Here’s all the info that you’ll need if you are bound for Shades of Green, the U.S. Military owned and operated resort at Walt Disney World from Orlando International Airport!
My family has lots of experience flying into Orlando International Airport. I was stationed in Ohio for many years and we flew into Orlando several times back then. We then transferred to the Florida Panhandle and drove to Disney World for 9 years. But we’ve been back in Ohio for quite a few years now, and we fly into Orlando multiple times a year.
When not staying at a Disney Resort, we’ve rented cars at the airport and used airport limos.
Transportation Options for Shades of Green
Here are the various options for your transportation from Orlando International Airport to Shades of Green:
- Mears Connect – Bus Service to multiple resorts after a wait
- Mears Express – Shared van service, From Mears departure area, short to zero wait
- Limo Service – Private car/SUV/van service, from baggage claim, zero wait
- Bus Service
- Rental Car
- Uber or Lyft
Update 14 July 2023 – Mears Connect and the Sunshine Flyer have merged. They are now operating as Mears Connect Driven by Sunshine. The Sunshine Flyer website is still active but the content has switched over to match the Mears site
Mears Connect is the successor to Disney’s Magical Express, which ended service at the end of 2021. They offer a bus service identical to the Magical Express as they were the actual company running the Magical Express for Disney and a shared van service that goes directly to your resort. See my full Mears Connect Post.
The Sunshine Flyer is the second replacement service for Disney’s Magical Express. They offer a bus service identical to the Magical Express as well. They also offer and a private car/SUV/van service that goes directly to your resort. See my full Sunshine Flyer Post.
Limo Service – There are numerous limo services available to take you to Walt Disney World. I like Happy Limo.
Taxi – Taxis at the airport are about $75 each way to Disney World.
Car Rental – You might be able to find a good military rate. I’m a USAA member and they have discounts negotiated with all the major car rental companies.
Uber and Lyft -Are great alternatives to traditional transportation companies. Uber and Lyft fares are currently starting at around $30 one way to WDW.
Disney World’s Minnie Van Service used to provide airport service prior to the 2020 shutdown, but to this date that service has not returned.
My Transportation Recommendations
Economical – Slower/Less Service
Use the Magical Express Replacement
The Mears Connect Driven by Sunshine bus service is a great budget option to get you to your Disney vacation, but there is waiting involved and you’ll pick up your bags at baggage claim and drag them to the loading area, which can sometimes (depending on your airline) be on the opposite end of the terminal. See my Orlando International Airport Overview.
You’ll need to pick up your bags at Baggage Claim and drag them to the Mears Connect location on the transportation level of Terminal B.
Use Uber or Lyft
Uber and Lyft are a great alternatives to traditional transportation services. Fares to and around Walt Disney World can be much lower that other commercial options.
If you, or someone in your party doesn’t yet have a Lyft account, you can get a $5 credit towards your first ride when you sign up for Lyft using this link. This promo is for your first ride only, this is perfect for a quick hop across WDW property.
Here is a link to Uber’s Orlando International page for pickup instructions and price estimates.
See our Using Uber, Lyft, and Minnie Vans at Disney World post
More Costly – Faster/Better Service
If you’d prefer to get going right away to your Disney vacation, would appreciate a higher level of service (and don’t mind paying for it) the following are your options.
Limo Service – There are numerous limo services available to take you to Walt Disney World. Your driver will meet you at Baggage Claim and assist you with your luggage to your car, SUV, or van depending on the size of your party and vehicle you picked. You’ll then head direct to your Disney Resort or Shades of Green. I like to use Happy Limo. Prices vary between companies but are in the $225 to $300 price range round trip.
