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Orlando Without A Car
Using public transport and transfer services is better suited to solo travellers and couples who don’t mind spending all day in the parks and like to travel light.
Getting Around Orlando Without A Car
Getting around without a car takes a little more planning and a keen eye for details to stop your budget running out of sight in a blaze of Mickey shaped ears.
Before you book anything ask yourself 2 important questions:
- How am I going to get to and from the airport to my hotel?
- How do I want to get to the parks every day?
If the answer to the first question is by either public transport or taxi make sure you fly into Orlando International Airport because its close to International Drive with acceptable public transport links. A taxi/ride share to Disney World won’t break the bank either.
If you don’t want to drive your best area for accommodation is on International Drive. If staying outside of Universal make sure you pick a hotel with free shuttles to Disney World to keep your transport costs down.
Can you Deal with not having a car?
Orlando’s Free Shuttles & Public Transport
- You won’t want an afternoon break back at the hotel
- You are OK with getting up early and arriving back late
- You don’t want to stay in a villa
- You can travel light and adhere to set deadlines
- You are patient and don’t get frustrated too easily
Getting to And From The Airport
Make sure you fly into Orlando International which offers a public transport service. Other airports are an hour or more away with no public transport options.
Taxi & Ride Shares
Orlando International Airport is well served with taxi and ride-sharing services which have separate queues outside of the arrivals hall. International Drive costs around $40 (20 minutes) one way, Kissimmee around $60 (35 minutes)
Local bus operator Lynx operate an hourly bus service from Orlando International Airport (Route 42) that passes through I-Drive. Transfer time is usually around 80-90minutes. They do operate services through Disney World but they don’t originate from the airport.
Orlando International Airport to Miami in 3 hours and Disney Springs in 20 minutes will become a reality in the near future when train operator Brightline opens up an extension of its southern Florida network to Tampa via Orlando International Airport.
Getting to and from Your Hotel and Theme Parks
Theme Park Shuttle Transfers Explained
There are plenty of off-site hotels that offer free transfers to either Disney World or Universal Orlando, sometimes both. To keep travel costs down pick a hotel near your preferred park that offers free transport to your other choice.
The transfer may be free or provided at very low cost but tipping is part of the fabric of society in the US. Remember drivers work very long unsociable hours for the minimum wage. Please don’t forget to leave a small tip because your return driver may not necessarily be the same as the one that dropped you off earlier in the day.
The drop off services operate to very tight time schedules. Be at the arranged pick up point 10 minutes before your return shuttle. Space is first come first served, pre booking seats isn’t possible. They usually only operate early in the morning and around park closing times so coming back for a mid afternoon break won’t be possible with a free shuttle service.
Drop Off Locations
Each park chain has 1 drop off point. Universal Orlando drops off at the taxi/coach pick up point. Seaworld’s drop off point is in the car park to the left of the entrance. Disney is always at the coach parking near the monorail station at EPCOT. Use free Disney transport to get around to other Disney World properties.
Busch Gardens Express
A daily shuttle for Busch Gardens operates from several points throughout Orlando including Seaworld’s Car Park.
Places are free for ticket holders but must be reserved first using the link below. Daily walk-on tickets may be available but are very limited in number. If you want to use the Busch Gardens Express I definitely advise pre-booking your space on the coach and not waiting until the day to avoid disappointment.
Operating daily from 8am to 1030pm, the I-RIDE Trolly is a cheap and efficient way to get around International Drive Attractions.
Due to Coronavirus restrictions the service is still operating at a limited capacity so there may be a wait at popular times but at $2 one way you won’t beat the cost.
Click the link below to check your nearest stop and current timeline of the shuttles.
Florida Charter Bus Co
If youre a larger group and usual transport options are coming out expensive you could give the Florida Charter Bus Company a try.
With access to thousands of buses in all different sizes renting your own bus to get around could be cheaper than you think.
Helpful Tools & Links
Orlando Without A Car
Stay on International Drive and use a combination of taxis, ride sharing apps and the low cost I-RIDE trolley service to get around. Make sure your hotel offers free transfers to Disney World to avoid expensive taxi and ride share fees to Disney World. Use the free Disney transport to get around Disney.
I-RIDE Trolley Marker Map
A printable map of the I-RIDE Trolley Serve lines and their stops. You can use this to work out the nearest stop to your chosen attraction. There is an interactive version on the I-RIDE site. Please click the link above to visit it directly. This link will only download the map to your hard drive.
Disney Transport Map
The very talented Arthur De Wolf has designed 2 fantastic maps of the entire Disney World transport network. You can view an interactive version online or download a low-resolution copy for free or purchase a high-resolution version through his website.
I-Drive To Disney
There is currently no one public bus service that operates through International Drive and Disney World. Disney is served mainly by Lynx route 50 which skirts the southern end of I-Drive up to Seaworld. Lynx Route 38 takes over or you can use the I-Ride Trolley service. In short, it is doable just not very practical from a time perspective.