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How to Get to Your Disney Resort with No Magical Express

For those of us that have been traveling to Walt Disney World for years, we have grown used to the easy and free transportation provided by Walt Disney World from Orlando International Airport and our Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

Magical Express was a free shuttle service that used to not only take Guests from MCO to their Walt Disney World Resort hotel but also collect luggage and delivery it magically to Resort hotel rooms for Guests.

Magical Express

When Walt Disney World started welcoming Guests back in 2020, Magical Express was still available but luggage delivery was not.  This made sense as limited contact with Guests’ luggage was the goal.

Then it was later announced that the whole Magical Express service would be discontinued starting on January 1st, 2022.  This means that Guests now traveling to Walt Disney World need to determine how they are going to get to their Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

We are going to break down some of the top options for Guests to choose between so they can make the best decision for their families.

Our first two options are very similar to Magical Express; however, they now cost money.

mears-bus
Credit: mears-bus

Mears Connect

Mears is the company that actually used to run Disney’s Magical Express so this now pay-to-use is almost exactly the same as Magical Express.

Mears Connect offers two options for Guests to choose from when it comes to their services.  Standard shared uses the motor coach buses or vans and Guests will rideshare with other Guests.

Premium Express is a direct option for Guests that would have limited wait although private is not guaranteed.

Cost:

Standard:  $32/adult and $27/child round trip

Express:  $250 (up to 4 passengers) with an addtiaion $55 fee for more than 4

Tipping:  $1-$2/bag

Car Seats:  not needed on the motor coaches and as this service is guaranteed (might have a van) the only way to guarantee a car seat is to bring your own

Meet-and-Greet Service:  not available, you check in and are directed to your transportation

Grocery Stop:  not an option

Transportation Time:

Standard: 2-3 hours from landing to you get to your Resort depending on how long the lines are at MCO when you arrive.  Buses go to multiple resorts just like Magical Express.

Express:  45-90 minutes depending on luggage and lines at the airport

Pick-up/Drop-up Options:  Mears Connect only does transportation to and from MCO and Walt Disney World Resorts and a few other nearby resorts.

sunshine flyer
Credit: sunshine flyer

Sunshine Flyer

Sunshine Flyer is another motor coach option from Orlando International Airport and the Walt Disney World property.  This service isn’t 24 hours like Mears Connect and typically runs between 7 am and 10 pm depending on the time of year.

The fun part of these motorcoaches is that they are themed to trains making it a super fun experience for little ones.

Cost:

Round Trip  $34/adult and $25/child (3-8) round trip

Tipping:  $1-$2/bag

Car Seats:  not needed on the motor coaches but kids can be secured with a 3-point harness in each seat

Meet-and-Greet Service:  not available, you check in and are directed to your transportation

Grocery Stop:  not an option

Transportation Time:2-3 hours from landing to you get to your Resort depending on how long the lines are at MCO when you arrive.  Buses go to multiple resorts just like Magical Express.

Pick-up/Drop-up Options:  Mears Connect only does transportation to and from MCO and Walt Disney World Resorts and a few other nearby resorts.

Taxi

Getting a taxi is always an option from Orlando International Airport.  As you don’t make a reservation for this, you might have to wait to get one; however, at the airport that usually isn’t an issue.

Cost:

Standard:  $70 one way

Tipping:  $1-$2/bag as well as 15-20%

Car Seats:  You can request this but again might take a little bit to find a taxi with on

Meet-and-Greet Service:  not available, you check in and are directed to your transportation

Grocery Stop:  you can request a stop; however, keep in mind that you will need to pay the driver for that time

Transportation Time:  as this is a direct service, your travel time will be limited.  Keep in mind however that the airport is not next door to Walt Disney World property so you will still have a drive.

Pick-up/Drop-up Options:  Taxis pick up and drop up from most places

Lyft Logo
Photo Credit: Lyft

Uber/Lyft

A popular option is the use of rideshares from Orlando International Airport to the Walt Disney World property.

Cost:

Standard:  $35-$140 depending on service and serge charges

Tipping:  $1-$2/bag as well as the 15 to 20%

Car Seats:  If you are wanting a car seat, you can look for UberX, Uber Black, and UberXL as they do typically have car seats.  Same with Lyft.  You will need to look at your choices to see if they are available.

Meet-and-Greet Service:  not available

Grocery Stop:  There are two options here that you can choose from.  One is to keep the same driver paying for the time you are in the store.  The other would be to get dropped off at the grocery store and request another driver.  This might be hard with luggage though so keep that in mind.

Transportation Time: as this is a direct service, your travel time will be limited.  Keep in mind however that the airport is not next door to Walt Disney World property so you will still have a drive.

Pick-up/Drop-up Options:  Most locations throughout the area

Car Rental

If you are a fan of driving or like to be in control of your transportation, you can always rent a car when you arrive at MCO.  As we have seen long lines for this service, look into one where you can head out and pick up your car from the lot skipping the desk.

Cost: $70+ depending on how many people you have and your luggage/ tipping is suggested at 20% and some charge for late and early arrivals.

Car Seats:  There might be a fee of $7 to $10 per seat

Meet-and-Greet Service: N/A

Grocery Stop:  you control this

Transportation Time: directly to your destination

Pick-up/Drop-up Options:  N/A

Private Car Service

There are a variety of private car services from Orlando airport so we suggest doing your research and learning about the company and what they offer.

Cost:

Standard:  $35-$140 depending on service and serge charges

Tipping:  $1-$2/bag as well as the 15 to 20%

Car Seats:  If you are wanting a car seat, you can look for UberX, Uber Black, and UberXL as they do typically have car seats.  Same with Lyft.  You will need to look at your choices to see if they are available.

Meet-and-Greet Service:  not available

Grocery Stop:  There are two options here that you can choose from.  One is to keep the same driver paying for the time you are in the store.  The other would be to get dropped off at the grocery store and request another driver.  This might be hard with luggage though so keep that in mind.

Transportation Time: as this is a direct service, your travel time will be limited.  Keep in mind however that the airport is not next door to Walt Disney World property so you will still have a drive.

Pick-up/Drop-up Options:  Most locations throughout the area

These are some of the top choices when it comes to transportation from Orlando International Airport and Walt Disney World.  Take some time to look at what might be the best option for your family.  They all have positives and negatives to using them.  Determine what is important to you and go from there.

 

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