Lyft has a big name new partner – Disney Parks, which will introduce on-demand transportation within select resorts as an added hospitality feature for guests. The service will employ Minnie Vans, vans painted in Minnie Mouse trademark dress in committed service to a wonderful dad joke.
The vans will take guests to any destination within Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, and can each take as many as six guests. Each van is also equipped with two child seats for younger family members. The pilot is kicking off with service at Disney’s Boardwalk and Yacht & Beach Club resorts, and the vans themselves will be drive by cast members in full costume (likely without vision occluding full face masks).
Guests of the resort can call the service using the existing Lyft rider app, and the option should appear in the designated service area.
This is another interesting business model evolution from Lyft, which also recently debuted a tie-up with Taco Bell that introduces in-car native marketing, letting passengers add a Taco Bell pitstop to their ongoing trip mid-route. The resort integration highlights Lyft co-founder John Zimmer’s background in the hospitality industry, which Lyft notes in its announcement of the news.
Serving private-run tourist destinations like Disney World is an interesting avenue for Lyft, and should help it position itself as a potential partner as shuttles like these become more autonomous, something that could happen quicker than self-driving on roads, given the more controlled conditions, strict routes and absence of other unpredictable motor vehicles.
Uber’s continued need to focus on core organizational challenges remains an opportunity for Lyft, and unique partner arrangements like this one prove it’s making good use of the time.