Mears Connect – You’ll still need to pick up your bags at Baggage Claim and drag them to the Mears Connect location on the transportation level of Terminal B. At this point you might be directed right to a van to get aboard or you might have to wait a short while. Your driver will load your bags in the van. Once at the van one of 5 things will occur,
- You might be joining 1 or several other parties already in the van heading to the same resort as you and then depart
- You might be joining 1 or several other parties already in the van heading to the same resort as you, wait for more parties to join you, and then depart
- You might be the first party in the van, then wait for more parties heading to the same resort as you to join you, and then depart
- You might be the first party in the van, then wait for more parties heading to the same resort as you to join you, wait a while and then depart because the planned parties are late
- Best case scenario, you’ll get in the van by yourselves and depart
Mears Connect costs $250 round trip for up to 4 people, extra passengers are $55 each.
Use Disney World’s Minnie Vans – If they ever come back. Minnie Vans did start service for concierge guests in 2023, but service for the remaining guests has not restarted.
The Minnie Van airport shuttle used to provide service between the Orlando International Airport and any Walt Disney World Resort hotel including Shades of Green!
The Minnie Van pick-up location was near the baggage claim escalators.
Each vehicle accommodated up to 6 Guests, 8 medium-sized suitcases and can be equipped with up to 3 complimentary car seats.
The cost of the Minnie Van airport shuttle was $155 each way; gratuity not included.
The Minnie Van airport shuttle operated from between 7:00 AM and 10:00 PM daily.
Service could also have been arranged for other local airports for other rates by calling (407) 828-3500.
How can I get to Other Destinations like Universal Studios, SeaWorld, or Legoland?
As far as getting to Universal Orlando, Sea World, other destinations like Legoland Florida, and Kennedy Space Center from Shades of Green you have a few options.
You could use Uber or Lyft, the ride to another theme park would also be a great use of the $15 off your first Uber trip, or the $5 credit towards your first Lyft ride.
Getting around WDW
Once you are at Shades there are lots of transportation options.
Shades has its own small fleet of buses to take you around Disney World and you can use Disney’s transportation free options (Buses, Monorail, Boats) without staying at a Disney Resort and they also offer a fleet of Minnie Vans, a new paid Disney run uber like service.
See these other posts which you might find helpful:
- Walking at Walt Disney World Overview
- Transportation Overview Page
- Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) Overview Page
- Walk between Shades of Green and Disney's Polynesian Village Resort This route closed permanently 1 May 2023
- Walk Between Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
- Walk between Disney's Contemporary Resort / Bay Lake Tower and the Magic Kingdom
- Walk between Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and the Magic Kingdom
- Walk Between Disney's Polynesian Village Resort and the Transportation and Ticket Center
- Walk Between Disney's Hollywood Studios and the EPCOT Resort Area
Have you flown into Orlando and stayed at Shades of Green? How did you get there?
Let us know in the comments below!
This MDT Post By: Steve Bell
Steve is the the Military Disney Tips Founder. He a retired U.S. Military Member who's been touring the Disney Parks since 1971! Steve's mission is to help military families with their Disney vacations in every way. Check out Steve's Bio.
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Information on Shades of Green the Military Hotel on Disney World property
A Special Note on Shades of Green Discounts: Something to be aware of is that Shades constantly changes the dates and discounts offered of their specials and packages. Shades of Green Links
- Shades of Green
- Military Members Review and Rate Shades of Green
- Why Stay at Shades of Green?
- Shades of Green Rooms
- Shades of Green Room Rates
- How to make reservations at Shades of Green
- Shades of Green Resort Activities and Amenities
- Disney Tickets at Shades of Green
- Magic Bands for Shades of Green Guests
- Shades of Green Fact Sheet and FAQ
Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused?
See Our Great Disney Discount and Planning Info:
- Disney Veteran & Military Discount Eligibility Guide
- The Military Family’s Walt Disney World Comprehensive Vacation Planning and Preparation Guide
- Military Disney Tips Disney Packing Checklist
- Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide
- Resorts/Hotel Overview Page
- Dining Overview Page
- Transportation Overview Page
- Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort
Military Disney Tips' Recommended Disney Travel Agent
Ears of Experience Disney Only Travel Agency. Military family owned and operated! They know all the ins and outs of Disney military discounts!