Home Disney World Disney World Transportation Continues to Face Problems for 50th Anniversary

Disney World Transportation Continues to Face Problems for 50th Anniversary

Disney World Transportation Continues to Face Problems for 50th Anniversary
Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World has prepared for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” for months. All 4 Theme Parks have received a celebratory overlay, but transportation issues continue to provide a less than magical experience.

Most Magical Celebration

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Mickey and Minnie Mouse will be seen in new outfits and illuminated displays will be seen on all 4 Theme Park icons including Cinderella Castle, the Tree of Life, Spaceship Earth, and the Hollywood Tower Hotel. 

There are great 50th Merchandise Collections that Guests are already excited for. Walt Disney World has also installed 50 golden character sculptures throughout each of the four theme parks. This will be a celebration like none other.

Disney Transportation

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Disney transportation has even received a bit of a magical transformation for this golden anniversary. We have loved seeing specially wrapped buses, monorails, and even Skyliner gondolas. This is such a fun magical way to enjoy this magical celebration.

Guests flying into the Orlando International Airport will also enjoy this magical celebration before even stepping foot on the Walt Disney World Resort property. The terminal train stations feature an overlay with an art display demonstrating the Disney Fab 50 Character Collection.

Check out all of the fun details of this great overlay HERE. The Walt Disney Company has always been know for going over the top in exceeding Guests expectations. They have a way to bring magic to each Disney trip.

Unfortunately, your trip aboard Walt Disney World transportation may be a little less than magical on your future Walt Disney World vacation.

Transportation Shortage

Credit: Disney Cast and Community official Facebook Page

Since Walt Disney World was closed in 2020, there have been a shortage of bus operators. This has led to job postings for bus drivers for Walt Disney World.

During trips to Walt Disney World throughout the past year, I (Donna) saw independent buses used for both transportation from the airport (in place of the Magical Express buses) and also throughout the Walt Disney World Resorts and Parks.

We had all hoped that official Walt Disney World buses would be available for all Guests coming to celebrate this golden anniversary. Unfortunately, our very own Kenny the Pirate shared photos that today independent buses are still in use from Disney Resorts.

Credit: Kenny

What does this mean for your next trip to Walt Disney World? With independent buses also come independent bus operators. We have heard sad accounts of a less than magical journey with non-Disney Cast Members interacting with Guests.

For our family, one of the main reasons we stay on the Walt Disney Resort property is to enjoy the magical “Disney bubble” while on vacation. The use of independent buses infringes on that “Disney bubble” quite a bit.

Independent buses are still operating from Walt Disney World Resorts alongside official Walt Disney World bus transportation.

We are hoping that the search is still underway to secure additional Disney bus operators to allow all Guests an opportunity to enjoy a magical Disney transportation experience.

What do you think of the continual use of independent buses for Walt Disney Resort Guests? Have you experienced independent bus transportation on a recent trip to Walt Disney Word? Do you feel that this affected your overall Walt Disney World Guest experience? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page.

Are you planning a vacation? Reach out to our trusted travel agency sponsor Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Mouse Class Travel!

VIADonna Farmer


  1. They must call Mr. Natter or Mr. Ocock and log complaints to Disney itself to get rid of Mr. Ocock new system that sucks put us back to normal! We are NOT city transit!

  2. Well said! As I stated in a previous post, cast members have told us there are lots of part timers that are not getting hours. Also a previous post of someone who was waiting to be hired….Disney dragging their feet. They don’t want to hire more people because they have to pay them and just let the guest wait!

  3. You sound like a Disney employee, since you have depth of knowledge on this subject. I certainly hope more drivers retired in any event.

    Its not just the guests not wearing masks. I had to report two drivers not wearing masks back in July (we wore ours).

    Why so much training? I suspect Disney would hire people with CDLs, so that should eliminate a lot of the training, bar learning routes and loading of wheelchairs. I would also expect that the higher seniority drivers could serve as trainers as well. This appears to be a management problem, likely caused by Disney laying off its staff.

