Thursday, August 18, 2022

Transportation From Orlando Airport To Disney World Hotels

What Is The Best Way To Get To Walt Disney World

How to Use Mears Connect Transportation Service From The Airport (MCO) to Disney World Resorts

May 10, 2022, 2:21 PM ·What is the best way to get to Walt Disney World?

With the elimination of the Disney’s Magical Express service between the Orlando International Airport and Walt Disney World Resort hotels, many Disney guests now are looking for alternatives. The company that ran Disney’s Magical Express – Mears Transportation – now offers a Mears Connect service that operates from the same locations in the Orlando airport and at the resorts that DME did. But visitors have several other alternatives, as well.

A new competitor called Sunshine Flyer offers one-way and round-trip service between the airport and Disney’s hotels. And app-based car services such as Uber and Lyft also offer easy connections. So what’s the best option for you and your family?

If you loved DME, you probably will want to consider Mears Connect, which now costs $32 per round-trip for riders age 10 and up and $27 for kids ages 3-9. Infants and toddlers under age three are free as lap riders. I must confess that I am not a fan of DME/Mears, however. Twice, I have been sent to the wrong resort from the airport, despite my best efforts to double check that I am in the correct queue.

If you have three or four people in your party, an app ride will be cheaper than the per-person costs of the buses. Even if you have to order a bigger car through Uber or Lyft, it’s often the cheaper choice.

WDW guests can also use Mears transport for their one-off days at Universal.

Rideshare From Orlando Airport To Walt Disney World

Uber and Lyft are popular and well-known ride-share service options. While they arent complimentary like Disneys Magical Express used to be, you can still catch a ride to your resort hotel without having to worry about renting a cart or paying for parking. A normal rideshare car can accommodate about 4 guests and costs approximately $35 . But you can request a larger vehicle accommodating up to six guests at a higher fee. Check your app for current rates and details. Keep your party count and luggage in mind when you book, and expect pickup times to vary. Weve had a rideshare pick us up within a minute or two and as long as 15 minutes when we arrived early in the morning after a redeye flight.

Rideshare pickup locations at Orlando International Airport are noted on signage by the curb. But please follow the instructions in the app about where to meet your driver. If you cant find your driver, you can always contact them through the app.

How To Get To Walt Disney World From The Airport Now That Magical Express Is Gone

Disney pulled the plug on Magical Express, the free bus service to its resort. Now you have to pay extra to get from Orlando’s airport to Walt Disney World. Here are your options.

By Jason Cochran

As Frommer’s has diligently reported over the past few years, Disney has been doggedly slashing customer benefits in an effort to squeeze more profit out of its parks.

One of the biggest changes is the loss of Disney’s Magical Express, which for 16 years brought arriving passengers at Orlando International Airport directly to Disney resorts. Not only was the service complimentary for guests with reservations at Disney hotels, but it also liberated visitors from renting cars of their own. That was good for Disney, because lacking cars prevented people from leaving the Disney campus to spend money at competitors such as Universal, SeaWorld, and Kennedy Space Center.

Now families who go to Walt Disney World have to add yet another expense to their budgets that Disney used to cover: airport transfers.

Here are the major options.

Also Check: Where Is Walt Disney World

Getting From The Orlando Airport To Disney World

  • Best Car Seats for Travel
  • To be honest, this article is a sad one to write. Disneys Magical Express is coming to an end. After December 31st, 2021, Disney will no longer offer complimentary transportation to Walt Disney World resort from the Orlando airport . This leaves those headed to Florida sorting through transportation options to find a Magical Express replacement. Heres how to get from the Orlando airport to Disney World.

    Embassy Suites By Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Resort


    Location: 8100 Lake St, Orlando, FL 32836, United States

    Family-friendly activities/amenities: This hotel is built for family friendly fun with tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools, basketball and volleyball courts, putting green, and fire pits. Relax at the spa or the complimentary evening reception held nightly. Learn more about the Embassy Suites here.

    Shuttle Details:

    • Reservations and vouchers are required.
    • Please visit the concierge 24 hours prior to shuttle departure.
    • Seating is first come, first serve.

    Complimentary Departures to Walt Disney World Resort:

    7:10 AM Magic Kingdom

    Return Shuttles from other attractions:

    6:20 PM SeaWorld- under green canopy

    6:50 PM Universal Studios Lane 84

    Don’t Miss: What To Do At Disney World

    Renting A Car To Go To Disney

    Renting a car to go to Disney is a good idea if you plan on visiting places outside of Disney, as the cost of using a Lyft or an Uber can quickly add up if youre visiting multiple places such as the outlets, beach, or the Kennedy Space Center. Not to mention, if youre parking at Disney, youll be paying at both your resort and each park you visit.

    Read more: Can I Park At A Disney Resort Without Staying There?

