Disney’s Magical Express service, which transports guests to and from the airport and their Disney hotel, will be ending at the beginning of January 2022.
But, a new service from Mears, the company that currently operates the Magical Express, is set to take its place. Recently, the pricing was revealed for this new service. But, just how does that pricing compare to ordering an Uber to take your family to and from the airport? We’re breaking it all down to find out.
First, we want to quickly discuss Mears Connect — the new service that will essentially replace Disney’s Magical Express. This new service will begin on January 1st, 2022, the same day that the Magical Express service ends. Mears notes that Mears Connect will provide the same “reliable, safe service guests have been using for decades to Disney area hotels.”
There are two different pricing options for Mears Connect: standard and premium.
The standard rate costs about $32 per adult round trip and $27 round trip per child. The standard service is a shared service that will make a limited number of stops. According to the website, it’ll have you on your way to the resort within 20 minutes of your check-in to the reception area.
The premium service costs $200 for up to 4 passengers, and $55 per additional passenger. The premium service is a direct service with limited to no wait time.
Note that these are introductory prices, and are subject to change in the future.
Some Quick Notes
For our searches, we looked at estimated prices for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids, 4 bags) and a family of 2 adults (2 bags). For Mears Connect, we were able to search for trips starting in January of 2022, when the service begins. Specifically, we looked for trips with a pick-up date from the airport of January 6th and a return date of January 10th.
Note that you can/will need to select and input a number of different pieces of information in the Mears Connect page including your drop-off and pick-up locations, airlines, flight numbers, and more.
For Uber, we couldn’t search for rides for 2022, so we just looked for a ride on August 6th (the date we first researched this article) around 10:45AM CT both to and from the airport to the hotel.
Keep in mind that Uber costs can greatly vary depending on the time and date you search for the ride, as well as a number of factors. You’ll also want to take luggage into account. Even if you’re only traveling in a party of 2, if you’ve packed a LOT of luggage, you may need to order a larger car that will fit it all.
The hotel we picked for both rides was Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Alright, let’s get on with our search!
Family of 4
For our first example, we priced out a trip for a family of 4 — 2 adults and 2 children, with a total of 4 bags. The Mears Connect website showed that the standard service round trip price for this would be $118.
If you were to utilize the more expensive, premium service, that would be $200.
For Uber, there were a number of choices available for the trip from the Airport to Disney’s Contemporary Resort, but only some would fit 4 passengers.
Specifically, the Uber XL ($49.86) noted that it would fit up to 5 passengers.
The Black Car Seat ($95.32) could seat 4 passengers, and the Black SUV Car Seat ($110.36) noted that it could fit up to 6 passengers.
This was only for a 1 way ride from the airport to the Contemporary Resort. From the Contemporary Resort back to the Airport, we ran another search to see if the prices would be any different. Again, there was an UberXL that could fit up to 5 passengers ($49.41)…
…as well as an Uber XL Car Seat which could fit up to 6 passengers ($59.41).
Pricing together the cheapest options to and from the airport through Uber would come out to about $99.27 round trip. Keep in mind, however, that this pricing was obtained based on looking at the cars available around 10:45AM CT on August 6th. Pricing for Uber can vary greatly depending on the time of day a ride is obtained and general availability. Whereas the pricing for Mears Connect is standardized.
So, from a pure numbers perspective, Uber is about $19 cheaper than the Mears Connect standard service, and about $100 cheaper than the Mears Connect premium service. But, again, the Uber prices could vary greatly in the future depending on the date and time you search for your ride.
Family of 2
For a family of 2, the Mears Connect standard service price was $64 round trip. The premium service would cost $200 round trip.
In terms of Uber pricing, we took a look at the same pricing estimates from above, but the family would not need to only select larger vehicles. Instead, they could opt for an UberX ($36.94), or an Uber Comfort ($42.57). Or go for more premium options like Uber Black ($85.32), all of which seat up to 3 guests.
On the return trip from the Contemporary to the Airport, again they could stick to Uber options that fit fewer guests like the UberX ($36.97), Uber Comfort ($41.32), or the Uber Black for $92.38.
Altogether, choosing the cheapest options to and from the airport, the Uber cost would be around $73.91, but again these prices can vary.
In this case, the Uber costs are actually just over $9 more expensive than Mears Connect’s standard service, but just about $127 cheaper than Mears Connect’s premium service.
Overall, there are a variety of factors to consider when selecting the car service you need/want. Do you want to go directly to your hotel and not stop at other locations or be seated in a vehicle with other guests? Or are you okay with making a few more stops? When will you be arriving and leaving, and how might your arrival/departure times affect Uber costs?
Would you rather pay for a service with costs that are standardized? Do you need a car seat if you take an Uber? How much luggage do you have? How many are in your party? How much are you willing to spend? All of these factors and more should be considered when deciding what transportation to book.
For some, Mears Connect may be a better and sometimes cheaper option. For others, Uber may ultimately be slightly cheaper (in certain circumstances) or simply more direct/convenient. It will depend on your situation. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more updates and information about Mears Connect and other things that may impact your future Disney trips, and we’ll let you know what we find.
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What do you think of the Mears replacement service? Let us know in the comments below.