Posted by : Jameson Durall Saturday, April 14, 2012
Driving from MCO to Disney property is pretty simple and all highway driving. Once you get on property, they have tons of signs to get you anywhere you need to go. One IMPORTANT thing to know is that a GPS will not work very well, it includes roads that are for Disney employees only and you'll do a lot of turning around and getting lost. So, stick to the signs :) It helps to know which park your hotel is closest to since those signs will get you in the general area before getting more specific to your resort.
Checking the rental car back in at the end of your trip is super easy and very fast. It usually only takes 3-5 minutes and you get out right next to the terminal area, so you don't need to factor much time for this. The total cost of a car is normally in the area of $250 - $300 for a week or so and you can often find really good deals at MouseSavers.com. Car seats cost extra, but you can check them for free with the airline if you bring your own.
My wife and I decided to try saving the rental car money on our 10th Anniversary Trip, but wanted to get to and from the airport with some haste. So, we decided to try out Tiffany Town Car and had a driver, Waseem, waiting for us at baggage claim holding a sign with our last name (I've always wanted to do that). Waseem helped us get our bags and carry them out to the town car which was parked very close to the baggage claim area.
The driver will make a 30 minute stop at a grocery if you request during your reservation, but we decided once we got there that we would rather get something to eat so he found us a 24 hour McDonald's that was still open (we arrived late). He then got us to our hotel quickly and with pleasant conversation.
On the day of our return flight, a driver was waiting right outside the hotel lobby two hours before our flight. He loaded up our bags and had us to the terminal quickly. The total cost for a town car round trip is $104 if you book online and they provide car/booster seats for free. They also have larger vehicles if you need them. We had such a great experience that we used them on our March trip and will likely do so for most of our future trips...we even had Waseem again!
The reason we have never used Magical Express ourselves is the extra time commitment. You are often required to be in the hotel lobby 4+ hours before your departure time so they can fill the bus with various people and flight times. The bus also makes multiple stops to and from the airport depending on how many people they need to take, but they do offer check-in services for most airlines right at the resort lobby.
If this time isn't an issue for you, then Magical Express could be a great option.
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