Using either Lyft or Uber in Disney World is an easy way to travel from your resort to the parks or other destinations, but like anything when visiting the mouse, a little information can go a long way.
Table of contents
- What Is Ridesharing and Why Would You Want to Use It at Disney?
- How to Order a Lyft or Uber in Disney World
- Uber and Lyft Pickup Points at Disney World
- Ridesharing When You’re Staying at an Offsite Location
- What Does It Cost to Use Lyft or Uber in Disney World?
- How Long Do I Have to Wait for an Uber to Pick Me Up?
- Will I Get to the Parks or My Resort Faster Using Uber or Lyft?
- The Drawbacks of Using Lyft or Uber in Disney World
- Pros of Using Lyft or Uber in Disney World
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other information on Disney World Transportation
- Comparing Disney World Internal Transportation with Ridesharing
- Complete Guide to the Disney World Complimentary Transportation System
- What It’s Like to Travel with the Disney World Bus System
- Disney World Boats: Using Water Transportation with the Mouse
- The Walt Disney World Monorail- What It Is and Why You’d Use It
- The Walt Disney World Skyliner: A Whole New Highway in the Sky
What Is Ridesharing and Why Would You Want to Use It at Disney?
Lyft and Uber are two ridesharing companies that service Disney World as well as many other locations across the US. Ridesharing is a relatively new term that refers to a service where individuals agree to provide you transport in their personal vehicle for a fee.
If it all sounds a little sketchy, let’s take a step back. Ridesharing companies are legitimate businesses that hire contract drivers to chauffer customers around. Before being allowed to drive for either company, drivers must submit to a screening process. This includes a background check and a check on their driving record.
If you’re thinking this sounds similar to calling a cab, there are some distinct differences, primarily how you interact with the company and hail a ride. Instead of phoning a central dispatch to have a car sent your way, you must download the Lyft or Uber app. This is your interface for hailing a driver and receiving a ride.
How to Order a Lyft or Uber in Disney World
If you’re already familiar with ridesharing, then using Lyft or Uber in Disney World will be nothing new. If you’ve never had the chance to use either service before, here are some tips for getting started. Since Lyft has been the official provider for Disney World, we’ll use their app, though both work the same.
Let’s say you’re staying at the Beach Club resort and want to travel to Animal Kingdom. Upon opening the app you’ll be asked to enter your destination. Your point of origin should be detected by the app and already filled in.
Once you’ve confirmed your pick up and drop off points, you’ll be offered a number of available drivers, with the type of vehicle and the number of passengers they can carry. You can also view driver locations on a map to select the one that is closest.
Once you select your car, you’ll receive more information, such as the name of the driver, when they should arrive, and the license plate number of the vehicle they will be driving. It’s good to pay attention to this information as it will help you to recognize your driver when they arrive.
After that, you head to the pickup point, meet your driver, and away you go. Payment has already been charged to your credit card, but you do have the option to provide an additional tip. This can be made in cash as you leave the car or through the app. In fact, you’re likely to receive a helpful reminder as you exit the vehicle, asking if you want to add a tip to your ride.
Uber and Lyft Pickup Points at Disney World
When traveling from your onsite Disney World resort, there are few different locations where you may meet your driver. If you’re located at one of Disney World’s deluxe resorts, your driver will meet you outside the hotel lobby. In most cases, this will be the same location where you were dropped off when arriving.
However, due to the sprawling nature of the moderate or value resorts, and the fact that parking lots are located directly outside most buildings, you can usually ask your driver to pick you up in the nearest parking area. It’s helpful to order the ride from where you want to receive a pickup. This will help your driver to better locate you.
Ordering a Lyft or Uber from one of the parks or other sites across Disney property is even easier. When you open the app, it will detect your location and tell you where to proceed for pickup. Generally, this is somewhere near the parking area, but varies from park to park:
Animal Kingdom: Pick up and drop off points are located in the main parking area, right off the sidewalk and east of the Disney World bus transportation station.
