All of us that visit Walt Disney World Resort regularly know, love and appreciate Disney’s Magical Express – the free shuttle that not only takes you from Orlando International Airport to your resort and back again at the end of your trip, but also collects and delivers your checked luggage. Guests visiting Universal Orlando have always had to arrange transportation from the airport to Universal resorts for a fee. The services used charged a round trip fee and stopped at multiple resorts along the way. It is also necessary for you to collect your own luggage before boarding.
Universal Orlando has now started offering an airport shuttle service taking tourists directly from Orlando International Airport to its resort, no longer relying on other shuttle companies in the area, including Mears Transportation. Super Shuttle is partnering with Universal to provide the service and the Universal SuperStar Shuttle Service begins operation this week.
Here is what we have learned about the new service:
- The Universal SuperStar Shuttle Service will cost $35 per person for a round trip. This price includes tax. Children age 2 and under are free. The cost is almost the same using the outside services that Universal guests have already been using, and can be added to your Universal Resort package.
- Universal guests will still have to collect their own luggage. There is no luggage service offered.
- If you booked your shuttle with a Universal package, you cannot stay with another previously booked ground transportation provider such as Mears or Quick Transportation, according to a “Frequently Asked Questions” page about the service.
- All guests staying at Universal Orlando On-Site Resort hotels are being transferred to this new service.
- Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock® Hotel, and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel are all included in the service. Universal Partner Hotels are not included.
- Other shuttle services made stops at several attractions rather than taking guests directly to Universal only
- Visitors flying into the airport from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. will go to welcome centers in one of two Universal Orlando stores where a concierge will check them in, providing “travel wallets” with pre-printed tickets.
- People arriving at the airport between 8:30 p.m. and 7 a.m. will have to contact the shuttle service directly.
- The maximum wait time for a shuttle pick up is advertised as “not exceed 30 minutes” once checked in. It’s important to note this is not a private or direct service. The service uses 12 passenger vans that will be filled with other On-Site Hotel guests. The shuttle may make stops at all 5 On-Site hotels. The actual number will depend on guest arrivals. The travel time to the Universal Orlando Resort is approximately 30 minutes each way.
- Florida Law requires that children under five (5) have a safety seat in a vehicle. Car seats will be provided with this service.
- The shuttles are ADA friendly. Guests will just need to make note of ADA accommodations at the time of reservation or when providing flight information.
The cost of a taxi cab round trip would exceed $35, and would average (according to taxifarefinder.com) around $120 plus tip ($60 each way) so the cost of the Universal SuperStar Shuttle Service would be a savings for a family of three.