How To Get From The Orlando Airport To Disney World

In 2022, Disney’s Magical Express, which offered free shuttle service between the Orlando International Airport and Disney World hotels, was discontinued. So, now all guests starting and ending their Disney World vacation at the Orlando airport need to find their own transportation.

Luckily, there are lots of options! You can still opt for a traditional shuttle experience, use a rideshare service that you’re familiar with, rent a car, or pay a little extra for a taxi (including Disney’s taxi-like service). Plus, a brand new transportation offering could be coming soon that would get you to the most magical place on earth by train!

Disney’s Riviera Resort entrance

We know that deciding how to get to Disney World from the airport is another task on your vacation planning to-do list, so we’ve got an overview of them all to make choosing the best service for your family a breeze!

MEARS Connect

If you didn’t know, MEARS was the shuttle bus company that Disney contracted for Disney’s Magical Express when it was available. And, when the contract between the two came to an end, MEARS introduced its own shuttle service — MEARS Connect.

MEARS Connect Bus

The standard MEARS Connect service is almost identical to what was offered with Disney’s Magical Express, minus the Disney decals that decorated the motorcades and Mickey cartoons. You get off your plane, head to the MEARS Connect pick-up area at the Orlando airport, load your luggage into the shuttle (they do not offer luggage delivery to your Disney hotel room as of now), hop on, and get taken directly to your Disney hotel with minimal stops at other hotels to drop off other guests on the way.

MEARS Connect is the only shuttle service from the Orlando airport and Disney World hotels that is available around the clock, 24/7, and they guarantee no surge pricing, limited boarding wait times (usually no more than 20 minutes), onboard entertainment, friendly drivers, wheelchair accessibility, and real-time ride updates with new technology.

The big difference between MEARS Connect and Disney’s Magical Express, though? You’ll have to pay.

MEARS Connect

The cost of the standard MEARS Connect shuttle is $32 per adult and $27 per child round trip, or $16 per adult and $13.50 per child one-way. There’s no additional cost for luggage and kids who are under 3 ride free.

Express service is also available with MEARS Connect. The big difference here is that Express service will take you directly to your Disney hotel (and back to the Orlando airport at the end of your vacation), no stops in between! The time savings will cost you more, though — round trip service is $250 for up to 4 passengers and any additional passengers are an extra $55 per person. Just keep in mind that you may still have other families traveling with you as this is not considered a private shuttle service.

MEARS Connect Bus

Whether you’re choosing the standard or express service, you need to book MEARS Connect before your Disney World vacation online. All you’ll need is the Disney hotel you’re staying at and your flight details to complete your reservation! MEARS Connect also services a few additional hotels in the Disney World area, so check to see if you can reserve a ride even if you’re not staying on Disney property.

UPDATE: MEARS has announced that they will be merging with The Sunshine Flyer starting August 1st, 2023. The new transportation service will be called Mears Connect Driven by Sunshine and offer shuttle service between the airport and Disney World hotels 24 hours every day.

The Sunshine Flyer

The Sunshine Flyer is a new airport-to-Disney Resort shuttle service that joined the party shortly after Disney’s Magical Express service came to an end in 2022. It functions similarly to MEARS Connect in a lot of ways, but there are some key differences.

First of all, The Sunshine Flyer is actually a themed shuttle service — not to Disney, but to the cars and trains from the 1920s. The Sunshine Flyer also guarantees that you won’t wait any more than 20 minutes to board the bus and will make it to your Disney World hotel in 65 minutes or less, even with any stops at other hotels before yours.

The Sunshine Flyer

When it comes to how much you’ll pay, The Sunshine Flyer costs $39 per adult and $22 per child round trip, $19.50 per adult and $11 per child one-way. There is no additional cost for luggage and kids 2 and under can ride for free (just note that this only applies if you’re child will be sitting on the lap of an adult in your party). So, all in all, it’s a little more expensive than MEARS Connect.

The Sunshine Flyer also offers private, direct shuttle service to Disney World hotels if you’d prefer not to ride on a motorcoach and avoid waiting for other passengers. There are three options for the direct service that all have varying rates, so you’ll need to select the one that fits your party size best. The sedan accommodates up to 3 passengers and costs $145 one-way or $240 round trip, the Luxury SUV accommodates up to 6 passengers and costs $145 one-way or $290 round trip, and the Sprinter Van accommodates up to 10 passengers and costs $160 one way or $320 round trip.

Note that this is a private service (unlike MEARS Connect), so you won’t be riding with any other families and you’ll have some more premium customer service. Your driver will meet you at baggage claim, help you with your luggage, and then shuttle you to your hotel. So, it may be worth the extra cost for you!

The Sunshine Flyer

When you’re making your travel plans, it’s important to keep in mind that The Sunshine Flyer is not a 24/7 shuttle service. The shuttles only accommodate guests with flights that arrive starting at 7AM and the last bus to leave the airport is at 11PM. And, you’ll need to make your reservation for the shuttle online at least 4 days in advance of your travels. Just be sure you have the name of the Disney hotel you’re staying at and your flight information before logging on to book your shuttle.

UPDATE: The Sunshine Flyer has announced that they will be merging with MEARS Connect starting August 1st, 2023. The new transportation service will be called Mears Connect Driven by Sunshine and offer shuttle service between the airport and Disney World hotels 24 hours every day.