EPCOT: To reach the Lyft or Uber pickup point at EPCOT, cross under the monorail and follow the sings toward the ridesharing pick up point. This should be in the Journey parking lot by the electric vehicle charging stations, so be ready to hop right on board when your driver arrives.
Hollywood Studios: Here again, you’ll be picked up in the parking area, just beyond the bus transportation loop. Signs should be posted to guide the way.
Magic Kingdom: Uber and Lyft pickups and drop offs for Magic Kingdom guests occur at the Transportation Ticket Center. This is the hub for day guests who drive to Disney World. You will need to take the monorail or Steamship to reach Magic Kingdom.
Disney Water Parks: Pickup and drop off points for Disney water parks are located right outside the main gate.
You can also use Uber or Lyft to travel from one Disney World hotel to another. This is the simplest and fastest way to travel if you have a dining reservation at another resort. Using Disney World transportation will often require you to travel to one of the parks and transfer to another bus heading to the resort where you have your advanced dining reservation.
Ridesharing When You’re Staying at an Offsite Location
While staying at a Disney World resort can extend the magic beyond the park gates, if you’re staying offsite, hailing an Uber or Lyft has some distinct advantages. For one, you won’t have to pay to park. If you drive your own vehicle or a rental car, and you aren’t staying at a Disney resort, you’ll need to pay $25 per day to leave your car in a Disney lot—up to $50 a day if you want a preferred spot closer to the gates.
With the exception of Magic Kingdom, an Uber or Lyft can get you closer for a much lower cost.
What Does It Cost to Use Lyft or Uber in Disney World?
The price of a Lyft or Uber ride in Disney World varies by time of day and demand. That means prices rise the closer you travel to park opening or closing. Costs will also vary by size of vehicle. Smaller vehicles can be booked at a lower price with larger mini vans or SUVs commanding a higher rate. Generally, you will pay somewhere between $5.00 and $18.00 depending on the length of your trip, the size of the vehicle you select, and the time of day you are traveling.
Fortunately, you can easily see the cost for each vehicle within the app before booking and committing to the expense.
How Long Do I Have to Wait for an Uber to Pick Me Up?
Just as costs vary by time of day, so do pickup wait times. Generally, more drivers are out and about during peak travel times, so you’re likely to get a ride quicker if you’re travelling closer to the opening or closing of a park.
Likewise, there may be fewer drivers mid-day, resulting in a slightly longer wait. That being said, we’ve never waited more than 10 minutes for a driver to arrive.
Will I Get to the Parks or My Resort Faster Using Uber or Lyft?
When we compared ridesharing to Disney World buses, we found little difference in actual transit times. Most drivers obey the posted speed limits, as do Disney World buses, so the time spent moving to your destination will be roughly the same.
That means the deciding factor in whether using Lyft or Uber in Disney World is faster comes down to how long you wait for either mode of transportation to arrive. Fortunately, the resort section of the My Disney Experience app will tell you when the next bus to your destination is due to get to your resort. While these are approximate and can change, most are close.
By comparing the bus wait time with that of an available Uber of Lyft, you can easily determine which mode of transportation will get you there fastest. Just keep in mind that buses may make multiple stops at your resort, which could add a few minutes to your total transit time.
When it comes to traveling to the Magic Kingdom from one of the Magic Kingdom resorts (Contemporary, Bay Lake Towers, Grand Floridian and Polynesian Village), it’s always faster to take the monorail over ridesharing. For one thing, your bags will be checked as you board, sparing you a much longer bag check line before you reach the turnstiles at the Magic Kingdom.
And remember, Uber or Lyft can only take you as far as the Transportation and Ticket Center. From there, you’ll have to get on the monorail to travel to the park, only this time, you’ll have to stand in the lengthy bag check line outside the entrance if you’re carrying anything with you.
If you’re thinking about traveling by Disney World boat service, determining your quickest option is a little more difficult. Generally, boats have a more direct access to the park through inland waterways, while your Uber or Lyft driver will need to navigate roadways with stop lights and traffic.
However, boats can travel slowly, so if you’ve just missed one, it could be quicker to hail a ridesharing driver to take you to your destination.
