All the Ways to Get To and From the Airport Without Disney’s Magical Express

It’s been recently announced that Disney’s Magical Express will stop operating on January 1st, 2022.

Mears Bus Transportation at the Swan and Dolphin

The service was complimentary and many guests would rely on this transportation benefit to transfer them from the airport to their Disney World resort. While the Magical Express is going away, there are plenty of buses, shuttles, and rideshare companies to choose from. We’ve put together a list of reliable transportation methods that will transfer you from the airport to Disney World.

Rideshares and Taxis

Disney stated that one of the reasons the Magical Express was disappearing is because of the growing popularity of rideshares. Over the years, visitors have become accustomed to taking a Lyft or Uber from the airport and to other places in Disney World.

The reason being, the service is relatively easy to use. All you have to do is download the app and order a car from your location. You have a choice to order a car that fits up to four people or up to six people with an added cost.

Lyft Logo

You can even schedule a ride if you know what time you want to leave your destination. This can be really handy if you’re transferring from the airport. The wait for a Lyft or Uber can get really long during peak times at the airport and you might be waiting for a bit before it arrives.

Of course, you also have the option to order a standard taxi to pick you up as well. You can pick up a taxi at the airport or schedule one yourself. We suggest scheduling a taxi ahead of time so you’re not stuck without a ride!

Learn more about how to use rideshares at Disney World here!

 Shuttles

You may be traveling with a large group and need more room than a taxi or rideshare can offer you. There are plenty of shuttle companies that will transport you from the airport to the resort of your choice.

We should note that you will most likely share your shuttle with other passengers, much like the Magical Express.

Mears Bus Transportation at the Swan and Dolphin

Mears, the company that operates the Magical Express, has announced that they will roll out a new transportation service in January 2022, once the Magical Express is discontinued. This Mears Connect service is probably the closest you’ll get to replicating the Magical Express experience, so we’d recommend booking a reservation here if you want something familiar.

Renting a Car

You would be surprised how easy life becomes when you rent a car at Disney World. You can drive from the airport, pick up groceries, and don’t have to be dependent on Disney transportation to get you around.

Plus, you might have luck getting really good deals on a car, especially during non-peak seasons. You may even find renting a car for a week is cheaper than taking multiple Lyft rides throughout the week.

Animal Kingdom Parking

One thing to note: Disney World resorts and the theme parks charge for parking. Be sure to calculate this cost when budgeting for transportation.

Compare using a rental car to using Disney transportation here!

Private Car Services

You may want to have the option to have a private ride that isn’t shared with other passengers. Or, maybe you want to arrive in style!

Happy Limo Shuttle and Private Car Service

There are plenty of private car services in the Orlando area that will pick you up, assist with luggage, and even allow you to make a grocery stop. Private services include large shuttles, cars, and limos.

Minnie Van

Disney started their own version of a rideshare service called Minnie Vans.  The service is temporarily unavailable right now, but it will hopefully return soon.

Once it returns, the service is run by Lyft and allows you to fit up to 6 people in one van. The vans can even provide up to 3 car seats should you need them. This is one of the spendier options, however. A one-way trip will cost $155 without gratuity included.

Minnie Van

To book a Minnie Van from the Orlando International Airport, call (407) WDW-PLAY and have your flight information handy. You can make reservations 6 months in advance and up until 11:59PM the night prior to your arrival. For domestic departures, reserve a pick-up time at least two hours before takeoff. For international departures, allow at least three hours. When operating, Minnie Vans are available for flight arrivals between the hours of 7AM to 10PM.

Read more about Minnie Vans right here!

Brightline High-Speed Train

The private company, Brightline has also announced plans to build a high-speed train route that runs all the way from South Florida to the Orlando International Airport and onto Tampa with a stop at Disney World. Once complete, guests will be able to hop on board at the airport and take it directly to the station located at Disney Springs (though the exact location is TBD).

©Brightline

The train is currently in development and is expected to be completed and operational by 2026, though a recent ruling from the Central Florida Expressway Authority has indefinitely postponed a decision on the route.

There are plenty of reputable companies in the Orlando area that can assist you in transferring from the airport to your Disney World resort. Also, onsite Disney World transportation will still be available to guests. Disney buses, boats, monorails, and the Skyliner will continue to transfer people from the resorts and theme parks.

Be sure to keep up with AllEars for more news in the future! 

Do you have a suggestion for transportation between the airport and your Disney World resort? Let us know in the comments below!