Rideshare Service or Taxi

Uber, Lyft, Taxis, and other rideshare programs are also available to get you between the Orlando airport and your Disney World hotel! These are essentially the same as MEARS Connect Express Service and The Sunshine Flyer Private Shuttle Service in that there’s virtually no waiting for your ride at the airport and there are no stops extra stops on the way to (or from) your hotel.

These rideshare services can be a great option for those who are already used using the services regularly — you know your way around the app, know what safety precautions to take, and have a general idea of what it might cost. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to find the Uber and rideshare pick-up location at the airport and load your own luggage into the car.

©Nurphoto Via Getty Images

The biggest thing to remember when it comes to using rideshare services is that you need to select a car that will fit all of the people in your party PLUS your luggage. Luckily, most rideshare services offer a variety of options at different price points to fit your needs. For example, UberX is the cheapest option (usually averaging about $61 roundtrip) but only accommodates up to 3 passengers, and UberXL is pricier (about $83 roundtrip on average) but can take up to five passengers.

Of course, rideshare services operate with more of a “whatever is available” car inventory. So, you won’t know exactly what kind of car is picking you up until you’re at the airport waiting for it to arrive. Additionally, Uber, Lyft, and other services can be subject to surge pricing at random times which can make it more difficult to predict the actual cost of your roundtrip.

Look for the rideshare pick-up signage at MCO! ©Orlando International Airport

Taxis, on the other hand, offer a bit more consistency when it comes to customer service and guarantee that there will be a car there ready to take you to your hotel if you schedule in advance. Other rideshare services like Uber do allow you to schedule a ride in advance, however, they do not guarantee that a driver will accept your request even if it is made well in advance.

And, don’t forget that no matter what rideshare service you choose, you’ll likely want to factor a tip for the driver into your cost.

Minnie Van Service

NOTE: At this time, Minnie Vans have returned to servicing guests on Disney property, but rides between the Orlando International Airport and Disney World are not available. Stay tuned for updates on when this service will return.

Prefer to catch a ride with a service that is actually owned and operated by Disney? Check out Disney’s Minnie Van Service! Minnie Vans are Disney’s version of a rideshare service and can be accessed and booked through the Lyft app. The shuttles are decked out with polka-dots (like Minnie — get it?), fit up to 6 people (and up to 2 car seats which are complimentary), and are driven by a Cast Member, so you can expect the full Disney experience for the price you’re paying.

Minnie Vans can get you anywhere in Disney World!

Speaking of cost, there is an additional fee to use Disney’s Minnie Van Service to get around. In general, you can expect to pay about $155 plus a tip for a one-way trip between the Orlando airport and your Disney World hotel. Be sure to check the Lyft app or contact Disney for the exact cost before you book your ride as this is subject to change.

Accessible Minnie Van ©Disney

The steps to book a Minnie Van to take you from the airport to Disney World are a little different than if you’re in Disney World and ordering up a ride. To make your Minnie Van reservation from the Orlando International Airport, have your flight information on hand and call (407) WDW-PLAY. Reservations can be anywhere from 6 months in advance up until 11:59PM the night before your arrival.

Just keep in mind that Minnie Vans only operate between 6:30AM and 12:30AM daily, so you’ll need to be sure that your flights work with that schedule.

Rental Car

If you want some flexibility in how you get around Disney World, then renting a car at the Orlando airport and driving to your Disney World hotel is an easy win. With access to your own car, you won’t have to rely on Disney transportation throughout your stay and you’ll be on your own schedule — no worrying about when you need to be at the shuttle pick-up locations to get to your hotel or the airport on time!


Plus, it can be easier to find deals on rental cars, and Disney no longer charges an overnight parking fee for guests staying at any of the Disney hotels. So, you might find that renting a car actually costs you LESS overall than rideshare services or shuttles.

Brightline Train

Now, this one isn’t available just yet, but it’s still worth mentioning because it is in the works! 

Perhaps the most anticipated transportation service to take guests between the Orlando airport and Disney World is the Brightline high-speed train. The Brightline train has been under construction in Florida for quite some time now and is set to begin service from South Florida to the Orlando International Airport in 2023. That being said, plans are being made for the track to extend beyond that to the touristy areas of Orlando.

Brightline Train ©Brightline

Originally, the plans included a stop at Disney Springs. But, it’s looking more like there will just be a Brightline station somewhere near Disney Springs instead. Of course, this could change yet again before plans are finalized, but — no matter what — you’ll only be able to get to (or near) Disney World using the Brightline Train, not your Disney World hotel.

The expansion of the Brightline Train past the airport isn’t expected for another few years, though, so TBD on this one!

Brightline Train construction ©Brightline

So, there you have it — all the different ways you can get between the Orlando International Airport and your Disney World hotel! Each option has its pros and cons, but they’ll all do the job. Of course, we’ll be keeping an eye out for any new transportation services that become available and will be sharing our best tips and tricks for finding the best deal so that your ride doesn’t break your Disney budget, so stay tuned to The VacationEAR!

Trying to figure out your Disney World vacation budget? CLICK HERE to see how much it costs to stay at a Disney World hotel in 2023!

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