As some of you may already know, Disney has decided to permanently end the popular complimentary Magical Express shuttle service that transports guests from the Orlando airport to their Walt Disney World Resort Hotel. This service will end in January 2022 and will be replaced by Mears Connect, which will not be complimentary. Using Uber or Lyft rideshare services is also an option to consider. So which one is cheaper? Let’s take a look.
First, let’s take a look at the Mears Connect options. This service will begin on January 1st, 2022, the same day Disney’s Magical Express service ends. There will be two different pricing options when choosing this service, standard and premium.
Standard- The standard Mears Connect option for round trip shuttle service will cost roughly $27 per child and $32 per adult. The standard service will be a shared service and will have multiple stops, but per the website will have guests on their way to their resort within 20 minutes after checking in.
Premium- The premium Mears Connect service option has a base price of $200 for up to 4 passengers and $55 for each additional passenger. This option is direct and will have little to no wait time.
It can be tricky pricing out Uber because the prices can drastically change depending on the day of the week and the time of day. Also, it is important to be mindful of the amount of luggage you will have when choosing your Uber.
These were the prices for an early afternoon, weekday, one-way trip from the Orlando airport (MCO) to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
As you can see, the price varies depending on the amount of room your travel party requires and the level of service. A family of 5 could travel one way for $45.26, as long as there was also room for luggage. A party of 2 with minimal luggage could travel one way for as low as $33.89. The luxury Black service costs quite a bit more. Keep in mind that these prices may drastically change if you are traveling at a peak time (evenings, weekends).
Lyft prices also vary depending on the day and time of pick up. Lyft is generally pretty comparable to Uber but can be a little cheaper or more expensive. The only thing I do not love about Lyft is that, unlike Uber, you can not really get an exact price until you confirm pick up. I used a Lyft price calculator app and estimated the cost of Lyft services from the Orlando airport to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
The prices are very comparable to what we saw from Uber. A super-sized vehicle runs from $50-$60 and a standard Lyft for 2 people between $35-$42. Remember, this is only for one way and prices may vary on the trip returning to the airport.
So let’s do the math! For a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children)
- Uber would cost $45.26 for one way. Let’s estimate that the return trip to the airport costs exactly the same, now our total is up to $90.52.
- Mears Connect would cost $118 for all 4 passengers round trip.
- Lyft would be anywhere from $100-$120 round trip
For 2 adults
- Uber could be as low as $67.78 round trip.
- Mears service would cost $64 round trip (and be guaranteed to fit luggage).
- Lyft would run between $70-$84 round trip
In general, it does seem that the new Mears option will be the cheapest and likely the most reliable and convenient. For luxury services, Uber/Lyft comes out a bit cheaper than the Mears premium service. While we will all miss Disney’s Magical Express, it is nice to know we will still have multiple options available for transportation from the airport to our resort.
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