As it prepares for its 50th anniversary celebration, Walt Disney World is making two major changes to its theme park operations.
The first is that Disney will no longer operate its Magic Express service, which takes guests from Orlando’s MCO Airport to their resort hotel for free, starting in 2022. Disney announced on Monday that it will no longer offer Disney’s Magical Express service for airport transportation, starting with arrivals Jan. 1, 2022. Instead, it will ask guests to utilize ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft as a transportation option.
“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,” the official Disney announcement said.
Disney will continue to operate the service for new and existing reservations made at Disney Resort hotels for arrivals throughout 2021 and will continue to operate other complimentary transportation options, such as buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner, but 2022 will mark the end of the Magical Express, which launched in 2009 and has since regulalry carried more than 2 million guests a year between MCO and their hotel.
Also on Monday, Disney announced that later this year, Disney Resort hotel guests and guests of other select hotels will be able to enjoy more fun with 30-minute early entry to any theme park, every day (guests will still need valid admission and a park reservation made via the Disney Park Pass system to enter a theme park).
According to Disney, the new early theme park entry benefit helps better spread visitation across all four theme parks, while providing added flexibility by giving guests extra early park time on each day of their vacation and in the park of their choosing.
However, Extra Magic Hours will not return as “we continue to manage attendance with health and safety top of mind,” Disney said. The Extra Magic Hours benefit was suspended when Walt Disney World Resort reopened last summer.