Alternatives to Disney’s Magical Express

One of the best parts of any Disney vacation is the anticipation you feel during the ride to WDW. But, starting in 2022, how will you get to WDW? You might think that’s a strange question and you might be saying, Jenn, you should know how to get to WDW. Well if “hopping off the plane at MCO with a dream and a magic band” and running straight to the Magical Express is your vibe, you will have to think again. Keep on reading to see why things are changing and alternatives for your trip.

About the Magical Express

By far one of Disney’s most popular transportation options is Disney’s Magical Express. Started in 2005, Disney’s Magical Express was the transportation option of choice to take guests from Orlando International Airport to their Walt Disney World Resort (and back… let’s call it the “Tragical” Express). Easily located in Terminal B at MCO, guests would check in with their Magic Bands and be whisked off to their resort in Disney style. Guests got to enjoy entertaining videos about what’s new at the parks, fun cartoon shorts and more during this exciting journey. And if you’ve been on the Magical Express before, you know Gus and his safety video. 

Bye, Bye Magical Express

When Walt Disney World reopened after their closure from the pandemic, they discontinued luggage service via the Magical Express. Prior to the closure, guests could put a fun yellow tag on their luggage, drop it off with the airline when they got on their flight to MCO and Disney would pull some magic and whisk it away to your resort. For 2021, that service has been suspended. In January of 2021, Disney announced they will be completely discontinuing Disney’s Magical Express service to resort guests starting January 1, 2022. This was disappointing news for WDW fans around the world who love the convenience of the Magical Express. This leads to the question, how do you get to WDW when the Magical Express is gone?

Options

Mears

The company that currently operates the Magical Express, Mears, offers transportation service from Orlando International Airport. It has also been reported that they will continue to offer service once the Magical Express is discontinued. The Mears service costs about $39 for an adult, roundtrip and $30 for children, roundtrip. The service is a shared ride service, so you won’t have the vehicle to yourself. It will most likely be a bus. 

Uber/Lyft/Cab

If Minnie vans were a favorite of yours, unfortunately, those are no longer available either. Disney has discontinued Minnie Van Service, leaving just Uber & Lyft as your choice. Uber & Lyft can transport you from Walt Disney World Resorts to Orlando International Airport and back. An Uber will typically range from $30-$40, depending on the vehicle size. A Lyft can range from $36-$50, depending on the vehicle size. They are relatively easy to request and offer guests a more personalized ride from the airport to the resort. This would probably be the best option if you’re looking for flexibility and privacy in your group. Cabs are another option similar to Uber & Lyft. They are similar in pricing but you might have to wait around for them to come based on availability.

Rental Car

Another option would be renting a car. Rental car prices vary and can be quite pricey. This option would probably offer the most flexibility, since you can leave the property and even visit other theme parks in Central Florida. If you are a DVC Member staying in a Deluxe Villa, you won’t be charged for parking, but if you stay in a regular room at a resort, you will be charged. Annual Passholders can also park for free. Parking fees vary by resort from $15 for a Value Resort, $20 for a Moderate and $25 for a Deluxe per day. This option has a lot of paying parts to it, so this probably wouldn’t be my #1 choice for transportation. 

Are you sad to see Disney’s Magical Express go? Which form of transportation will you take to WDW in the future? Let me know in the comments below. 

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