What’s The Best & Cheapest Way To Go From Point A To Point B In Orlando? It’s Complicated

I see it ALL the time on Facebook groups:

  • “What’s the best and cheapest way to get from WDW to Universal?”
  • “We want to go from the Rosen Inn to Clearwater Beach – what’s the cheapest and best way to do that?”
  • “Best/cheapest way to get from the 192 in Kissimmee to the Vineland Outlet Mall? TIA! x” (the TIA is “Thanks In Advance.” The x at the end is a U.K. thing that I still don’t really understand LOLOL)
  • “We’re going shopping at Disney Springs but have reservations for the 5:15pm Spirit of Aloha Diner Show at the Polynesian Resort Hotel. What’s the best/fastest/cheapest way to get there?”
  • “We’re staying at the Avanti on I-Drive and want to go to Dave & Buster’s. What’s the cheapest and best way to get there?”

Of course, I totally understand what and why people are asking. But the thing is, the proper reply for each of those all depends on where you are and where you’re going. On top of that, cheapest is not always best. And “best,” to be honest, is subjective and will be different for every person – does “best” mean cheapest? Most luxurious? Fastest? Most private?

So let’s go over the different options…

The Cheapest

The cheapest might save you the most money, but it’s never the fastest. You also run the risk of “you can’t get there from here” by using the cheapest method. But here are some of the cheapest options:

  • Walk. I know, it’s rarely a viable option. But I’ve seen plenty of tourist walking on Sand Lake Rd., on their way back to their hotel from Whole Foods (which is the closest supermarket to the Sand Lake/I-Drive corridor), and from Universal Studios back to their hotel on I-Drive, so there you go.
  • Take the bus. Central Florida’s bus system, called Lynx, has routes all around the area, including the airport. And at $2 per ride (including transfers), it’s definitely one of the cheapest means of transportation out there. Only problem is between waiting for the bus and transfers, you can, for example, expect to take upwards of 2 hours to get between WDW and Universal.
  • Disney Magical Express (DME). If you’re at MCO and want to go to WDW (or vice versa), you can use DME, which is a free bus service between the two locations. Be aware that even if you take DME and don’t have a car on Disney property, Disney may still charge you for overnight parking. So check your bill! You can also take DME between WDW and the Disney Cruise.
  • Other Disney Transportation. If you’re on WDW property and are going to somewhere else on Disney property, you can take Disney’s buses, boats and/or monorails for free. Be prepared for potential waits and crowds.
  • I-RIDE Trolley. Running daily from 8am to 10:30pm, the I-RIDE Trolley runs up and down International Drive (with some side stops for SeaWorld and Aquatica).Trolley

The Fastest

The fastest options will usually get you there in the quickest time, but you’re going to pay a premium for that speed.

  • Rent A Car. With rare exception, the fastest way to get from one place to another is with a car. You don’t have to worry about waiting for a bus/shuttle/trolley/UBER/taxi/driver/etc. Being able to come and go as you please, when you please, and wherever you please, is also pretty nifty. AND it makes it easier to carry stuff (luggage, souvenirs, etc.) from one place to another. Anyway, if you’re considering a rental car, these may be helpful:
    How to find a cheap car rental
    Should you get the three types of car rental insurance?
    Should you prepay for gas with your rental car?
    Signing up for car rental programs and what each program will give you
    How to avoid crazy toll charges when renting a car in Orlando
  • Minnie Van. If you’re on WDW property and are going to somewhere else on Disney property, you can take a Minnie Van to get you from Point A to Point B. Minnie Vans are owned by WDW, driven by trained Disney Cast Members, and are run via the Lyft app. Minnie Vans cost a base price of $15 and a mileage price on top of that. You can also get a Minnie Van to MCO for $150.
  • UBER/Lyft. Ride sharing has become more and more popular around the world and Orlando is no exception. Our Central FL ride sharing circle became complete when UBER & Lyft were finally allowed to pick up at MCO a couple of years ago.
  • Click here for a comparison of pricing and convenience for Minnie Vans vs. UBER/Lyft. The page also has price calculators for Uber and Lyft.Daily Deal UBER
  • Take A Shuttle or Bus. You could conceivably take an UBER/Lyft from Central FL to the Gulf or Atlantic coasts, but it’s going to cost you a fortune. You might want to look into shuttle service. Google SHUTTLE (or BUS) “WHERE YOU ARE” (i.e. WDW, MCO, International Drive, etc.) “WHERE YOU’RE GOING” (Cocoa, Clearwater, Port Canaveral, St. Augustine).

Most Luxurious & Most Private

  • Rent From Silvercar. Silvercar entered the Orlando market a little over a year ago. Their “hook” is that it’s the way renting a car should be. Everything is included in the price. No surprises. Oh, and they only rent out Audis. We love Silvercar, but we rarely get to use them.
  • Minnie Van. If you’re on WDW property and are going to somewhere else on Disney property, you can take a Minnie Van to get you from Point A to Point B. Minnie Vans are owned by WDW, driven by trained Disney Cast Members, and are run via the Lyft app. Minnie Vans cost a base price of $15 and a mileage price on top of that. You can also get a Minnie Van to MCO for $150.
  • Hire a personal driver. Not a service very often used, but personal drivers, Town Cars, Limos, etc. are available. Recommended phrases to Google are ORLANDO, CHAUFFEUR, PERSONAL DRIVER, TOWN CAR, LIMO, etc.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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