Magical Express Versus Private Car Service


When you book your Disney Vacation and stay at one of Disney’s onsite resorts you also get to take advantage of several extras. There’s free transportation to and from the parks, Extra Magic Hours and Disney’s Magical Express bus service to and from the airport. Disney’s Magical Express is a great perk, a free ride for the whole family to and from the airport! But is it the best transportation option to and from the airport. Let’s review the pros and cons of Disney’s Magical Express versus hiring a private car service.

Disney’s Magical Express

Disney’s Magical Express is a free bus transportation service available to anyone staying at one of Disney’s onsite Resorts or Hotels. To book Magical Express you simply make a reservation online at and you’re ready to go.

Upon arrival at the airport you’ll head over to the Magical Express counter in Terminal B and meet the bus that will take you to your resort. Generally there is also a luggage service that will transfer your luggage for you, but at this time the luggage transfer service is suspended. All guests must pick up their luggage from baggage claim and travel with them to the resort.

On the return trip you’ll make another reservation for a pick-up from your hotel. You’ll meet your bus outside your resort at the time designated by Magical Express and you’ll be on your way.

While Magical Express is a great option for many, some guests do find a few caveats with the service.

Magical Express Pros

  • It’s Free!
    Disney’s Magical Express is a free service offered to all guests staying at a Disney Resort or Hotel. Keep in mind that drivers are allowed to request tips.
  • The Disney Experience
    Once you hop on the Disney-themed bus you’ll feel like you’ve started your magical Disney Vacation.
  • Easy To Book
    Booking Magical Express is simple through their online form which can be found at

Magical Express Cons

  • Time
    Magical Express buses can stop at up to 4 Resorts on each trip from the airport. This could lead to long travel times for guests staying at the last resort on the route. Additionally, when heading back to the airport, resort pick-up times are scheduled 3 hours before your flight departure. While this allows you ample time to get to the airport, many guests feel that pick-up times are too early and causes them to lose precious Disney Vacation time.
  • Inconvenient Pickup Location
    Magical Express only has one pick-up location at Orlando International Airport. It is located in Terminal B on Level 1. If your flight does not arrive in Terminal B, you will need to make the journey to Terminal B via OIA monorail.
  • Flexibility
    Due to the nature of the service, Magical Express is not flexible. Buses run on a strict schedule which cannot be modified by any guest. Pick-up times are designated by Magical Express and cannot be changed.
  • No Customized Services
    Of course, since you’re traveling on a bus with many other guests, buses will only make their designated stops and cannot accommodate any other requests.

DVC Shop’s Private Car Service

Since Disney’s Magical Express isn’t always the quickest or most convenient option, at DVC Shop we also offer an alternate private car service for an efficient and relaxing experience to and from the airport.

Hiring our private car service is an easy process. You can simply book the service when you make your reservation with DVC Shop Rentals, or at any time before your scheduled trip. You’ll reserve a time to be picked up and your driver will wait for you at Baggage Claim with a sign.

The driver will assist you with luggage and lead you to the town car, minivan or full-size van you’ve ordered and you’ll be on your way to Disney World! Also included at no additional charge is a 30 minute stop at the local Publix grocery store where you can stock up on food, essentials wine, spirits and beer.

The car service fees are as follows:

Rates are as follows ($10 additional for pickups before 6 am):

Vehicle Type Orlando International Sanford Airport
Town car Minivan Full van
$135 $150 $160
$230 $246 $280

Car Service Pros

  • Convenience
    This is the most convenient way to travel to and from the airport. Typically pick-up times will be two hours before your flight departure time for domestic flights.
  • Save Money
    Stocking up on groceries before heading to your resort is a great way to save money on your Disney Vacation. Our recommended car service includes a complimentary 30 minute grocery stop for you to stock up on food and essentials for your stay. And unlike grocery delivery services, you’ll be able to pick exactly what you want at the store and take advantage of store promotions.
  • Luxury Service
    You’ll have a private driver who will meet you at Baggage Claim and assist you with your luggage. Additionally you’ll only be traveling with your party for a more pleasant experience.

Car Service Cons

  • Not Free
    Of course, there is a fee for the private car service. This may or may not be worth the time and convenience for you depending on how many are in your party and how long you’re staying at Disney.
  • No Disney-themed Buses
    Some guests truly love riding in the Disney-themed Magical Express buses. With the car service option you’ll be riding comfortably but there won’t be any Disney theming, unless of course you bring your own.

When comparing Disney’s Magical Express versus a private car service, at DVC Shop we feel that hiring our recommended car service provides a more pleasant, flexible and efficient transfer experience than Disney’s Magical Express.

Feel free to contact DVC Shop Rentals with any questions regarding our recommended private car transfer service or to add the service to your reservation.

Katherine Rand

DVC Shop Editorial Team

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