Transportation to/from airport from Universal Resort

Discussion in 'Universal Orlando Resorts & Hotels' started by kkproulx, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. wendygrace

    wendygrace DIS Veteran

    Feb 2, 2007
    Anyone have a good promo code for Uber for a first timer?
  2. Mama Lo

    Mama Lo Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2008
    I have a code, it's loisf73ue
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  4. tony67

    tony67 DIS Veteran

    May 22, 2003
    This is a copy of my post from the Universal Studios\IOA forum - it probably makes more sense here as it covers my transportation using Mears from the Sapphire to and from the Airport as well as Disney MK, AK and Searworld.

    Just wanted to provide some info on my recent transportation experience as a solo traveler looking for the least expensive options.

    I booked Mears in advance for the round trip to the airport - at that time I also added on a round trip to MK and AK - the total for one person was 67.50.

    Over the years I have heard mixed things about Mears, but keep in mind Magic Express and all the buses in Universal are run by Mears.

    I checked in at the Mears desk and got all my tickets - you need to pick up your attraction tickets here as well - I had to inform the employee of this as she really had no clue.
    15 minutes later I was in the mini bus on the way to Sapphire Falls - trip was quick and efficient - I was first dropped off - as I understand it there will be no more than three stops

    On the AK day I called 1 day in advance and scheduled it. They start picking up at 8:05 and every hour after that for AK. Shuttle bus arrived about 10 minutes early. We had one other pick-up where we waited 15 minutes for the folks
    Be aware that they will only wait 5 minutes past the scheduled pickup time and they seem to typically be early - they recommend being there 15 minutes before the scheduled time.
    They will not wait past the 5 minutes. Others on the bus were going to MK and that was the first stop - I decided to get off there and hit MK first since it was a magic hours day at AK (should have planned better)

    You need to schedule the return trip 2 hours in advance and the pick up at half past the hour.
    My pick from AK was about 20 minutes early and I was already waiting - I was the only pickup so we went right to Sapphire early.

    On the Mk day my experience was similar - be ware they drop you and pick you up at the TTC.
    One thing I noticed - another group was going to AK and paid and tipped him when they got on the shuttle - AK was our first stop - but I am pretty sure that is the most out of the way place to be going first.
    So it may be worth paying and tipping immediately

    Pick up was similar - but I wanted to mention that there was another person there with his son who he mentioned many times that the son was autistic.
    The son was perfectly fine - just overly polite and talkative - no need to keep saying sorry he is autistic - we understand.
    He may have said it 10 times between waiting and the bus trip.

    Anyway I was getting the bus at 8:30 he was complaining that the 8:00 bus was late and that he was scheduled for the 9:00 bus.
    He had said that Mears had already left him waiting before.
    I informed him he was wrong and that the times were 8:30 and 9:30 for pickup - he insisted 9:00 and showed me his notes - I pointed out that his notes said 9:30
    The reason I point this out is I wonder what percentage of the complains is just customer misunderstandings related to the stress of a Disney vacation

    My bus came a few minutes early and they let him on the early one since there was room - no hassle at all

    Pickup day - called 24 hours in advance to confirm. Bus was at 4:55 AM for an 8AM flight - they want you on a bus that is 3 hours before your flight
    Be aware that the airport recommends that you be 3 hours early even for US flights as there is only one tram between the terminal and the airport.
    Anyway the bus was at least 10 minutes early - but unfortunately there were two other people scheduled for that bus that did not show - so we waited until 5AM at Sapphire
    I am pretty sure I watched these two get into an Uber. Going to the airport with larger bags and the Uber would not let them but the bags in the trunk - it was interesting to watch them try to fit in this tiny car.
    Seemed a bit ridiculous to me - I have never used Uber and really dont want to.

    We got to the airport quickly and I was actually early enough to get on the earlier flight.
    Be aware that even that early on a Sunday Morning it took about 30 minutes to get through security

    So overall my experience with Mears was very good - and the price (at least for one person) was very reasonable - $21 round trip to a Disney park.
    Once you have 2-3 people I'd start to look at other options - especially for the airpoty
    No doubt if I had my family with me I would use Tony Hinds or another car service.

    One major flaw in the system is they should get people numbers and text them that they are on the way or at the hotel.
    You can call and book a Mears shuttle and you dont pay until you get on - so it lends itself to no-shows that could be quite annoying for the other folks on the shuttle.

    I also wanted to mention the free shuttle to SeaWorld for the Universal Hotels.
    It goes once an hour from 9AM to 11 (I think) - Park openes at 10
    The shuttle goes from the main bus loop at Universal - you need to book the bus a day in advance at your hotel
    It is a bit of a hassle to get over there - I had assumed it went from the hotels - but I guess this makes sense
    The one bus was full - but everyone did get on
    The bus returns once an hour starting at 3:30 if I recall correctly - you can take any of the buses back
    Last bus is at 6:30 (Park closed at 6 that day)
    A taxi would have been 20 each away according to the front desk (seems high since it is so close) - so it is a great deal
    Brownie54 likes this.
  5. jdrum3

    jdrum3 Earning My Ears

    Mar 6, 2010
    I am happy to be yet another satisfied customer of Tony! I emailed him for a quote from MCO to RPR for our family of four, his rates were great, our airline was delayed, but he stayed on top of it, very prompt and courteous! I would use Tony again in a heartbeat rather than Uber, renting a car, etc when flying into Orlando. Look him up!
    macraven likes this.

    DMLAINI Mouseketeer

    Jul 27, 2012
    Has anyone used the Mears private car service from MCO to the Universal resorts?
  7. Figaroo

    Figaroo Mouseketeer

    Nov 21, 2016
    I have to give another shout out to Tony! Top notch service at a reasonable rate for our recent trip to Universal. Couldn't be happier and would book him again in a heartbeat!
    macraven likes this.
  8. DisTXMom

    DisTXMom Mouseketeer

    May 3, 2013
    Can anyone tell me if they Tip Tony Hinds? I've used a DLR driver that had tip included before. I'll assume to tip Tony, but appreciate feedback.
  9. Figaroo

    Figaroo Mouseketeer

    Nov 21, 2016
    Yes, we tipped Tony!
    DisTXMom likes this.
  10. imprint

    imprint Mouseketeer

    Jul 3, 2013
    I tip Tony (or his other driver) based on the round trip cost, but I give half on the arrival trip and half on the departure trip. I actually tip a bit extra on the arrival trip, since I request a quick stop at the grocery store on the way to the resort.

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