Walt Disney World went through a lot of changes due to the global pandemic but some of the resort's biggest changes will last long after the current unpleasantness is a distant memory. Walt Disney World is currently in the middle of phasing out two major programs that have been pillars of the resort for years. MagicBands are being phased out in favor of letting guests use their own smartphones. In addition, Disney has announced that the Magical Express, that transports guests from the airport to Disney World and back will cease at the end of 2021. However, some elements of the Magical Express have already been phased out. Guests will soon no longer be receiving physical confirmation for their Magical Express reservation.
Previously, after booking the Magical Express, Walt Disney World would mail the guest their confirmation, which could then be used when checking in for the Magical Express at the Orlando Airport. However, WDWNT reports that as of July 1, guests will need to either use MagicBands, or MagicMobile, the smartphone equivalent, to check in, as they'll no longer get anything physical in the mail.
This is just the latest step in phasing out the Magical Express. Rather than having the bus service fully function until the day it closes for good, the decision has clearly been made to shut it down in steps. One of the most useful elements of the Magical Express, the fact that guests' luggage would be picked up at the airport and delivered directly to their Walt Disney World hotel room was incredibly convenient, but it's no longer an option. All luggage now must travel with you on the bus.
The fact that Magical Express confirmation is no longer being mailed is a small thing when it comes down to it, but it is just another indication that Walt Disney World is like a senior that just finished finals when it comes to the service. The resort is ready to be done and is just counting the days. We can fully expect that if there are any other uses of the Magical Express that can be cut without making the service useless, it will happen in the next few months.
The good news is that while Disney's Magical Express might be on its way out, a vacuum won't be left behind. Mears, the transportation company that was operating the Magical Express will launch its own service immediately following the end of Magical Express in 2022. While it's unclear just what the service will offer, and it won't be free to guests of Walt Disney World the way the magical Express was, it will likely be better than renting a car.
And these changes likely won't be the end of the road. A Walt Disney World vacation is likely going to look quite a bit different in a few years than it does now. Perhaps new advancements will be introduced that will make visiting the resort just as simple and convenient as it has been, but in most cases we can't even imagine today what those will be.