On The Buses
This section of the guide contains everything you need to know about Orlando buses. If you are staying in a hotel and you decide not to hire a car in Orlando there are still many great ways to get around. You can get to and from the attractions for free or for just a few dollars. Most of the major attractions operate their own free return shuttle services to their theme parks.
Disney’s Magical Express
Probably the most special of all the Orlando buses is Disney’s Magical Express. This is a free airport shuttle for Disney World Resort Hotel customers only. Once you fly into Orlando International Airport you can board one of the great looking 60’s style Disney buses. The Disney Cruise Line buses are basically the same and may be used during your trip. These stunning buses will take you and your luggage straight to your Disney hotel. You will travel in a luxury air conditioned coach where you can watch a Disney information video. This will get you right in the mood for your Orlando holiday even if you are worn out.
You can’t just turn up and show your Disney reservation. Bookings are required and you can need to book at least 30 days prior to your arrival. you can book by contacting your travel agent. You can also call the Disney Reservation Center on 001-407-W-DISNEY (see making a call). You will then be sent special Disney luggage tags through the post so the Disney staff can identify your luggage.
At the airport
If you are flying directly into Orlando from the UK you will need to pass through security and collect your luggage. Once you are in the main airport terminal building you will be able to leave your luggage with the Disney Magical Express staff. They will then take your luggage to your hotel room. If you have connected or you are arriving into Orlando from another U.S city, Disney will collect your luggage from the baggage claim for you. You can then head off for the Disney Welcome Center and your luggage will be delivered to your hotel room within 3 hours of hotel check-in.
When you are flying home you are entitled to the same service on your trip back to the airport.
The I-Ride Trolley
The most fun looking of the Orlando buses is the I-Ride Trolley. If you choose not to drive and you are based around International Drive and the Universal Orlando Resort area, jump aboard the I-Ride Trolley. The I-Ride trolley is a very cheap and quick way of getting around the area. You can use it to get you close to Universal Studios and Seaworld. The trolley doesn’t stop at Universal Orlando Resort but it gets you quite close. The trolley runs from 8am, to 10.30am daily.
A single trip costs only $2 or an all day pass is just $5. Kids aged 3 to 9 cost $1. If you are aged 65 or over it is just $0.25 per ride. We rode the trolley recently to get to the Sleuths Dinner Show and it was packed full of locals. The trolley was very clean, quick and costs pennies so at these prices you can’t go wrong. I know I keep saying it but DRIVE and your holiday will be much better. Orlando is too big to see on foot and the buses don’t go everywhere. One thing to note is that you must pay the exact amount as drivers do not give change.
Click Here to view the I-Ride Trolley Map in another window
If you are looking to visit shopping malls and other Orlando non-theme park attractions you will find it a little harder to get around. Lynx buses are a great way to get to the ‘hard to reach’ places in Orlando. The cost per ride is again, $2. You can even plan all of your routes before you leave by using their website. To start planning your Lynx bus trips visit the official Lynx website and try the trip planner.
Getting from International Drive area to Disney and back
One of the hardest bus trips to plan is a trip from the I-Drive area to Disney World and back. Disney’s own buses do not pick up from I-Drive and there are no direct bus trips from I-Drive to Disney. This makes it a tricky trip to plan without a car. The best way to get to Disney from the Universal Orlando area is like this…..
- Jump on an I-Ride Trolley or Lynx bus to SeaWorld.
- Then get on the number 50 Lynx bus to Disney World Ticket & Transportation Center.
- From here you can get free travel to any attraction in Walt Disney World Resort.
Once you have finished your Disney day out, do it in reverse. Get on the Lynx 50 and get off at SeaWorld. Then get on the I-Ride trolley to wherever your need to go on International Drive. This is the cheapest way to get to Disney and back from I-Drive and it doesn’t take too long either.
The Lynx Bus App
Lynx have an app that should help you plan your journey. As with a lot of Apps nowadays, there are some bad reviews but take a look at it anyway, it may be useful.
Busch Gardens Shuttle Express
Fancy going to Busch Gardens but not planning on driving? Book yourself a free return bus journey with Mears Coaches. The bus trip is free to anyone that has a valid Busch Gardens ticket. Mears will collect you from various areas around Orlando and take you to Busch Gardens. They will also bring you back at the end of the day.
You can book your journey and find out where the pick-up locations are on the Mears Website.
Check Your Hotel For Shuttles
Many hotels around the International Drive area will run a free / low cost shuttle bus to some attractions. These services change regularly so there is no point in listing them here. Check the website of whichever hotel you are interested in before booking. They will state what services they offer to hotel guests.