    If youre picking a car up at MCO, head down to Level 1 where ground transportation is. Car rentals are available on this level on both the A and B sides of the terminal. This includes Alamo or National Car Rental, in which you have the option of dropping your rental off at the Car Care Center on Disney property when youre done using it.

    Pros and Cons of Renting a Car

    Honestly, the biggest con of renting a car is that youre always going to be paying more than what you initially signed up for. On my last visit, for example, we ended up paying nearly $400 extra when we got to our car rental facility because there were things they didnt include in their fine print.

    While many websites say that you can rent a car for cheap, many of them will come with hidden fees such as airport fees and fuel charges. Though this will depend on the company you go through, you should always expect to pay more for your car than you think.

    Omni Orlando Resort At Championsgate

    Location: 1500 Masters Blvd, Championsgate, FL 33896, United States

    Family-friendly activities/amenities: The zero-entry family pool allows you to skip the stairs and submerge slowly into the pool as you would the ocean. As parents ease into the pool, children can have a blast in the nearby liquid playground, cooling off under dancing water fountains and a 30-foot spilling water tower. For the ultimate Orlando thrill ride, kids can race to the top of the 125-foot corkscrew waterslide, splashing and laughing the whole way down. Families will delight in a kidtopia of fun! From the lazy river and water tower, to the new kids pool and water slides, wide enough for two, everyone will have a splashing good time. Learn more about Omni Orlando Resort here.

    Shuttle Details:

    Guests enjoy the convenience of complimentary transportation* provided to the Walt Disney World® Resort Theme Parks . Try SeaWorld Orlando for a marine adventure, or get a behind-the-scenes look at the movies when you visit Universal Studios Florida. Beyond theme parks, visitors can enjoy various outdoor activities, world-class golfing, plenty of shopping and cultural attractions.

    *Guests must give 24 hour notice if riding the shuttle transportation to Walt Disney World® Resort Theme Parks.


    Shuttle Details:

    Also Check: How Soon Can I Make Dining Reservations At Disney World

    Taking Mears Connect To Disney World

    Ah, yes, Mears Connect the new transportation service that replaced Disneys Magical Express. As of publication, here are the rates for Mears Connect transportation to and from Orlando International Airport and Disney World:

    • $32 per adult
    • $27.00 per child

    For one-way service, you will be paying either $16.00 per adult or $13.50 per child. Furthermore, guests can opt for Mears Connects express option, which will take you directly to your Disney resort with no wait time. This costs $200 for a family of four.

    Pros and Cons of Taking Mears Connect to Disney World

    The benefit of using Mears Connect is that youre pretty much having the same experience as you would Disneys Magical Express, only now it costs money and you wont have any magical elements on board. However, its still accessible on Level 1 where ground transportation is at the airport, and will still offer luggage handling.

    The con is, of course, paying for a service thats been free since 2005.

    Are You Staying In A Disney Resort Hotel

    How To Find The MearsConnect Shuttle | MCO Orlando Airport | Disney World Resort Transportation

    If you have a reservation for a Disney Resort Hotel, you can take advantage of the Magical Express shuttle that takes visitors from the airport to select resorts for free. This shuttle is the cheapest way to get from the airport to Disney, but unfortunately, this service ends in January 2022.

    Visitors that have new or existing reservations in 2021 can still ride the Magical Express. For those visiting in 2022, there are alternate modes of transportation available that are affordable and convenient. Depending on the number of passengers, hotel visitors can take advantage of several services, including:

    • Uber
    • Car rental services
    • Limousines

    All of these services can take you to a Disney Resort as thats a common destination for those who fly to the Orlando Airport. To schedule your ride using the Magical Express, you can contact a booking agent or select that option when you place your reservation online.

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    How To Get From Mco To Disney World

    With the end of Disneys Magical Express, many vacationers are going to start asking how they can get from MCO to Disney World. You can get to Walt Disney World via Mears Connect, Lyft/Uber, taxi, or by renting a car. We have a breakdown of what to expect with each method of transportation, how much itll cost, and how you can get from MCO to Disney World if youre driving yourself.

    Walt Disney World Orlando

    Your Disney vacation is booked. You have a flight and hotel lined up. You’ve researched top Orlando destinations, created a vacation itinerary and purchased tickets. But have you considered how you’ll get from the airport to your hotel? It’s a question many travelers don’t consider until it’s too late. And there’s a serious lack of simple, affordable and convenient transportation options to get you from the airport to your hotel.

    The Walt Disney World Resort area is located 30 to 45 minutes away from the airport in moderate traffic. Before you arrive, you want to have a transportation plan in place. We can help check out the various transportation options below.

    Recommended Reading: Official Walt Disney World Website

    Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

    : Journey to a place where you can roar like the king of all beasts across the great plains of an African-style savanna. Travel to a Far Eastern kingdom filled with spectacular creatures, from prowling Bengal tigers to the ferocious Yeti. And dive into an underwater stage where your friends from the ocean sing and laugh right along with you.

