Disney World Guests always need affordable transportation options and let's face it, Lightning McQueen is usually busy with his photo ops. Sure there is the Walt Disney World transportation system, but sometimes that just isn't fast enough. What if you want to venture off property to visit some of Orlando's other attractions?
Uber is an outstanding shared ride app that offers an extremely easy and affordable way of transportation for you to use during your next vacation to Walt Disney World. Just enter in where you are and where you want to go and in minutes a driver will appear in minutes to drive you door to door.
If you're from the big city, chance are you're very familiar with Uber. Coming from Kunkletown, PA - I wasn't familiar with Uber. So we tried Uber out on our last Disney World trip and I have to say, it was brilliant. So if you're like me and not as "civilized" as other big city folk, let me walk you through how this all works.
I should also mention there is another similar ride service called Lift that works in a very similar way to Uber. For this discussion, we'll focus on Uber but just know you do have other options.
First things first... before you leave home
Go to Uber - register and down load the app on your phone. You'll need to enter a credit card to keep on file. This way when you call for a ride, all payments are cashless and handled electronically. The app will give you rates for Disney World and the Orlando area. If you enter in your pick up and drop off points it will give you an estimate of your total trip costs in advance. You can split ride costs with others in your party, just know everyone will need to have their own Uber account.
Depending on your specific needs, Uber offers different levels of service....
- uberX - Allows up to 4 passengers and is normally a sedan vehicle
- uberXL - Allows at least 6 passengers and is usually a minivan or SUV
- uberSELECT - 4 passengers or less Luxury cars (such as BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus)
- uberBlack - All black luxury cars for up to 4 passengers and the only level of service offered from Orlando (MCO) airport
Some points to know....
Surge Pricing - During times of HIGH demand, Uber charges a multiplier on every fare during busy times. This can happen during holidays, weekends and commuter rush hours. With Disney and the Orlando area, Uber users can run into this during early morning hours trying to get to breakfast character dining or heading to Universal or Sea World.
Free Rides - When you sign up with Uber, you receive a FREE ride valued up to $20 and you are also allowed to give a free ride of a similar value to someone else but sharing a promo code. If you're traveling to Disney with other friends and family, make sure everyone signs up so you can gift each other these free rides.
Car Seats - Florida Law requires all children under the age of 5 to be using a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device. It is up to the parent, not the Uber driver to supply an appropriate child safety seat. Some Cities do offer UberFamily. This service comes with a $10 surcharge and a child safety seat but as of this post date is not available in Orlando
Airports - Charge fees that UberBlack drivers pass along to their riders. To avoid these extra fees, hop a free shuttle to a nearby airport hotel and start your uber drive from this point.
Disney Pick ups - Uber drivers pick up points are usually found near taxi stands.
To Request a Ride from Uber...
- open the app on your phone and select "Set pickup location" - here you will enter your pick up/drop off points, any promo codes. Finally you can "request" a ride and your payment info will be charged.
- In a few minutes the app will deliver you the name of your driver, their photo and the make an model of their car.
- The app will give you the option to - Cancel ride, split fare costs or contract driver
- It's always a good idea to "contact driver" and give them more details about your exact location at the pick up point. The more details you offer, the easier it will be for your driver to efficiently locate you.
- Always rate your driver in the app. Uber relies on this feedback and it's a way to "pay it forward"
- Tipping is not allowed in the app but you are free to tip in cash for really good service.
So...is Uber worth it?....Does it save you money?
Let's do little "travel math" and find out. The most popular requests we get when it comes to transportation around Disney is for guests to also visit Universal Studios and SeaWorld. So let's compare...
Rental Car Costs
Alamo and National are "official" rental car agencies and have location in Disney World. Generally it will cost you around $60 to rent an economy car for the day. Larger families are looking at approximately $120 for a minivan. If you're planning a day trip to another area theme park, figure daily parking to be around $20. You won't be using much gas to travel the 20-30 miles but do consider your time to get to and deal with the car rental counters. So again - total costs for the day $80 to $140
With Taxi - (typical sedan style for 4 passengers)
Disney to Universal - $100 round trip
Disney to Sea World - $72 round trip
Disney to Universal -UberX Approx $50 Round trip And Uber XL for a van or SUV around $100 round trip
Sea World - UberX approximately $30 round trip and UberXL around $60 round trip
Uber does offer Walt Disney World guests an affordable means of transportation during their stay.
As we conclude here, bear in mind Disney World Resort encompasses roughly 50 square miles so prices may vary a bit based on your exact point to point ride. Every one will have their own preferences. Perhaps sharing a ride with an independent Uber driver makes you feel a bit unsettled. I can say all of my experiences have been great but to each his own. Many people will prefer the freedom of having their own rental car. Personally I think the worry and liability is more hassle than it is worth. Also, just because you're on vacation doesn't mean the rest of Orlando isn't so I would opt for avoiding commuter traffic whenever possible. Bottom line, We just want our readers to be fully informed of all of the options available to them. This way you can make the best, affordable choices for your family.