For approximately 15 years Disney World has provided a free service to transport guest of their resorts to and from Orlando International Airport. Magical Express provided free transportation and also made moving luggage virtually seamless. Disney World announced that the service would be discontinued as of December 31, 2021.
Magical Express has served hundreds of thousands (probably millions) of Disney World guests over the decade and a half. When booking a reservation at a Disney World Resort property, guests can request special luggage tags for their bags. With those luggage tags, guests can avoid picking up their luggage at baggage claim upon arrival and head straight for the Magical Express bus station. When vacation comes to a close, guests can check-in for their flight at their hotel to make the return trip a cinch as well. Families especially like Magical Express because it avoids the need to bring car seats on a Disney World vacation.
Disney World didn’t disclose any specific reason for discontinuing the service, though they did mention the changing behaviors of arriving guests. A recent announcement that a train station at Disney World/Disney Springs along the line from Orlando International Airport to Miami scheduled to open in 2022 may have influenced Disney’s decision to end the popular service. The hundreds of buses shuttling from the airport to get people started on their vacation will be missed by many.
We imagine ending Magical Express will also save Disney World a lot of money. After all, Disney World hires a third party contractor to operate that network of buses. Whether because of the pandemic or rising costs in general, we suspect money played a sizable role in the decision to retire this family favorite.