    Whether you’re shopping to compare prices and find the cheapest deals, or you’re looking for the option that best suits your family, Orlando Shuttle Service can help you find a great solution. We do the research so you don’t have to! Get a free quote today and book the best deal without paying extra fees.

    Smooth Booking And Arrival Transportation

    Disney World is terminating the Magical Express Bus and Extra Magic Hours

    Since we never had problems with Magical Express service , we wanted to give it a fair shake and try Mears Connect out on our first visit after the closing of Magical Express. About six weeks before our arrival into the Orlando airport, my husband booked Mears Connect rides for our transportation to our resort and then back to the airport on their website. He thought it was easy and appreciated that he could indicate we needed wheelchair accessible transportation right on the website and didnt need to make a separate call. After online registration, he received a confirmation email correctly listing all of our details, including wheelchair access.

    The day before our trip to Orlando, we received a confirmation email containing a QR code, and the instructions told us a return trip email would come the same way before our travels home. Once we arrived at Orlando, we picked up our luggage as this service does not include the automatic transfer previously provided by Magical Express. We then went to the same location as the previous departure area and met Mears staff who scanned our QR code from our smartphone and then directed us to the line matching our resort. We confirmed that we would need a wheelchair lift, although that was very apparent as I use a motorized wheelchair.

    Walt Disney World Magical Express buses were reliable and accessible via lift

    Read Also: Disney World Park Hours November

    Mears Connect Orlando Hotel Destinations

    Mears Connect will be servicing Disney area hotels previously serviced by Disneyâs Magical Express as well as other Disney Resort area hotels. We will be providing shuttle services between Orlando International Airport and the Disney Resort area starting January 1, 2022.

    With Mears Connect, you will board a comfortable, spacious, safe motor coach bus, van or car at Orlando International Airport and weâll transport you and your luggage to your Walt Disney World Resort area hotel.

    When you make a Mears Connect reservation, you can begin your vacation the moment you step off the plane. Guests can avoid the inconvenience and cost of driving or finding ground transportation. No expensive car rentals, tolls, gas and parking fees. And, say goodbye to rideshare surge pricing Youâll also enjoy a ride back to Orlando International Airport on the day you check out of your Disney Resort area hotel, just remember to make a round-trip reservation.

    Disney Resort Hotels Serviced by Mears Connect:

    Uber Or Lyft From The Orlando Airport To Disney World

    Your next option is to take a taxi, Uber or Lyft from the Orlando Airport to Disney World. The cost on this one is going to vary based on time of day and your party size. If youre traveling with kids be sure to check out our tips on using rideshare services with littles. Need a car seat? Look under more options for a list of car seat rides available. Prices run roughly $10-15 higher with a car seat. Be aware that availability varies. UberX fits 3 passengers UberX with car seat was exactly $10 more. However, UberXL which fits 5 had no car seat availability over 5 times of me checking.

    The benefit of using one of these services is that drivers are usually very close by with minimal wait times. You can reserve and be in a car in under 5 minutes in many cases. For this reason we recommend checking availability once you land but not booking until you have your luggage in hand and are out the door. Uber and Lyft pickup is located on Level 2 near baggage claim in both terminals . Follow the signs for Ride App Pickup to the end of the curbs.

    Calculate Uber or Lyft cost to Disney without installing an App

    TravelingMom Tip:Pay close attention to the passenger count when reserving both Uber and Lyft. You want to make sure your entire party will fit in the ride you select!

    Recommended Reading: What Parks Are At Disney World

    How Would You Rate Your Vehicles And Your Drivers

    We are the sole transportation company in Orlando that vacuums, washes and inspects our vehicles daily! We only operate the latest fleet of vehicles that are in fantastic condition, and we constantly buy, lease or trade in our vehicles for the latest innovations. Our web site shows pictures of our actual vehicles you can judge the quality for yourself! Without question, our drivers are the best you will find in Orlando we hand pick them for their customer service skills, professionalism and safe driving abilities.

    Airports In Orlando Florida

    Sunshine Flyer vs Mears Connect – Who’s Better, Worth It?

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, TravelingMom may receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.

    First off, we need to clarify airports. The Orlando Florida area has two. Orlando International Airport is the major one and the one that had the Magical Express bus service to begin with. MCO has numerous airlines flying in and out daily to both domestic and international destinations. The Orlando International Airport is roughly 25 miles from Magic Kingdom park. Orlando Sanford Airport is smaller and is roughly 50 miles from Magic Kingdom park. Sanford is served year round by Allegiant Air, Flair and Swoop. Seasonal flights are available from Sun Country Airlines and Surinam Air.

    TravelingMom Tip: released the Disney World 50th Anniversary collection of merchandise online! Some of these limited edition items are selling fast. Check out the full list of items here.

    Well be discussing Magical Express replacement options from Orlando MCO in this post. To learn more about flying into Orlando, check out our full post.

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