Perhaps you don’t wish to rent a car, but you’re still looking for the occasional lift to somewhere that Disney doesn’t offer direct transportation to. Or maybe you need to leave the Disney World grounds. Even if you’re just willing to pay to avoid the crowds and the waiting in line for Disney transportation, using a taxi or Town Car service is a convenient option.
You’ll have several choices:
- Taxis and Town Cars
- Uber or Lyft
- Minnie Vans (Disney’s taxis)
- Mears Shuttle
We’ll cover shuttles, taxis and Uber. Lyft is very similar to Uber, though less well-known.
Taxis, Luxury Cars and Limousines in Orlando and at Disney World:
Mears is the taxi service contracted to provide service at Disney (Checker Cab, City Cab and Yellow Cab are all divisions of Mears). No other cab company can use the cab stands at Disney. In addition to regular taxis, they also have luxury vehicles including sedans, SUVs, vans and Limousines. We have heard that Mears tends to be more expensive than Uber.
Costs: Mears allows you to calculate and book your ride online. Visit the site to get pricing for the destinations your planning on:
- For regular taxis: MEARS TAXI FARE ESTIMATOR
- For luxury vehicles: MEARS LUXURY VEHICLE FARE ESTIMATOR
Accessible Taxis (wheelchairs, ECV’s and Scooters): Mears has accessible taxi-vans that will take a wheelchair or scooter, but it can take a while to get one of those to you since there are a limited number of them and they’re usually out in service. Town Cars are not accessible, and can’t accommodate wheelchairs or scooters.
Mears will pick up at the train station, but they won’t take reservations for that location. You can call them a stop or two ahead though.
Uber does not appear to offer accessible cars in Orlando at this time.
Mears Contact information:
- Orlando Airport and Attraction Shuttle Reservations – (407) 423-5566 or (855) 463-2776
- Mears Global Chauffeured Services – (866) 435-5686
- Group Transportation Sales – (407) 839-1570
- Taxicab Dispatch – (407) 422-2222
Mears Shuttle Service to Universal and Sea World from Disney World
If you’re going from a Disney World resort to either Universal or Sea World, Mears offers shuttle service. At the time of this writing the cost is $21 round trip, and it’s free for children under 3 years old. The shuttles are a shared ride service, so they may be stopping at several Disney and non-Disney resorts. It’s usually 3-4 properties. Mears will send either a van or a bus to pick you up. If you need an accessible vehicle let them know and they can send a bus with a lift. See the phone number above.
Using Uber or Lyft in Orlando and at Disney World
With Uber and Lyft, local people sign up to be drivers and use their own cars to taxi customers. These companies have been giving regular taxi services a run for their money. They tend to be far less expensive. Of course it’s a completely different kind of service, but it’s become very successful and mainstream. Many of the members of our Disney Facebook group (feel free to come visit and join) have used it, and really prefer it to regular taxis.
How does Uber & Lyft Work?
- You download an app to your phone (Android, iOS, Windows).
- You use the app to request an Uber driver to come take you to your destination. You can choose between different levels of cars.
Of course it’s the more luxurious the vehicle, the more expensive the fare. They have a category for minivans and large SUVs that will take up to 6 passengers.
Cost of Uber: To get an example of cost, you can use the Uber fee estimator here.
Cost of Lyft: Here’s the Lyft Fare Estimator.
Using Uber or Lyft from or to Disney locations: Your Uber or Lyft driver will pick you up and drop you off on Disney property. There are a couple restrictions in the following locations:
- Coronado Springs rooms. They can only pick you up at the main lobby entrance.
- At Magic Kingdom you can be dropped off or picked up at the Taxi queue in the Ticket and Transportation Center where you’ll pick up either the monorail or the boat to Magic Kingdom’s gate. They can not take you to the gate.
- Because of the ongoing changes at Disney Springs, pick-up and drop-off locations change. You’ll need to check for current locations.
They’re allowed into all the parks, and you won’t be asked to pay for the car to enter.
Additional Uber & Lyft info: They can also take you to other locations in the Orlando area, and beyond such as Tampa.
For child seats with Uber, they may be able to provide one forward facing car seat for a child who is at least 12 months old and 22 lbs and 31 inches (more details found here). There’s currently an addition charge of $8 for that. Availability may be limited. Check with Lyft for their rules.
Here’s Uber’s home page.
Here’s Lyft’s home page.
Minnie Vans at Disney World
Disney has its own form of taxi, with the Minnie Mouse themed Minnie Vans. Each Minnie Van can carry up to 6 guests. For up to date Minnie Van details on Disney’s website, visit here.
Regular Minnie Vans are accessed through the Lyft app. Accessible vans are available and accessed by phone. See the accessible information below.
Minnie Vans do tend to be more expensive than regular Lyft vehicles. The pricing is based the distance between your pick-up location and your drop-off location. The Minnie Vans can take you:
- To and from the airport
- To and from anywhere on Disney property
Airport travel in a Minnie Van: To get a Minnie Van reserved to take you from Orlando International Airport to your Disney Resort hotel, you can book up to 6 months in advance. To arrange for one way travel in a Minnie Van, call (407) WDW-PLAY or (407) 939-7529. If you need an accessible van for the airport, call (407) 828-3500.
For departure out of Orlando, you’ll need to request to be picked up at least 2 hours before your flight for domestic travel, and at least 3 hours prior to departure for international flights. The Minnie Vans can take up to 6 guests, along with 6 medium sized suitcases. You can have up to 3 child car seats which are available for no additional charge. If you’re thinking of having some of your luggage sent with Magical Express, they can’t do that.
The Minnie Vans for the airport rides are currently available between 6 am and 11:59 pm.
Minnie Vans on Disney property: To get a standard Minnie Van to drive you anywhere on Disney property, use the Lyft app and choose the Minnie Van service option. You pay for it through the app. These Minnie Vans runs from 6:30 am to 12:30 am every day (of course this is subject to change). Each Minnie Van comes with 2 child safety seats that can be installed by the cast member driving the vehicle.
Accessible Minnie Vans: Disney does also have small number of accessible vehicles that can take standard wheelchairs, motorized vehicles like electric wheelchairs, and mobility scooters. To get an accessible Minnie Van, call (407) 828-3500.
You can request an accessible vehicle 45-60 minutes before you need it. This is good because it may take some time to get one since there are a limited number available.
To board the Minnie Van with your wheelchair or scooter, you’ll ride up the ramp onto the lift. You can either stay on your scooter or wheelchair during the ride, or you can get off and take a regular seat before it’s lifted up and onto the Minnie Van.
The accessible Minnie Vans cost the same as the regular Minnie Vans. No price difference.
(Photos Donated by Debbie Dalgo Raley)
Minnie Vans, Lyft and Uber for international travelers who won’t have a working phone
If you won’t have a working phone during your visit, you won’t be able to use these services UNLESS you have a mobility device like a scooter or wheelchair with you, and you’re calling for an accessible Minnie Van while at Disney World. In that case, we’ve been told that you can have Bell Services call for an accessible Minnie Van, or if you’re in a Deluxe Disney World resort with valet, they should be able to call for you.
For more reading on Disney World Taxis and Uber:
To compare Uber vs. renting a car, check out this article on disneytouristblog.com called Uber vs. Rental Cars at Disney World.
wdwprepschool.com has a great article that’s very detailed on Why We Like Uber More than Lyft at Disney World.
There’s an entire thread on Using Uber at Disney World on disboards.com. You’ll find almost any question you ever had about Uber answered here.
Do you have more tips or thoughts on this topic?
Please feel free to post them in a comment below. We’d love your input.
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