Orlando to Port Canaveral Transportation Options: The 2017 Guide
If your Disney Cruise sails out of Port Canaveral, Florida, this Orlando to Port Canaveral Transportation Options guide is for you.
I have evaluated the most popular options and will provide you with a list of “pros” and “cons” for each method of transportation.
Table of Contents
Disney Cruise Line Transfer: Orlando to Port Canaveral
Easy and Safe…But It’s the Most Expensive
Taking the Disney Cruise Line Transfer Direct from Airport
What is it?
Disney Cruise Line offers rides from the airport to the Disney terminal at Port Canaveral in a deluxe bus. These things are pretty big. At the airport, you simply meet at the Disney’s Magical Express pickup location. Daily service begins at approximately 9:00 AM. The buses are boarded on a “first come, first served” basis. The first shuttle departs at approximately 10:30am.
$70 per person round trip (or $35 one way). Under 3 years old is free.
How to Make Reservations
Make reservations via your Disney Cruise check-in. You can book online up to 3 days before your cruise. You can also call (800) 951-3532 for more info.
Flight Arrival Time
Make sure your flight arrives on your departure day before 1:30pm.
Disney Cruise Line will send you special DCL luggage tags to attach to your bags before you leave home.
When You Arrive at MCO…
After you get off the plane, just go straight to Terminal B, first floor. This is where the Disney Welcome Desk is located. Check in at the desk and they will show you where to get on the DCL shuttle. Shuttles leave every 30 minutes starting at 9:30am with the last one leaving at 1:30pm.
There is no need to go to baggage claim. DCL will pick up your bags for you. The next time you will see them will be in the stateroom of your Disney Cruise ship by 6pm that day.
Keep a Day Bag
Make sure to keep a day bag with your important cruise documents/passports with you.
Staying at a WDW Resort? You Can Use the DCL Transfer Too
The night before the cruise
You’ll receive a letter to your Disney resort hotel room with instructions about luggage and bus pickup schedule.
Porters will pick up your luggage
Usually around 8am, a porter will retrieve your baggage. They hold it for you until time to board the bus.
DCL bus pickup is usually around 11am
Between 11:00am and 11:30am, the DCL bus will pick you up (usually in the lobby). Read the instructions fully or ask at the front desk.
Bus ride is 1.5 hour drive to Port Canaveral
The bus will make a few stops at other Disney resorts before driving to Port Canaveral. You’ll arrive at port between 12:30pm and 1:30pm.
Worry Free Transportation
No hassles or worries about drivers not showing up, getting lost in rental cars, etc.
No Fussing with Baggage
They take care of your bags at the airport and you don’t see it again until it arrives in your stateroom later in the day
The Ship Will Wait for You
If your Disney bus breaks down or stuck in traffic the ship will wait for you
Meet Fellow Cruisers
Good opportunity to chat with your fellow cruise passengers
Bathroom on Board
Kids Under 3 are Free
Children under 3 years old are free
They play Disney movies on the bus
Expensive unless there is only 1 or 2 in your party
Pay Per Person
Charge is per person
You Wait For Others
Waiting times and slower transfers
Added Cost: Tip the Driver
It is customary to tip the driver
Later Port Arrival Time
Later port arrival time if you are leaving from a WDW Resort Hotel
Must Be Pre-Arranged
Disney’s transfers must be booked a minimum of 3 days before the start of the cruise
Longer Lines at Port Terminal
You will arrive at the port with a big group of people and at a time dictated by Disney. The result is often a long wait in the check-in lines.
How Much Does Disney Cruise Line Shuttle Cost?
From Disney Resort / Orlando Airport
to Port Canaveral
From Orlando Airport
to Port Canaveral and back to Airport
Shared Shuttle Service: Orlando to Port Canaveral
Cheapest Option for a Solo Traveler
Taking a Shared Shuttle Service from Orlando Airport
There are many shuttle services that will pick you up at Orlando International Airport (MCO) and give you a ride to Port Canaveral.
Basically this is a van or a small shuttle bus that will accommodate multiple passengers and their bags.
They will give you a per person charge for each way. Some don’t leave until they are filled with other passengers. Others will operate on a fixed departure schedule.
Cheapest Option for Solo Traveler
If you are a solo traveler, will probably be the cheapest option for airport-to-port transfer
Van Has Plenty of Baggage Space
Unlike a rental car, you don’t have to worry about estimating needed luggage space
Meet Other Cruisers
Good opportunity to chat others that are headed to Port Canaveral
Pay Per Person
Charge is per person
You Wait For Others
Often the shared shuttles will wait until full before departing. You may have to wait inside the van for up to 30 minutes
Takes the Longest
It can take the longest of all options, as these shared vans pick up/drop off passengers at different cruise terminals
Added Cost: Tip the Driver
It is customary to tip the driver 15-20% of the fare
Must Be Pre-Arranged
You’ll need to reserve a spot in the shuttle ahead of time. Usually online or call the company
Compare Shuttle Company Options
Compare the following reputable shared shuttle companies that serve MCO to Port Canaveral.
Prices below reflect one-way from Orlando airport to Port Canaveral.
