Disney World has so much to see and do but how do you get to it all? This might be one of your first questions when you start planning a Disney World trip. Here is your guide to all things Disney World transportation.
First things first! You have landed at Orlando’s MCO airport. You can already tell you are in the house of the Mouse by the signage and airport Disney Store. So how will you get to your hotel?
Disney’s Magical Express:
(Starting in 2022 Magical Express is being discontinued)
This bus will take you from MCO Airport to your Disney hotel.
This service is included in your hotel reservation at no extra cost.
You provide Magical Express your flight details before travel and they will send you a packet in the mail with all the details you need as well as luggage tags to use on your way to Orlando.
Magical Express will pick-up your bags from baggage claim and take them to your hotel for you. So once you check them at your home airport you won’t have to deal with them again until you are at your hotel and they are delivered to your room.
- If you would rather pick them up yourself just leave the yellow luggage tags off your bags, and grab your bags before you board the bus.
- It can be several hours after your arrival that your bags arrive, make sure anything you will immediately need is with you in a carry-on bag.
- If you are arriving later in the evening I recommend you handle your own bags to avoid a 2am knock on your door upon your bags arrival.
Follow the signs all over the airport to the Magical Express area where cast members will check you in and help you get to the right bus.
Then sit back, relax and enjoy the special video welcome and entertainment during the approximately 30 minute drive.
While Magical Express is extremely convenient and free, it can sometimes take a while. The bus might not depart right after you board, or may drop off at a few hotels prior to yours.
I like to allow for 2 hours from the exit of my flight until arrival at Disney World. Arriving any earlier will feel like a bonus, which I have had happen many times.
On your return trip at the end of your stay, you will receive a paper the day before your stay comes to an end with your Magical Express departure time.
For many airlines you can check your bags at the hotel with onsite airline check in. Then you won’t have to see them again until you get to your home airport.
Magical Express will pick you up at the front of your hotel in a designated area.
** Note that Magical Express is only available at MCO Airport **
Uber / Taxi:
If you are looking for a private ride to your hotel consider calling an Uber or a grabbing a taxi at the airport.
There is always the option of picking up a rental car for your stay as well. Be aware that parking at Disney Resorts does incur a nightly charge, this charge will cover your parking at the theme parks as well. While this is likely the most expensive option it does give you the most control and flexibility during your stay.
- Disney Value Resorts: $15 per night
- Disney Moderate Resorts: $20 per night
- Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $25 per night
Getting Around On Property
They are everywhere and they will take you pretty much everywhere. The Disney bus fleet is large and is the most used form of transportation on property.
The newer buses even have Wi-Fi and charging ports.
All hotels have buses that will take you to all of the theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs. Depending on the hotel you might have one bus stop in front of the main building, or serval stops throughout the grounds of the resort.
In front of every theme park etc. there will be bus pick-ups for each resort.
The frequency of buses will vary depending on time of day, with more buses during busier travel times. However, they tend to arrive every 15 – 30 minutes and there are signs at the stops telling you when to expect the next bus. You can even check the bus times for your hotel on you’re My Disney Experience app.
Bus service from Disney Resort hotels begins 45 minutes prior to park opening and ends 1 hour prior to park closing.
Return service to Disney Resort hotels ends 2 hours after park closing.
***Buses will not take you from resort to resort. You would have to take a bus from your hotel to a theme park, then take another bus to the destination hotel.***
There are a lot of ferries around Disney World. Many hotels offer ferry transportation to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, or Disney Springs.
There is also the option to take the ferry from the parking area, Ticket and Transportation Center, at Magic Kingdom to the park entrance.
The Monorail consists of resort stops and park stops.
The resort stops are the Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian.
The park stops are Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
It is the most classically Disney way to travel.
New in 2019 the gondola system connects Hollywood Studios and Epcot to Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, and Riviera.
If you drove from home or rented a car at the airport you will have the option to drive to the parks.
See above for pricing for hotel guests.
Parking at the theme parks is in large lots, be sure to take note of the Disney character or letter that represents your section of the lot.
- Preferred parking: car or motorcycle – $45-$50 per day
- Standard parking: car or motorcycle – $25 per day
- Oversized Vehicle Parking: Shuttle, Limo, Camper Trailer, RV, Bus or Tractor Trailer – $30 per day
These parking prices get you parking for one day good at all 4 Disney parks.
Once parked you can walk or take a tram to the park entrances.
The exception being Magic Kingdom where your walk or tram ride will end at the TTC, Ticket and Transportation Center, where you will need to take the monorail or the ferry to the park entrance.
** If you did drive from home and are having car trouble visit Disney’s Car Care Center for your service needs**
On Site Rental Car:
Many Disney visitors want to take a day of two to see some other Orlando sites.
You have the option of taking Uber or a taxi, there are also shuttle bus services for hire to locations like Universal Studios.
Another option is to rent a car onsite for a day.
You can sign up for a free shuttle ride to Disney’s Car Care Center and pick up a rental car for the day from one of the well know rental companies operating on site, Alamo and National.
The Swan and Dolphin hotels located outside of Epcot and accessible by Skyliner or bus also offer car rental service through Alamo.
You can use ride share to get around the Disney World property. For certain location you would need to look for the designated ride share pick up area but just look at the signs or ask a cast member where that area is.
While Disney World is a vast place you have many options for how to get anywhere you are looking to go. Pick the option that works best for your and enjoy the journey.