There are so many ways to get from the Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World. With options like Uber, Minnie Vans, and Rental Cars, what are the perks of going with a shuttle bus service? Mears Connect Driven by Sunshine is the staple shuttle bus servicing Disney World Resorts, Good Neighbor Hotels and select Orlando Hotels. But is a shuttle bus transportation option right for you? Check out everything you need to know about cost, time, and booking. Read on for our full review!
There are many ways to get to and from Orlando Airport when traveling to Walt Disney World. While you could also grab an Uber or rent a car, taking a shuttle bus is sometimes the easiest. Mainly because all you have to do is show up with your luggage at a designated time, and find a seat. As such there are many things out of your control, which can be both good and bad. For instance, you don’t really have a say in how you long you wait for the bus, or how long the bus takes to get you where you’re going.
That said, if you’re looking at the Shuttle Bus to Walt Disney World option, there is really only one to consider. Mears Connect Driven by Sunshine. Mears Transportation is the only 24-hour shuttle servicing both A/B and C Terminals at the Orlando International Airport ( MCO). Offering transportation to and from Walt Disney World Resort Hotels, Good Neighbor Hotels, and select Orlando Hotels. Mears Connect is Fully wheelchair-accessible and ADA-compliant for both standard and express services. And offers guaranteed 24/7 service.
Mears Connect is an easy way to get between Walt Disney World and Orlando International Airport. Simply make a reservation, wait for the email that states your arrival window to board the bus, and go. It’s important to note that you are responsible for collecting your luggage from the baggage claim, before checking in for the shuttle.
How to Book the Mears Shuttle for Disney
To book Mears Connect, start by visiting the Mears Transportation website to see what option you want to purchase. Choose your preferred service, standard or express, and add your flight and resort information. You can change this information if for some reason your flight or resort gets changed, but it is important that they have the most accurate information so they can plan for your arrival and departure.
Can I Book the Mears Shuttle at Disney Without a Reservation?
Yes. If by chance you decide you want to book Mears Connect at the last minute once you’ve already arrived at the Orlando International Airport, then you can do that too. Reservations are not required. And the process is pretty simple. Just head to Mears Connect Kiosk at the airport to set up your ride. OR you can head to the set of screens near the Mears entrance and touch the screen to get started. At this screen, scan the QR code, put in all of your information and you’re set to go! You can also head to the Mears Connect Reservation Page to get your reservation started.
Where is Mears Connect at Orlando Airport Located?
Mears Connect is located on the ground floor, Level 1, of the Orlando International Airport. Simply follow the signs once you’re in the airport to the ground floor. You can find Mears Connect located at both the A/B and C terminals. For guests who remember the Magical Express bus, Mears Connect is in the same place. Just head to Level 1 and you’ll see the signs for the service as soon as you step out of the elevator, or step off the escalator.
Can I bring Food and Drinks on the Mears Connect Shuttle?
Yes! You are allowed to have both food and drink on the Mears shuttle. So don’t worry if you’ve missed your morning coffee in the race to your vacation. You can simply grab Starbucks on the way to the bus. There’s one located on Level 1, that you pass on your way to the Mears Check-In Kiosk.
How to Check-In at the Mears Shuttle for Disney
Once you’ve arrived at the airport, head to the baggage claim and collect your luggage. After that, you’ll head down to level one, B side, and check-in at the Mears Transportation kiosk. There is also a self-service kiosk for those who wish to check themselves in. Or you can check in with one of the attendants at the desk.
Get in Line
Once you share at which Disney Resort you’ll be staying, the staff person instructs you towards the correct lane for your resort. You’ll be in line with fellow Disney travelers, most likely going to your resort. While these lines aren’t long, Mears does state that the wait can sometimes be up to 20 minutes depending on several things like time of day, other passengers, time of year, etc. Once your bus is available you are directed to your bus or shuttle and can hand off your luggage to the driver.
Luggage on Mears Connect
Mears Connect buses have a large storage area for luggage under the bus, as well as small open overhead bins for smaller bags and items you’ll bring onboard. You aren’t supposed to bring carry-on luggage onto the bus, so just hand that off to the driver stowing the luggage.
Mears Connect Coach Amenities
As you can see from the pics, Mears Motorcoach buses are pretty nice! With plush seating, overhead lights and fans, armrests, and footrests, it has everything you’d expect from a shuttle bus headed to Walt Disney World. That said, these buses are missing a few things. Our recent travels have revealed that the buses don’t have cup holders or USB ports. So, be sure to charge up your devices for the ride ahead of time.