The Drawbacks of Using Lyft or Uber in Disney World
While ridesharing is a quick and efficient way to move around Disney World, it isn’t all a magical adventure. Here are some of the drawbacks associated with using a Lyft or Uber in Disney World.
Some drivers are inexperienced: While some drivers make a career out of driving people around Disney World, the vast majority are part-timers and some may only be on Disney property after dropping someone from the airport. That means that some drivers will be less familiar with the roads and drop off points, and may not understand critical details, such as the fact that you cannot drop off passengers at the entrance to Magic Kingdom.
Some Drivers are Shady: While the vast number of ridesharing drivers we’ve encountered at Disney World have been on the up-and-up, we did experience a few questionable instances during our last trip. Twice the driver and vehicle identified by the app were not the same that arrived to pick us up. However, the driver insisted that he was the one who responded to the call.
When this happens, it’s up to you to decide whether you use the driver, but we suggest erring on the side of caution and canceling the ride.
Not all drivers speak English: While most drivers know enough of the local language to effectively communicate with you about your ride, we have experienced at least one occasion where this wasn’t the case. If you need to communicate special details about your trip, this can create difficulties. In the aforementioned instance, the driver had to call his daughter on the phone to translate what we were saying to him and then relay his answers back to us. In the end, we were able to communicate, but you should be aware that special workarounds might be needed.
Not all drivers understand Disney World: As previously mentioned, not all drivers spend their time transporting guests at Disney World. While this is not a problem most of the time, it can cause issues from time to time. In December of 2020, members of our party were traveling to Animal Kingdom right around park opening. They arrived at the gate about five minutes early only to find that traffic was being held until the park officially opened. Not understanding that this would be the case, the driver grew irate and demanded that our friends leave his vehicle, even though they offered a generous tip.
You may not be comfortable with your driver’s style: Just like we all have that one friend who brakes hard and late for stops or takes corners on two wheels, it’s possible that you might just encounter that one Lyft or Uber driver who does the same. It happened to us once, resulting in a rather harrowing 5-minute journey to the parks.
Pros of Using Lyft or Uber in Disney World
Less Wait to Get Where You’re Going: Let’s face it, waiting for a Disney World bus can be exhausting. If you’re traveling back to your onsite resort at the end of the day, you might easily find yourself waiting through 2 or 3 buses before you can get on. Taking a Lyft or Uber in Disney World is usually faster and always more direct than waiting for Disney World transportation.
More Direct Access: In most cases, your Uber or Lyft driver will be able to drop you off closer to the front gate of the parks than a Disney bus, boat or Skyliner. If you’re staying at a value or moderate resort, they may even be able to drop you off right outside your room.
More relaxed environment: While we consider a ride on Disney World transportation part of the magic of the Disney World experience, there are times when you need to step back from the crowd. Using Lyft or Uber in Disney World provides you with that quiet break, with a more private ride to where you are going.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my driver is safe?
Drivers for both Uber and Lyft undergo background and driver safety checks. That’s why it’s important to make sure the driver listed in the app is the one who arrives to pick you up.
Will my driver have a car seat available?
While car seats are not standard equipment for either Uber or Lyft, some drivers will have them available, especially if they frequently transport passengers around Disney World. You can locate drivers that offer car seats by using filters in the app. However, few drivers will have more than one seat available.
Is It Worth It to Use Lyft or Uber in Disney World?
If you have strict budget for your Disney World vacation, you might not find the added expense associated with ridesharing to be feasible or even desired. Unlike other added-cost experiences at Disney World, you aren’t missing any extra magic if you decide not to spend the extra money on ridesharing.
After all, the complimentary Disney World transportation system can get you where you’re going, often within the same timeframe of either Uber or Lyft. While not as private as a ride in someone’s car, you do have the same opportunity to sit back, close your eyes and relax while you travel, with the added benefit of socializing if you want to. We’ve met some of the most interesting people while using Disney’s internal transportation, including guests from other countries.
On the other hand, if you’ve just missed a bus to your stop and you’re in a hurry, or you’re traveling to another resort, it can be worth it to spend the extra money on an Uber or Lyft.
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