Updated 9/16/18. The majority of us unfortunately don’t live down the street from Walt Disney World. Luckily, there are a variety of airport options that are all within an hour’s drive of the Happiest Place on Earth. Planning your Walt Disney World transportation options well in advance can help you save time and money.
Once you’ve arrived at Walt Disney World, there are many options for getting from park to park and back to your hotel. With choices in the air, on the ground, and in the water, you’ll be able to make memories every step of the way for your Walt Disney World transportation.
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The best part is that we’ve done all the research for you! Use this guide to find the best option for you as you’re planning your Walt Disney World vacation.
And here we go!
Walt Disney World Transportation
Orlando International Airport
Distance from Walt Disney World: 30 minutes
The Orlando International Airport is one of the most popular choices for those going to Walt Disney World. It offers Disney’s Magical Express, a complimentary shuttle to select Walt Disney World hotels. This is the only airport that offers this Disney-sponsored service which allows you to bypass the luggage claim and even takes your luggage straight to your hotel room, so your vacation can start early. Plus, there are a variety of shops and restaurants, including a Disney Store, so your vacation doesn’t have to end when you leave the parks to go home.
Orlando Executive Airport
Distance from Walt Disney World: 40
The Orlando Executive Airport provides pilots and those flying business jet with two runways that are open 24 hours a day. While this choice isn’t quite as close as the Orlando International Airport, it’s the more central choice if you’re hoping to take advantage of other Orlando offerings or are there for a business trip. Plus, it offers complimentary shuttle service to different locations in the area.
Orlando Sanford International Airport
Distance from Walt Disney World: 1 hour
The Orlando Sanford International Airport is the furthest choice from Walt Disney World, but it claims to be the simpler, faster, and better choice to competing airports. If you’re visiting Walt Disney World from an international location, this may be the best choice for you. Plus, some of the cheaper airlines fly into this airport, so it might be your most economical pick.
Kissimmee Gateway Airport
Distance from Walt Disney World: 30 minutes
The best part of the Kissimee Gateway Airport is that it’s the closest of all the other surrounding airports to Walt Disney World. It offers a complimentary shuttle service to your hotel. It also features a golf course and Warbird Museum that you can check out at the end of your trip while you’re waiting for your return flight.
Transportation to Walt Disney World Resort
Once you’ve landed, your top priority will be getting your family and your luggage to Walt Disney World as quickly (and safely!) as possible. There are several options for your Walt Disney World transportation.
Disney’s Magical Express
Cost: Free! If you’re utilizing luggage service, the recommended tip is $1 per bag
Advantages: Cheapest option, carseats aren’t needed, service operates 24/7, luggage transport options available
Disadvantages: Service is only available for those staying at select Walt Disney World resort hotels, service can be slow
If you fly into Orlando International Airport, you can take advantage of Disney’s Magical Express. This is a complimentary service that takes you from the airport to select Walt Disney World Resort hotels and delivers your luggage, all for free. To reserve a spot on this shuttle, you’ll want to call (407) 939-1936 as soon as you have your travel plans.
Cost: $25 for one way
Advantages: Carseats are provided, wheelchair accessibility is available, drivers are conversational and kind, vans are modern and comfortable
Disadvantages: Service currently only available from Deluxe Disney World Resort hotels
Minnie Vans have become one of the easiest ways to get around Disney World, not to mention how cute they are. This service is offered through Lyft. Drivers were chosen from the best Cast Members at Walt Disney World, so your experience is sure to be personal and comfortable. Minnie Vans provide a cohesively magical experience, so your vacation will start the second you buckle your seatbelt.
For more information regarding how to take advantage of this service, check out our article here.
Uber and Lyft
Cost: Between $30 and $60 for one way, plus a recommended tip of $1 per bag if the driver helps you with luggage
Advantages: Carseats are available with UberFAMILY option, direct transport leads to minimal travel time
Disadvantages: Reservations aren’t required, minimal waiting time
Both Lyft and Uber at Disney World are extremely easy to use and provide for a simple way to navigate around the Walt Disney World Resort. Whether you choose a Disney World Uber or Lyft you will have a much simpler transportation experience than if were to take a taxi or even use a rental car at Disney World.
Check out our complete guide on Uber and Lyft for all the information you’d ever meet to know in order to utilize the services here.
Cost: Around $70 for one way
Advantages: Easy to find, reservations aren’t required, transportation time is minimal
Disadvantages: Expensive option
Taxis are the best option if you’re looking for a direct ride to your destination. If you have any stops to make or want to buy groceries, the driver can take you there, though you will pay for the time he is waiting. The obvious advantage to taxis are their convenience, but you’ll definitely pay for the ease of the experience which is a factor to consider for your Walt Disney World transportation.