First Choice Cruise Shuttle
AA Access Transport
My Pick: Cortrans Shuttle
I like Cortrans Shuttle because of the price, the service, and the strong reviews available online.
Things to know:
- Picks up from the airport every hour on the half hour starting at 9:30am with the last shuttle at 12:30pm
- Picks up from nearby airport hotels with two options: Between 10:00am-10:15am and between 11:00am-11:15am
- Picks up from the cruise terminal (after cruise) at 8:15am, 9:00am, 9:45am and 10:30am
Contact Cortrans Shuttle via their website or call 407-446-3896.
Town Car Service: Orlando to Port Canaveral
Most Comfortable Option, Cheaper than Disney Cruise Line Transfer Bus
Taking a Town Car Service from Orlando Airport
If you have a large party and are considering taking the Disney Cruise Line shuttle, consider booking a town car, limo or van. It’s probably cheaper! (See rate comparison.)
You’ll spend about the same amount of money but you’ll enjoy personal service, a more comfortable ride, and more flexibility, as you will control the time of pickup and can even ask for a stop at a grocery store along the way.
Cheaper than DCL Transfer
Price it out below – more benefits and personal service for less money
You get the town car all to yourself
You don’t have to wait to fill the vehicle or pick up more passengers at other stops
Free Car Boosters / Car Seats
Complimentary child car seats/boosters with advance notice
Town car will pick you up where and when you want
Pay Per Vehicle, Not Person
This can reduce your per person cost dramatically
Your ride will be a modern, luxury town car, SUV, or limosine
Added Cost: Tip the Driver
It is customary to tip the driver about 20%
Must Be Pre-Arranged
Reserve your car online or call the company
Not the cheapest option, as you’re paying for a private luxury car and driver experience
My Pick: Access Line Transportation
My recommendation for Town Car Service to Port Canaveral from Orlando International Airport is Access Line Transportation. They have fantastic ratings on TripAdvisor, so be sure to read those reviews.
I have used Access Line Transportation for myself and I love their approach to customer service and how they take care of their passengers. On top of that here are few other cool things that Access Line Transportation offers:
- Complimentary 20 minute grocery store stop. Make sure to request this at time of booking.
- Complimentary child car seat or booster. Make sure to request this at time of booking.
- Flight tracking – Access Line Transportation will track your arrival flights online so they are aware of any delays.
- Includes Meet and Greet at the airport
- No credit card needed to hold reservation (except with limo reservations)
Contact Access Line Transportation via their website or call them at (888) 664-2457.
Town Car Rates
The prices below are from Access Line Transportation. Rates are one-way from the Orlando airport to Port Canaveral.
Price Comparison: Disney Cruise Transfer vs. Private Car
The following grid shows one-way price comparison of the total cost of reserving a private car/SUV/van/limo (using Access Line Transportation prices) vs. the total cost of reserving the Disney Cruise Shuttle.
Depending on the number of passengers in your group, a private car usually makes great financial sense and provides an increased amount of comfort and flexibility over Disney Cruise Shuttle.
|seats 3-4||seats 7||seats 10-14||seats 8|
Renting a Car: Orlando to Port Canaveral
Best Bang for Your Buck: Affordable, Flexible, Freedom
Renting a Car to Drive from Orlando Airport
For most people, renting a car is the best overall option for transportation from Orlando Airport (MCO) to Port Canaveral.
- I like to save money.
- I like to have control over my schedule.
- I like to have flexibility to make a stop or two on the way if I want.
- I want to be able to get myself to the port at the earliest possible arrival time. (Why? It’s my #1 Disney Cruise Tip.)
Renting a car at the Orlando airport is typically the most cost effective option for couples or families.
Picking up a rental car at Orlando Airport (MCO)
Each major rental car company has a desk at the airport itself. Unlike other airports where you have to take a shuttle to a separate terminal, the rental car counters are located on the airport property itself on the same floor as Baggage Claim.
About one-way rentals
Almost all major rental car companies allow you to book one-way rentals. This allows you to drive from Orlando to Port Canaveral where you can drop off the car at the rental car office. From there, the rental car company will shuttle you and your bags to the Disney Cruise Terminal.
Cheapest Option: 2 or More Travelers
Usually the most economical option for groups of 2 or more. Rental rates vary, however
No One-Way Dropoff Fee
Most of rental car companies do NOT have a one-way or drop-off charge (except Dollar and Thrifty)
Free Shuttle from Office to Port
Port Canaveral offices offer free shuttle to the port (usually 5-10 minute drive)
Gives you the flexibility to stop and grab some groceries, a bite to eat, or last-minute items on the way
Arrive When You Want
This is big for me. You can arrive at the ship as early as you would like (or your assigned Port Arrival Time permits)
Reserve Without Credit Card
No credit card is required to reserve car (unless you pre-pay for your rental car)
Pick Up Car at Airport (No Shuttle)
All rental car companies listed below are on-site at MCO so no need to shuttle to pick up your car
Sometimes There's a Line
Lines at the rental car companies in Port Canaveral can be long during peak hours on cruise days (avoid the peak hours of 11am to 12:30pm)
Must Be Pre-Arranged
You’ll need to reserve a car ahead of time
Need $2 in quarters to pay for tolls each way. Make sure to turn off the rental cars toll thingy so the rental company doesn’t charge you.
Compare Rental Car Prices
This step is super important. Always, always, always compare rental car prices.
Rental car prices fluctuate greatly, depending on seasonality, overall vacation demand, and the supply of cars available to serve Orlando.
To make your money go the furthest when renting a car, read my How to Save Money on a Rental Car guide.
My Recommendation for Rental Car Companies
After you have compared rental car prices for Orlando to Port Canaveral, you will be left with a list of companies and cars to choose from.
All else being equal, I recommend Alamo / National / Enterprise (all owned by same company and share one office) for the following reasons:
The Port Canaveral office is very near the port (map)
This is nice as it can shave a few minutes off the trip from the rental car office to the terminal. Or it is that much closer if you decide to take an Uber or a cab to get there faster.
Free shuttle from office to cruise terminal
Once you return your car at Port Canaveral office, they will put you and your bags in a van and drive you to the Disney Cruise Terminal.
Cheap child seats
In comparing prices, I found that Alamo, National, and Enterprise offered the lowest daily prices on child seat/booster seats. Alamo and National charge $9.99 per seat per day; Enterprise is $8.95 per day.
Flexible: Just Summon the Car When You’re Ready
Uber from MCO to Port Canaveral
Currently, Uber’s agreement with the airport only allows them to use their more expensive mid-tier luxury vehicles—UberSELECT and SELECT XL—to pick up at MCO. However, you can access their most affordable options, like uberX and uberXL, everywhere else in Orlando.
So if you are staying at a hotel near the airport (or any hotel except the Hyatt Regency at the airport) you can use the less expensive cars and save a lot of money.
Average Uber Rates to Port Canaveral
Here are fare estimates from Uber’s website:
MCO to Port Canaveral:
UberSelect: $94-$121 (accommodates up to 4 riders)
UberSelect XL: $113-$147 (accommodates up to 6 riders)
Hotel near MCO to Port Canaveral:
UberX: $35-$46 (accommodates up to 4 riders)
UberXL: $61-$80 (accommodates up to 6 riders)
If you have little ones that will need a car seat, you can choose UberFAMILY. (This is the classic Uber experience that is equipped with a car seat.)
For more information about Uber at the MCO airport, go here.
How to Get a Free Ride on Uber
If you’re new to Uber, get your first ride free (up to $15) by using my special Picture the Magic link.
Your driver will take you pretty much anywhere you want.
With your own driver, you won’t have to share a ride with strangers
No Reservations Needed
Does not need to be pre-arranged. Just request a ride on your app when you’re ready to be picked up
When a high number of rides are requested in a given area and there aren’t enough Uber drivers, prices are increased by a multiple of the regular price (1.5x, 2.4x, 3x, etc)
Luggage Can Be Tricky
If you have a lot of luggage, it can be harder to find a driver with a large enough vehicle to accommodate
Driving Your Own Car
Driving Your Own Car to Port Canaveral
If you live close enough to Port Canaveral that you’ve saved airfare by driving your own car, here are a few tips to help you save even more money.
With more than 700 miles of toll roads, Florida has the most tolls in the nation. It pays to know generally how much you’ll be paying in tolls for your journey. The simplest tip I have for you here is to stop at the bank and get yourself a roll of quarters. Here’s a link to help you calculate what you might have to pay in tolls.
Florida’s major highways allow maximum speeds of 70 mph.
Parking Options at Port Canaveral
Parking at Port Canaveral Terminal
Port Canaveral has covered parking at the cruise terminal. Parking is very close and they allow you to drop off your bags and passengers in front of the terminal. From there, Disney’s porters will take your bags from you and allow you to park the car.
You can pay with most major credit card. Vehicles occupying two or more parking spaces, such as buses or large campers, are charged as “oversized”. You can make reservations here.
|Length of Cruise||Regular||Oversized|
|3 Nights / 4 Days||$64||$112|
|4 Nights / 5 Days||$80||$148|
|5 Nights / 6 Days||$96||$160|
|6 Nights / 7 Days||$112||$196|
|7 Nights / 8 Days||$128||$224|
|8 Nights / 9 Days||$144||$252|
|9 Nights / 10 Days||$160||$280|
Stay with Local Hotel, Get a 40% Off Coupon
Port Canaveral has a partnership with many local hotels that will give you a voucher good for 40% off your parking at Port Canaveral cruise terminal. When making your reservation with one of the partner hotels, let them know you’d like to have a cruise terminal parking voucher. You’ll receive the voucher at the front desk when you leave your hotel.
Other Nearby Parking Facilities
Save some money by parking at a facility nearby but not on Port Canaveral property. Their per day charge is usually quite a bit less than Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal parking.
You’ll park your car at their secure facility and they provide a shuttle to take you and your luggage to the Disney terminal.
Here are two nearby options. Check their websites for latest promotions:
Park N Cruise
1700 Sea Ray Drive
Merritt Island, Fl 32952
Park Port Canaveral
8600 Astronaut Blvd.
Cape Canaveral, Florida 32920