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  1. #1

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    Magical Express expansion

    Wouldn't it be so cool if Disney owned their own airlines?

    They could book you out of major airports (DIA, LAX, etc.) where you could fly non-stop to Orlando on a Disney themed jet with characters, movies, etc!

    Now THAT would be a magical express indeed!!!

    Imagine landing on an airstrip INSIDE the WDW property!!!
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  2. #2

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    Re: Magical Express expansion

    That was in the works in the early 90s. It never came to fruition due to huge issues in the market that happened and continue to happen.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Magical Express expansion

    Disney also considered building a monorail directly from the airport into WDW-so that no one would need to set foot in non-Disney property
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  4. #4

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    Re: Magical Express expansion

    Aside from the STOLPort, Disney actually had plans to build a full functioning Intl. Airport on property. Much like the Nuclear Power Plant plans, this plan went to the dogs.

    It was not feasible and very risky.



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  5. #5

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    Re: Magical Express expansion

    I can understand why they wouldn't want an airport on propery. If a plane crashed on property you're looking at millions in liabilities.

    I think it'd be nice if they coudl just get a monorail to every AREA of the parks, not every hotel, but every AREA.
    Do NOT pull down on the safety bar, please...I will lower it for you...








  6. #6

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    Re: Magical Express expansion

    Who wants air traffic near your vacation spot? Not me.

  7. #7

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    Re: Magical Express expansion

    This was a misleading topic title.. I thought we were going to talk about the Magical Express expanding it's services to include the Universal Hotels..
    :P

  8. #8

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    Re: Magical Express expansion

    Disney's Magical Express thriving at OIA; rivals cry foul

    Jason Garcia | Sentinel Staff Writer
    February 21, 2008


    Though it is not yet 3 years old, Walt Disney World's popular but controversial airport shuttle and check-in service is luring so many tourists that the company soon might have to expand at Orlando International Airport -- and fight off an antitrust lawsuit.

    Disney transported more than 2.1 million passengers last year from the airport to its resorts and cruise ships, according to newly available figures. That's nearly 9 percent more traffic than it handled in 2006, and it's the first time the Disney service has crossed the 2 million threshold in a year.

    At peak travel times, the company's Magical Express buses to Disney World and its Disney Cruise Line buses to Port Canaveral carried more than 12,000 passengers in a single day. During one month -- September 2007 -- Disney carried away more than one of every seven travelers who landed at OIA.





    The rapid growth of Magical Express could cost Disney.

    Disney's contract with OIA allows the airport to make Disney add a second customer check-in location when the company carries more than 2.2 million passengers in any 12-month period. Should that happen, Disney would have to divide its theme-park and cruise-line shuttle operations and rent more counter and queuing space at opposite ends of the main terminal.

    Disney currently pays nearly $1.3 million a year to rent counter, office and other operating space at the airport.

    Spokeswoman Zoraya Suarez said Disney expects to pass the 2.2 million threshold this year. Some airport officials think it will happen as early as March or April.

    "When we do reach that benchmark, we will plan with the airport authority on what steps will be operationally needed to ensure the highest level of service for all airport guests are met," Suarez said. "We're excited about growing DME further."

    For all it success, Disney's Magical Express has been unable to shake controversy.

    Other transportation companies continue to accuse Disney, which does not separately charge customers who ride Magical Express, of running its smaller competitors out of business. At least one operator, Premier Exotic Limousines, recently pulled out of the airport in large part because it couldn't compete with Disney's service, co-owner Jenaid Abdulhakeem said.

    Rival operators say Disney shouldn't be allowed to advertise Magical Express as a "free" service when the company can simply bundle the costs of running the shuttle and luggage service into the price of its hotel rooms.

    "Nobody can run 40 to 50 buses a day for free," said Miguel Hernandez, the owner of M&J Tours and Transportation Inc., which operates two stretch limousines, a town car, an SUV and a 15-seat van. Hernandez said his business has fallen nearly 30 percent since Magical Express began. "We can't compete with 'free.' "

    Disney's Suarez said Magical Express has been a boon for all of Central Florida because it has eased congestion in airport check-in lines and at baggage-claim carousels, reduced the number of tourists on the road in rental cars, created new jobs, and been an extra lure in getting more travelers to visit Orlando.

    Still, the National Limousine Association says it is considering challenging Disney on antitrust grounds.

    "It's being looked at," said Barry Lefkowitz, a lobbyist for the Marlton, N.J.-based limousine association, though he conceded that such a challenge would face long odds. "We're trying to work out some kind of game plan."

    While it has had little trouble filling its buses, Disney has had more difficulty boosting customers' use of Magical Express' related return-flight check-in option. That's the service through which guests can check in for their flights home and drop off their luggage before they even leave Disney property.

    Guests who don't use the remote check-in service can still ride the Magical Express shuttle. But company executives have made it a priority to encourage use of the baggage service, too, in hopes of freeing visitors to spend even more time in Disney's theme parks before they leave for home.

    There's another incentive: Disney's deal with OIA includes a provision capping the amount it can be charged -- provided by June Disney gets at least 65 percent of its Magical Express riders to use the remote check-in option when they return to the airport. OIA currently charges Disney 75 cents a rider, which cost Disney nearly $1.6 million last year. Under the cap, OIA could not raise that charge beyond $1.25 per rider.

