family on wdw transportation
  • On Mar 27, 2023
    Tod from NH Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    For the first time we are making the trip this year without the Magical Express. I've been looking into the different options - can anyone give me their experience of Mears vs. Uber? Sunshine Flyer does not have good reviews. Thanks!

    Hi there, Tod! 

    It’s always great to see you at planDisney! Thanks for stopping by with your question for us. 

    The first time I visited Walt Disney World Resort after Disney’s Magical Express was suspended was an emotional experience because it was how my family always began our magical vacations. However, I have since tried various methods of Airport Transportation that I’m happy to tell you about!

    As you know, Mears Connect offers service from Orlando International Airport for an additional fee to your Disney Resort Collection hotel. I liked my experience with Mears Connect because the service is very similar to Disney’s Magical Express; it’s even located in the same area. If you’re traveling with little Mouseketeers, Guests using bus services like Mears Connect are not required to have car seats on board.

    Two different service level options are offered with Mears Connect: Standard and Express. Their Standard service is similar to what you have experienced with Disney’s Magical Express, although the vehicle offered can also be a shared van. It’s similar in that it may make a few stops before your destination to drop off passengers at other Disney Resort hotels. The Express option is a shared service (bus or van) that offers direct service to your hotel & back to the airport. Since I usually travel with my family, we have chosen the Standard option while traveling as it is more budget-friendly, and we found it to be very much like Disney’s Magical Express, and we didn’t mind it not being a direct service. One of the most significant advantages of Mears Connect is that Mears was the operator of our beloved Disney’s Magical Express, so they’re just continuing to provide the service we’ve come to know well now for an additional cost. 

    Of course, app-based ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have now become the norm. With a quick selection of the number of passengers, type of vehicle, etc., Guests can use their smartphones to use the apps and commute to their destination. If you’re choosing to take services like Uber or Lyft, do keep in mind if you have tiny passengers needing car seats, you will need to request vehicles that can provide car seats and/or booster seats, or you can bring your own. 

    Something my family and I have started enjoying during our vacation is renting a car at Orlando International Airport. Many companies offer a Rewards program where Guests can become members. These offer perks like skipping waiting at the airport to get your vehicle. Also, now that Disney Resort hotels provide complimentary self-parking for Guests staying overnight, this may be something to consider. Remember to have cash/coins on you while using car rentals, as there are tolls.  

    Tod, whichever means of transportation you choose, I hope you have an enchanting visit!

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Meet the Panelist: Aena, Texas

Hi friends! Consider me your own Fairy Godmother, full of helpful tips to make your Walt Disney World Resort vacation magical. I'm Aena, wife to my Prince Charming, mom to future Imagineers, and forever a kid at heart. I call Walt Disney World...I mean, Texas home, and spend my time singing Disney tunes. One of my favorite things to do is to stay on property and explore everything the resorts have to offer. I'd love to help you find the best Instagram-worthy spots for your Walt Disney World Resort vacation! Learn More About Aena

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