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Magic Express* to continue (*As 'Mears')

Pathways

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Just catching up on threads and realized no one has commented on the replacement of the Magical Express.

Mears (who ran the busses before Disney's Magical Express and is the contractor who actually runs DME) has announced that they will begin service on Jan 1, 2022, the same day that DME ends.

There will be a charge but they have not announced what the charge will be. (When Mears ran the busses before DMW, of course they charged then) The driver I talked to said they are still in negotiations with the airport for the same location in 'B'

Since they are intimately familiar with the expenses needed to operate the shuttle system (All the current drivers are employed by Mears, not Disney) I am hoping the eventual fee announcement will be fair and reasonable. They will have no reason to add an extra 30% just to cover the unknown!

The driver I talked to said on busy days they have transported 28,000 people to the hotels. Wow!
 

Lisa P

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To me, "Magic Express" = free, included with your stay. "Mears Connect" service will be an outside service for a fee (cost not yet announced), so not really a continuation of the old program. :( There's mention of "luggage handling" in the Mears Connect announcement so they'll clearly load/unload luggage curbside. But will guests need to retrieve their own luggage from baggage claim and navigate through MCO with kids, strollers, luggage or will Mears Connect process guests' luggage all the way between guests' home airport and resort, like Magic Express (pre-Covid)?

Will be curious to see how this fee service is any different from any other Lyft/Uber/livery/shuttle option that already exists... i.e., is it really a "replacement" for Magic Express or just marketing for Mears and PR for Disney? I'd guess others wonder the same thing, which could be one reason that there hasn't been much chatter here about it. A bit of smoke and mirrors to hide the loss of an onsite benefit/freebie? Sorry to be a bit cynical here.
 

Sandy VDH

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Bet Disney will NOT drop the extra charge they tack on with RCI bookings. It is supposed to be for transportation, a lot of which as of 2022 will be NO more.
 

bnoble

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Bet Disney will NOT drop the extra charge they tack on with RCI bookings. It is supposed to be for transportation, a lot of which as of 2022 will be NO more.
This charge predates Magical Express, and it was never for transportation. The only thing that the $190 allows RCI exchangers that is not available to other (non-Owner) guests is the ability to call Member Services directly. The only reason it exists is that people will pay it.

The fee used to be $95, and DVC Members also paid $95 to exchange out. DVC Members no longer pay the $95, and inbounds pay the combined amount.
 

rickandcindy23

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It's good they are still going to operate, but we have only used it one time. It was nice but I don't like being a "Disney hostage." I can think of a dozen restaurants I would rather enjoy over the Disney food. Our daughter-in-law loved the restaurants onsite, so we do the restaurants frequently when they are with us. We rent a car.

Cars are expensive right now, however, so it's a factor we need to add to the cost of our freedom to go where we want. :)
 

TheHolleys87

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I don’t think anyone was really surprised at Mears’s announcement, as they said as much when Disney announced the termination of DME. Much speculation as to what Mears will charge, as they’ll probably want to be competitive with rideshare and private limo services, taking into account families that need car seats or boosters for their kids to use those services but not to ride a bus. DH and I have enjoyed using DME when it was just the two of us, especially when staying at a non-DVC resort and not wanting a grocery stop, although most of the time we drive to Orlando so have a car anyway.
 

Dean

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Bet Disney will NOT drop the extra charge they tack on with RCI bookings. It is supposed to be for transportation, a lot of which as of 2022 will be NO more.
While some people have linked the option to the RCI fee, it was never a component. The fee is simply and only for DVC to cover their costs related to exchanges and personal accordingly. At the current charge they likely make a little on it, not unlike some RCi resorts structure fees for housekeeping.
 

cbyrne1174

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Bet Disney will NOT drop the extra charge they tack on with RCI bookings. It is supposed to be for transportation, a lot of which as of 2022 will be NO more.
While some people have linked the option to the RCI fee, it was never a component. The fee is simply and only for DVC to cover their costs related to exchanges and personal accordingly. At the current charge they likely make a little on it, not unlike some RCi resorts structure fees for housekeeping.
I only pay about $1050 in total for a week at SSR in a 1 bedroom when I exchange using my Grand Desert/Towers on the Grove Wyndham points that had virtually $0 buy in costs. Even with the $190 exchange fee, it's still an insanely good deal.
 

AnnaS

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We drive/fly 50/50.

For many years, hubby hated taking Disney transportation so we drove to the parks with our car or the rental car when we flew. I don't mind Disney Transportation. Hubby was not a fan. For me it was part of the whole experience. We are never in a hurry to get anywhere. We go so often, no need to rush.

One year friends came with us on one of our trips. Our friend refused to use his rental (we all flew down) to get to the parks. His work required lot's of driving and sitting in traffic. That was the first trip that we only took Disney transportation to the parks so we could be together. It converted my husband and ever since that trip, we now only use the car to stop at Publix or go resort to resort - mostly in the evening for a meal. We don't drive to DS either.

Since that trip, we stopped getting a rental - we used ME and Disney Transportation for parks. We have taken Uber here and there to get back to resort after a meal or to get to a resort if it is raining. We take really early flights and never had any complaints with ME. It was great for my mom and daughter trip. No worrying about luggage/getting lost.

Not sure what we will do when we fly down now - rent or pay for Mears. Time will tell.
 
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