Ultimate Guide to Disney World Transportation- Including Tips on How to Navigate Travel at the Resort
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.
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.
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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.
Unfortunately, Disney's Magical Express Service has been discontinued. You can read all the other options for getting to and from the airport below.
Shuttle services between MCO and Disney area hotels with Express & Standard service.
Quick access to Mears Connect once you land.
- An arrival souvenir.
- Limited wait time to board.
- Limited stops to your hotel/resort.
- Entertainment for you and your party while you ride.
- 24-hour service.
This service isn't run by Disney but has happily taken the place of the gap left behind when Disney's Magical Express ends. Read more about Mears Connect on their website.
Mears Connect is a great option for leaving the airport and heading to your hotel but just be aware that there may be other stops on the way. Mears uses the same buses as the Magical Express did along with the same system, you are sharing the service with other guests on their way to Walt Disney World. I don't recommend it for heading back to the airport if you're on a tight schedule. During our last experience using Mears in December 2022, they were late to pick us up from the hotel and we had many stops on the way to the airport which made our airport experience a bit more rushed than usual. I much prefer rideshare (Uber/Lyft) for getting back to the airport so I have more control over when I arrive.
The Sunshine Flyer
The Sunshine Flyer, is a themed motorcoach bus experience that will transport guests from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Walt Disney World Resorts.
- The buses are designed on the exterior to look like old-fashioned locomotives or passenger cars
- Staff will be dressed as 1920’s rail conductors and engineers
- The buses will have entertainment throughout the trip
This service isn't run by Disney but will happily take the place of the gap left behind when Disney's Magical Express ends. Read more about Sunshine Flyer on their website.
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 at Walt Disney World 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.
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.
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.
Update: Minnie Vans return to Walt Disney World on June 29th!
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.
Transportation Within the Resort
Since the size of the Walt Disney World Resort is comparable to a city within itself, there are a number of different transportation options to get you around to the parks and on-site hotels. Guests should expect to devote some time out of their day to transportation around the resort and plan for it accordingly.
The Disney World Bus System
Essentially any spot in Walt Disney World is accessible by air-conditioned buses, which stop in a variety of locations. Traveling by bus at Walt Disney World is by far the most common transportation option that guests utilize.
- Bus service from hotels begins roughly 1.25 hours prior to park opening and ends one hour prior to park closing. (These hours were updated when the resort reopened with COVID-19 precautions. Previously transpiration only began 45 minutes before park opening.)
- Return service to hotels ends two hours after park closing.
- Buses run in twenty-minute intervals.
- There is space for both strollers and wheelchairs.
- Some routes may require you to transfer buses or transportation types.
- No luggage or alcohol of any type is permitted on Walt Disney World Resort buses.
- Bus service to/from Disney Springs operates from 45 minutes before opening until 1:00 AM.
- Bus service to/from the Walt Disney World water parks begins 45 minutes prior to park opening and ends 75 minutes after park closing.
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 or you can view the online bus map on the Walt Disney World website.
Water Transportation at Disney World
By far the most scenic transportation choice, water taxies and ferries travel between the resort hotels and the theme parks allowing guests a fun experience along with convenient transportation. Water taxis and ferries sail to and from Magic Kingdom park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs. Most routes run on 15- to 30-minute intervals.
Magic Kingdom Park
Accessible by water taxi from:
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Ferryboats connect Magic Kingdom park to the Transportation and Ticket Center.
Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Accessible by boat from:
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
- Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
Accessible by ferryboat from:
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort—French Quarter
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort—Riverside
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Routes run in 15-30 minute intervals and allow space to accommodate strollers and wheelchairs. Service can be affected by inclement weather, so at any given moment, water transportation may not be an option. For more information on water transportation at Walt Disney World and to see maps to plan your route, check out the official website.
The most classic and nostalgic of transportation options at Walt Disney World is the monorail. There are three separate lines that run simultaneously: the Resort Monorail, the Epcot Monorail, and the Express Monorail.
The Resort Monorail stops at the following locations:
- Magic Kingdom park
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
- Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC)
The Epcot Monorail and the Express Monorail originate at the TTC and offer express round-trip service to Epcot and Magic Kingdom park.
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.
Disney Skyliner- The Newest Addition to Transportation
This newest addition to Walt Disney World transportation connects some of the most popular Disney resorts to Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
The Skyliner station at Epcot is located a short walk away from other popular Walt Disney World stops such as Disney’s BoardWalk entertainment district, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.
The Skyliner system accommodates strollers and wheelchairs so it is accessible to all guests. You can look at the Skyliner map on Walt Disney World's website to see the travel routes.
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. If you run into any problems, the Car Care Center also offers automobile repairs and roadside assistance. For more information, call (407) 824-0976.
Parking is $25 a day for guests staying off-site, but the fee will allow access to park at any of the four parks. Guests that are staying on-site are able to park for free at any of the parks. Guests also have the option of upgrading to preferred parking to be closer the entrance gate for $45-50 per day. Parking at Disney Springs and at the Walt Disney World water parks is complimentary for all guests.
Guests parking cars at their Disney Resort hotel should be aware that there are parking fees that apply that vary per resort category:
Standard Overnight Parking charges per Resort Category:
- Disney Value Resorts: $15 per night
- Disney Moderate Resorts: $20 per night
- Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $25 per night
Complimentary standard parking is available to Guests staying at the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Each campsite provides parking space for one (1) motorized vehicle.
For more information about parking at Walt Disney World, read through their parking guide on the official website.
Transportation to Universal Orlando From Disney World
Many guests choose to add on a day at Universal Orlando to their Walt Disney World itinerary, which is a wonderful idea, so then you have to figure out transportation! Luckily, Universal Orlando is only about a 20-30 minute drive away from Disney World making transportation pretty convenient to plan for. Here are your main options for transportation to Universal Orlando from Walt Disney World:
- This option will cost you around $20 each way making it $40 total for a roundtrip if you don't need to upgrade to an UberXL for larger groups.
- Rent a Car/Drive
- If you've already rented a car or have our own car with you then this choice makes the most logical sense. You will have to pay for parking at Universal Orlando which is $25 per car for regular parking and $40 per car for for prime parking. Parking after 6PM is free.
- Mears Shuttle
- Mears provides shuttle, taxi, and luxury service to/from Universal Orlando from your hotel. The shuttle service will cost about $23 round trip for each adult and child.
The option you select will depend on the size of your party and desire for convenience. The nice convenience about using rideshare or driving yourself is you can arrive and leave when you want. If you opt for a shuttle service, you will have to stick with their confirmed pick up and drop off times which might not always align with your plans.
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.
We work with Get Away Today, Disney’s travel partner of over 30 years. We negotiated an exclusive rate just for our readers which you can secure by either visiting their website directly and putting your vacation together yourself, filling out our VIP concierge support here (all free of charge), or calling 1 (855) 438-2929 and asking for the Mickey Visit rate.
Plan Your Vacation to Walt Disney World!
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- Discount Walt Disney World Tickets
- Walt Disney World Hotel Reviews
- Toy Story Land Opens Summer 2018
- Disney World Character Dining Reviews
- Uber & Lyft at Walt Disney World
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