    “You will never be charged for transportation because it is already paid for in your Disney resort reservation.” Yes, I too remember the days of free fast passes and free Magical Express (that were included in your park ticket and room reservation).

    Like everything else, things have changed under Chepak’s rule. Things are no longer like they were in the past. If Chepak can improve his bonus at the expense of others, it will happen. While I hope bus transportation remains free, your comment about how hard it is to get more drivers (and the use of charters) as well as significant increases in fuel costs (thanks to Biden) both impact profit margin (Chepak’s bonus).

    If he can screw guests that overpay for on property room reservations (elimination of Magical Express), he certainly can screw them over again for the resort bus transportation (staying off property is starting to be a better choice).

    The only question now is when Chepak will start installing pay toilets (or more likely, Lightning Lanes ones such that rich women can bypass long bathroom lines).

  4. As Disney are stopping the free magical express busses from the airport next year anyway I can’t see them taking on new drivers this late in the year.

  5. The reason for the charter buses is because of the amount of drivers that have either passed away or decided to retire to protect their health because of selfish guests not wearing masks(among other reasons). There are not enough trainers yet that can start training the new hires. Training new Disney drivers is a very long process compared to other Disney departments. You will never be charged for transportation because it is already paid for in your Disney resort reservation.

  6. If they start charging fir this and if bus transportation does not improve, I am done! If it becomes more of a hassle to get from one place to another or if I am charged for it tgat will be my breaking point.as stated above we had to wait for 3 independent buses before a Disney bus came that was able to brake my scooter. Annoying!

  7. As a Driver w the company. We have multi driver retired as well. Plus the new system that started in January. It take 31 plus business days to train a new driver to drive guest to and from places. As well as other backstage drving at Magic and Epcot. The longerest drivers has been their from 1980’s.

  8. The real problem isn’t for lack of drivers or busses, it’s the new computer system being forced on the department by incompetent leadership.

  9. Does your comment apply to the hard working, likely part time Disney employee that you are besmirching?

    You clearly have not waited an hour (or longer, at a premium resort — the Polynesian) for a bus recently, which use to be only 15 minutes or so two years ago.

    I don’t think anyone is questioning the hard work by either of the employees. One would think, however, that Disney employees would best serve Disney guests, and that direct employment of these bus drivers would be the most cost effective method.

    Using a contractor allows Disney to minimize their services (to save $$$) while protecting their name (since the slow service is provided by the contractor).

    I still maintain that the objective is to add contractors (and decrease Disney drivers) such that this becomes a pay service, just like the Magical Express.

  10. The worst experience we had back in August with a driver was someone employed by Disney. The best experience was with a contractor.

    Maybe don’t besmirch hard working folks based on who signs their check.

  11. While there in August with low crowds we had to wait for 3 buses to come fir a Disney bus that was able to take my scooter. They really need to rehire the Disney drivers! There are just too many cuts being made for a magical experience. Yes, I do believe in some cases, they may have be having problems hiring people, but we were told by cast members that many that work part time have not been given hours. It appears that Disney is operating as cheaply as possible and sacrificing park goers the “Disney” experience that is disappearing. Not the parks or resorts we are used to visiting. Cast members continue to be great!

  12. It appears Disney Management refuses to rehire past employees and is moving in the direction of using contractors, and this will become a major negative for park guests, and they will not return.

  13. A real problem with the buses is some of them are not handicapped accessible. My daughter and I waited for about 30 minutes for a handicapped bus to go to Magic Kingdom. Four buses stopped at the resort for MK, but none of them were handicapped accessible. Some very nice Mears employees helped us by calling for a special bus.

  14. Chepak will likely start charging the resort guests for park transportation next. The Magical Express was just a test case to see if his idea (charging for services that were once free) works.

    In park pay toliets are next.

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