Car, Ride Share & Public Transport Explained

Getting Around Orlando

Not Interested In Driving?

Orlando Without A Car

Contrary to what many people will tell you, it is possible to visit Orlando without driving yourself.

Certain areas are served well with local amenities and low-cost travel options. If you’re thinking of visiting Orlando without hiring a car please see my guide to visiting Orlando without a car.

International Arrivals

Orlando’s International Airports

Orlando now encompasses 3 different international airports. Which one you fly into depends on the airline you choose to fly with.

Orlando International is the closest, Orlando Sanford was used by TUI and most charter airlines in the past who have swapped back to Orlando International except TUI whose operations have switch to Orlando Melbourne International for its proximity to Port Canaveral.

Orlando International Airport (MCO)

Orlando International (MCO) is the closest airport to Disney and Universal and one of the busiest airports in the US. You are 15-45 minutes from your hotel depending on where you stay.

Orlando Sanford International (SFB)

Orlando Sanford International (SFB) is an old military airport situated roughly 1 hour north of Orlando. Sanford became popular with UK charter airlines because of lower airport fees than the much larger Orlando International.

Consolidation in the airline market and a shift in consumer taste (the cruise market) coupled with Sanford’s limited location and connections has led to UK airlines now abandoning SFB which acts more as a regional airport.

Orlando Melbourne International (MLB)

Orlando Melbourne International (MLB) is just over an hour southeast of Orlando.

Its proximity to Port Canaveral, the winter home port for many cruise carriers’ Caribbean itineraries, led TUI, the biggest tour operator in the world, to move its Orlando Gateway from Sanford to Melbourne in 2022.

If you fly with TUI Airlines you will be using Melbourne International. If you would prefer to use Orlando International make sure you are booked with an airline other than TUI.


Car Hire

Car hire is especially convenient for young families who may not want to spend all day in the parks and have a lot of baby & toddler related items to take. Space on free theme park transport is limited and they are crowded at opening and closing times.

A car keeps your plans flexible and makes for a great nap stop for younger ones who may have had enough come lunch time.

Convenience does come at a cost. Increasing petrol costs and car hire charges are the obvious outlay but the surprising cost of car hire is the daily cost of parking your car at the theme parks and your hotel. No matter if you stay ‘on-resort’ or ‘off-site’, theme parks will charge you to park your car.

If you would prefer not to use a car please see my dedicated page to getting around Orlando without a car

Car Hire Convenience


Car Hire


Picking Up Your Car

If you booked a package holiday your car hire cost may be included. All relevant car hire desks are outside the arrivals hall. You may need to get a short transfer to pick up the car. Remember insurance isn’t usually included in the base cost.


Drive To Your Hotel

Orlando International airport is 15 minutes from International Drive and Universal Orlando Resort. Disney and Kissimmee are 25-45 minutes drive. Other Orlando airports are 1 hour or more from Orlando. Most villas are located in Kissimmee.


Drive To The Parks

Driving to the theme parks gives you freedom. If you stay on-resort a nightly parking charge may be added to your room on checkout. Many hotels outside the theme parks have free parking but you pay a higher daily rate to park at the theme parks.

Parking Costs

Daily Parking Costs

To help you budget these are the advertised daily parking rates for standard-sized cars for Orlando’s theme parks.

Prices are correct in June 2024 but are subject to change at any time. Price increases can happen at any time but are usually announced between January and March.

Walt Disney World


Water parks are free as there is no direct Disney transport option to them

Universal Orlando Resort


But parking is free after 6pm if no events are on to bring visitors into Citywalk

Seaworld Parks


UK 3-park combo tickets to Seaworld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens get free parking!

Legoland Florida Resort


Legoland Florida used to have a shuttle from Orlando but it has not been reinstated post COVID.

Orlando Area


Get a head start on your driving with these free maps courtesy of the Orlando Tourism Bureau

Lake Buena Vista

A simplified map for Disney World which sits within Lake Buena Vista. Please see the link below for Disney transport options

Orlando Area

An overview of the whole area so you can see how Lake Buena Vista, International Drive and Kissimmee relate to each other

International Drive

The main tourism corridor for Orlando, International Drive has many attractions trying to temp you from the main parks

Resort Hotels Parking

Complimentary Parking Returns To Disney World Resort Hotels!

Complimentary parking has returned to Disney World resort hotels precisely 3 years after it was introduced for UK visitors.  For stays from 10th January 2023 onwards, you can now park your car for free overnight and also receive free parking in DIsney’s theme parks. For an up to date list of parking charges please visit the Parking FAQ page of the Walt Disney World Website.

Value Resorts


All-Star Sports

All-Star Animation

Art Of Animation

Pop Century

Campsites At Fort Wilderness

Moderate Resorts


Caribbean Beach

Coronado Springs

Port Orleans – French Quarter

Port Orleans – Riverside

Cabins At Fort Wilderness

Deluxe Resorts


Animal Kingdom Lodge

Beach Club Resort

Boardwalk Inn

Contemporary Resort

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Polynesian Village Resort

Wilderness Lodge

Yacht Club Resort

Deluxe Villas


Bay Lake Tower @ Contemporary Resort

Boulder Ridge & Cooper Creek @ Wilderness Lodge

Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House & Kidani Village

Beach Club Villas

Boardwalk Villas

Old Key West Resort

Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

Riviera Resort

Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Villas @ Grand Floridian Resort

resort Hotels Parking

Universal Orlando Hotels Parking Charges

Overnight parking in Universal Resort properties depends on the band of the hotel you stay in.

With the opening of the Endless Summer Resorts off property on International Drive, Universal now has 4 bands of hotels just like Disney.

Unlike Disney, Universal Orlando Resort doesn’t own or operate their onsite resort hotels. Lowes Hotels operate them on Universal’s behalf. There is no direct page for parking charges on Universal Orlando’s website. You need to visit each resort hotel in turn to find out their charges. The charges for registered guests are listed below. If you are not a registered guest and decide to park in the hotels the day rate for parking is between $30 and $45 depending on the resort.

Value Resorts


Surfside Inn & Suites

Dockside Inn & Suites

Prime Value Resorts


Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach

Universal’s Aventura Hotel

Preferred Resorts


Loews Sapphire Falls

Premiere Resorts


Loews Portofino Bay

Hard Rock Hotel

Loews Royal Pacific

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