Earlier this year, Walt Disney World announced that they would be ending their Magical Express Service.
Disney’s long gone Magical Express used to provide round trip transportation service on buses between Orlando International Airport and your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, as part of the price for your Disney Resort Hotel.
The Magical Express service ended service in January 2022.
See my full Mears Connect page!
If you have a reservation that begins on 31 December 2021 (or earlier) that carries over into 2022, you will still receive your return trip to the airport as part of your Resort Reservation.
During the entire time that the Magical Express has been operating, it has been Mears Transportation and their drivers that operated the buses, with Disney paint schemes.
Mears also operates the Super Star Shuttle for Universal Orlando Resort with regular Mears paint schemes.
Mears Connect Service in 2022
Unlike the Disney’s Magical Express, Mears Connect does serve the Shades of Green Resort!
Starting in 2022 the exact same service that the Magical Express provided will continue, but for a price.
You’ll reserve your ride on the Mears Connect website instead of through Disney.
You’ll still pick up your luggage (luggage service on the Magical Express was terminated during 2020) and proceed to the lower level on the B side of the airport. Where you will check in and wait for your ride.
Mears states that wait time will be a max of 20 minutes. Waits are usually about that now, but could stretch much longer.
Drivers will still stow your luggage on the bus and drive you to your resort. They may stop at 1 to 3 other resorts first, just like now.
For the return trip the only change will be no scheduling letter your room door the day prior. Your pickup will still be about 3 hours prior to your flight’s departure though.
One other change is that Mears has said that standard service will either be on bus or van. Vans were not used for the Magical Express. This will allow them to use smaller/cheaper vehicles when the demand in not there. They do the same thing for Universal now.
Mears will also be offering Express Service, which is a dedicated vehicle for your party, direct to your Disney Resort Hotel.
Waits for departure from the airport will be “limited to no wait time.”
Express Service pickup times will be 2 hours prior to your flight’s departure.
Mears Connect Pricing
- Standard Service pricing is: $16 each way ($32 round trip) for adults, $13.50 each way ($27 round trip) for children
- Express Service pricing is $200 round-trip for up to four passengers; each additional passenger is $55
Prices do not surge during busy periods.
Mears has stated that these are “introductory rates” so I assume they will go up in the future.
How To Reserve Mears Connect
It’s simple, just go to the Mears Connect website, select your service level, enter your details, payment options and reserve.
With the departure of the Magical Express and a paid option replacing it, you might be searching for all options.
- There are other Limo Companies in Orlando (Mears is the biggest)
- There are Taxis (many are operated by Mears)
- Minnie Van, Uber and Lyft are an option
- And you can always rent a car
Limo Companies – There are numerous limo services available to take you to Walt Disney World. Prices are comparable to Mears’ Express Service.
Taxis – Taxis at the airport are about $75 each way to Disney World.
Disney has announced that their Minnie Van Service will be coming back in Summer 2022!
Minnie Van Service was discontinued after the 2020 shutdown.
In 2017 Disney World began offering a new “uber like” service called Mini Vans. These are a fleet of polka dotted (they look like Minnie’s dress) SUVs and cargo vans (with the ability to carry scooters). For about 25 dollars they will take you anywhere on property. They can seat up to six guests, and car seats are on board at no additional fee. Several larger vehicles are available and can transport up to 2 wheelchair/ECV guests.
These are a great totally safe version of Uber and Lyft for those who may not be comfortable with those options. These are driven by Walt Disney World cast members, so totally vetted and safe (though more expensive). The ride experience is far superior to the usually silent or sullen Uber/Lyft drivers,; cast members are friendly, knowledgable and talkative (if you want)! Plus the music played during the ride is Disney music themed on your destination.
Minnie Vans service all locations on WDW property. The Minnie Vans can be requested via the Lyft app (keep swiping left through ride types) or by calling 407-828-3500.
Minnie Vans operate from 6:30 am to 12:30 am and only operate on property. (there is an airport option)
Minnie Van Operating Hours
Minnie Van service operates from 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. daily.
Uber and Lyft – Are great alternatives to traditional transportation companies. Uber and Lyft fares are currently starting at around $30 one way to WDW.
Lyft – $5 credit towards your first ride when you sign up for Lyft using this link. This promo is for your first ride only.
Renting a car – You might be able to find a good military rate. I’m a USAA member and they have discounts negotiated with several of the major car rental companies. However, lines at the rental car counters at Orlando International Airport can be horrendous!
Over to You
What do you think about this new paid replacement for Disney’s Magical Express?
Let us know in the comments section below!
This MDT Post By: Steve Bell
Steve is the the Military Disney Tips Founder. He a retired U.S. Military Member who's been touring the Disney Parks since 1971! Steve's mission is to help military families with their Disney vacations in every way. Check out Steve's Bio.
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Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused? See Our Great Disney Discount and Planning Info:
- Disney Veteran & Military Discount Eligibility Guide
- The Military Family’s Walt Disney World Comprehensive Vacation Planning and Preparation Guide
- Military Disney Tips Disney Packing Checklist
- Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide
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- Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort
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