Walt Disney World is discontinuing the free airport transportation at the end of the year.
In a statement, Disney revealed that its Disney's Magical Express airport transportation will be discontinued at the end of 2021. The service will remain available for Disney Vacation Club villa and hotel stays throughout 2021.
"Vacationers have more options to choose from than ever for transportation, including ride-share services that save time and offer more flexibility to go where they want, when they want. In light of this shift, when Disney Resort hotel bookings open for stays in 2022, we will no longer offer Disney’s Magical Express service for airport transportation, starting with arrivals Jan. 1, 2022."
Disney's Magical Express launched in 2005, offering transportation option between Walt Disney World and Orlando International Airport. Arriving and departing guests staying at Disney Vacation Club resorts, other Disney hotels and select partner hotels could schedule free round-trip service for all members of their traveling party at no added cost.
At times, DME also featured the collection and delivery of guests' luggage from the airport, along with resort luggage check-in for select airlines. These services had been discontinued in months following the COVID-19 pandemic shut down.
Costs assocated with Disney's Magical Express are likely included in the "Transportation" line item of DVC owner dues. Elimination of this product may have a positive impact on member dues beginning in 2022.
Magical Express was a joint venture between Disney and Mears Transportation Services. Prior to the introduction of DME, Mears offered low-cost transportation to and from the airport. Disney's statement did not indicate whether or not the plan to offer a paid transportation alternative in conjunction with Mears or another vendor.
In 2021 Walt Disney World also eliminated its "Minnie Van" rideshare services.
Last month, Disney announced a deal with Brightline to bring a high-speed train station to Disney Springs. Work is currently under way to link the line in southern Florida to Orlando International Airport by 2022. No timeline was provided for extending the route further north to Walt Disney World.
On-site mass transportation will continue to be complimentary. This includes monorail, Disney's Skyliner, buses and boats connecting Disney's resorts to theme parks, water parks and Disney Springs.