1.If you are staying on Walt Disney World property, the Magical Express is free to and from the airport to your hotel. The Swan and Dolphin, while on Disney property, are not Disney owned and are not included. Since we stay at those properties for free (Starwood Points!), we pay for an Uber or a Lyft, etc., a little cheaper than the local taxi company. The free service does ask you to be ready several hours before your flight, so you may consider car service if you are leaving n the same day that you have an active ticket.
2. Walt Disney World provides free buses to and from their hotels to the parks. This is an older picture, it was the first time I saw this advance notice, which is a huge help!
3. We prefer to stay around Crescent Lake (Yacht Club, Beach Club, Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin are the choices in this area). We walk to Epcot, and take a quick boat to Hollywood Studios. This leaves only two parks for us to have to take the Disney bus.
4. We just missed the bus to Animal Kingdom. This is a bus route that stops at a water park first. I used my Uber app, and they arrived in two minutes. It took 8 minutes to get us to Animal Kingdom instead of over 30, and it cost $7 for the three of us. This is my new preferred way to travel between certain parks!
5. We were at the Swan hotel and I found that a cab would cost $22 plus tip to the Magic Kingdom, and Uber was $6-$9. I called Uber and ended up across the lake from the Magic Kingdom for $7. That stunk! We had to wait with the throngs of people who needed to take the ferry across the water! But wait! Another Uber driver explained to me that I should ask to go to the Contemporary Hotel and get off right after they pull onto the property. The walk to Magic Kingdom is quick from that point, and this is how you avoid the car drop off far, from the park!
6. We took the Disney buses home every night. It can be a mob scene, but this is what worked best for us. We stay late, near to closing, and were lucky and did not have to wait for extra buses.
7. Uber from the airport is too expensive. One driver told us the way to reduce that is to take a free shuttle to one of the hotels that are adjacent to the airport and then call an Uber from there. Perhaps a little time consuming, but could be quicker than the Magical Express which has several stops to make, and yours may not be the first.
8. We have stayed at a few properties that have several bus stops within their respective complexes. For example, there are five stops at the Old Key West property. We asked to stay near the first stop, and got lucky as the last stop was close by, just over a bridge. Remember, the first stop in, is also the last stop out. We were perfectly situated so that we got on as the bus left the property, and got off at the first stop as the bus returned. Plan accordingly!
Uber ( or Lyft) turned out to be a great alternative for those of us too anxious to wait for the Disney buses. Uber is much cheaper than a cab, literally a third of the price. But, using the Disney buses is free, don’t forget that if you have the time to wait!