For a stress-free Disney or Universal Studios vacation, let the FREE expert planners at Royal Carriage Vacations take care of every detail including dining reservations, applying discounts, and onboard cruise credit.
As transportation woes continue at Disney World, Guests are noticing mold growing inside the buses. The alternative option, Mears, is really no better as labor shortages continue. See how this will affect your future trip to/from the airport and during your stay.
Disney has had trouble rebounding from the pandemic since it reopened last July. After laying off tens of thousands of workers, the company has had issues hiring new Cast Members. It’s likely the reason why many experiences have yet to return to the parks and why resort capacity is limited.
It also explains many of the transportation issues around the property, which we have covered extensively. A shortage of bus drivers means Disney is utilizing more third-party vendors to transport Guests. Just yesterday the monorail was down, leading to long lines at the bus station and ferry boat.
A new issue is growing (sorry, I had to), and it is causing some serious issues. Reddit user @jivey15 posted some photos of mold growing on the inside Disney’s buses. It appears that this mold is growing on the roof of the bus near the AC vents.
These are the buses you would take going from the resorts to the theme parks and vice versa. You can tell it’s a Disney bus because of the advertisements.
With the humidity levels in Central Florida, mold is not completely unsurprising. However, what is surprising is that Disney has not remedied this situation. The user shares that they spoke with the bus driver and a supervisor at the drop off location. Additionally, they tweeted @DisneyParks to bring this matter to their attention. The user shares this is occurring on more than one bus.
Hopefully Disney will handle this situation as Safety is one of their Keys, and mold can be a serious issue for those with allergies. Wearing masks (which are required on Disney transportation) and using hand sanitizer are other ways to better protect yourself.
The alternative option
While MEARS is the third-party vendor for transportation to/from the Orlando International Airport, they do use special Magical Express motor coaches. These are the nice ones with comfortable seating, plugs, televisions, and a nice wrap on the outside. Recently however, generic MEARS coaches have been utilized for those who are signed up for Magical Express.
I happened to be on one of these buses just last weekend – the buses I assume will be used beginning in January when Magical Express is retired.
My experience was not to the same standard that I am used to. As described above, Disney is experiencing some serious bus driver shortages. The driver I had shared that he was very new and did not have adequate training.
He also had trouble getting from Bay Lake Tower to the Contemporary Resort. I actually had to give him directions even though it’s essentially the same resort.
Additionally, the bus was not in the best shape. It looked worn down, and you could not even tell it was the bus for Magical Express transportation because there was no indication as such. It was a generic white motor coach with no wording or pictures on the outside.
The charging stations also did not work, which is a small inconvenience but does speak to the condition of the MEARS buses.
This is not a complaint on my driver at all. I sympathized with him that they had thrown him into this job with inadequate training.
What is concerning is how Disney is handling the bus transportation in general. With the start of the 50th anniversary, Disney World will be busier than usual for the next 18 months. They should be training their Cast Members better and ensure they have enough labor and supplies for the demand.
There really is no excuse for the condition of the buses. Disney should make that a top priority to remedy the mold situation and ensure it does not occur on other buses. MEARS is a separate company so Disney really has no control over the condition of their buses, but it does speak to the reduced standard Disney has set across the parks and resorts since reopening.
Have you experienced a less than magical situation on Disney transportation? Share your experiences with us in the comments below and on Facebook.