TMSM Mythbusters: Mickey’s Bus System

Main Streeter Jack replied to a thread with this little gem this weekend “Mears is owned by Disney, it’s named for Mickey Ears.” To which I replied (knowing full well Jack knows the truth) “Thanks Jack you just helped me with my Monday article!” Why am I tackling this mythconception if Jack knows the truth? Because to be quite honest with you, I have seen the same thing said in more than one place by others. 

Job4For those who don’t know Mears is the company who operates the Magical Express buses that take guests to and from Orlando International and Disney’s resorts. Many think that Mears is owned by Disney, or is a part of Disney. Mears Transportation Group is made up of over 950 vehicles (cars, limos, shuttles and buses) and is the largest ground transportation provider in Central Florida. Mear’s serves more than 70% of the passengers leaving MCO and is the only taxi group allowed at Disney Resort taxi stands. This may be where the mythconception that Disney owns Mears comes from.
The truth is this mythconception is busted because Disney doesn’t own Mears Transportation, the Mears family owns it, and they “pay the hotel companies for the right” to be the only cabs allowed at Disney resort taxi stands. They also hold a “private contract with Walt Disney World to operate the Disney Magical Express shuttle service.  The private contract to operate the Disney Magical Express shuttle buses represent about 80 percent of the ground transportation customers going from the MCO Airport.” 


Here is the history of Mears Transportation as provided by their website:
“Paul Mears, Sr. had a vision for a successful business.   Like all great businesses, Mears was built upon a simple idea: provide great customer service – all the time.  He found inspiration from one of his favorite quotes from Socrates, “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.
So, in 1939, he bought three taxicabs and began to run his business with this simple plan.  Along the way he formalized our five core values: respect, integrity, safety, enthusiasm and efficiency. He attracted talented team members and gave them the freedom to do their jobs, and he always listened to our customers, tirelessly working to surpass their expectations. Mears was solely focused on the taxicab business until 1983, when Paul Mears, Jr. saw an opportunity to expand into the shuttle van business.  He purchased 19 shuttle vans and Mears Motor Shuttle has been the Orlando International Airport concessionaire ever since. Bringing the same formula for success his father had created decades earlier, Paul Jr. plunged into the new endeavor with drive and determination.
Just five short years later, Paul Jr. had further expanded Mears into the Luxury Vehicle and Motor Coach business.  Mears became synonymous with outstanding service and a leader in the ground transportation industry. Currently, we operate 70 shuttle vans, 300 luxury vehicles (sedans, limousines, SUVs, and vans), and 220 motor coaches.“
So while the mythconcept that MEARS stands for “Mickey’s Ears” and that Disney own’s the company is in fact busted, I hope you learned a bit about the Mears family and their companies history tonight!!

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

Michele has 6610 posts and counting. See all posts by Michele


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