(Kansas land of OZ)
Are there any non-Disney Hotels that offer FREE transportation from the Airport to their Hotel and then also FREE transportation to the parks? If we could get both for free besides the Disney Magical Express it would give us the option of staying at other hotels.
I know there is $Paid$ transportation to hotels but it is very expensive with a big family! And renting a car is also very $ expensive $. You would think the outside Hotels would get a CLUE on this and compete! Thanks for your help! LOVE your site!
Dad’s you’ve got to pay for it sometime Answer
Thanks for the question. I’m going to give kind of a long answer …
So, the question is are there any non-Disney hotels that offer free transportation to and from the airport and to and from the parks?
(This might sound a little brusque, so read the whole answer before judging me.)
Let me start with a word from one of my favorite authors …
Growing up, Dad was a big sci-fi fan. Robert Heinlein was my favorite author (until Orson Scott Card came around, but you probably don’t care about Dad’s reading habits and probably want me to move on, sorry) and he wrote a book called “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”. (Dad’s still got a copy if you need to borrow it.) In the book, people living on the moon have a bit of a libertarian (not librarian but libertarian) bent and talk over and over about TANSTAAFL.
TANSTAAFL stands for There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. (Stay with me here for a minute, this really has a point.) So what’s the point? You might be asking.
The point is, you will pay for your free transportation somewhere. Orlando has some of the lowest price hotels in the country. Especially for nice hotels that are so convenient to everything.
It sounds simple. Just add transportation to and from the airport and everyone will flock to your hotel. But let’s look at it from the hotels point of view. To add airport transfers, I have to add, let’s say for the sake of argument, $7.00 per night to my price. Now whenever people look at prices, my price is quite a bit higher than the others. When people sort by price, my hotel goes to page 4. My bookings go down, because, Teresa, while you and I will look for hotels that will transport us to and from the airport and see the value in that, most people are just looking for the lowest price. Yes, Period.
So Dad, I’m confused, Disney offers FREE transportation to and from the airport, don’t they? Doesn’t that blow a really big hole in your theory?
Au Contraire Mon Ami. (Didn’t know Dad could speak Italian. Yes, I know, it’s French, Ha Ha.) Disney added Magical Express to help the bottom line. Disney’s goal with Magical Express is to keep you hostage … I mean to keep guests in Disney World restaurants and shops. If I take Disney Transportation, I don’t have a car to run down to McDonalds, or on into Kissimmee to grab a bite to eat, or to go to the outlet mall, or to get over to that big T-Shirt shop just down the road. I’m locked in to staying in Disney World for my whole trip.
Plus, it’s a little easier for Disney to raise prices on their hotels and things. For example, in January prices went up on parking, wheelchairs, and a whole host of other things at Disney World. (It was probably to pay for Magical Express.) Disney hotels don’t really compete with the hotels around them.
If you want to stay in a Disney hotel, you’ll probably stay at a Disney hotel without really looking at a hotel outside of Disney World. If we only looked at price, no one would ever stay at a Disney resort. Just as an example, the Hilton in Downtown Disney is cheaper than the All Star Resorts and the Pop Century. But most of us would pick the Pop Century over the Hilton just because we are staying inside Disney World.
Whew. My fingers are getting tired, so I probably ought to wrap this up …
Dad’s Bottom Line
After all of that, Dad’s answer is no, I don’t know of a non-Disney hotel with free airport transportation and park transfers. It’s a TANSTAAFL thing. Besides, free transportation might not be the best idea, (as Dad found out) shuttles can be difficult. If you are staying outside of Disney World Dad always suggests …
Sorry for the rant, I hope this helps.