Airport Shuttle Discounts for Disney Vacations
LAST UPDATE: 8/23/21
At both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, transportation from the airport to your hotel is something you’ll have to arrange and pay for yourself, unless you are staying at a Disney owned-and operated resort at Walt Disney World, in which case you will have the option of using Disney’s FREE Magical Express service as long as you arrive on or before December 31, 2021. On January 1, 2022, the Magical Express service goes away, so you’ll need to use one of the various independent options.
One option is to use an airport shuttle — a shared van or bus service that runs at scheduled times between the airport and your hotel. We’ve listed shuttle information and (when available) any airport shuttle discounts and coupons we are aware of below.
In addition to the fees listed below, be sure to budget for a standard tip of $1 or more for each item of baggage handled by the driver.
Prices below are subject to change at any time.
Mears Airport Shuttle (soon to be called Mears Connect) is an airport bus service run by Mears, the company used by Disney to provide Disney’s FREE Magical Express service. Mears Airport Shuttle currently services all the non-Disney hotels that are not covered by Magical Express, and when Magical Express service ends (at the end of 2021), Mears is planning to cover the Disney hotels as well and change the name to “Mears Connect.”
You can make a reservation for Mears Airport Shuttle (call Mears directly at 407-423-5566, or you can book online for any trips to Walt Disney World official hotels on or after January 1, 2022 on their web site: MearsConnect.com), but it’s not really necessary except during super-peak season (big holidays like Christmas and spring break). There’s a Mears desk in the airport and you can walk up and arrange to go on the next shuttle. When going back to the airport, you will need to arrange a pickup time with Mears. You tell Mears when your flight leaves, and they assign you a pickup time. They’re generally pretty good about arriving close to that time and getting you to the airport in time for your flight.
Transfers between Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Disney World-area resorts are currently $39 roundtrip for adults (12 and older) and $30 for kids ages 4-11, plus tip. There’s a surcharge (around $10 more) if your hotel is south of Walt Disney World (i.e. Kissimmee, Celebration or further south). Kids 3 and under are free.
For trips on or after January 1, 2022, Mears Connect is offering introductory rates of $32 round trip for adults and $27 round trip for children (and half those rates for one-way service). As with the current airport shuttle, there may be surcharges for hotels that are south of Walt Disney World; Mears has not yet released any information about those.
Unfortunately, Mears can be slow, since you will have to wait for the shuttle (which is usually a big bus, but can be a smaller vehicle if there aren’t many people going to the same resort area) to pick up numerous passengers and take them to their individual hotels. Allow about 90 minutes from the time you get off the plane until you arrive at your hotel. (Direct driving time is 20-30 minutes.)
For parties of four or more, a towncar or limo transfer usually costs about the same or less and is much more luxurious and convenient.
If you’re planning to go straight from the Orlando airport to Port Canaveral to start a Disney Cruise (or want to go straight to the airport after a cruise), a great shared shuttle option is Happy Limo’s Port Canaveral shuttle. It offers door-to-door service using comfortable touring coaches, just like Disney’s Magical Express, for less than half the price! Mention MouseSavers and Happy Limo will waive the booking fees!
For a Disneyland trip, your shuttle selection partly depends on the airport you select.
- Between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Disneyland, the trip takes about 45-60 minutes, depending on traffic.
- Between Orange County/John Wayne Airport (SNA) and Disneyland, travel time is about 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic.
Shared shuttle van service can be an economical option for one or two people, but definitely price out Lyft first. There are several shuttle companies that service SNA, LGB and LAX, including Sunny’s Transportation and Karmel Shuttle. Be aware that this form of transportation can be slow, since you will have to wait for the shuttle to pick up numerous passengers at multiple airport stops and then take them to their individual hotels. Also, during COVID, many companies stopped offering their shared-ride service as there wasn’t as much demand. You may need to call to see if they are offering shared ride service.
You will need to make an advance reservation for shuttle van service. You’ll need a credit card to make the reservation. Check each shuttle service’s cancellation policies before making your reservation.
- From Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), shared shuttle van service is around $45 per person one way/$90 per person roundtrip, plus tip.
- From Orange County/John Wayne Airport (SNA), shared shuttle van service is around $20 per person one way/$40 per person roundtrip, plus tip.
With as few as two people, Lyft can be a better deal than the shuttle services; we use ride.guru to compare estimated fares and see. Allow about another 10-15% over what ride.guru estimates to allow for traffic. Each airport has its own Lyft pickup area; follow the signage to get there and then bring up your Lyft app to see options.
Taking a taxi can be cost effective from Orange County (John Wayne). Taxis are typically cheaper than shared shuttles for three or more guests, and you don’t usually have to wait – just go to the taxi line and take the first one. If you have a larger group of up to 7 and need more space, ask for a van – it’s the same price.
For the ultimate in convenience and luxury, consider using a towncar or limo transfer. In some cases it may cost about the same as using a shuttle.
Buses fall under exemptions to child safety seat laws in both states. You can bring one and use it if it will fit in the bus seat and work with the kind of seat belts they have, but very few people do. In Florida, hired shuttle vans are also exempt from child safety seat laws, but in California they are not. In practice, shuttle companies in both places will typically leave it up to the parents whether they want to use a car seat or not, but call first in California if you don’t plan to bring a seat for a child under 8 — some shuttle companies require that you bring a seat and some will strongly encourage it. Even if you choose not to bring full-size car seats, with a smaller child you may want to take a seat belt adjuster and/or a travel booster seat to help the seat belt fit comfortably.