Taxis at Walt Disney World
While Disney has a FREE transportation system at Walt Disney World (mostly buses, but also boats and monorails), occasionally it’s not terribly convenient or can take a long time. Taxis can save you time and improve your comfort level — both of which increase the value of your vacation! I’ve compiled information about Disney World taxis – a fare estimator, the best usage, and general tips below.
If the price of a rental car is expensive at the time you plan to travel, in some cases it will be cheaper to use a shuttle, towncar, van or limo to get to and from the airport, and then use taxis to get around while you’re at Walt Disney World. By using taxis instead of a rental car you don’t have to worry about parking fees, valet tips, car seat rental (most taxi vans at Disney World will provide them for free on request), or accident insurance. Plus, you will be dropped off at the front gate, won’t have to remember where you parked, and your family will not have to climb into a hot car!
Using a taxi is especially terrific if you have little ones and decide to stay late in a theme park to enjoy the fireworks. Instead of rushing out with the crowds after the show and waiting for three Disney buses before it’s your turn, you call a cab and get those tuckered-out kids back to the hotel in a fraction of the time.
Even if you’re staying on property, a taxi can drastically reduce the hassle factor of going out to dinner at Disney’s resorts (including the Hoop Dee Doo Revue and Spirit of Aloha dinner shows), since there is no direct resort-to-resort transportation.
The taxi fare to get all the way across the Disney property should seldom exceed $20 plus tip. To get a general idea, you can use the Taxi Fare Estimator offered by Mears Transportation, which the official provider of taxi services on Disney property. I would advise you to round up: I’ve found fares are often 20% higher or so, and some drivers will take you by the most roundabout routes. Also, note that not all locations at Walt Disney World and the surrounding area are included in the Taxi Fare Estimator. For instance, Disney’s Hollywood Studios isn’t listed (use Epcot, which is close). Neither is Downtown Disney (use Disney Institute) or Animal Kingdom (use Blizzard Beach and add a few bucks).
If you choose to use taxis to get around at Walt Disney World, here are some tips to remember:
- Unless you are desperate, use only the yellow cabs (sedans and vans) with meters! There are different brand names on the vehicles (Yellow Cab, Checker, City or Safety), but they all are yellow and all operated by Mears Transportation, which has an official relationship with Disney. Ask what the approximate fare will be, BEFORE you get in the cab. If it sounds too high, get a different cab.
- All other cabs and vans are “gypsy” (independent) operators operating unmetered vehicles and there have been horror stories about the outrageous fares they’ve charged. One of my readers was charged $40 for a trip from Downtown Disney to a theme park. If you must use one of these operators, negotiate a flat rate for your trip BEFORE you get in the vehicle.
- If possible, have the front desk or valet parking staff at your hotel call Yellow Cab for you. The response will usually be faster than if you call yourself. If you are not staying at a Disney hotel, be sure to specify that you want Yellow Cab, because some non-Disney hotels have arrangements with overpriced “gypsy” cab companies.
- You can also call for a cab directly: the number is (407) 699-9999. This number dispatches yellow cabs from all of the companies listed above. If possible, carry a cell phone with you to call for service when away from your hotel.
- If you are a group of 5 or more, be sure to request a taxi VAN, which has a capacity of up to 7 people and does not cost more than a regular taxi sedan.
- In addition to meter cost of the taxi ride, be sure to budget for a standard tip (approximately 15%) for the driver.