The Magical Express Airport Bus has been in service since 2005 and has become a popular incentive for guests to book the Walt Disney World Resort Hotel for their stay in Orlando. But Disney provoked the ire of many fans when it announced in January 2021, in the midst of a coronavirus change, that the bus would only be in service for one more year and would cease operations on the 1st. January 2022 would stop.
Official Disney Statement:
Vacationers have more transportation options than ever before, including carpooling, which saves time and provides more flexibility to go where they want, when they want. In light of this change, when the Disney Resort opens in 2022, we will no longer offer Disney Magical Express transfer service to the airport.
Throughout 2021, we will continue to provide new and existing reservations at Disney Resort hotels for incoming guests. In addition, Walt Disney World Resort continues to offer free transportation – bus, monorail and Disney Skyliner – to and from the four theme parks.
Orlando Airport to Disneyland How to survive without Disney’s Magic Express
Last stop of the Magic Express (Photo: Delza)
What does this mean for customers who have previously relied on this service? You’ll be happy to know that there are many other ways to get to Walt Disney World from the Orlando airport. Unfortunately, for visitors whose main motivation for using Disney’s Magical Express was a free shuttle to the airport, the main difference is that they will now have to pay no matter which way they choose to go to the station.
We’ve listed below the most reliable and convenient ways to get from Orlando Airport to Disneyland, Universal and other stations.
Orlando Airport Taxi: Take a taxi, Uber or Lyft from MSO to Disney World
Regular fare: $40 from Orlando Airport to the Grand Floridian Resort at Disney. $35 at the Cabana Bay Cabana Beach Resort in Orlando.
Duration of the trip: 25 minutes
We live in London and we travel a lot. So we are used to using carpooling applications like Uber and Lyft in countries around the world. Many people are reluctant to use carpooling services, but in our experience we have found Uber and Lyft to be very good, competitive and safe, especially from Orlando Airport to Disneyland. You can also use Walt Disney World Resort’s Lyft to get from one park to another.
To use Uber and Lyft, you must have an application on your smartphone. If you are from the UK, I recommend you download the application before you fly and set up all your payment details. Orlando International Airport has an excellent free wifi connection (it’s actually one of the best airports in the US!), so you won’t have any problems booking a taxi once you land. Once your vehicle is confirmed, you will receive a message with the number of the loading bay where your taxi will be waiting for you. Follow the signs just before the airport gate on the arrival hall level. Wait to order your Uber/Lyft until you’ve passed security and packed your bags, as the cars won’t be waiting long. If you have a lot of luggage, you might have to ask for an Uber XL (which is more expensive).
TOP TIP: If you are traveling with young children, they will need a car seat to travel in an Uber or Lyft vehicle. You can request a car seat through the application, but most drivers will only carry one car seat. We travel with our own car seats. In this ticket, we discuss traveling with a baby carrier and the rules and regulations in the United States.
NOTE: We have ordered Uber cars from the United States that are not as smart as those in London and other cities. A car I called in had graffiti on the side…. Again, we’ve never had any problems using Uber in the US, but you have the right to cancel the car for appearance or safety reasons and you can request not to be charged by the app.
Transfer from Orlando Airport: Transfer to Disney World and OrlandoHotels
Price: Transfers from Orlando to Disneyland cost about $39 for adults (12 and older) and $30 for children ages 4 to 11. The trip is free for children up to 3 years old. Tips of $4 to $10 per person are common in the United States, especially if you have a lot of luggage.
Duration of the trip : Average of 75 minutes
Many people are saddened by the Disney Magic Express stop, but there are other bus transfers from Orlando Airport (MCO) to Disney World, including one from Mears, the company that operates the Magic Express.
The main disadvantage of using the Mears shuttle (or any other shuttle company) is that transfers can be painfully slow, many hotels have to be stopped, and in some cases some customers stay on the bus for nearly two hours. However, it is an economical and convenient option if you have children who need car seats, large suitcases, more than one car at a party, or if you are in a wheelchair*.
*More information on transfers is available below.
Rent your own car
To do in orlando Image: passportamtam.com)
Price: Free of charge, with your car rental contract
We discuss this topic at length on pasortstamps.uk, and it’s worth reading our two highlighted sections: Do you need a car in Orlando? and everything you need to know about driving in the US before you decide whether you should rent a car in Orlando.
Having your own car gives you some freedom during your stay in Orlando and solves the problem of getting from Orlando International Airport to your hotel. All major car rental companies are located at the airport (on the same floor in the ground transportation area) and picking up a car at MSO has always been one of the easiest places in the world. I highly recommend booking the car before you fly to save money and make sure you are properly insured.
One of the disappointments is that the queues to pick up your car can be quite long, as many flights from the UK all arrive at the same time. However, once you have a car and all your belongings are packed, this is the fastest way to get from the Orlando airport to Disney World, Universal Orlando and other hotels, resorts and villas.
TOP TIP: Bring cash (including coins) when passing through a toll road and some kiosks only carry coins. The toll may only be 75c, but if you drive by without paying, the fine is $50!
Arrive in style (Image: Janeen)
Price: From $170 to $400 depending on your vehicle and lot size.
Duration of the trip: 20 minutes
For something that is both very extra and very American – but also offers better value for money – you can book a limousine transfer from Orlando Airport to Disney World. If you’re traveling from Europe, the term sedan in the United States doesn’t just refer to the hip-hop-style long cars of the 1990s. Private SUVs (4×4), city cars and especially stretch limousines fall under the term sedan.
Surprisingly, for medium-sized groups (4 to 10 people), a private car service can be a better option than a bus transfer. The driver will personally pick you up after receiving your luggage and carrying a card in your name. Don’t you like it? You get help with your luggage and arrive much faster than a shuttle – even Disney’s Magic Express!
Below is an estimated limousine price guide (per car) for a round trip from Orlando Airport to Disneyland, Universal and Kissimmee Resort, plus tips and any additional fees.
Luxury SUV (4 adults, plus luggage) : $170 – $190
Deluxe minivan (5 adults, plus luggage. Useful if you have excess luggage or are traveling with a stroller, gold bats or other oversized bags): $175-200 round trip, plus tip and any additional charges.
Full-size pickup truck (capacity of 10 adults) : $190 – $230
Stretch limo service (up to 8 adults): $255-$390, plus tip and any extras such as welcome drinks, flowers or extras.
TOP TIP: Some companies, if organized at the time of booking, will go through the supermarket and make a free 15-minute stop so you can pick up food and supplies for your hotel or villa. However, you cannot stop for free if your flight arrives late or is delayed leaving the airport.
This Orlando International Airport (MCO) link provides a list of cheap shuttles, minibuses, cars and limousines with indicative prices.
Wheelchair accessible airport transfer from Orlando to Disneyland
A NOTE TO THE READERS: I have no personal experience in booking affordable transportation and am hesitant to use them. This site is based on my own research and authoritative blogs such as rollingwiththemagicblog.com, curbfreewithcorylee.com and wheelchairjimmy.com
Mears Transportation is the leading shuttle and affordable transfer company from Orlando Airport to Disney World. The company can provide wheelchair accessible cars, buses and trolleybuses and wheelchair accessible taxis. There are also wheelchair harnesses and restraint systems, as well as lifts and ramps to access vehicles. If you need an affordable shuttle between Orlando Airport and Disneyland, Universal or other hotels in Orlando, you must make reservations at least 24 hours in advance. However, if you have any problems, Mears offers ground level shuttle service in each terminal.
Price: Affordable Mears taxis for most Disney, Universal and Kissimmee stations cost between $50 and $70, depending on traffic and tip.
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