Mears Connect Onboard Entertainment
One of the things we love most about bus shuttle transportation is that you can just sit back and relax while someone else drives. And sometimes you even get a little entertainment added to the mix. With small televisions across the coach, you can sometimes see cartoons, or trivia to help pass the time. We love this as a throwback to the good old days and it’s a great way to start your vacation.
What Time Does Mears Connect Pick You Up at the Resort?
Be sure to check your email for details. 24 hours prior to your departure, you will receive an email from Mears stating the time that you will need to be ready to be picked up for your ride to the airport. This time is typically 3 hours prior to your flight. While this may seem generous, and cut into your last day at Disney, it is simply to accommodate for traffic and lines at the airport.
Where Does Mears Pick Me Up at the Resort?
On your Disney Departure Day, Mears Connect picks you up at the resort’s “airport shuttle” location. You’ll note this area is designated by a sign. You can also check with Bell Services if you’re unsure. So gather your family and your luggage and head to the airport shuttle signage that is in front of your resort at the time they stated in the pickup email, and they’ll have you on your way.
How Much Does Mears Connect Shuttle to Disney Cost?
Mears Connect has two different types of service. For their standard service, expect to pay $16 per adult and $13 per child, one way. For faster service, Mears Connect also offers an Express Service. Express Service costs $250 for 4 passengers and $55 per additional passenger. Express Service is only available as a round trip currently. Keep in mind that since Mears Connect is a per-person charge it may be cheaper to go with an Uber, Taxi, or Lyft if you have more than 4 people. For example, 2 adults and 2 children would be about $120 round trip for Disney transportation with Mears. Families that are larger than 4 people, may do better just hailing an Uber.
How Long does Mears Connect take?
Mears Connect states that passengers will be picked up and on their way to their destination within 20 minutes. From the Orlando Airport, the amount of time it takes to get to your Disney resort depends on how many other passengers are onboard the bus with you, and what stop your resort is located at. We stayed at the Swan Reserve when we took Mears Connect from Orlando Airport. We were the last stop, with four other resorts on our route. The passengers at the first stop had about a 45-minute bus ride, and we, at the last stop, had about an hour and a half bus ride.
Mears Connect Express service takes you directly to your destination. So although it’s more expensive, it’ll save you a bit of time. It’s not necessarily considered “private” transportation, but Express Service does guarantee that you’ll be dropped off first.
Does Mears Connect go to all of the Walt Disney World resorts?
Yes! Mears Connect travels to all of the Walt Disney World resorts and most Good Neighbor hotels. You can check out the Orlando Hotels that Mears Goes To list for all the current properties serviced.
Does Mears Connect Go to Good Neighbor Hotels?
Here is the complete list of Good Neighbor Hotels serviced by Mears Connect.
- B Resort & Spa
- Four Seasons Resort
- Gaylord Palms
- Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace
- Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
- Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs
- JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek
- Orlando World Center Marriott
- Shades of Green
- Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
- Waldorf Astoria Orlando
- Wyndham Grand Orlando
- Wyndham Lake Buena Vista
Can I Cancel the Mears Connect Reservation?
Yes! You can cancel your change your Mears Connect trip as long as it’s 24 hours before you are scheduled to use the service. After 24 hours, you can still cancel the service, however, you will not be refunded for the trip.
Is Mears Connect Worth it?
There are a lot of factors to take into consideration about whether or not Mears is worth it to you. Since there is no longer free transportation between Walt Disney World and the Orlando International Airport, you have to pay for some type of transportation anyway. If you have a larger party, the cost can add up. But Mears Connect also offers a sense of safety and comfortability that something like Uber may not.
That being said, it can be quite expensive when compared to something like Uber or Lyft. Rates for rideshare services can vary based on demand and availability, but generally, a ride from Orlando airport to Walt Disney World will cost you between $40-$65. And it is a much faster option to go with one of these choices. It really depends on what your priorities are. And don’t forget, there are other options than just Mears and rideshare services. So if you don’t love the idea of Uber, but aren’t sold on Mears Connect either, you have other options available. Here’s how you can get from the airport to Walt Disney World without the Magical Express.
Mears Transportation Review
Overall, we did enjoy Mears Connect. Did we wish there were still the Mickey cartoons on the bus when we arrived at the most magical place on Earth? Of course, we did. But the bus was safe, clean, and comfortable and got us where we needed to go without too much hassle.
Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .