The life of a TravelingMom covers a lot of area in a short period of time. For those trips where you don’t need a full-time ride, but do need a way to get around quickly – consider rideshare companies. Candid TravelingMom shares the complete guide to using rideshare services in Orlando when theme park transportation just won’t do!

Complete guide to rideshare services in Orlando when theme park transportation won't do!

Universal Orlando Resort offers free water taxi services from resorts to the parks. Photo: Patty Holliday/ Candid TravelingMom

One of the aspects I love about traveling to Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World has to be that you don’t “need” a rental car. Both locations offer plentiful, free transportation to get you and your family around the resorts safely.

But they aren’t always the fastest options.

I get a bit hangry when the resort bus takes almost an hour to get me to Disney Springs where my delicious chicken and donuts are waiting at Art Smith’s Homecoming.

And when at Universal, try hopping from the resort you are staying at over to another one and you’ll soon learn that “free” doesn’t always equate to best.

Time is money, especially when you are paying so much to stay at these theme parks!

That’s why I’m a believer in utilizing rideshare options like Uber and Lyft whenever it makes sense. And, yes, sometimes it makes a lot of sense especially when you are on a tight time budget.

How To Use Rideshare Services in Orlando

It’s easy, I promise!

First, you’ll need to download the app of your choice. I have them both downloaded and accounts with each one.

Uber Tips - Ridesharing Apps

Top ridesharing apps to download before your travels.
Photo credit: Leslie Harvey / Frequent Flyer TravelingMom

I take a few extra minute to determine which service has a closer ride to me, and which one might be charging more at that particular moment.

At times, the services may charge more due to high demand (think New Year’s Eve, for example). Be aware that just because it was a $6 trip this time, it may not be that cheap next time.

Next, you’ll type in your current location (or location services will choose it for you) and your destination choice.

Choose to order the ride and wait for your chariot. Within a few minutes, you’ll receive notification in the app letting you know when your Uber or Lyft will arrive.

Complete guide to rideshare services in Orlando when theme park transportation won't do!

Lyft and Uber will send you a notice with ETA of driver, their contact info, and vehicle description. Photo: Patty Holliday/Candid TravelingMom

Airport Rideshare Services in Orlando

Until recently, this was one issue with rideshares: you couldn’t grab one from the Orlando airport.

But now you can! Both Uber and Lyft are available to pick you up from MCO.

Uber had a few prices listed, but be aware that these are just estimates! Uber can get you from:

  • MCO to Downtown Orlando, starting at $27
  • MCO to Convention Center, starting at $23
  • MCO to Walt Disney World Resort, starting at $31
  • MCO to UCF campus, starting at $28

Why Use Rideshare Services in Orlando

Complete guide to rideshare services in Orlando when theme park transportation won't do!

Many drivers work for both Uber and Lyft. And who wouldn’t want to take a drive in this sporty Dodge Charger? Photo: Patty Holliday/Candid TravelingMom

My easy answer is time and convenience.

Bonus answer: you get to ride is some nice vehicles you may never have a chance to check out otherwise. The car dork in me finds that fun.

Resort buses do a good job moving a lot of people at a time, but they are not fast.

Learn the secret to using the shuttle buses at Walt Disney World in this guide to Disney transportation.

Buses serve nearly every Disney destination.
Photo credit: Leslie Harvey / Frequent Flyer TravelingMom

At the TravelingMom retreat last month, Latina TravelingMom Tania and I put Lyft to the test. We left our fellow TMOMs at the bus stop (hey, they were invited on the ride but declined- we aren’t monsters!) and hopped in a rideshare.

We were walking into the Magic Kingdom within 15 minutes.

Our friends showed up 45 minutes after us.

Complete guide to rideshare services in Orlando when theme park transportation won't do! Get to see the Dapper Dans faster!

With our Lyft ride, we made it to the Magic Kingdom in time to see our faves: the Dapper Dans!

With that extra time, we saved by taking Lyft, we gained extra magic in the park. We watched the Dapper Dans, hit up the popcorn stand, took some selfies, and flew to Neverland and visited the Haunted Mansion.

Boom. Time and money (about $7) well spent!

Rideshare Services In Orlando With Kids

Uber and Lyft are great options for adults, but you can also get around Orlando using rideshare when your kids are with you.

Orlando is one of the cities that offer the Uber Car Seat service.

I didn’t use these services myself, but you can learn exactly how this works from Frequent Flyer TravelingMom Leslie.

Heads up, parents: those car seats will cost you just a little more. But of course, so worth it for the safety of our kiddos.

The Minnie Vans

New to Walt Disney World are these adorable Minnie Vans available through Lyft.

Latina TravelingMom Tania hopped into a Minnie Van on her last trip! Photo: Tania Lamb, Latina TravelingMom

It’s only available at select Disney World resorts, but you can choose this option over a normal ride when you are staying on property.

The Minnie Vans cost a flat $20 to take you anywhere on property and they have car seats available.

Fast Facts About Rideshare Services In Orlando

  • Rides are available 24 hours a day.
  • You will need a smartphone and the apps to request a ride.
  • Lyft seems to come in a little cheaper in the Disney World and Universal locations when I compared.
  • The cars are clean and the drivers safe and vetted.
  • Some vehicles will even offer water, gum, or other treats during your transportation. Always a nice bonus!

    Complete guide to rideshare services in Orlando when theme park transportation won't do!

    Water in the back of my Lyft on a recent trip in Orlando. Yes, please! Photo: Patty Holliday, CandidTravelingMom

  • You can tip on both Lyft and Uber now.
  • All drivers appreciate 5-star ratings when it’s appropriate. Don’t forget the feedback after the ride.
  • Both Uber and Lyft can be used to and from MCO.
  • Car seats are available in some Uber vehicles.

Complete guide to rideshare services in Orlando when theme park transportation won't do! Give Uber and Lyft a try.