Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the official airport of Walt Disney World. It is an international hub, and you should have plenty of choice between airlines and flight times to travel there from your local airport. Having said that, we strongly recommend booking as early as possible. Orlando is an extremely popular destination, and flights do fill up. Since we have a room discount for our guests, flight price will be the most variable expense for your trip. Please consider arriving a few days before the wedding or staying on a few days after in order to fully experience all that Orlando has to offer! We do hope you can make it to Florida by the morning/afternoon of Tuesday, October 8th at the latest so you can get settled in your hotel room and then join us for the Welcome Party that night. The wedding will be bright and early the next day, so unfortunately flying in on the day of the wedding isn't really an option. We also hope you'll join us for the After Party on the night of the wedding. You won't want to miss it! The more flexible you can be with the day you fly, the better your chance at finding a great deal!
DISNEY'S MAGICAL EXPRESS
Disney's Magical Express is Disney's FREE shuttle service to get to your Walt Disney World resort from Orlando International Airport. To find out how to sign up and all there is to know about it, please click THIS LINK . The service is completely free to those staying on Walt Disney World property, and when you sign up, not only do you get a relaxing bus ride to your Disney resort, they also pick up your luggage at the airport and deliver it DIRECTLY TO YOUR HOTEL ROOM! No waiting for your luggage at the carousel, no expensive rental cars, no driving or navigating your own way to your hotel. We have used this service and highly recommend it. The coaches they use are very comfortable, and they even play vacation planning videos and Mickey Mouse cartoons to help get you ready for the magic! Please note that this service is ONLY available to guests staying on Walt Disney World Resort property, so if you're staying off property, you won't be able to utilize it. It's just another reason to stay with us in Disney World to celebrate rather than off property! Transportation throughout Walt Disney World is free, and readily available through their bus system, boat system, monorails, and HOPEFULLY by the time of our wedding, their BRAND NEW Skyliner system, so there is really no reason to rent a car unless you're staying off property. Please see the section GETTING AROUND WALT DISNEY WORLD for more information. We highly recommend utilizing this service to our guests to avoid rental car fees and parking fees.
Most major rental car companies operate out of MCO. The rental car area is conveniently located right in the airport, and the cars themselves are a short walk across the street, so there is no boarding a bus or van to the rental car area when picking up or dropping off your car. The cars tend to be fairly priced, but please be aware that you will likely have to pay parking fees at your Walt Disney World resort if you are staying on property (and likely off-property depending on the hotel you choose) as well as parking fees for any of the theme parks you visit during your stay. Parking at Walt Disney World resorts ranges from $13 per night for value resorts like Pop Century to $24 per night for deluxe resorts like The Grand Floridian. Parking at Disney theme parks is currently a whopping $25 per day.
There is also limited parking for non-hotel guests at Disney's Contemporary Resort, where the Wicked Welcome Party and Happily Ever After Party are taking place. While Parking for our guests has been guaranteed to us at The Grand Floridian's Wedding Pavilion and Convention Center for the actual wedding and the reception, we cannot say the same for the parties we are hosting at The Contemporary, as they are not being catered by Disney. It is entirely possible that you might be turned away at the gate for the Welcome Party and The After Party if The Contemporary's parking lot is at capacity! As we would HATE for this to happen, we recommend all of our guests to utilize Disney transportation for the Welcome and After Parties, regardless of whether they have rented a car or not. If you have decided to stay off property and rent a car, please see the section entitled WEDDING EVENT TRANSPORTATION. We will give you instructions on parking your car for free in the Disney Springs parking structures and taking the bus to The Contemporary for these two wedding events.
We only recommend renting a car to our guests staying off-property, guests who might be uncomfortable waiting for busses (please see our section entitled GETTING AROUND WALT DISNEY WORLD for more information on this), and guests wishing to visit other Orlando-area attractions that are not located in Walt Disney World, such as Universal Orlando or Sea World. Parking at Universal Orlando costs $20 per day, parking at Sea World costs $17 per day.
Rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, are available from Orlando International Airport as well. Depending on time of day, these services might cost about $30 to get you from MCO to Disney. We recommend using Disney's Magical Express to get to Disney World if you're staying on property, but you might consider using rideshares over Magical Express if you are departing from Orlando on an early flight the day after the wedding, as Magical Express does require you to leave hours before your flight to ensure you have plenty of time to get through security and make your flight. This could mean leaving 3-4 hours before your flight, which is inconvenient for flights that are early in the morning. Likewise, you might consider using rideshare services over Magical Express if you know you're a person who tends to run late, as you might miss your assigned shuttle if you're not ready to leave at the time your shuttle is scheduled to pick you up 3-4 hours before your flight, or if you have a service such as TSA Precheck that lets you get through security quickly and don't want to be waiting around the airport for too long before your flight. Uber and Lyft are ideal for getting you from Walt Disney World to MCO quickly and easily, and in the comfort of a private car. We still recommend getting to the airport three hours before your flight if you don't have TSA precheck, though!
*Fun Fact!- TNC stands for Transportation Network Company, and it is the term government buildings are using for rideshare companies such as Lyft and Uber! If you do decide to take an Uber or Lyft from the airport to get to Disney, head to the area outside of baggage claim on level 2 and look for the TNC sign to wait for your car! We recommend using Uber or Lyft over the taxis that are available to you in this area, they are A LOT cheaper and more comfortable!
Transportation around the Walt Disney World resort is completely free. They have several options to use depending on where you are, where you want to go, and how you want to get there. Please note that they are also all handicap-accessible and good options for even those with the youngest children. Below, we list all the different options you can use to get around to wedding events, theme parks, and all the other fun places there are to go in Disney!
Walt Disney World's Monorail system is THE best transportation option currently in the resort. It is air conditioned, there are seats, normally little wait time, it's fast, reliable, and offers beautiful views of the resort. The only problem is that the hotels it services are limited. The hotels it serves are Deluxe resorts- Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney's Contemporary Resort, and Disney's Polynesian Village Resort. These are Disney's most luxurious -and most expensive- hotels. Guests staying with us at The Grand Floridian, Contemporary, or Polynesian Village will be able to get from your resort right to the front gates of the Magic Kingdom on the monorail in mere minutes. You can also get from these resorts to Epcot by taking the monorail to the Transportation and Ticket Center and transferring to the Epcot monorail. It is my favorite way to get around Walt Disney World.
If you are driving or renting a car in Florida, you can also park your car at the Transportation and Ticket Center for the $25 fee and use the Monorail to get to the Magic Kingdom, The Grand Floridian, or The Contemporary. We suggest using the monorail if possible over the ferry at the Transportation and Ticket Center to get to the Magic Kingdom. If the Express monorail to the Magic Kingdom isn't running, or it has a line, use the Resort monorail on the other side! You'll have a couple of extra stops, but it will also take you right to the Magic Kingdom gate and you'll save a ton of time over waiting in line for the Express Monorail or for the Ferry! The monorail only serves the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, so if you want to go to Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom, you will have to catch a bus.
*Fun Fact!- The Monorail is also called Disney's "Highway in the Sky." It offers stunning views of the hotels- it even goes right through the Contemporary. It also offers a beautiful view of our ceremony location- Disney's Wedding Pavilion! Even if you don't go to the Magic Kingdom or need to use it to get anywhere, take a ride anyway and visit the hotels it's connected to! You can do this whether you're staying at a monorail resort or not. It''s free, and fun!
The most versatile and widely available transportation option in Walt Disney World is the bus. If you're staying with us in Pop Century, or at one of the other value/moderate resorts, you will get really familiar with using the bus. The busses run continuously throughout the day, with another one coming every few minutes, depending on the time of day (more busses run at peak times). They go EVERYWHERE on Disney property, including all four theme parks and Disney Springs. Please see the section entitled Wedding Event Transportation to see how to use the bus to get to wedding events. Disney's busses are a lot nicer than most busses. They are well air conditioned and offer plenty of seating. They also play music themed to where you're going- so if you're on your way to Pop Century, they'll play pop songs from past decades, or if you're going to the Magic Kingdom, they'll play music from the attractions and classic Disney animated movies. The one drawback to using busses is there can sometimes be a long wait- especially if you are trying to get to the theme parks at opening or back to your hotel after the fireworks or park closing. They take a bit of patience but they are a good way to get around.
Disney also offers watercraft that can transport you around the resort. By and large, this is the slowest and most limited option of transportation, but if you or your family enjoy boat rides, it can be a fun way to get around. Disney offers a ferry that runs from the Transportation and Ticket Center to the Magic Kingdom and back. They also offer boats that run from The Grand Floridian, The Contemporary, and Polynesian Village Resorts to the Magic Kingdom and back. Please be aware that the boats can take a while to come, so you will usually have a wait if one is not already at the dock. They also DO NOT offer air conditioning, so it's not a great option for very hot days.
If you can stay with us at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, you will make getting to both wedding events and theme parks a lot easier for yourself. Not only can you access the Magic Kingdom directly via monorail and boat and Epcot via monorail with a transfer at the Transportation and Ticket Center, the wedding ceremony and reception will be held right in your resort! The wedding ceremony on the morning of October 9th will be at Disney's Wedding Pavilion at the Grand Floridian, so you can roll out of bed, get dressed, and walk right to the ceremony location! The pre-reception and reception are going to be held directly after the ceremony at the Convention Center at The Grand Floridian, so you'll be able to pop back into your room before or during the reception should you need something, and get back there quickly to take a nap after all the food and dancing at the reception! Furthermore, The Wicked Welcome Party the night before the wedding and The Happily Ever After Party the night of the wedding will be held at Bay Lake Tower in Disney's Contemporary Resort, just a short monorail ride away from The Grand Floridian! In order to get to these parties at The Contemporary from The Grand Floridian, all you'll have to do is board the monorail at The Grand Floridian, get off at The Contemporary stop, take the escalator down to the Grand Canyon Concourse of The Contemporary and walk across the bridge to Bay Lake Tower. We realize it's expensive, but it's Walt Disney World's flagship resort, and is extremely convenient to everything, so if you can swing it, it will be a great choice.
Guests staying at Disney's Contemporary Resort will find their hotel to be super convenient to both wedding events and theme parks. As with The Grand Floridian, guests staying with us at this resort can easily access The Magic Kingdom via monorail or Epcot Center via monorail with a quick transfer at The Transportation and Ticket Center. And since we will be hosting both The Wicked Welcome Party the night before the wedding and the Happily Ever After Party the night of the wedding here, this resort makes perfect sense to those who want an easy journey back to their hotel rooms after staying up late celebrating with us! Additionally, getting to our wedding ceremony and reception at The Grand Floridian is just a quick monorail ride away from this resort, making it extremely convenient!
To get to the Wicked Welcome Party on the night of October 8th and the Happily Ever After Party on the night of October 9th, you can go outside of The Contemporary towards the parking lot and walk to Bay Lake Tower, or you can go to the Grand Canyon Concourse and walk across the bridge. To get to our wedding ceremony at The Grand Floridian, simply go to the Grand Canyon Concourse, take the escalator up to the monorail station, and take the monorail to The Grand Floridian Resort. From there, go all the way downstairs, walk through the lobby and outside past the pool to get to The Wedding Pavilion.
The best part about staying at The Contemporary will be the ease of access to and from wedding events. This hotel is a great option for people who want to easily get back to their room for a post-brunch nap after our wedding reception (so they can be refreshed for the Happily Ever After Party that night!), who don't want to wake up too early on the morning of the wedding ceremony, or who want to get back to their room quickly so they can go to bed after being out late, partying with us at our Welcome and After Parties!
THE WICKED WELCOME PARTY
The Wicked Welcome Party will be held at the Disney Vacation Club Villas at Bay Lake Tower in Disney's Contemporary Resort the night of Tuesday, October 8th. To get there, board the bus to the Magic Kingdom, transfer to the Resorts Monorail at the Magic Kingdom, and get off at The Contemporary Stop. From there, take the escalator downstairs to the Grand Canyon Concourse and cross the bridge to Bay Lake Tower. If for any reason the monorail is not working, you can also access the Contemporary via boat ride or bus from the Magic Kingdom. Please note that this might take as long as 90 minutes, so give yourself plenty of time! You can also order an Uber or a Lyft to The Contemporary to make it easier for yourself, which should only cost $10-$12, and take 15- 2o minutes from Pop Century. For those of our guests with a car, please note that The Contemporary CANNOT guarantee parking for our guests for the Welcome Party, so we recommend taking the bus and transferring to monorail, boat, or bus at the Magic Kingdom, or taking a Lyft/Uber, even if you have your own car.
