The Sunshine Flyer – Worth It?
On a quick solo trip to Walt Disney World, I would usually save as much cash as possible by taking Disney’s Magical Express, which was a “complimentary service” (read: included in the many costs) with your Disney resort stay. That ended in January 2022 and there are a few options out there. Rideshare (Uber/Lyft), Mears Connect, and renting a vehicle are all pretty well-known choices. I wanted to shed some light on a new favorite for me when I’m not with my whole family, the Sunshine Flyer.
***UPDATE AS OF 6/17/22*** The Sunshine Flyer is running a summer special, kids ride FREE and adults are saving $1 per person each way (or $2 off roundtrip) for tickets purchased through 7/31/22. Sunshine Flyer confirmed this will stack with military pricing!
The Sunshine Flyer services MCO (Orlando International Airport) and the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. They offer round trip and one way shuttles, and you can find a comprehensive list of properties here.
I signed up on their website once I made my resort stay reservations, and it couldn’t have been an easier process. This trip I stayed at Shades of Green, and the Sunshine Flyer services that resort! This is HUGE, because the Magical Express never provided transportation to that resort. It was always a bit of an extra step, trying to figure out the least expensive way to get to Shades. Well, Sunshine Flyer just might be it. Last time I took an Uber there, it was about $37, but that was a few years back, and I’ve heard of recent costs being around $50 each way. Sunshine Flyer actually even offered a military discount of 10%, bringing my one-way transportation cost to $15.30. Best thing is, when I selected “Shades of Green” from their dropdown menu as my destination, the discount was automatically applied. We’re winning here, right off the bat.
After I entered my flight information and arrival window, I was given a QR code and a confirmation email. 72 hours prior to my trip I received another email confirming pickup time and location, and on the day of my arrival, I got a text with specific instructions in case I didn’t want to dig through emails.
Essentially, take the elevators down to Level 1, and take a right. Walk all the way until you can’t go farther and take a right out the doors. There’s a nice shaded area, and the podium to check in is steps from the door. (I did notice a Sunshine Flyer employee inside the airport not far from the elevators, ready to assist with questions.) The check in couldn’t have been easier, and every employee I encountered was courteous and went out of their way to help everyone.
I think I waited 11 minutes, three different shuttles came in that timeframe and nobody was outside for long. On my particular “train” -it’s a bus, that is wrapped as an old train- there were two other guests going to the Polynesian, and me. This bus was spotless!
It was less than an hour from when I checked in at the podium to when I was standing at the front desk at Shades of Green. I thanked and tipped the driver, and made sure I mentioned how amazing it is that they drive to Shades. He was appreciative and said to tell my family and friends. No problem there.
I can 10/10 recommend this service as being a professional, timely, clean, comfortable alternative that is comparable-if not less expensive than-Mears Connect, rideshare, or rental vehicles to and from MCO. The Sunshine Flyer is ABSOLUTELY worth it, in my opinion. More information can be found here. What transportation option are you using on your next trip?