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Wendylet

Disney transportation Orlando to Port Canaveral

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We are booked on a cruise leaving from Port Canaveral and have chosen to book the Disney transportation from our Orlando hotel to the ship. Since this is only a four night cruise we were hoping to embark on the first day as early as permitted to get some time to enjoy the ship. If anyone has experience with this transportation can you tell me approximately when it got you to the ship? If it’s quite late in the afternoon we may look at a different transportation so we could arrive a bit earlier. Your help is greatly appreciated.

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Disney transportation does not run from Orlando hotels. It runs from WDW hotels, arriving about 1:30 if traffic is normal, and from MCO, arriving at intervals between about 10:15 and 3pm.


If you are traveling from a WDW hotel, the cost of a private towncar service is about the same as the cost of DCL transfers for 4-5 people. Another option is to rent a car with drop off at Cape Canaveral or Cocoa Beach--it is an easy drive, and this would allow you to travel at your own time.

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Taking DCL transportation does not guarantee you will get to board right away. We were on the first bus from MCO to PC. We were the first group through security and in the terminal to check in (finished by 10:20am). We were given boarding group 12 or 13 (can't remember exactly but definitely double digits.) Once boarding started, it moved quickly. I think we boarded just after noon.

If you opt for other transportation, boarding will depend on your selected port arrival time (PAT). Does not matter how early you get to the terminal, you will not board earlier than your PAT. Unless they have moved to open boarding.

Really though, a couple hours on the first afternoon is not going to make much difference overall.

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The above is almost, but not quite true.

If you do not use Disney transportation, you will select a PAT (Port Arrival Time) from the times available when you do your on line check in. This is NOT your boarding time, although it is tied to your boarding group number. If your PAT is before 12:30, show up at or about the PAT and you will be checked in and boarded with minimal delay. You could have a PAT of 10:30, but boarding doesn't start till about 11:15-11:30 (it varies a little). Showing up at the PAT will get you thru security and checked in...you may or may not have a slight delay prior to boarding. Showing up before your PAT will NOT get you an earlier boarding number--you will still get the number tied to your PAT. On rare occasions, your boarding number may be called before your PAT, but that is most often just before they go to "open boarding."

If you have a PAT after 12:30, show up about 12:30. This is because at some point, they will announce "Open Boarding," meaning that they are no longer using the boarding card system--you check in and board immediately. This usually occurs between 1 and 1:30. You could have a 2:30 PAT and be on board at 1!

If you are using DCL transportation, you do not need to select a PAT. You will be assigned a boarding number based on the "next available" number. We also have been on that first bus from the airport and have been on the ship by 11:30, other times we've had a bit more of a wait.

The only thing that really matters in when you show up is that we like the sit down restaurant for lunch rather than the buffet. That restaurant closes earlier than the buffet, so we like to be on board. Besides, it just gets your vacation started sooner.

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Thanks for the information. Based on what I am hearing it seems we will be fine with just the Disney transportation we will be using. Always trying to squeeze an extra few hours into a fantastic cruise experi nice!

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