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.