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How to Travel To Walt Disney World From Orlando Airport in 2023

How to Travel To Walt Disney World From Orlando Airport in 2023

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Are you heading on to Walt Disney World and need to figure out transportation? Find out how to travel to Walt Disney World from Orlando Airport now that Disney’s Magical Express is no longer an option!
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If you’re traveling to Walt Disney World and were planning on using Disney’s Magical Express, you’ll need to find a new way to get there.

Don’t worry, we’ve got all the information you need about other Disney transportation options like Mears Connect, Uber, and hotel shuttle services.

We know it can be difficult to travel with kids, but we want to make sure your trip is smooth and stress-free. That’s why we’ve gathered all this information for you so you can choose the best option for your family.

We want your vacation to be as magical as possible, so make sure to read this post before making any decisions about how to get from Orlando Airport to Walt Disney World.

Keep scrolling to find out how to travel to Walt Disney World from Orlando Airport.

Don’t have time to read a bunch of Walt Disney World blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Disney World with kids.

Want to Save Money at Walt Disney World?
Check out Get Away Today for the cheapest Disney World packages that include hotel and tickets.

Want to Rent a Car in Orlando?
One of the best places to rent a car in Orlando is Expedia because they usually have the cheapest rates and fantastic customer service. Check rates here.

Transportation from Orlando Airport to Disney World

Getting to Walt Disney World from MCO isn’t as easy as it was just a few months ago.

Until this year, guests at Disney World resorts had the ease and security of Disney’s motorcoach service.

The Magical Express was a streamlined way to get guests from the plane to their rooms. With mobile check-in added to the mix, the whole potentially daunting process of getting to your room after a long day of travel was made even simpler.

Image of 3 teens holding stuffed Mickey Mouse Dolls at the Orlando Airport

Sadly, those days of Disney transportation were not meant to last forever. Guests had to lug their own bags onto the motorcoach for a year after Disney World reopened. Then suddenly Disney announced that starting in 2022, the whole service would end.

Without Disney’s Magical Express, you must consider other Orlando airport transportation options to get to your resort hotel.

If this is news, you may feel outraged. You may also just be numb to all the ridiculousness by now as inexplicable decisions like this keep happening.

The whole purpose and impact of Disney’s Magical Express was to keep guests on property longer. Without it and other perks Disney ended, there is nothing to keep guests from wandering to other less expensive resorts.

All that aside, when you’ve booked a Disney trip, it’s now more important than ever to know your Orlando airport transportation so you can know how to get to Disney World from the airport in 2022.

How Walt Disney World Bookings Have Changed

Booking a Walt Disney World trip is a lot different than it used to be. If you haven’t been to the resort in a few years, some differences may throw you for a loop.

If it’s your first time, not so much, although If you’ve done any blogger research or seen videos pre-2020 things will look very different than you expect.

For a quick summation of the difference in booking, there is no meaningful time window for dining reservations and no Fastpass+ reservations.

Image of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom
Photo credit: Sees the Day Photography

Although dining reservations once needed to be made 6 months ahead of your arrival, this is no longer the case. Now, you can make dining reservations 60 days ahead of your trip.

Fastpasses– now called Lightning Lane— can only be selected on the day of your admission into a park. Park admission must be reserved through Park Pass prior to entry. A ticket alone will not guarantee you entry at any park on any day.

On top of this, You can get a MagicBand or MagicBand+, but you have to pay for it, although everything is done on your phone, so it is no longer necessary.

These are all massive changes to the way a Walt Disney World vacation used to be done and it all starts with a major shift in how you handle the Orlando airport transportation to your hotel. T

here are a few options since Disney removed their complimentary service. You can either use Mears Connect, rideshare or rent a car.

Mears Connect — The New WDW Motorcoach

If you don’t recognize Mears, it’s essentially Disney’s Magical Express. It’s the same company Disney used for their service and the exact same motorcoaches.

If you want your transportation to feel similar to vacations past, then this is the way to go.

It’s going to cost extra this time, but there is no other alternative that does what Magical Express did at the Orlando Airport. You can choose between Standard and Express and get pricing info here.

How to Book Transportation with Mears Connect

Booking your Orlando airport transportation with Mears Connect is easy. Simply choose which service you want. Standard will suffice, although express is a nice option if you are willing to spend a little bit more.

Once you take your pick, Mears prompts you to enter your resort drop-off and pick-up locations as well as your flight info for both arrival and departure.

