If you haven’t heard, Disney’s Magical Express will no longer be available for guests of Walt Disney World starting Jan. 1st, 2022. For a lot of travelers, this presents the question of how to get to Walt Disney World without the Magical Express. Never fear, there are options! Read on to find out how to get to Walt Disney World now that the Magical Express is no longer an option.
How to get to Walt Disney World from the Orlando International Airport
Luckily, Orlando International Airport sees thousands of travelers every day. And all of them need transportation. So getting to Walt Disney World isn’t really that difficult! It may be different than it was before and will require a little more planning than before. But we are here to help you with that! One thing to keep in mind is that for all of these services, the price is constantly changing. Ride costs often change depending on the season, demand, and even time of day, so just be sure to check ahead of time if you’re curious about pricing.
Mears Connect will begin offering shuttles that are the closest thing to Magical Express, starting January 1, 2022. Mears is actually who Disney had contracted to provide the Magical Express. So guests choosing this option will essentially get the same service they did before, it just won’t be free anymore. Their motorcoaches are roomy and comfortable, and they can easily transport your luggage for you. You will need to reserve this ahead of time, just like Magical Express. This will likely be the easiest way to get to and from your resort. Right now, they offer standard service and express service, as well as one-way and round trip fares. You can see pricing for Mears Connect here. Children 2 and under ride for free.
Check out www.mearsconnect.com for a list of all the resorts (both Disney owned, and non-Disney owned) Mears will service on January 1, 2022, and beyond. Please be sure to check back and look out for updates!
The Sunshine Flyer Airport Shuttle
The Sunshine Flyer is a themed airport shuttle that can take you from Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World. The Sunshine Flyer shuttles are a full experience. With a 1920’s rail theme, each shuttle is wrapped to represent a locomotive or passenger car. Even the drivers are dressed to match, as conductors or engineers from the 1920s. You can find pricing for the Sunshine Flyer shuttle service here. Prices are currently comparable to that of the Mears Connect service previously mentioned. And children 2 and under ride for free. The service doesn’t start until February 1st, 2022, but you can start making reservations for your trip now.
Rent a Car to get to Walt Disney World
We’ve rented a car many times from Orlando International Airport. It’s the priciest of the options, but also very convenient. Having a car at Walt Disney World allows you a little more flexibility, and we’ve found in the past that it has also saved us a lot of time. But it will also cost you the most. Not only do you have to pay to rent the car, but you’ll also have to pay to park on Walt Disney World property if you’re staying at a Disney resort.
Depending on the season and how far ahead you book, the cost varies wildly. And I wouldn’t be surprised if car rental prices increase when Magical Express is no longer available due to higher demand. But if you do choose to rent a car, there are many car rental desks available right at Orlando International Airport.
However, if you are staying at a Disney resort for your trip, you won’t have to pay for theme park parking if you do drive to the parks.
Use Ride Hail service to get to Walt Disney World
Probably the most cost-effective, using a ride-hailing service like Uber and Lyft may also be one of the easiest ways to get to Walt Disney World. If you do choose a ride-hailing service, there are a few things to keep in mind. Safety first, always. If you’re a single person arriving late at night, just be smart about using a service like this.
Another thing to keep in mind is price. The price for these services is generally the highest when a plane is deboarding. Many people are on the app looking for a ride at that moment and prices can quickly double. Now that there is no longer Magical Express, no one will magically be getting your bags for you. So if you have checked luggage, we recommend waiting until you actually have your luggage and then requesting your ride. The last time we did this, it actually saved us over $25! There are usually so many Uber and Lyft drivers just waiting near the airport, and we’ve never had to wait more than five minutes for our driver to show up.
Ride prices vary a lot depending on demand and time of day, so keep that in mind when using Uber or Lyft to get to Walt Disney World. As a rule of thumb, I would recommend planning to pay at least $40 one way for Uber and Lyft to get to Walt Disney World. On average, we’ve paid right around $50 one way, but again there are a lot of things that can influence this price. We’ve used Uber many times when traveling to the Walt Disney World Dolphin or Swan and it’s always been very convenient!
Hire a Car
Guests can hire a town car or limo to get to Walt Disney World. The cost of these vary based on the provider and there are many to choose from. If choosing to hire a car, many providers offer the ability to customize the trip to your needs. The ability to add a car seat, or make a quick stop to get groceries are options available to guests choosing this more personalized service. A quick google search can help you find cars for hire in the Central Florida area. Happy Limo is one of the most popular and often has very good reviews. You’ll want to reserve this ahead of time!
Take a Taxi
Taxis are always an option, and even though they’re not really the standard in transportation anymore, they’re still available! They can get you to and from Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World quickly and easily. Just go to the ground level of the airport and look for the taxi line. A lot of the taxis are run by Mears as well, so you can count on a reliable, trusted service.
What is the best transportation option from Orlando Airport to your Disney World hotel?
This really depends on your budget and needs! Not everyone will feel comfortable using a ride-hailing service or will be able to find one that meets their needs. Renting a car might not make sense for everyone’s budget. And Mears can sometimes be a little expensive, especially if you’re traveling with a large party. You can also look forward to the Brightline Railway system coming to Orlando. With promised routes to Walt Disney World and Disney Springs, more options in the next couple of years will be available. Hopefully one of these options works for your next Walt Disney World vacation!