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Mears Connect Review - Transportation To Walt Disney World

We review the Mears Connect transfer service to and from Orlando airport to Walt Disney World.

Mears Connect Review - Transportation To Walt Disney World

Here is our Mears Connect review after using the service twice throughout 2023 and 2024.

Since the unfortunate and short-sighted demise of Disney's Magical Express, two companies sprung up to fill the gap left in the market. Mears Connect - who was the company that actually operated Disney's Magical Express - and Sunshine Flyer. In August 2023, the two companies merged into a new company called "Mears Connect Driven By Sunshine", although still largely goes by the Mears Connect branding. We've used the Mears Connect service both before and after the merger.

On trips we used the Mears Connect service, we flew British Airways and Aer Lingus, who both now operate out of Orlando International Airport's new terminal C. We opted for Mears Connect as they run shuttles out of terminal C directly - or so they said!

Mears Connect Booking & Customer Service

We booked & paid online in advance during the sale for a cost of $12/child and $15/adult. So for 2 adults, it was about $60 total return. The price is usually $15 for children and $19 for adults each way but it can vary. You don't have to book online in advance, you can just rock up and pay when you arrive.

On our first trip, we added a Disney's Pop Century stay at the end of our trip, but we had a pick up booked at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. There was no way to edit your bookings - you had to cancel and re-book online. To do this you had to email their customer services. The good news here is that they replied quickly and I received a full refund of the booking within days, so customer service gets a thumbs up. Now, you can cancel online easily, although you can still contact customer services if you want. There's no charge if cancelled more than 24 hours before scheduled travel time.

Mears Connect Arrivals

After you disembark at terminal C you grab your luggage, go through immigration, and then follow the big "ground transportation" signs - you can't miss them. When you follow those signs you'll be presented with a cosy corner where Mears Connect operates. It's only a couple minutes walk.

Mears Connect Review 1

The two staff members working at the desk were very friendly and polite. There was a bus about to leave, and one of them ran out to stop it so we didn't have to wait for the next one! After we got checked in, the bus that was waiting for us was a Disney Cruise Line bus! A little bit of a tease because we didn't tack on a Disney Wish cruise at the end of that trip. As I previously said, the old Disney's Magical Express and the current Disney Cruise Line bus services were/are both operated by Mears, so you might get them instead of the blue coaches from time to time.

Mears Connect Review 2

It wasn't Disney's Magical Express, but it's the next best thing! There were 5 resort stops altogether and even after a long flight, it's quite nice to sit in some air con enjoying the scenery of other Walt Disney World resorts. And the moment we all wait for...

Mears Connect Review 3

Mears Connect Departures

On the return trip, you're given a time to be outside your resort. We were at Disney's Pop Century for pick up on our first trip and Disney's Wilderness Lodge for the second. It gets somewhat confusing when buses come in and you're unable to tell if they're picking up or dropping off, I wish they'd make it a little more clear on the coaches. We had two Mears Connect coaches enter Disney's Pop Century and both times the screen at the front was blank so we had to go and bother the driver and ask what he was doing. It would be good for the coaches to have consistent signs rather than have 10 people go up and disturb the drivers every time. However, they have now done something else to address this issue, which we'll get get to in a moment.

At our time, a Mears Connect coach picking up arrived! There was a couple who were due on next pickup coach (running 5 minutes behind), but our driver had room so he offered to take them. You can jump on any Mears Connect coach (as long as the driver has capacity) even if it's not your allocated one, which is great.

The second trip where we got picked up from Disney's Wilderness Lodge was even better. The driver was right on time and we also received a text which let us track the coach! This means we no longer have to scramble and find out if the coach is ours when it pulls into the hotel.

Arriving At The Airport

It was a sad but pleasant journey back to the airport. The one annoyance on our first trip was even though they advertised "The only shuttle servicing both main & C Terminals arrivals & departures." our coach was not going to terminal C. I asked the driver and he said he was only dropping off at the main terminal, and if I wanted to go to C there was another minibus that runs to C (I couldn't tell if it was a Mears one or one operated by the airport, either way it wasn't there at the time) or I could go inside and get the indoor tram over to C. So we got off the coach and it took another 20 minutes or so to get to C using the tram. I chose Mears Connect because they were meant to take us back directly to C, but it turns out that's not the case, even though they advertise it as such. After posting this review, we had readers tell us the same thing so we reached out to Mears Connect and they provided me with the following statement.

All of our drivers should be dropping off at terminal C for all passengers departing on those airlines. At the time of vehicle boarding, the drivers are supposed to confirm the passenger's airline so that they are aware of the need to stop at terminal C. Any drivers not dropping at terminal C are violating our service policy.

I can confirm that on our second trip, the coach did indeed go to terminal C to drop us off. It actually went to terminal C before going to the main terminal. Mears Connect has said that if any guest on the coach is going to C, the coach will go to C, so hopefully, that is the case and our situation was a one-off.

Mears Connect Final Thoughts

Overall Mears Connect offers a pleasant coach trip which I think is good value for money. All the drivers we had were friendly and provided a good service. Don't forget to tip your driver about $1/bag! Now being able to track your coach and with the added reassurance that coaches will go to C as advertised, it is a service I would recommend. The price is set per person, so for larger families, it still might be better value for money to share an Uber or Lyft, but I never found the journey was long in the coach even being some of the last guests to be dropped off.

For more Walt Disney World reviews, see our Walt Disney World Reviews page.

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