    Disney, though, has yet to reach an agreement with Southwest Airlines, the busiest carrier at OIA, that would allow Southwest passengers to use the remote check-in service. Every other major domestic airline already participates in the program -- which reduces the amount of luggage that has to be screened in OIA's main terminal -- but Southwest alone is responsible for more than a fifth of OIA's traffic.

    Southwest and Disney had hoped to have a deal in place early this year. But Southwest spokeswoman Marilee McInnis says the airline is concerned that Disney and the company it contracts with to run the check-in service, Orlando-based Bags Inc., would be overwhelmed by Southwest passengers. The airline, she said, expects at least 80,000 of the nearly 320,000 passengers Southwest brings to Orlando every month would use Magical Express.

    "With the number of bags we have, the number of customers we have, it would just be difficult for them to handle that load," McInnis said, adding that Southwest processes more bags at OIA on a per-passenger basis than it does at any other airport in the country.

    "We're working with them to try and automate the process," she added. "We are close.

  9. #9

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    Re: Magical Express expansion

    Quote Originally Posted by BALASADA View Post
    Southwest and Disney had hoped to have a deal in place early this year. But Southwest spokeswoman Marilee McInnis says the airline is concerned that Disney and the company it contracts with to run the check-in service, Orlando-based Bags Inc., would be overwhelmed by Southwest passengers.
    Of course they will be overwhelmed!! SWA passengers are cheap. Like they are not going to jump on a free ride to WDW. HA!

  10. #10

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    Re: Magical Express expansion

    Many of you may not be aware of it, but Disney has been in the commercial airline business since 1988...and it may still be in it to this day.

    They owned a fleet of commercial jet airliners, and many of you may have flown on them and not even known it!

    Back in the late 80's Disney entered into a new business venture with Delta Airlines (then the "official airline" of Disneyland and Walt Disney World). Part of that venture and Corporate Alliance was that Disney would purchase several aircraft and then lease them back to Delta as a source of revenue not only directly, but from tax breaks as well.

    Several years later Disney expanded their fleet of owned commercial airliners and entered into a similar arrangement with United Airlines.

    In fact, United's recent stint in Chapter 11 bankruptcy a few years ago, effected Disney's bottom line in a real way. Here's just one headline from back in January 2006:

    Judge Approves United Payments to Disney
    Fri Jan 6, 6:20 PM ET

    WASHINGTON - United Airlines won court approval Friday to pay $150 million to settle billions of dollars in claims from aircraft leasers, including Walt Disney Co.

    United, a unit of UAL Corp., has said the settlement provides a "tremendous" boost to the airline's bid to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings early this year.
    Even though Disney did get some money out of the bankruptcy court, it was only a small percentage of what they were owed, and Disney had to write off millions in losses.

    Based on the stories that this business venture didn't ever prove as profitable as they once had hoped, coupled with the losses from these types of airline bankruptcies and the fact that the airline business itself has not historically been the biggest money maker of late...I kinda doubt you'll see Disney taking to the air with their own airline brand anytime soon. Unless they just license the name out to someone else and let them own and operate the airline...sorta like what Disney tried in the Cell Phone business a short time back, and still does with the Disney Stores. IMHO.

    And on a much darker note...there's always the real possibility of some tragic airline accident happening. I'm sure Disney has considered the ramifications such an event would have to its brand and the public perception of the name "Disney" if such a thing ever happened. That alone might scare them off wanting to own and operate an airline, or even just license the name out. Think about 250 parents and children killed in a crash aboard "Disney Airlines" splashed all over the news and...well...I think you get the picture. Probably just not worth the risk to a happy, warm, fuzzy and trust-branded company like Disney.

    IMHO.



    The above is a modified post of mine from this previous 2006 thread on a "Disney Airline":

    Disney Airlines...Do you think it could happen?


  11. #11

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    Re: Magical Express expansion

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    This was a misleading topic title.. I thought we were going to talk about the Magical Express expanding it's services to include the Universal Hotels..
    :P
    Why in the world would Disney use Magical Express to take you to Universal...that would be like Macy's taking you to Bloomingdales. I'd like to know what you drink????

  12. #12

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    Re: Magical Express expansion

    It only turns into an argument if someone replies

    Thanks for the article, Balasada! I had no idea about all of the technical details of their agreements!
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    Re: Magical Express expansion

    Quote Originally Posted by NeverNeverland View Post
    It only turns into an argument if someone replies

    Thanks for the article, Balasada! I had no idea about all of the technical details of their agreements!
    Your welcome. I just wish they would tell the CM about these issues and not find out later in the newspaper.

  14. #14

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    Re: Magical Express expansion

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    Of course they will be overwhelmed!! SWA passengers are cheap. Like they are not going to jump on a free ride to WDW. HA!
    It seems you don't understand the system. SWA passengers already enjoy the free DME bus rides to and from the airport.

    The only service in question is Resort Airline Check-in, which is akin to curbside check-in at the airport (e.g., check in for your flight, get your boarding pass, check your luggage through to your final destination).

  15. #15

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    Re: Magical Express expansion

    Psst. TDLFAN. If it makes you feel any better,..I recognized you were just joking. And I feel certain most others did too.


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