The wedding ceremony will be held at 9:30 AM on the morning of Wednesday, October 9th at Disney's Wedding Pavilion located at the Grand Floridian Resort. We are providing transportation for all our guests staying at Pop Century to the wedding! A bus or vans will be waiting for you outside of the lobby of your hotel to whisk you away to our magical wedding ceremony! For our guests with cars, PARKING IS AVAILABLE both at the Wedding Pavilion for the ceremony and at the Convention Center for the reception. If you don't have a car, you can go back to Pop Century following the wedding reception by taking the monorail to the Magic Kingdom and transferring to a bus to Pop Century or taking a Lyft/Uber. Alternatively, if you are joining us for the Happily Ever After Party, the attire is casual, so you can change into comfortable clothes and either spend the hours between the events at the Magic Kingdom or take a monorail ride around the resort loop and enjoy taking in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the hotels around the Magic Kingdom.
*FUN TIP!- There are a variety of AMAZING places to eat dinner both in The Magic Kingdom and in the resorts on the monorail loop, The Grand Floridian included. There are options for every palate and budget. Some restaurants will fill up quickly, so if you NEED to eat dinner at a specific place, make sure to make reservations as soon as your booking window opens up on the My Disney Experience app- up to 180 days in advance of your stay! But save room for dessert- we will be offering a delicious spread of indulgent treats at the After Party!
THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER PARTY
The Happily Ever After Party will be held on the night of the wedding at the same location as the Wicked Welcome Party, the Vacation Club Villas at Bay Lake Tower in Disney's Contemporary Resort. You can get to The Contemporary from Pop Century by following the same directions for the Welcome Party, or, you can take our advice and enjoy some park time, tour the resorts on the monorail, or eat dinner at a special restaurant on the monorail loop after the reception before joining us for dessert at the After Party! As with the Welcome Party, The Contemporary CANNOT guarantee parking for our guests for the Happily Ever After Party, so please utilize Disney transportation/ rideshare services to get to the After Party, even if you do have a car with you.
There are so many Disney resorts to choose from, we wouldn't want to limit you to having to choose between just the monorail resorts and Pop Century! Disney's transportation system runs throughout the entire resort area, so you'll have ways of getting around. The best and easiest way to get to the wedding events will depend entirely on what resort you elect to stay at, so please let us know if you are going to stay at another resort on Disney property so we can tell you the best way to get to the wedding at The Grand Floridian and the other events at The Contemporary Resort. Please note that we can only provide transportation to the wedding on the morning of October 9th to the guests staying with us at Disney's Pop Century Resort, so if you don't have a car, you may have to hire a Lyft/ Uber to take you to the wedding. Unless you are staying at a resort on the monorail loop, using Disney's transportation system would take too long to ensure that you would make it in time for the wedding, and we wouldn't want you to miss it!
Again, for guests that will have a car with them, parking is available at the Wedding Pavilion for the wedding ceremony and at the Grand Floridian Convention Center for the reception, but we CANNOT guarantee parking for our guests at The Contemporary Resort for the Wicked Welcome Party or the Happily Ever After Party. So even if you do have a car, please utilize Disney transportation/ rideshare services for these events.
The area surrounding Walt Disney World has a plethora of affordable hotels and resorts to choose from, as well as houses available for short term rentals (many of which come with your own private pool!) If you are coming with a large party, or trying to save as much money as possible, somewhere off property might make sense for you! (Please see the section entitled WHERE TO STAY to read more about whether you might consider this as an option or not. Staying with us in Walt Disney World will be more convenient for the majority of our guests!)
If you are staying off-property and planning on bringing/renting a car, please note that parking WILL be available for the ceremony at the Wedding Pavilion and the reception at the Convention Center at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, but WILL NOT be guaranteed for the Wicked Welcome Party the night before the wedding or the Happily Ever After Party on the night of the wedding at The Contemporary Resort. To get to these parties at Bay Lake Tower in The Contemporary, we recommend parking your car in the parking garages at Disney Springs and taking the bus to The Contemporary from there. Parking at Disney Springs is free, and you don't usually have to worry about finding a space.
Rideshare services like Uber or Lyft are also a good option for those who don't plan to rent or bring a car with them, or who don't feel like going through the hassle of parking and then taking a bus. Prices for these services are usually reasonable if you're staying in the area immediately surrounding Disney.