DCL, ABD, and More Disney World

Getting from Your Walt Disney World Resort to Port Canaveral

For those going on a Disney Land and Sea getaway, one of the questions I get asked the most is what exactly happens on the day you will be arriving at the terminal.  What happens to your luggage? How do you know what time the bus leaves?  We here at Disney Addicts want to ensure that everyone has a smooth transition from theme park fun to magic on the High Seas so we thought we’d quickly share with you the steps you’ll need to take on the day you embark on your Disney Cruise.





Disney Cruise Line

We embarking on a Disney getaway from a Walt Disney World Resort there are two ways to get to the cruise terminal.  The first is drive with your car or rental car and pay for parking at Port Canaveral.  Though this is definitely a viable option, most guests choose to stay at a Disney Resort before setting sail for the comfort and convenience of Disney’s transfer service.





Does Disney offer resort transportation to Port Canaveral –  Yes! Disney offers a paid transfer service that takes guests to and from your Walt Disney World Resort to Port Canaveral. The service provides the perfect door to door option making it easy to embark on the next part of your Disney vacation.

Is there a fee for the service? Yes. The cost for the service is $35 per person each way.  There is no separate cost for adults versus children.  The service will pick you up at your Walt Disney World Resort and take you to Port Canaveral.  Once you’ve finished cruising, you also have the option of taking the service back to a Disney resort or directly to Orlando International Airport.

I thought Disney buses were free? The Disney Cruise Line transfer service is not to be confused with Magical Express which is a resort to the airport only FREE service.  Because of the distance and drive time between Walt Disney World and Port Canaveral, Disney does charge a fee.





How do I sign up for the Disney Cruise Line bus? – If booking the reservation yourself, be sure to select ground transfers online or let the agent you are speaking with know that you would like to organize for a transfer.  If working with a travel agent, let them know and they will add this on for you.

What are the timings for getting to and from Port Canaveral?  The trip to and from Port Canaveral takes approximately 2 hours using Disney’s Transfer Service.

Transfer Letter

How do I know what time the bus will leave my resort for the Port Canaveral?   On the night before your cruise,  Disney will slip a letter under your resort room door or attach it to your doorknob.  The letter will outline everything you need to know for embarkation.  This includes the time that the bus will be picking you up at the resort. Most Disney Cruise Line bus pick-ups happen between 10 am – 1 pm, giving you plenty of time to check-in and enjoy the ships fantastic amenities before the boat officially departs (usually around 3pm).  Guests are encouraged to show up AT LEAST 15 minutes before the designated time.

Luggage Tags

What happens to my luggage? You don’t need to worry about lugging your baggage with you to the terminal.  In the envelope that you receive the night before, Disney Cruise Line includes luggage tags that should be affixed to your bags. Disney will start collecting baggage at your resort from 8am. On the morning of the sailing, guests must leave all luggage that you’d like picked up outside your stateroom door by this time and with the luggage tags.  Extra tags are available upon request at the front desk.  Bell Services will stop by to collect your luggage.  You don’t need to be present for the luggage to be picked up.

Will there be a Cast Member to assist me on the morning we depart? Yes! Disney Cruise Line sends a representative to the resort to help you with the embarkation process. They will be waiting in the lobby at your designated time to greet you.  They will also be there to make sure you have your proper Disney Cruise Line documentation so be sure to have Photo ID and passports at the ready.  For a list of the cruise documentation required to sail with Disney check out this article. 

What happens if I miss the bus?  One the day you embark, it is advisable that you take every step imaginable to make your cruise bus departure time.  In the event that you miss your bus, you should immediately notify the front desk at your Disney World Resort.  It may result in you having to arrange for alternative transportation to the terminal and possibly even missing your cruise as the ships will not delay their departures.

What sort of amenities will I find on the Disney Cruise Line bus? The layout of the bus is very similar to Disney’s Magical Express which picks you up at the airport.  There are TV screens throughout the bus that will provide family entertainment as well as important information about your sailing.  Restrooms are available on board.  Food and drink are not available on the bus but you can bring items in your carry on luggage.

What happens when I get to the terminal?  The Cast Member aboard your buss will walk you through the process to collect your luggage and to go through security.   From there we recommend you check out our article: Helpful Tips for a Smooth Disney Cruise Embarkation Day

Interested in a Land and Sea Disney getaway? We’ve written a fantastic article that walks you through the booking process. You’ll find it here. 

Fill out our form below to receive your FREE Disney land and sea vacation quote.

Click here for your FREE no obligation quote!

Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I’ll be on hand to help you with everything from finding your perfect package to nabbing those hard-to-get dining and Fastpass reservations.  Best of all, my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025, via email at mroden@mickeytravels.com or follow along on Facebook

Image copyright Disney.




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Melissa Roden

Agent Specializing in Disney Holidays at MickeyTravels
Melissa is a Disney-loving mom who can often be found at the parks with her six year old daughter.  When not euphorically eating a Dole Whip at Walt Disney World, Melissa enjoys helping others plan their magical vacations with MickeyTravels and sharing her Disney knowledge at Chip and Co. and Disney Addicts. Follow along on Facebook or Twitter.
Melissa Roden
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