Airport Shuttle Discounts for Disney Vacations
LAST UPDATE: 2/9/23
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.
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.
Walt Disney World no longer offers their free Magical Express service from the airport to the official Disney hotels, but Mears offers an essentially similar service called Mears Connect, which is not free. Lyft is also available, which can be cheaper than Mears Connect and/or a rental car for certain combinations of party sizes and stay lengths. To figure out what is the best way to get from the airport to your hotel, compare the different options based on how many people are in your group, and your priorities in terms of saving time vs. saving money.
Mears Connect (formerly called Mears Airport Shuttle) is an airport bus service run by Mears, the company that used to provide Disney’s Magical Express service. Mears Connect services all the official Disney hotels as well as non-Disney hotels.
You can make a reservation for Mears Connect online at MearsConnect.com or by calling 407-423-5566, 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.
For transfers between Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Disney World-area resorts, Mears Connect is offering introductory rates of $32 round trip per adult (age 10 and up) and $27 round trip per child (age 3-9), plus tip. One-way service is half those rates. There may be surcharges (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.
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, 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.
- Between Long Beach Airport (LGB) and Disneyland, travel time is about 30-40 minutes, depending on traffic.
- Between Burbank Airport (BUR) and Disneyland, travel time is about 70-90 minutes, depending on traffic.
- Between Ontario Airport (ONT) and Disneyland, travel time is about 50-65 minutes, depending on traffic.
Shared shuttle van service is still offered, but by fewer and fewer companies. Last we checked Karmel Shuttle was one of the few providers that still offers a shared shuttle, and they price it such that it’s not really economical relative to Lyft for a small group of 1-2 people. For 3 or more, it may be a decent deal, but price other options out first.
Be aware that this form of transportation can be slow, since you may have to wait for the shuttle to pick up numerous passengers at multiple airport stops and then take them to their individual hotels.
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.
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) or Long Beach. Taxis cost more than Lyft for groups of 4 or less, but not that much more, 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 5-7 or have a lot of luggage and need more space, ask for a taxi van – it’s the same price as a sedan taxi, and will probably be cheaper or almost the same as taking a Lyft XL.
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.