen to us to… housekeeping knocked at 7 am, and it took me a minute to wake up and realize it was the door as they were walking in. I told her that we would check out by 11 (flight left at 2 Pm)… she came back while at breakfast and stripped the beds. Super odd…

  9. Sierra

    About two years ago they started charging daily for parking at the hotel. Now you must rent a car and pay for parking at the hotel.

    • Chelle

      Yes! We were going every year for the last 4 years. On one of our more recent trips we stayed on property and had to get a rental car from the airport. So we paid to just to park our car each night at the hotel. During the day we used hotel transportation. We only needed the rental to drive to and from the airport. We didn’t want to risk not being able to get an uber at the last flight of the night. It is a shame that they are taking things away little by little. We really loved the extra magic hours too. But we’ll probably only go one more time so my youngest will have some good memories.

  10. Mothball

    Huge Disney fan here, but I have to agree with other commenters that things have started to slip. Disney no-doubt had a tough year, but they have not dropped their prices at all…but they have cut staff and perks and therefore the level of service has dropped. Right before Covid, the parks were so crowded even in the “off-times”…that the level of enjoyment was off. It’s almost like Disney got too big for its britches…which makes me so sad. They are losing their vision with their new head and need to go back to Walt’s idealism. Hopefully there is something better and cooler than a bus transporting us from airport to magic kingdom…after all it is the little things that make the difference.

  11. Lora

    We loved the Magical Express. It made our whole vacation worry free…not having to deal with Disney traffic/airport traffic. We loved not having to rent a car. I think magic bands sent to your home are going to disappear, too. I remember when you bought those huge refillable mugs 20 years ago that were supposed to be valid for free refills forever when you brought them back. Those became invalid and were replaced with the current containers with the chips inside of them, that are only valid during your stay.

    • Kenzie'sMom414

      Yes, you have to pay for magic bands as of this year. I have a trip planned and if popped up that they are making everything more accessible through the app so magic bands will now cost money if you want to use them. My kids don’t have phones so I don’t understand what they want my little kids to do. Plus it will use my battery more. Not happy with it.

  12. kiera

    Magical Express definitely made the trip easier. You didn’t have to worry about waiting forever for a lyft/uber in the humidity. You could actually get a comfy ride to the resorts (especially when they would pick up your luggage for you). I’ve taken rideshares from the airport and I find them less than desirable. They take forever, they have a tendency to cancel/get delayed with traffic & demands, and some barely want to help with luggage. It’s disappointing. I feel for the larger families as well.

  13. Pinky

    I am so sad with all of these changes. Our big trip last year got canceled because it fell within the window of them still being closed. We told the kids we would go when things were a little more normal. Now I feel like that just sin’t going to ever happen. We were supposed to have the Magical Express and free dinning. Now like others have said what’s the point of dedicating a whole vacation to Disney without the perks?

  14. SamShops

    I just booked 2 nights at Disney Yacht club in June before our 2nd Disney cruise (rescheduled from 2020). There’s a sale on room rates right now-30-40% off. I’m glad the Magical Express is still going for the rest of the year. Fingers crossed our June cruise doesn’t get canceled 🤞

  15. Kay

    Magical Express was so nice when my boys were younger. I loved that they took the bags to the room for you. It was worry free from the time we landed at the airport. This service will certainly be missed.

  16. lydia999

    Disney is only a couple of hours away by car for us so we go about once a year. Yes, kids like it and it’s fun but for the cost of out of state travel you can go somewhere a lot nicer for less money. We took a family vacation to Hawaii last year (beachfront luxury hotel, flights, dining, etc) and it cost less than what a weeklong stay at a Disney hotel, meals in the park and passes for non-Florida residents costs. We go mainly because it’s a quick and relatively inexpensive weekend getaway type trip for us but there’s no way I’d spend more than $2k on a trip to disney, especially with all of these cutbacks. They are definitely not as magical as they used to be.

  17. Jennifer Lisa

    Well, this may change our 2022 vacation plans. 😔

  18. Jill

    Seriously considering selling my DVC.

  19. C

    Sadly, this does not surprise me. Like most of the hospitality industry, Disney has taken a huge hit. From what I have heard, the expectation is that things will not get back to “normal” until 2023.

  20. Lora

    There is nothing like getting off the plane and hopping on that Magical Express bus and watching the videos on the bus TV. As a mom who plans and obsesses over every detail of our trips that is the moment I get truly excited and think “This is it! We are here! This is happening!”. MME was a huge perk for my husband who didn’t have to struggle with our luggage. We’ve stayed off property once and never wanted to again because we feel the extra perks were worth the extra money. But if those perks are gone it changes the whole feel of the trip.

  21. Amber

    Not 💯 ok this but I heard they are gettting rid of the magic express because there will be a high speed train that will take you directly to the resorts . I’m glad there’s still something for our first trip in September as a family of 6.

    • keira

      That’s false, the statement says its due to a “lack of demand” and also, the train is taking you to Disney springs, not the resorts…no clear way to determine how they’re going to get you to your resort with the luggage and pretty sure they won’t let you take all that luggage onto a regular Disney resort bus

  22. Cassie Finnegan

    That was definitely one of the reasons we have always decided to stay on property. Might as well rent a car and stay somewhere cheaper now. For the money you spend vacationing at Disney, you wouldn’t think they would be taking amenities away from their guest. The magic hours were such a nice way to ride a lot of things without the wait. So sad!

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