The Magic/Sad Bus Is Going Away (And so is EMH)

Micah008

Moderator
Staff member
They already got rid of it, from last July.
I had missed that. So strange.
When they removed it last July it was assumed by many to be temporary (due to COVID restrictions), but now it seems it may stay this way...
 

bnoble

he's right
I was thinking that MEARS might subsume it because the infrastructure was there---until I remembered it had already been abandoned.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
One of the nice perks of having a rental car is being able to load it up with luggage on departure day, and then when you're ready to head to the airport, just going. Way easier than checking bags with bell services, then having to return from the park to the resort, waiting who knows how long with bell services to get your bags, then calling for an uber/lyft.
 

bnoble

he's right
My first "splurge" is park hopping, but my second one is a rental car. I nearly always get one---the few times I have not have mostly been while staying in the Epcot area.
 

George

wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tag
One of the nice perks of having a rental car is being able to load it up with luggage on departure day, and then when you're ready to head to the airport, just going. Way easier than checking bags with bell services, then having to return from the park to the resort, waiting who knows how long with bell services to get your bags, then calling for an uber/lyft.
This, among other reasons, is why we always get a car. I like being able to drive to the parks, and leave for breaks and run errands in the middle of the day, or to DS for lunch. I tend to use Disney transportation just for MK trips, though the Skyliner is now really convenient for Epcot and HS from the resorts on that line.

I used DME once, from the airport, because I got a much better car rental rate on property than at the airport (no airport taxes either), and had little patience for stops at other resorts first; happily, OKW was the first stop. I'd hate having to be on the bus to leave the resort at least three hours before my flight. I always leave the Disney area in the car two hours before my flight time, and I still have time at the airport to have a quick sit-down meal before my boarding time if I'm flying at mealtime.
 
D

Deleted member 519

Guest
We always drive, but I sympathize those who have come to rely on the DME service.

I’m not sure how I feel about the early opening for resort guests. It works well at Universal, although crowds there seem lighter, and it’s really a different animal from a planning perspective.
 

Anne

Well-known member
The new 30 minute early entry "perk" seems especially calculating on Disney's part. They have figured out a big deterrent to staying off site (no option to use a RD strategy for headliners on any day at any park if you stay off site) while providing the most bare bones low cost "perk" to staying on site. I'm picturing an evil genius in his lair twirling his mustache all the while emitting a cruel chuckle.
 

bnoble

he's right
It's not that inexpensive---it's 2.5 hours/week/park, or 10 hours total. That's pretty close to what they had been doing since AK got demoted to morning-only.
 

hizouse

Active member
It's not that inexpensive---it's 2.5 hours/week/park, or 10 hours total. That's pretty close to what they had been doing since AK got demoted to morning-only.
But they're already opening 30-40 minutes early for everyone. They will almost certainly keep doing this as long as COVID restrictions are in effect, but of course they don't have to keep doing it indefinitely. The additional immediate cost is just figuring out a way to put the off-site guests in a separate holding area.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
I used DME once, from the airport, because I got a much better car rental rate on property than at the airport (no airport taxes either)
The other thing that being "forced" to get a rental car does for us is open up TPA as an arrival/departure airport. Sometimes airfare can be $100 or more lower at TPA, and even rental car availability and rates can differ significantly. There's more availability of nonstop flights when you add in TPA. And the drive from TPA is only about 45 minutes longer than the drive from MCO. We own at Animal Kingdom Lodge so we're at the far west of the property anyway.
 
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George

wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tag
The other thing that being "forced" to get a rental car does for us is open up TPA as an arrival/departure airport. Sometimes airfare can be $100 or more lower at TPA, and even rental car availability and rates can differ significantly. There's more availability of nonstop flights when you add in TPA. And the drive from TPA is an hour or less than the drive from MCO. We own at Animal Kingdom Lodge so we're at the far west of the property anyway.
Good point. I rarely think of TPA, since non-stop fares from ORD are usually pretty cheap, i.e., less than $200 round-trip, though we travel exclusively during off-season/less popular times, and we're also flexible about being able to fly on any day of the week.
 

bnoble

he's right
The other thing that being "forced" to get a rental car does for us is open up TPA as an arrival/departure airport.
I’ve done that. Once. I don’t imagine I will again. That stretch of I4 was miserable. I’d rather cut costs in other places. This may have changed but the rental car situation there was much less convenient too; everything required a shuttle.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
I’ve done that. Once. I don’t imagine I will again. That stretch of I4 is miserable. I’d rather cut costs in other places.
That wasn't my experience at all. I believe it's 70-75mph speed limit most of the way, and I did 10 miles faster than that the whole stretch. That's assuming you're not landing in TPA anywhere around rush hour. Even then, once you're past 275 it opens up.

I-4 from WDW up to Universal is FAR worse in my experience. That can be an hour or more depending on time of day.
 

bnoble

he's right
I must have been unlucky with traffic and/or construction but hit it both ways. This was years ago though.
 

smwisc

Active member
30 minutes early for EMH is not enough of a perk for staying on site. Since it is in every park it also makes touring worse. In the past we would alter which park we were depending on the EMH. There were reasons and days to use EMH and to avoid the park with it EMH, day of week and evening parades/fireworks were all things that went into the decision of where to go. Helped us have a great vacation with lower crowds. Now we will just be with the masses. Yuck. Trips are getting more and more expensive with the ability to do less and less. Not happy at all.
It's such a lose-lose (except to Disney's bottom line, presumably). It's a huge blow to offsite guests, and not even much of a benefit to onsite guests.
 

Mp74

Member
Magical express being gone will be a bigger deal with international guests i imagine. I think this is going to hurt more than they are expecting.

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
 

bnoble

he's right
ME has been around for less than 20 years. Closer to 15. WDW did just fine before ME existed, and it will be fine after ME is gone.
 

George

wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tag
AM EMH is one thing, if you want that extra hour, but hasn't rope-dropping gotten less annoying (everywhere but HS) since FPP started? I haven't been following this closely enough.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
We still rope drop to get an additional ride on a top tier attraction (Flight of Passage, Space Mountain, etc.) or in place of reserving a FPP for one of those.
 

lovett1979

Active member
ME isn't going away until 2022, which is in a whole year. There's lots of time for them to introduce other options (paid shuttle? use those Minnie vans?) and for people to get used to the idea of renting a car, or taking Uber/Lyft from the airport. There is also the train that has been approved to run from the airport to Disney Springs, though I don't know what the time table is on that being built? Only those of us who remember ME will be upset. And while I appreciated the door-to-door free service, I felt I was always the first on the bus and had to wait till it filled before we actually left the airport. I could probably have gotten to my resort an hour earlier if I had used any other form of transport. If you go to vacation at literally any other location on the planet, you're expecting to pay to get from the airport to the destination. It's been nice having the free bus, but I'm sure it's a money-loser for Disney.
 
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