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  • News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

    Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

    Beth Kassab
    Posted September 13, 2005

    A group of 200 bus, van and luxury-car drivers called on Orlando International Airport on Monday to put an end to Disney Magical Express, the free shuttle to and from Walt Disney World that the group says is killing its members' businesses.

    In a letter to OIA Executive Director Bill Jennings, the Greater Orlando Livery Association asserts that the airport is violating its own rules with unfair business practices that benefit Disney World and threaten hundreds of car-for-hire businesses.



    "I'm not sure how the aviation authority could not have seen this coming," said Larry Colleton, an attorney for the association. "[Magical Express] has had a direct and negative impact on small businesses that perform ground transportation at the airport."

    Jennings did not return calls Monday for comment.

    With Magical Express, introduced by Disney in May, tourists with Disney hotel reservations get free rides to and from the resort and the airport.

    The service also transfers tourists' luggage from their airplanes and takes it directly to their hotel rooms.

    About 5,000 people have used the service daily since it started, a Disney spokesman said.

    One of the major points of contention for the livery association is where Magical Express employees are stationed inside the airport terminal. The "greeters," who wear big, white Mickey Mouse gloves, are on the third floor, where they are supposed to direct those with Magical Express reservations to the buses.

    But the livery association says those employees are also soliciting Disney-bound tourists who did not reserve the service ahead of time, meaning they have far greater access to potential customers than other transportation services, which are banned from the third floor.

    Face-to-face solicitation of travelers by car and bus services is strictly prohibited inside the terminal, Colleton said.

    Mike McKenzie, a car-service owner and member of the livery association's board of directors, said the group had several people pose as travelers without Magical Express reservations who then approached the glove-wearing employees.

    "We were solicited by the representatives on the third level," McKenzie said. "That's a violation right there."

    A Disney spokesman said Magical Express does not violate any airport policies.

    "Disney's Magical Express is offered to all of our hotel guests on a complimentary basis and has established a world-class standard of convenience for tourists," spokesman Jacob DiPietre said. "Our arrangement with the airport is not exclusive, and we have not violated any of the terms of our agreement."

    Airport officials met twice with livery association members in July to address concerns about the Disney service, but a third meeting in August was canceled. Colleton, the attorney, asked Jennings to reschedule that meeting in the letter.

    "There is great concern the subject contract will provide Disney with a monopoly," Colleton stated in his letter. "There will be less and less competition because more and more small businesses who make up GOLA [the livery association] will no longer exist."

    McKenzie said four car-for-hire companies have gone out of business since Magical Express began service.

    His business, Wheels to Wings, has cut back from six employees to three. "It was a tough summer," he said. "We basically had cars parked for a good part of the summer."

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/...owth-headlines
    :crazylegs


  • #2
    Re: News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

    interesting. They had Mears Shuttle (which is now magical express) didn't it affect it before?

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    • #3
      Re: News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

      well mears charged you like $30 rt, i think



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      • #4
        Re: News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

        So do they also have a problem with other hotels/resorts that offer a complimentary shuttle from the airport to their location..... or are they just complaining because it is "Disney"?

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        • #5
          Re: News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

          Originally posted by devkxl
          interesting. They had Mears Shuttle (which is now magical express) didn't it affect it before?
          I think Disney just contracts with Mears. Mears still exists as a separate entity. When we went to WDW last year, we didn't really have a choice of who we used. We just stood in line for the next cab available. I guess this eliminates people from standing in those lines.

          At one point, wasn't Disney talking about building a monorail from the airport to the resort?

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          • #6
            Re: News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

            They're complaining because Magical Express is up on the third floor "directing" its guests... but also soliciting business, which they can't do on the third floor. Of course, they probably have issues with it existing at all, but they're attacking what they can attack. If Disney is actually soliciting business, I could see their argument, but what I think I'm missing in this equation is this: is Disney soliciting people who pay for the service, or are they just making sure that all hotel guests are aware that this service is already included in the cost of their hotel stays?

            Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...


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            • #7
              Re: News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

              I guess it depends who employees the greeters. If they are Disney employees, I guess the argument could be made that they are just making sure the guests realize the service is free. It they are Meyers employees, then the trip isn't really free. Disney is just paying the cost.

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              • #8
                Re: News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

                Originally posted by HMFan
                So do they also have a problem with other hotels/resorts that offer a complimentary shuttle from the airport to their location..... or are they just complaining because it is "Disney"?
                It's Disney, it's sooooooo much larger than all those hotels and it takes away a much larger percent of buisness than those other hotels, but yes they are unhappy it's Disney.

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                • #9
                  Re: News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

                  Originally posted by Morrigoon
                  They're complaining because Magical Express is up on the third floor "directing" its guests... but also soliciting business, which they can't do on the third floor. Of course, they probably have issues with it existing at all, but they're attacking what they can attack. If Disney is actually soliciting business, I could see their argument, but what I think I'm missing in this equation is this: is Disney soliciting people who pay for the service, or are they just making sure that all hotel guests are aware that this service is already included in the cost of their hotel stays?
                  Well I don't see how Disney could be "soliciting" business when Magical Express is FREE. I could see the problem if they were like... "hey take our Disney Magical Express, it cost like 10 dollars less then everyone else." But they aren't. I just came back from a trip a week ago and stayed at the Poly and everytime I called Disney to verify something they made it a point to talk about Magical Express, so its not like those booking a trip don't know about it. If anything it seems shady on the part of the limo/car people, they know that it is free for resort guests, but they don't want Disney directing people to the Magical Express area, in hopes that they will get filtered their way and pay the over-inflated prices.

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                  • #10
                    Re: News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

                    If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I hope they don't change anything, because DME is a great service. It's fast, it's free and it works. I'm sure even if it weren't free most people would still choose this over cars or other shuttles. The reason these people are attacking it is because it is 'Disney.'

                    Oh, and HMFan, I agree with you.

                    -Michael
                    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

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                    • #11
                      Re: News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

                      That's my whole point. If they're just letting guests who might not be aware know that the shuttle is availible and free to them, fine. On the other hand, if there's a paid option for non-hotel guests and they're soliciting that, THEN I could see the argument.

                      Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...


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                      • #12
                        Re: News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

                        Magical Express is only available to guests with reservations in a Disney Resort. The service is free during the Happiest Celebration on Earth. after that there will likely be a charge that has yet to be determined. Mears Shuttle is contracted as the bus service for Magical Express.

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                        • #13
                          Re: News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

                          I think that DME is a great idea! I know that it benefits Disney, but it also saves money for the guests. I can see that it is cutting into the other services, but that is what competition is about.

                          Mears was not the most enjoyable part of my trips to WDW. They were the cheapest way to get to WDW, but it was not very pleasant. I had to check in and then go to my bus all pushing two large bags around. Bus exhast was everywhere. It was also slow. Mears was the worst part of the trip.

                          I have not used DME yet, but the thought that I don't have to worry about my luggage and get to my hotel faster, I am thrilled.
                          Jiminy Cricket Fan
                          .................................

                          Love Disneyland and Walt Disney World!

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                          • #14
                            Re: News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

                            We used Mears in 03 and were not happy at all with it. I agree that since Disney is not soliciting non hotel guests, the argument in moot.



                            Delta Mu Chi Alpha ΔΜΧΑ

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                            • #15
                              Re: News article Airport urged to halt Disney shuttle

                              Originally posted by askmike1
                              It's fast, it's free and it works.
                              He he. Well, it's free. I'd dispute the fast part.

                              Comment

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