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Disney’s Magical Express is dead

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If you’re planning on taking a vacation to Walt Disney World in the near future, you might need to rethink how you’ll get from Orlando International Airport to WDW. As of January 1, 2022, Disney halted its Magical Express shuttle service, which means you’ll need another way to get to your on-site Disney hotel.

Here are the five best alternatives to Disney’s Magical Express at Walt Disney World.

Mears Connect

First, Mears Connect is the service most similar to the Magical Express system, which has been contracted out by Mears. While Mickey does not decorate the bus or appear in a movie before arrival, the company still offers a safe and reliable express service that it has always provided at Walt Disney World.

Mears Connect from Orlando Airport to Walt Disney World

Roger Chapin, a spokesperson for Mears, shares, “We plan to deliver the same level of experience, service and convenience that we have provided over the past 16 years, on behalf of our long-time partner, as loyal customers and new visitors can expect nothing less. It’s important for visitors to know that they still have the same safe transportation options available for their visit to Orlando, all from the same company that has provided seamless, cost-effective, and hassle-free transportation for decades.

The new Mears Connect service offers two levels to choose from, Standard and Premium:

, Disney's Magical Express is dead - 5 best alternatives for getting to Walt Disney World!

Standard a service offers shared transportation by bus or van. Customers can expect a wait time of 20 minutes or less between checking in at the Mears reception and checking out. With current introductory fares, standard services are priced at $ 16 per adult and $ 13.50 per child for one-way transportation to or from MCO. Round-trip service is available for $ 32 per adult and $ 27 per child.

Premium a service offers a dedicated vehicle with “limited or no waiting time”. Fares start at $ 250 for round-trip service with up to 4 passengers, with additional passengers priced at $ 55 each.

The Mears Connect service started on January 1. For more information, visit: Mears Connect

Sun circular

Transportation Management Services (TMS) will begin offering a new MCO themed experience coach service to Walt Disney World starting February 1. With 25 years of experience as a large event transport company, The Sunshine Flyer is another solid alternative to Magical Express.

Sunshine Flyer to Walt Disney World

Buses service all Disney resorts and offer an onboard bathroom, USB chargers, and three-point seat belts for the comfort and safety of all guests.

Sunshine Flyer buses are premium coaches with themes reminiscent of old-fashioned passenger cars and train engines. From exterior bus designs to staff dressed as 1920s railroad conductors, coaches are like time machines, taking you to WDW in style.

, Disney's Magical Express is dead - 5 best alternatives for getting to Walt Disney World!

In honor of WDW’s 50th anniversary, the Sunshine Flyer will donate 50% of all revenue to the Make-A-Wish Foundation from 50,000 passengers during the first 50 days of operation.

Sunshine Flyer reservations are now available for travel dates beginning February 1, 2022. Tickets cost $ 17 per adult and $ 12.50 per child each way. Reservations must be made at least 4 days in advance. For more information, visit: Sunshine Flyer.

Carpool from Orlando Airport to Walt Disney World

Uber and Lyft are popular and well-known ridesharing service options. While they’re not free like Disney’s Magical Express was, you can still get to your resort hotel without having to worry about renting a cart or paying for parking. A normal carpooling car can fit around 4 people and costs around $ 35 (however, it can be more or less depending on demand). But you can request a larger vehicle that can accommodate up to six people at a higher price. Check your app for current rates and details. Keep your party count and luggage in mind when booking, and expect pickup times may vary. A carpool picked us up in a minute or two and up to 15 minutes when we arrived early in the morning after a red-eyed theft.

Orlando International Airport carpooling pick-up locations are indicated on the roadside signage. But please follow the instructions in the app on where to meet your driver. If you can’t find your driver, you can always contact them through the app.

Take a taxi from Orlando Airport to Walt Disney World

Similar to the two carpooling options, Taxis are still one of the easiest ways to get from the airport to your resort. Some services offer bigger vehicles if you call and ask for one. They are generally more expensive than a carpooling and it can be difficult to calculate the cost because a taximeter charges per mile and per hour. Typically, a taxi can cost anywhere from $ 55 to $ 70 one way. There are usually taxis lined up waiting to take guests to their destinations. Here’s where you can find a taxi at Orlando International Airport:

      • Located on the A side of the terminal,
        in the center of the arrivals level (level 2)
      • Located on the B side of the terminal,
        in the center of the arrivals level (level 2)

The following taxi services are available at the Orlando International Airport. You can call for a general quote or to request a special size vehicle. You can also call these services for a pickup from your hotel to return to the airport at the end of your trip:

Orlando Airport Taxi Services:

      • Diamond taxi company: 407-523-3333
      • Mears Taxi Yellow / City Cab: 407-422-2222
      • Quick cabin: 407-447-1444
      • Urban and rural transport: 407-828-3035

Car rental

It can be surprisingly inexpensive to rent a car in the Orlando area (depending on the time of year and demand). However, that does mean that you need to factor in things like gasoline and parking costs. Having your own car means you’re more flexible with your transportation options and can do groceries and other necessities without paying for them for an additional fee on Disney property. The best rate often comes with a weekly car rental.

, Disney's Magical Express is dead - 5 best alternatives for getting to Walt Disney World!

A service like Hotwire or Kayak can help you compare rental rates between different providers. But, in our experience, stick with those at the airport so you don’t get stuck waiting for a shuttle to a remote rental center. We’ve listed Orlando Airport rental counters with their current Yelp ratings. Some do much better than others with customer service, counter wait times, etc. Buyer beware.

      • Alamo (rating 3.5)
      • Reviews (1.5)
      • Budget (1.5)
      • Dollar (1.5)
      • Business (3.5)
      • Hertz (2)
      • National (3)
      • Without pay (1.5)
      • Sixt (2)
      • Thrifty (1.5)

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Let’s hear from you

Finding an alternate way to get to your Disney World hotel isn’t difficult, but it’s not as cheap or convenient as it used to be. While we all miss Disney’s Magical Express, it’s heartwarming to know that there are still several options for getting from the airport to WDW. Let us know what works best for you and your family.


Related Walt Disney World Travel News

With all the new and old attractions coming to Walt Disney World in 2022, as well as the 50th anniversary celebrations, are you planning a trip?

, Disney's Magical Express is dead - 5 best alternatives for getting to Walt Disney World!

Here are some recommended reading …

The best new rides and attractions coming to Walt Disney World in 2022

Walt Disney World Update – New EARS Eve and Beyond

The 10 Best Disney Parks Stories of 2021 – The Fun and the Furious!

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