It has been a tumultuous existence for the Minnie Van service at Walt Disney World, a point-to-point transportation option owned and operated by Disney that launched back in 2017. A pet-project of now-CEO Bob Chapek, Minnie Vans were Disney’s response to many of their guests choosing not to use the provided, complimentary (and honestly, often unreliable) transportation options Disney provides their guests and instead booking a Uber, Lyft, or similar transportation method to get around The Vacation Kingdom of the World. Minnie Vans were deemed overpriced by most guests, and they were also hard to get when you actually wanted them, like around park opening and closing times. After 3 years of hemorrhaging money, cast members believe the service is being brought to an end.
According to cast members, after having been furloughed since March and expecting that they would return to work soon, their leadership is now suddenly informing the drivers that they “should update their resumes”. Some cast will inevitably be transferred to other departments, but the belief amongst employees is that nearly 200 of them will be terminated.
Disney is claiming the termination of the service is for the safety of the drivers, but the drivers that reached out to us did not seem convinced of this based on the financial performance of the Minnie Vans outside of the premium airport transportation offering. Similar Lyft and Uber services have found ways to continue to operate throughout the pandemic.
The Minnie Van fleet was leased through an agreement with Disney corporate partner Chevrolet and will likely be returned to them soon.
Disney has yet to announce the layoffs or the termination of the Minnie Van service, but it seems likely given the reports from multiple cast members. We will certainly update you as any official information is disseminated.
17 thoughts on “RUMOR: Minnie Van Service Retired at Walt Disney World, Cast Members and Vehicle Leases Being Terminated”
The article is right about one thing, the service was very inconvient to use. Once we wanted to use the service, there 3 or 4 minnie vans waiting in a line and we asked for a ride. We were told we had to use Lyft, they wont just give you a van. Silly. We took a cab from a line next to the minnie vans, paid less and actually got to,use the service. Good idea but badly executed by Disney.
Unreliable? That’s interesting, we have had nothing but exemplary free service by Disney on all our vacations. Just a precursor of Chapeks legacy… :(
And more cutting corners and costs. I wonder what Chapek will do with this extra money, maybe add CGI ghosts to Haunted Mansion and take out the animatronics. But this shows just how greedy and out of touch with the common man he is, that he won’t even reduce the price of his own pet project due to overwhelming complaints about the price and instead gives it the ax. And that’s his pet project, imagine what’d happen to something he never created.
Given the already shaky financial ground of the Minnie Van service (but, in all fairness, the best named ride share of all time), and that Uber & Lyft have seen about a 70% decline in ridership, and concerns from both drivers and guests about COVID-19 safety, it’s not too surprising if Disney cancels this service.
I agree that the bus, boat, and monorail transportation can be flakey at times. But after all these years I just see that as part of the Disney experience and have learned to enjoy it. I build in at least an extra 30-45 minutes over whatever Disney claims as their schedule. Worst case is I get in some extra shopping, or a cup of coffee and a snack!
Can you purchase one of the vans?
I love this question lmao. Could you imagine driving around town in one of these? I totally would! Doubtful about the purchase though, you’d probably have to ask Chevrolet since these were leases. But I’m sure they’d like to get rid of them quickly.
They have removed all the stickers off the vehicles and will be sold at auctions. As a normal vehicle. The program is definitely over.
Never used them. Uber was half the price and twice as quick.
Also heavily under advertised. Why not post information, cost, and phone number at the bus pickup stations? Easy to call when you know you just missed a bus or the time estimate on the wall is unacceptable.
I assume they will not keep the disabled van too? Anyone we can talk to or write about this. It has always been a hassle getting around WDW with the usual transportation options if you are on a scooter or a motorized chair. We are either making everyone wait or the buses can only take two at a time and very often can only accommodate one because one space is already being used. I thought this helped everyone. The boats are difficult to maneuver on and again everyone has to wait longer. Really sorry if this turns out to be true..😔
I would, honestly, just rent a vehicle that has a ramp if you want quicker access to the parks. Maybe park at Contemporary (and this is something that maybe Disney should accommodate) for quick access to MK in lieu of boats or busses. When I drove to Disney 3 years ago overnight, it was so nice to have personal transportation available where we #1 were able to just drive wherever we wanted, #2 our park tickets already paid for the parking, and #3 the convenience. The busses are nice, but there are other, and better, options.
No! We love using the minnie van service! It makes our vacation so much easier.
Well this is disappointing. The Minnie Van service was invaluable to our family. We used it every day and it was fantastic. Price? I’m not comparing it to other options. We budgeted for it and gladly spent it while on vacation. Although it’s hard to justify with occupancy at the resorts so low.
We loved the Minnie vans. Our service has been nothing but perfection. In fact, one time I left my phone in the van and our driver heard us say we were going to the Dino restaurant for dinner and he found me in the restaurant and gave me my phone. Now THATS incredible service!
We used the vans a few times, we have two kids who both need car seats. They were perfect, I never had an issue getting one and they were fast and convenient.
Great for special trips like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or a nice dinner.
My 3 year old thought they were amazing, she posed for photos in front of the van like she was the Queen.
We will miss them.
We used the Minnie Van service a few times when we had a particular reason to get somewhere quickly. It was lovely to get to Animal Kingdom just before opening (without getting up an hour earlier to make sure we didn’t just miss the bus), or getting to a park in time for a dinner reservation, without having to rush. Normally we’re quite happy with the complementary transportation but we definitely found it worth the cost for those particular times. Never a problem with availability when we reserved in advance, and the castmember drivers made it a typically magical Disney experience.
I’m so sad about this. My family loved using the Minnie van service. We found the app easy to use and the service convenient and always a wonderful (and safe) experience. Well worth the price for the time savings and peace of mind.
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