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19 Replies to “All the Ways to Get To and From the Airport Without Disney’s Magical Express”

  1. We pay thousands in annual dues as DVC members. As 2 senior citizens, Magical Express was very convenient and useful to us. Little by little Disney is taking away many of the reasons we joined DVC in the first place. As we get older we have been cruising more and go to the parks very little. With Magical Express being taken away it adds another level of stress AND EXPENSE to what is already an expensive vacation. Wake up Disney – you are going to price yourself right out of business. I will be curious to see what Mears is going to charge for transportation in place of Magical Express.

  2. LOVE the Magical Express!! Hassle free and no worries about a rental car. Disney did this to keep guests on property . Yes it is about $$ and the “complimentary “ aspect was added to the vacation cost for sure. We will never download Lyft again. We downloaded the app to only use the minivans once for a dinner reservation. The van and driver were terrific. Now the pricing has changed for the worse. Several months after being back home we started getting calls early AM’s from Lyft drivers outside our house waiting. Except they were in California and we are in New England. Someone hacked the account. Had to jump thru hoops to remove app. No contact numbers. Never again. Will stick with Mears at any cost.

  3. We used Magical Express one time early one. Terrible experience so we never tried it again. Our next trip we took an airport taxi which got us to the resort, but barely. I talked to a guy at bell services and he recommended a particular taxi driver. We’ve been using him for many years now. Yes, it costs money but it’s a fix price and we’re happy. He meets us at the airport and we get to our resort quick (no stops at other resorts). He picks us up about 1 1/2 or 2 hours before our flight home based on his knowledge of the airport conditions. He gives us tips on the parks even though we’re veterans of Disney World. If he can’t be there to pick us up he ALWAYS has a reliable replacement. When Pandora first opened we decided to call him to take us to Animal Kingdom instead of taking a loaded bus that wouldn’t get us in early. He didn’t even charge us. This is what I call service. I wish I could post his information. My suggestion is when you get to your resort ask someone from bell services if they can recommend a particular driver. This will be good for you especially if you go to DW at least once per year (like us) and get to know your driver.

  4. For our of owners/those from
    Canada, are there options like the original magical express, that could mean I don’t have to transport car seats to Florida just to
    Get to/from the airport?

  5. No. No. No. Part of our original decision for buying into DVC was the Magical Express hassle free transportation. Rethink this decision. Or we may rethink ours.

  6. Of all the cheap ways to save a buck. The whole point of the magical express was to set the tone for your vacation and start the magic. No stress just get on board sit back and relax. Now just one more thing to worry about. Thanks for reminding us of the only thing magical about Disney today is how they make our money disappear. Time to sell my DVC membership.

  7. I feel they should definitely bring back the Minnie Vans. THAT could be the “new” MExpress.
    Can you just imagine seeing all these dots running up and down the highway! Complimentary if your staying on property or at any WD participating hotel.
    I feel that would be a phenomenal idea especially if they are making us find alternate forms of transport right? Just bring back Minnie and let her take us Home!!! : )

  8. Growing popularity of ride share? No thanks. I will never “order an Uber” for my family. Part of the great thing about magical express, especially with young children is we didn’t have to worry about luggage, or car seats. It was great getting off the plane, and going right to the bus. No trying to balance 4 suitcases between 2 adults, and 2 kids, plus pushing a stroller.

  9. The luggage piece will be a nightmare as we are traveling with a family of seventeen. Car seats will be needed and we are talking about in excess of twenty pieces of luggage here! We spend in more than of $50K for this trip so added cost is not inconsequential, but not a driving force in our thinking of rescheduling our planned trip elsewhere next year.

  10. Without the magical express I won’t return to Disney . With 4 people and 4 suitcases it would be quite expensive to pay for rides to and from the airport on top of an expensive Disney trip . Double whammy with no magical express and no magic hours .

  11. its great there are so many services that cost MONEY. Disney is expensive enough. Now they want to stress you out even more find your own ride and pay for it….If i wanted that hastle i would go to Universal instead.

  12. With Magic Express being discontinued, has there been any discussion on cancelling the “perk” of checking luggage at select Disney resorts?

    1. Yes, that was part of the announcement. Disney will no longer issue the yellow luggage transfer tags, so you won’t be able to have bags transferred from the airport to the resort room. Also, no airport check in and bag drop off anymore.

    2. Let’s take a look at what Disney has taken away fast passes Dining plans extra magic hours closing parks at 6pm and now magical Express and let’s not forget paying to park at the resort you are staying at. What’s next paying for pool use paying for each ride individually were dose it stop Disney really needs to wake up