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Monday, April 17, 2017

Disney World is rumored to be rolling out its own on-property version of Uber

Posted By on Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 10:52 AM

On the heels of the new Express Shuttle service, which transports guests from park to park with in-park drop-off and pickup stations, Disney World is launching another new up-charge transit option, and this one might sound a bit familiar.

Guests at Walt Disney World will be able to request private point-to-point transportation in small electric cars driven by cast members. The entire system sounds like a blatant rip-off of private taxi transportation network services such as Uber and Lyft.

In the past Uber has admitted to major demand for the service on Disney property, causing Uber to shift the computer model used to assign drivers to ride requests. In recent years, many high-profile Disney planning sites, such as Touring Plans and WDW Info, have encouraged guests staying at Walt Disney World to use these third-party transit services to more efficiently navigate the massive Disney World resort complex. Using these non-Disney-controlled transportation services also means it’s much easier for on-site guests to plan trips off-property, including to nearby Universal and SeaWorld.

Few details on the new service, which was first reported by WDW News Today, have been leaked, but we do know that Disney is only hiring internally for the program. Eligible cast members must have worked at Disney World for at least a year, have held a Florida driver’s license for at least three years, and be extremely knowledgeable on all things Walt Disney World.

The service comes as new rules regarding companies like Uber and Lyft are currently being debated in Tallahassee. These new rules would block municipalities from imposing taxes or requiring licenses for transportation network companies and drivers, such as Orlando currently does.

It’s believed that the new Disney system is an attempt for Disney to compete with these third-party transportation companies. Disney is known for using underpricing tactics in an effort to hurt competition. This tactic is currently being rolled out at Shanghai Disneyland to stop FastPass scalpers that sell unused FastPasses inside Shanghai Disneyland. There’s no telling if a similar pricing warfare will be used with Disney World’s new internal taxi service or if this will be more marketed as an upgrade from the traditional transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Disney is also working on other major upgrades to its transportation network, including a strongly rumored gondola system linking the Epcot and Hollywood Studio areas.

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