What You Need to Know for Walt Disney World Transportation

Between its four theme parks, two water parks, and more than 25 Disney Resort Hotels, Disney World’s scale is truly massive. Many guests may find themselves caught off-guard when it comes to navigating Disney World’s transportation, and it pays off to plan ahead so that you make sure you’re not losing valuable park time when traveling to and from the parks.

We will walk you through all the transportation options you can utilize between the Disney World parks and hotels, how to get to Disney World from the airport, and what to know about parking.

Traveling From the Airport to Walt Disney World

Once you’ve landed in Orlando, there are several options for getting from the airport to your Walt Disney World hotel:

Mears Connect is a 24/7 shared shuttle service that will take you from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Disney area hotels. It offers two options, Standard and Express (a direct service promising little to no wait). If you utilize Mears Connect, keep in mind that you’re sharing the shuttle with other guests and making several stops, or the shuttle might be a bit behind schedule due to rush hour. If you’re on a tight travel schedule, you might want to consider other options on this list. You can read our full review of Mears Connect which includes details on pricing, where to board, and which hotels Mears Connect services.

The Sunshine Flyer, a bus service that transports guests from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Disney World Resorts. The experience is themed around old-fashioned passenger cars and train locomotives, with the buses designed to reflect this and the staff dressed as 1920s rail conductors and engineers. The Sunshine Flyer services start at 4am and it services flights starting at 7:30AM, and the last bus departs the airport at 11pm. There is also a Sunshine Flyer Direct private service that takes guests directly from the airport to most Walt Disney Resort Hotels. We compare Mears Connect vs Sunshine Flyer here.

Rideshare (Uber and Lyft), which you can utilize via the Uber or Lyft apps once you land for transportation from the airport to your hotel with a very short wait time for pickup. For many, this is the simplest and most convenient way to travel and offers direct transportation to your destination without multiple stops or sharing a vehicle with other parties. The average price for an Uber or Lyft will typically range between $40-60 depending on whether you select a standard ride (for up to four people) or XL (for up to six people) to get from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Disney World. You can read more details in our guide to how to use Uber and Lyft at Disney World. This is also one of the best options for transportation from MCO to Universal Orlando.

Taxis are also an option to get from the airport to your Disney World hotel. You don’t need to use an app for these, they will be readily available at the airport, and they offer the convenience of direct transportation and minimal waiting time. However, keep in mind that taxis are typically more expensive than rideshare options.

Rental cars will be available at the airport, which provide you with the ability to get to your destination more quickly. This is a good option to consider if you know you’ll be taking day trips and traveling to places outside the Disney World hotels and parks. Out of all the options on this list, rental cars by far give you the most flexibility and can be the fastest option to get you to your destination throughout your trip. You can read more details about renting a car at Walt Disney World in our guide! We will talk more about using rental cars to travel within the resort below.

Traveling Within Walt Disney World

There are various options you can utilize for traveling between the Disney World parks for park hopping and to and from your hotel, from through the air to across the water. For all of the options we will discuss below, the most efficient route to your destination may require a blend of multiple transportation options like bus, walking, monorail, or skyliner. When utilizing Walt Disney World transportation, we advise allotting at least one hour for travel time.

The Disney World Bus System offers buses that run in 20-minute intervals transporting guests around the Disney World Resort area, and folded strollers and wheelchairs are allowed onboard. The complimentary bus service between Disney Resort hotels and Disney theme parks begins 45 minutes prior to park opening and ends one hour after park closing. You can go to the My Disney Experience app under “Transportation” or utilize the Disney World website to see where the various bus stops are and plan the most convenient route for getting to your destination.

Disney World Water Transportation offers ferries and water taxis that provide transportation around the Disney World Resort area. Walt Disney World Water transportation typically runs on 15 to 30-minute intervals, and it allows space for strollers and wheelchairs. EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Disney Springs are accessible by ferryboat from select Disney Resort Hotels. Just like for Disney World buses, you can find more details on Walt Disney World’s water transportation stops on the Disney World website or in the My Disney Experience app.

Minnie Vans, a Lyft-powered ride share service, provide transportation to and from select locations within Walt Disney World Resort. Minnie Van service operates from 6:30 AM to 12:30 AM daily. The cars are comfortable, provide car seats for kids, and feature kind and conversational Cast Members as drivers.

The Disney World Monorail runs three different lines: the Resort Monorail that stops at select Disney Resort Hotels, the EPCOT Monorail, and the Express Monorail. The Resort Monorail and Express Monorail start operating 30 minutes before Magic Kingdom opens and stop one hour after the park closes, while the EPCOT Monorail starts operating 30 minutes before EPCOT opens and stops 2 hours after the park closes.

The Express and EPCOT Monorail start at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) and offer round-trip service to EPCOT and Magic Kingdom park. The Resort Monorail stops at Magic Kingdom park, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). You can read more about the Disney Monorial Resort Hotels that have stops for the monorail inside the hotels in our guide.

The Disney Skyliner offers transportation via aerial gondola to Hollywood Studios and EPCOT from Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort. Check out our guide to the Disney Skyliner with helpful tips and info on routes.

If you decide you’d like to rent a car after arriving at your Disney World hotel, there is a Car Care Center located near Magic Kingdom park offering Enterprise, Alamo or National, and it provides a shuttle that takes guests from their Disney World hotel to pick up a car at the center. This is the most flexible and reliable option that will allow you to get to your destination quickly without needing to worry about having a seat on the Disney transportation options if they are full.

Something to consider if you decide to rent a car is the cost of parking fees. For all of the Disney World parks, parking starts at $25 for standard parking (which is paid once per day and applies to all four theme parks), $45-50 for preferred parking closer to the entrance of the parks, and $30 for Oversized Vehicle Parking. Guests who stay at the Disney Resort Hotels will have standard theme park parking, and at the Disney Resort Hotels, overnight self-parking is complimentary.

For guests with electric cars, complimentary charging stations are available in parking lots across the Walt Disney World Resort and available on a first-come, first-served basis. You can read more details in our guide to Walt Disney World parking.

For any transportation options, make sure to look ahead to find the most efficient route to your destination, or you can ask a Cast Member for assistance. While you should be prepared to carve some time out of your day for transportation during your Disney World trip, it’s worth planning ahead to enjoy the most of a memorable day at the parks! You can read our full guide on Disney World transportation for more details and tips on how to navigate the Disney World area.

At Mickey Visit, we share the most important tips for planning your trips to Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Universal, and beyond. Each week, we’ll share some of our top tips here on Laughing Place.

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Gavin Doyle
Gavin Doyle is the founder of MickeyVisit.com and the best-selling author of “Disneyland Secrets”. Mickey Visit has been featured by Travel+Leisure, ABC, the LA Times, OC Register, Forbes, and more and reaches millions of readers planning Disney vacations each month. Over 100K subscribers receive their free email planning newsletter.