There are a variety of shuttle services available to choose from. Below, you’ll find review of a few of our favorites.
Mears Shuttle Bus
Cost: Not including tips, a roundtrip ride will cost adults $37 and children $28. Rides for babies are free. Suggested tip is 15-20%
Advantages: You don’t need to make a reservation, shuttles are running all day
Disadvantages: Service is slow, carseats aren’t provided
This is the company contracted by Disney for their Magical Express service, but if you aren’t staying at a Walt Disney World hotel, you can still take advantage of their shuttles by working directly with them. You don’t technically need a reservation, but we recommend making one just in case.
To grab a spot on one of these shuttles, simply find the Mears travel desk at the airport and arrange for a spot on the next shuttle. While there, make sure to also arrange a pick-up time for your return trip. If you do want to make an advanced reservation, you can do so on their website: http://www.mearstransportation.com
SuperShuttle Shared-Ride Van Service
Cost: Not including tips, a roundtrip ride will cost adults $36
Advantages: Shuttles are smaller so you won’t have to make as many stops, deliveries to individual hotels are available
Disadvantages: Service can be slow and delays are common, reservations are required
SuperShuttle is the largest shared-ride van service offered. If you’d like a direct delivery to the door of your hotel, this is for you! While smaller shuttles mean fewer riders and thus, stops, the personalized delivery can often lead to delayed pickups and waits of over 90 minutes.
If you’d like to use SuperShuttle, you will need to make a reservation in advance on their website: https://www.supershuttle.com
Cost: Varies, expect around $150-200 for a weeklong trip for a standard-sized car plus parking fees, tolls, and gas
Advantages: Maximum flexibility, minimal transport time
Disadvantages: Expensive option with added fees
If you’d like maximum flexibility during your trip, car rentals are the obvious choice. They’ll give you the freedom to go where you want, when you want. If that is your style, it’s something to consider for your Walt Disney World transportation needs.
While car rentals are a popular options, navigating through all the options can be tricky. Lucky for you, we’ve assembled a definitive guide to make Walt Disney World car rentals easy and simple. You’ll be able to check it out here.
Transportation Within the Resort
Essentially any spot in Walt Disney World is accessible by air-conditioned buses, which stop in a variety of locations. Bus service from hotels begins 45 minutes prior to park opening and ends one hour prior to park closing. Return service to hotels ends two hours after park closing. Buses run in twenty-minute intervals. There is space for both strollers and wheelchairs. It’s important to note that some routes may require you to transfer buses or transportation types. If you need help finding the quickest itinerary, ask a Cast Member and they can help you plan this option for your Walt Disney World transportation needs.
Byfar the most scenic transportation choice, water taxies and ferries travel between Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs and a variety of Disney World hotels. Routes run in 15-30 minute intervals. There is space for both strollers and wheelchairs. Service can be affected by inclement weather, so at any given moment, water transportation may not be an option. Make sure to plan ahead for your Walt Disney World Transportation needs.
Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, and several Disney Resort Deluxe hotels are accessible by this famous sky-high transportation option. There are three separate lines that run simultaneously: the Resort Monorail, the Epcot Monorail, and the Express Monorail. Service begins 30 minutes prior to resort opening and ends one hour after park closing. Strollers and wheelchairs are both allowed. For some Disney fans, riding the monorail is a must for their Walt Disney World transportation plans.
If you’d rather have more control over your day, consider renting a car through The Car Care Center, which is near Magic Kingdom Park and offers services of National Car Rental and Alamo Rent-A-Car. You can even arrange for a complimentary shuttle service by scheduling a pickup time and waiting outside your resort hotel. Parking is $20 a day, but the fee will allow access to park at any of the four parks. Standard parking at the water parks, Disney Springs, and at your Walt Disney World hotel is free. If you run into any problems, the Car Care Center also offers automobile repairs and roadside assistance. For more information, call (407) 824-0976.
Planning Your Walt Disney World Vacation
The very best way to book your Disney World resort vacation is to create a travel package by working with a travel agent.
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More Disney Hotel Planning Help
We are currently expanding all of our Disney World planning guide content here on MickeyVisit.com. Check out the links below to help guide you in your Walt Disney World vacation needs. Don’t forget to subscribe to our FREE Deals Newsletter to stay on top of the current planning tips, strategies, and deals.
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