The free ride soon will be over at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney announced today that it will end its complementary Disney's Magical Express bus service to and from the Orlando International Airport for its Disney hotel guests. The service's last day will be December 31, so guests who stay at the resort this year will continue to be able to take advantage of the free transportation and bag transfer between their hotel and the airport.
"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," Disney said in its press release.
I was not a fan of Disney's Magical Express, as it often took much longer to go between Disney and the airport than with booking an Uber or Lyft. The "free" cost just wasn't worth the wasted time to me. After almost missing my flight once due to Disney's Magical Express (despite leaving my hotel three hours before the flight's departure time), I stopped using the service for my return trips. But for families on a more relaxed schedule, the service was welcomed by many as one fewer detail to worry about on a Disney vacation.
In addition to the Magic Express news, Disney announced today that it will replace its discontinued Extra Magic Hours benefit for hotel guests with 30 minutes of Early Theme Park Entry to all four theme parks, every day, starting later this year. That has huge implications for visiting strategies, which we will talk about in a post later today. [Update: Here is that link.]
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