Planning a Disney Cruise starting in Port Canaveral? Here’s everything you need to know about getting to Port Canaveral from Orlando and the Disney Cruise Line check in process.
The Disney Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal is located about a 45 – 60 minute drive (depending on traffic) from Orlando.
There are several port transfer options Disney cruisers should consider.
Disney Cruise Line Transportation
There are Disney Cruise Line buses (similar to Magical Express buses) that are used only for transporting cruisers to and from Port Canaveral.
The cost varies depending on if you need a one way transfer or round trip transfer.
Disney Cruise Line buses offers pick up at the airport, Walt Disney World Resorts and Hyatt Regency MCO (located inside Orlando International Airport).
If you are doing a pre-cruise stay and are not staying at the Hyatt or a Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line Transportation is not an option.
The cost depends on whether you require a one way transfer or round trip transfer:
- One Way (Resort to Port OR Port to Resort/Airport) – $39/person
- Round Trip (Airport/Resort to Port and Port to Resort/Airport) – $48/person
You can drive to the port and pay for parking for the duration of your cruise.
Parking costs are as follows:
- 3-night cruise – $68+
- 4-night cruise – $85+
- 5-night cruise – $102+
- 7-night cruise – $136+
- 8 or more nights cruise – $153+
If you want to avoid parking fees, there are car rental companies that allow you to book a one way vehicle rental at the airport and you can drop the car off at their office located near the boat terminal. After drop off, complimentary shuttles that will take you directly to Disney’s Port Canaveral terminal.
The one way rental is a very economical way of getting to Port Canaveral especially if you are travelling with a large party.
Private Transfer Service
If you prefer not to drive or wait for shuttle buses to fill up before heading to Port Canaveral, you can hire a private car, limo or van service for your family.
In the past, my family has used FL Tours and Happy Limo and highly recommend them if you are considering a private port transfer service. Both were on time picking us up at our pre-cruise hotel and picking us up from Port Canaveral after our cruises.
When you have a large group (5+ people) this service works out to be cheaper than the Disney Cruise Line Transportation shuttle buses and you get to stop off at a grocery store for last minute items if needed.
It’s a fairly quick drive – taking a little over an hour with 15 minutes of that spent shopping at Publix for snacks, wine and beer.
Checking In and Boarding the Disney Ships
A cruise ticket and passport is required at the gate just outside of the building and a customs and security screening is done once you enter the terminal.
After security and customs clearance, you head to the 2nd floor where you officially check in (more paperwork, photo is taken for each passenger), cast members take your luggage from you (they leave it outside your stateroom) and you’re free to roam the port terminal.
Guests can choose to keep their carry-on luggage instead of leaving it with a cast member – sometimes checked luggage can take up until 6PM to be delivered to your cabin. Having swimsuits and a change of clothes in the carry-on is a good option for guests who want to use the pool after lunch.
RELATED READING: What to Pack for a Disney Cruise
There are restrooms, televisions, a replica of a Disney boat and character greetings inside the port terminal so kids won’t get too bored waiting for all the paperwork to be processed.
Looking for more Disney Cruise Line posts? Check out all of our DCL posts here!
paula schuck says
Oh my this is a jamp packed post. Love all the great details. Thanks!
Yes, it is packed with information Paula 🙂 So much to say on just how to get to the ship port! Are you planning a cruise soon?
I dream of taking a Disney cruise
Thanks for the info
As many times as we’ve been to Disney and I still haven’t taken a cruise with them. Tucking this info away for when we do. thanks.
Judy Cowan says
Thanks for sharing this info will definitely keep it in mind when we do our Disney Cruise
Always appreciate the tips. slowly researching a Disney cruise, hotels, all that good stuff. All the extra costs involved too, I don’t travel with a car so shuttle service is very important to me
I know this is a late comment. But if you were staying close to the airport and the hotel offered shuttle service to the airport, you could have take hotel shuttle back to airport and cought the Disney Cruise Line shuttle from airport. I know alot of people who do this and it works. Good luck next time.
Lisa P says
Thank you so much for this information. I have cruised many times but this will be my first time with DCL. Your tips are priceless.
Glen Main says
Thank you for sharing your experience with this trip. I do prefer keeping my baggage close to me because it’s much less hassle. Well, packing light helps! I still have yet to take the Disney cruise though so those tips will come in handy then. Looking forward to experiencing this soon.