You have scheduled your flights to Orlando International Airport and have booked your Walt Disney World Resort. The next big decision is how you will get from the airport to the magic.
Guests heading to Walt Disney World previously didn’t have to worry about this decision. Disney used to offer Magical Express, a complimentary motor coach from MCO, to the Walt Disney World Resorts. Magical Express was discontinued starting on January 1, 2022. Since this is no longer provided, Guests must determine which method will be the best for their family. This might be a stressful decision if you aren’t aware of all your options.
We want to share some options for getting to your Walt Disney World Resort to help make this decision easier. We aim to share the pros, cons, and overall experience with each choice so you can decide on transportation to your Resort.
For adults traveling to Walt Disney World, a popular choice is ride share. This is going to be the fastest and the most affordable option for a lot of people. Guests can choose to use Lyft or Uber; however, there are also taxis.
Consider ordering your ride share once you have your luggage. That will give you enough time to head outside and find your ride to the magic.
Companies: Lyft, Uber, Taxi, Minnie Van
Pros: Quick as the rides shares are already at the airport waiting for Guests to transfer
Cons: pricing and transportation aren’t prebooked, which means that you might have to wait or find yourself paying surge pricing
Car Seats: If you want a car seat, you can look for UberX, Uber Black, and UberXL as they do typically have car seats. Same with Lyft. You must look at your choices to see if they are available.
Best Fit For: Adults or families that don’t need car seats
Pricing: ranges from $35-$140
Tipping: 15 to 20% of ride fare
Transportation Time: as this is a direct service, your travel time will be limited. However, remember that the airport is not next door to Walt Disney World property so you will still have a drive.
Private Car Service
Booking a private car service is an excellent option for larger parties or families that want car seats for the little ones. We love this option because Guests can receive help from the driver with their luggage. Having an extra hand can significantly help when traveling with little ones.
When looking at private car services, look for a company allowing a grocery stop along the way. This can be a great way to grab items for your Resort that you might need, such as bottled water or snacks.
There are a variety of different private companies that provide this service for Guests.
Companies: Quicksilver Tours, Away We Go (can drop directly at a Disney Park), Happy Limo
Pros: Car seats for little ones, prescheduled, possible grocery stop
Con: Higher cost
Car Seats: Companies will ask if car seats are needed, might be an additional charge
Best Fit For Larger groups and families wanted car seats/direct to Resort
Pricing: varies per company; check websites for pricing.
Tipping: 15-20% of the fare
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 the Walt Disney World property so you will still have a drive.
Even though Magical Express is no longer available, two companies have entered this role. Mears Connect and Sunshine Flyer provide motor coach transportation to Walt Disney World Resorts from Orlando International Airport.
Mears Connect, the company that used to run Magical Express with Walt Disney World, picked up where Magical Express left off. With longer hours, Mears Connect also has the option of private or shared service. When booking the shared option, Guests will be on a motor coach bus with other Guests traveling to Walt Disney World. With the private option, Guests will ride with their party in a smaller van to their destination. You will want to be specific if you need car seats.
Sunshine Flyer is similar to Mears Connect. This is a trained-themed bus that is extremely popular with little ones. Guests can also book The Sunshine Flyer Direct, but once again, make sure you are clear about car seat needs. This company has slightly shorter hours, so double check your flight arrival time is within their operating hours.
Companies: Mears Connect, The Sunshine Flyer
Pros: Cheaper than private, no car seats needed
Cons: You might have to wait to leave the airport, and multiple Resort stops
Car Seats: not needed on the motor coaches, but can be requested for the private transfers
Best Fit For: Families who don’t want car seats, those on a budget, flexible arrival time
Pricing: Estimated $27-$32 round trip per person for Mears, Mears Express: $250 round trip for four people; The Sunshine Flyer is $24-$39 for shared and direct ranges from $240 to $320
Tipping: $1-$2/per bag
Transportation Time: 2-3 hours from landing to your Resort, depending on how long the lines are at MCO when you arrive. Buses go to multiple resorts.
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 vehicle from the lot skipping the desk.
Pro: control your transportation
Car Seats: There might be a fee of $7 to $10 per seat
Best Fit For Those wanting more control of their transportation, those visiting other areas of Orlando
Pricing: $70+ depending on how many people you have, and your luggage/ tipping is suggested at 20%, and some charges for late and early arrivals.
Transportation Time: directly to your destination
Those are the top options for getting to your Walt Disney World Resort. We hope that this will help with your final decision.