In addition to the dates and times of these flights, Mears also needs to know the number of adults and the number of children 3-9 years old.

Make sure you account for your bags and any wheelchairs in your party. You will also be able to specify whether you want round trip service or just service one way.

Once you enter all your information, including your flight numbers, you will be taken to pricing and payment options. You cannot book or price your trip without accurate flight details.

Alternatives to Mears for Orlando Airport Transportation

If you want to skip the motorcoach option altogether and favor a more direct route, you can always call an Uber, or rent a car.

Car rentals are relatively inexpensive in Florida, but you will want to take into account parking fees and car seats if you need them. Uber can also be a good route if you don’t plan to over-rely on the service during your stay.

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    The Pros and Cons of Uber for Orlando Airport Transportation

    Uber can be pretty inexpensive at Walt Disney World if you need to use it to get from one end of the property to the other in a hurry.

    Sure, Walt Disney World still has plenty of complimentary transportation options, but they can take a while to use and you may want to do more with your time. Uber is easy-to-use, prompt, reliable transportation that lets you decide where to go.

    The cons of using Uber are the shifts in pricing. It can be a pretty costly trip to get to your hotel from the airport. Also, if you use Uber, you will need to either continue to use it or rely on Disney’s public transportation throughout your stay.

    The Pros and Cons of Renting a Car

    Renting a car adds more convenience in some ways and less in others. When you drive, you have to park the car and deal with getting to the park and then back to your car again if you can find it.

    You also have to pay for parking virtually everywhere you go, not to mention filling up the tank before returning.

    Image of a Chevrolet steering wheel with someone driving.

    When you drive, you also have to put up with traffic in a place you are not familiar with. That can be frustrating and even cost you valuable time.

    On the plus side, renting a car gives you the freedom to come and go as you please. It may even save you some money on off-property shopping and dining if you are so inclined.

    Non-Disney Hotels with Shuttle Service

    Speaking of off-property there are plenty of good hotels off and even on-property that are not owned by Disney. They may have their own shuttle service.

    Some of these hotels are eye-opening as to the value you can get by staying at a hotel without the Disney branding.

    Some on-property hotels that are much cheaper than Disney hotels include Waldorf Astoria, Hilton, the Walt Disney World Swan, and Walt Disney World Dolphin.

    Orlando Airport FAQs

    How far is Disney World from Orlando Airport?

    It’s about 17 miles away and it takes less than 20 minutes to get there by car.

    What’s the best airport for Disney World?

    The nearest Disney World airport is Orlando Airport (MCO). Many people refer to it as the “Walt Disney World airport” because it’s fairly close and it’s where the majority of Disney goers fly into.

    Is there an Orlando Airport shuttle to hotels at Disney World?

    You’ll have to check with your individual hotel if you’re staying off-property. On-property Disney World resorts don’t have a complimentary airport shuttle anymore. You’ll have to arrange your own transportation.

    Is there a free shuttle from Orlando Airport to Walt Disney World?

    Disney’s Magical Express used to be a complimentary shuttle service between MCO and Walt Disney World Resort hotels, but the service ended on January 1, 2022. There are no other free shuttles, but there are several paid options.

    How much does it cost to take a taxi or rideshare from the airport to Walt Disney World?

    The cost of a taxi or rideshare like Uber or Lyft typically ranges from $35 to $50 one-way, depending on traffic and the specific location within Walt Disney World.

    Can I rent a car at Orlando International Airport to get to Walt Disney World?

    Yes, there are several car rental companies located at Orlando International Airport. Renting a car can be a convenient option if you plan on exploring areas outside of Walt Disney World during your trip.

    Should I book my transportation from the airport to Walt Disney World in advance?

    While taxis and rideshares don’t require advance booking, it is generally recommended to book shuttle services, car rentals, and any other transportation in advance to ensure availability and possibly secure better rates.

    Orlando Airport Transportation Options Wrap Up

    So now you know how to travel to Walt Disney World from Orlando Airport. You also have a few other options for getting there, including Mears Connect, Uber, hotel shuttle services, and renting a car.

    If you’re looking for more information on the theme park or are curious about where else in Florida is worth visiting then be sure to check out our other blog posts below.

    Looking for more Walt Disney World travel content? Check out our posts about 5 Biggest Walt Disney World Mistakes First-Timers Make, Food Allergies at Disney World, Walt Disney World Packing List Essentials for Summer, and A Walt Disney World Hotel for Every Budget.

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