Magical Express...not so "Magical"


We were staying at the Pop from 4/28 through 5/3. ME picked us up at the airport & got us to Pop pretty quickly for the amount of people who were waiting for buses. For our return, we had a 5:30 flight and were told to be at the bus stop by 2:15. We get the kids out of the pool & have them ready & at the stop by 2:00. We wait, we wait some more. People are gathering and still no bus. It’s now after 2:30 and still no bus. The crowd for the 2:45 starts to arrive. They separate us into 2 separate groups. 3:05…still no bus!! My DH is starting to freak out. Finally around 3:15, a bus shows up (a Mears bus). The Pop Century guy “organizing” everyone tells the driver to take the 2:15 people first. The driver absolutely refused to take us. There were some people in our line who had 4:05 flights! The Pop worker & the driver exchange some words, but still the driver wouldn’t take us. We are told there is a bus 4 minutes behind it. Well that was not true.

My DH who travels a lot for business now becomes Norma Rae for our group. He gets the manager out & demands Disney do something like offering vouchers for people who have to change their flights, offer hotels or do something. The manager tries to keep his cool but only offers apologies. After another 10 minutes the crowd gets “ugly”, lol. Everyone is now surrounding my husband looking for help. Fortunately, DH doesn’t back down. They now take everyone’s flight info & party size and call for cabs. Lots of them! BTW, there was no other bus to arrive! They sold us a dream basically. So, we get a cab & make it with a half hour to spare (whew!) but others weren’t so lucky. If my DH didn’t open his mouth, we would have missed our flight too (and the kids had state wide tests the next day), but we were okay.

We have never used ME before, and I’m pretty sure we won’t be doing so again. I can’t believe how Disney was going to drop the ball on this one, we were very disappointed.


What a horrible experience. I haven’t heard such a poor review of ME since it began. I am so sorry you had to deal with this and end your magical stay on such a negative note. I highly suggest emailing WDW. I hope your DH or you were able to get the name of the bus driver.


Thanks Dana! Fortunately we didn’t let it ruin our trip. We had a great time, great weather, so all in all it was ok. My bff uses ME all the time and has never had any problems. She was shocked to hear our story. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the name of the driver. My hubby (aka Norma, lol) has a letter started to both Disney & Mears. Not sure what that’s going to do for us, but we’ll feel better venting. When we go back in August, we’re driving.


Wow. I have never had a problem with ME. How could they mess it up that bad?


That’s awful. Catching the bus to the airport freaks my DH so much, he always gets to there extra early and tries to board an earlier bus if there is room. He would have been beside himself in that situation. Glad you made your flight and kudos to your DH.


I am glad that you are already starting letters and that you intend to vent your issues. WDW trips are hugely expensive and it’s ridiculous to have encountered such a terrible experience. It sounds like the WDW folks were actually trying to make it right and the “mears” guy, not so much. I am just glad you made your flight and this incident didn’t ruin your experience.


We always give ourselves more than enough time to get to the airport, we hate rushing. You never know how the traffic will be, anything can happen. This was so frustrating because we weren’t in control, and I think that’s what bothered us the most. Disney did do the right thing and put us in cabs, but it took them a while to do it (with constant pushing from some tall guy with a big mouth, lol).


You are right, the guy did try to do the right thing. It did quickly snowball into a big deal. People were freaking out. There was one family who had never flown before, so they were really stressed. The dad was asking my DH all kinds of questions & I think he was relieved to have his help. Like I said earlier, we were very lucky we made our flight with time to spare in the end. You’re right about the trips being costly & you want the whole experience to be “magical”. It won’t stop us from going back (just won’t be using ME for a LONG TIME).


I guess we were the “lucky” ones! LOL - My bff uses ME almost every trip & she goes at least 2x a year.


Holy cow. How awful! I’ve never heard something so bad from ME! I’ve always found the service to be extremely convenient and downright enjoyable, but there are no excuses for this. I’m glad this didn’t spoil your thoughts for the entire trip.


This was the first time I’ve heard anything negative about the service. I handled it much better than my DH just kept saying it was out of our hands. We love Disney too much to let this ruin a trip. It was only a few hours out of a nice 5 day trip. On the upside, the weather was great and the parks were crowded but manageable. We had a great time overall!


In six years of ME stories, I’ve never heard this one before.
Something was seriously wrong on Mears’ end.
Remember that Mears is contracted to operate ME for Disney and all of the ME buses and cruise line buses are Mears’ buses, not Disney Transport’s.


My experience with as well as DS hasn’t been “magical” but it looks like it in comparison.

Below the ME facade, it’s meers transportation, as our driver - really on the the 7 dwarfs - GRUMPY proceeded to tell us for 10 minute into WDW. I wanted SO badly to tell him so much that if he wasn’t so darn grumpy maybe he too could be a WDW cm! :laugh:

Rental car or Quicksilver for me thank you.


The only advantage we have is that driving takes is 5 hrs house to resort, and flying would be 4.75 hours with getting to the airport, waiting, flying and transport to WDW. And I might still want to rent a car for max flexability. If Pam sleeps the whole way I can usually do the drive without stopping. Pam really likes napping on I95 in SC and waking up on World Drive when we are about to go under the welcome sign.


I am sorry to hear of your experience, and can only imagine how panicked my family would have been in your situation. We too always try and get to the airport earlier than we should as one has to consider extraneous circumstances preventing smooth departures. However, I think the way Disney at the resort handled this was really very poor.
I would love to know what happens next- if your DH gets a suitable response from Disney and from Mears. Of course things happen and things always dont run to plan but both Disney and Mears should have been on the ball and had back up transportation ready to go and alleviate the situation.


I assumed Disney played a role in the ME obviously but now know why the drivers from WDW to the airport almost frist you for a tip. Funny the trip to WDW is silent about tips. Should Disney own and operate the ME? Guess they’ve thought of that and nixed the idea. Oh well.


Thank you for sharing this. I would be very interested to see how they reply to the letters .


Holy cow. It’s almost too ridiculous to be true! Why on earth wouldn’t the Mears guy take the guests who had flights leaving soon?? So glad you didn’t miss your flight. I wonder how many people did. My husband loves the Magic Bus- I don’t know if I should tell him your experience and ruin it for him!


Oh my gosh! That’s terrible! There should never be a time when ME makes you miss your flight! I can’t believe the Mears guy wouldn’t take you and I’m shocked Disney didn’t step up and do something sooner. I’m glad you didn’t miss your flight and hope this doesn’t start becoming a common occurrence. I’ve never heard of anything like this happening.


Yikes!!! Well, at least you didn’t let the experience put too much of a damper on what sounded like a great WDW trip!! We’ve used DME without incident, and will continue to do so unless we have the same type of situation you faced. But my antennae will be up if our ME begins to run a little late…and I am qualified to play the part of the loud hubby…as I am a hubby, and can raise the ol’ octaves a tad if needed!!

Thanks for sharing, curious to see what type of response you will get, please share with us if you do get one!