Getting to Downtown Disney from Airport
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Hi, we are planning to come in one day before our cruise next year and were hoping to stay at a Downtown Disney Hotel so that we could "hit the strip." Does anyone know if the Downtown Disney Hotels offer shuttle service from the airport? We were hoping we would not have to rent a car. Also, if we did stay on property, I know the ME will take us to our hotel from the airport, but will it take us back to the airport the next morning so we can catch the Disney Port Bus?
Flying in the night before your cruise is a good idea in case of flight delays. Hanging out at Downtown Disney is also a good idea!
I don't think any of the Downtown Disney hotels offer a free shuttle from the airport, but you could take a Mears bus or a car service. That's pricy, though -- $20-$30 per person. If you have several people, it would be less expensive to rent a car, especially if you could return it at Port Canaveral.
If you do stay at a Disney resort, you could take Magical Express to the airport, but you could also board a Disney Cruise bus at your resort. I think it's the same cost from WDW as from the airport.
If you stay at a Disney-owned resort, you can get cruise line transportation directly from that resort - no need to go back to the airport in the morning. The rate is the same as if you left from the airport. The cruise line will be happy to modify your shuttle reservation accordingly. So, DME from the airport to WDW, DCL transportation from WDW to Port Canaveral, DCL transportation from Port Canaveral to the airport. That's exactly what I did for the Fantasy Preview Cruise.
Port Orleans would be a good choice - moderate rates, and you can take the boat to Downtown.
As far as I know, the only Orlando hotels (other than Disney's) that offer free airport shuttles are those right by the airport. You won't have any luck getting free service to the Hotel Plaza area (Downtown Disney) resorts.
Co-Author, PassPorter's Walt Disney World, PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line, and PassPorter's Disneyland and Southern California Attractions
Dave has covered it all. POR is a great resort. It's our fav moderate. Love the boat to DTD. Another option would be a studio at Saratoga Springs which is walking distance to DTD. Also Disney owned so you can get your Disney Transportion from the airport to your resort, then the Cruise line bus to the port from your resort.