For visitors to the Orlando area theme parks, there has recently been a lot of discussion about transportation options to get to the area theme parks from the Orlando Airport (MCO, the code for this airport which means the old name of McCoy Air Force Base). Orlando Airport is one of the busiest in the country. As a result, it should come as no surprise that there are many transportation options.
If you want maximum control and don’t mind the increase in spending, you can rent a car. MCO has an extensive list of car rental and off-site companies, which can be accessed via a shuttle service. Some customers who rent cars at MCO are unaware that a car rental company located outside the MCO terminal offers them their great car rental offer. If you rent from one of these companies, you only need to check for more time from picking up the shuttle service to your transportation time. In addition, although prices appear to be stabilizing, rental vehicle prices are currently high due to lack of supply. If you are exploring the use of a rental car, we recommend a budget as well as probable parking / toll rates.
If you want the cheapest option, you can take public transportation by bus from the airport to Universal Orlando. This will be less expensive, but you will have to take two different bus lines. You will also need to deal with luggage and family on a public transportation system not designed for this. How you might feel; I would not recommend this option.
The rest of the transport options are ride share (Uber / Lyft), taxi, shuttle service and private car service. My family members have used all of these methods. I will classify them based on personal preferences so that your travel needs can vary.
Taxi service to the airport and Universal Orlando is very efficient. The price is reasonable depending on the airport and the theme park area. Prices will vary, but about $ 50 per trip would be expected. The transportation company Mears (mearstransportation.com) is close to a monopoly on taxi service, as it is possible with several brands of taxis but basically the same prices. They have taxis that can be booked for up to eight people, but expect an increase in fare. If you are looking for more reliability between midnight and 6:00, taxi service may be your best option. However, the price is high considering other options.
The next option in my ranking is a shuttle service. Once again Mears dictates this method of transportation. Another competitor is SuperShuttle (www.supershuttle.com). Prices are basically the same when guests are picked up and transferred to the hotel destination when the vehicle is full. At the risk of confusion in terms of branding, Universal Orlando offers a Superstar Shuttle shuttle, currently in partnership with Mears, to pick up guests taking them to Universal Orlando hotels. That costs $ 39 round trip per person. This service is easier to add to a vacation package, but can be added to any hotel reservation. As my family has experienced, it will be difficult to reach out to customer service to do this. Each of these transfer services charges per person, so if your group is large, it may not help.
The overall transfer experience can be very enjoyable in comfortable seats. However, many customers have negative opinions about these transfer services. I can’t speak for everyone, but the last use my partner made of the Superstar Shuttle in mid-August 2021 was nasty. To be fair, there is a shortage of staff across our nation and skilled drivers are no exception. For my partner and many others, they took them to the wrong area of the airport and forced them to walk to the terminal. Now, finally, a company representative came to guide them on their walk. There are many similar narratives about guests being dropped off at the airport and not picked up by each of these services if they arrive after normal 5pm business hours. There are verifiable horror stories of not getting refunds for poor or no service. I am very comfortable recommending these services if the flight leaves and arrives during normal business hours, but if before 8 in the morning or after 5 in the afternoon, I would advise against this option.
City Car Service
My second option would be a private shuttle service by city car. There are many quality options in this category. In some cases, you can book a sedan, a van and even a bus. The price can range from about $ 130 to $ 500. Depending on the needs of your group, you may find that it works best. The best feature is that most of these services offer a grocery store stop along the way, so you can pick up items for your stay to avoid the price of the resort. I have done this several times and I felt very comfortable saving more money on groceries than paying more for transportation.
However, currently the best option is to share the trip. Whichever company you prefer, the system works well at Orlando Airport. Prices will vary, but according to my recent trips to and from Orlando Airport and Universal Orlando hotels, the average cost was about $ 30 one way (September 14, 2021 was $ 29). Pick-up pick-up locations are easy to locate near baggage reclaim. The car-sharing vehicle will take you directly to your hotel. I’ve never been a fan of share sharing before, but I’ve become that choice to make it more efficient and cost effective. I was even picked up after midnight at Orlando airport without any problems. I still have some concerns about using this service to pick it up early in the morning from the hotel at the airport, but I haven’t tried it yet, as I tend to fly half a day.
We all want to enjoy our vacation and transportation is part of it. Think about what’s best for your group and have fun at Universal Orlando Resort.