Ouch! Disney Sticks it to Uber, Decides to Partner With Lyft

 

*Uber must be fuming a hearty ‘Well then!’ after Disney, the world’s most recognized theme park franchise, chose to partner with their ride share rival, Lyft. Now families can hail a Lyft Minnie Van to travel throughout the park as they visit the happiest place on earth. And the entire ride will only cost them $20.

“Since we’re all about exceeding guest expectations and making every aspect of your vacation uniquely Disney, we’re creating a new point-to-point transportation service in a way that only Disney can do,” Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts  wrote on the Disney Parks Blog.

The Minnie vans will take park visitors any place they want to go at the Walt Disney World Resort, allowing them to ride in Minnie’s classic style.

Disney had previously announced the program at its D23 Expo fan convention earlier in July, but the partnership with Lyft was only revealed on Monday.

But Lyft partner-drivers, this is no need for you to get happy. Disney,  Disney DIS, +3.86% , will not only own the Lyft-powered vehicles, their employees will be driving them! 

So what will happen is, you will be able to access the service through your Lyft app. Your Minnie Van will be able to accommodate up to six people, and comes equipped with two versatile car seats for the little ones. Handicap-accessible vehicles are also available through the Minnie Van service.

“Playing a part in a family’s experience at the most magical place on earth is a dream come true,” John Zimmer, co-Founder and President of Lyft shares on their Blog.

Of course comments have been flying as to why the theme park giant chose Lyft over Uber. Hey, between you and me, it could’ve been something as simple as timing. The two head of company bigwigs met at some networking event — or even a bar.

“Hey, aren’t you so and so from Lyft?”

“Yes. Aren’t you the head of Disney Theme Parks?”

“That’s me!”

And after talking (and drinking) decided they liked one another.

“Hey, this was cool. Let’s get together again soon. Better yet! We should partner on something!”

Followed by a handshake.

or maybe this is just a nice vision that should’ve stayed in my head.

As we know, Uber is having some internal problems,” said Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services, a management and consulting firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio. “And when you think of a wholesome, family-oriented company, you think of Disney.”

According to MarketWatch, a Disney spokeswoman said that the company decided to work with Lyft because of its popularity and well-established user base. But some say that it was Uber’s recent PR nightmares — including allegations of sexual harassment and a consumer campaign to delete the app based on its actions during a protest against President Trump’s immigration order that helped seal the deal. (Neither Lyft nor Uber returned immediate requests for comment).

Uber denied the accusation and responded to the criticism through a spokesman who told Fortune that the decision to turn off surge pricing was made specifically to avoid profiting from increased demand during the protest. The company has previously made a similar commitment to limiting surge pricing during disasters, after being accused of taking advantage of riders in times of need.

The program is currently being piloted at three hotels in Walt Disney World — Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts.

 

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