How To Get From Sanford Airport To Universal Studios Orlando

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Sanford Airport is just under 31 miles from Universal Studios Orlando making it a popular airport choice for those visiting the resort.

Travelling from Sanford Airport to Universal Studios Orlando is best done in a taxi. The journey will take between 35 minutes and an hour depending on traffic and cost around $50 one-way.

However, depending on what you plan to do during your trip to Universal Orlando, and the budget you have available there may be better transport options available to you.

Taxi45 mins$60 - $100
Hire Car45 mins$300 to $1,000
Shuttle Bus55 mins$25

While hiring a car is also an option, however, we would only recommend doing this if you plan to explore more of Orlando and the surrounding areas during your trip.

Otherwise, the cost of car hire, gas and parking is likely going to make the journey an expensive one.

Meanwhile, for those favouring budget travel over convenience, a third party also runs a shuttle bus between Sanford Airport and Universal – however, you’ll likely only save money by taking this instead of a taxi if you’re travelling as either a solo traveller or a couple as you pay per person


There are three ways you can take a taxi from Sanford Airport to Universal Studios;

  • Regular cab waiting outside the airport
  • Rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft
  • Prebooked private taxi

Which option you choose will likely depend on how many people you’re travelling with and the level of service and convenience you require.

Regular Cab

Regular cabs are often sitting and waiting for passengers outside the arrivals terminal (signposted within the airport).

These are often slightly more than an Uber or a Lyft at around $80 to $100 one-way. However, they are incredibly convenient simply walk out the arrivals door and into a taxi. No need to grab your phone, or wait around for the driver.


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Traditional cabs in Orlando all take payment by either credit card, debit card or cash. Therefore if you’re travelling internationally you shouldn’t have to worry about getting dollars out of the ATM before you arrive.

Uber or Lyft

Both Uber and Lyft serve Sanford Airport and can take guests to the Universal Studios Orlando Resort.

These rideshare services pick guests up from the ‘Rideshare Pickup Area’ which is signposted within the airport.

Be sure you don’t book your vehicle until you’re through immigration and have collected your luggage.

Typically drivers will be available to collect you in under 10 minutes and will leave if you’re not able to meet the vehicle within 5 minutes of their arrival.

Typically you’ll be looking at around $60 one-way in an Uber or a Lyft from Sanford Airport to the Universal Studios Orlando Resort.

However, if you’re travelling on a budget then consider comparing the cost of the journey on both the Uber and Lyft platforms since one company can often be slightly cheaper than another based on demand at that time.

Pre-Booked Private Taxi

If you’re travelling as a large group (5 people or more) then it’s often worthwhile booking a private taxi so you’re able to get a large minibus to take you to Universal.

Without this, you may have to look at either taking two taxis or trying to order a large Uber or Lyft which may not be available when you arrive at the airport.

We book these taxis using Hoppa (similar to Skyscanner or Google Flights albeit for transfers).

Once the taxi has been booked you’ll be provided with all the details you need to find your driver upon arrival, alongside a contact number should it be required.

Hire Car

If you plan on travelling outside of the Universal Studios Orlando Resort during your trip then a rental car is a great option.

There are many rental car companies available in Orlando that provide an extensive range of vehicles for you to choose from.

Some of the most reputable hire car companies serving Sanford Airport include;

  • Enterprise Car Rental 
  • 1 Car Rental 
  • Avis Car Rental

Renting a car from an individual has also become increasingly popular through companies such as Turo.

There are several factors that will impact how much it costs to hire a vehicle during your trip. These include;

  • The cars make and model
  • Hire duration
  • The car rental company
  • The extras you purchase (insurance, toll passes, car seats etc.)
  • Age of primary driver

Typically you’ll be looking at around $30 a day to hire a car in Orlando. However, that’s not the only thing you’ll need to consider. Instead, you’ll also want to think about the cost of gas, toll roads and parking.

Parking At The Universal Studios Orlando Resort

Parking at a hotel at the Universal Studios Orlando Resort can often be just as much as the cost of hiring a car – doubling the total rental price.

HotelPrice Per Night
Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites$15 +tax
Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites$15 +tax
Universal’s Aventura Hotel$18 +tax
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort$18 +tax
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort$26 +tax
Loews Royal Pacific Resort$28 +tax
Hard Rock Hotel$28 +tax
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel$28 +tax

If you’re not staying on-site in a Universal Studios hotel then you may also find yourself paying to park at your hotel within Orlando, and then again to park at the Universal Studios Orlando theme park.

Parking TypePrice
General Parking$26
Prime Parking – Closer to CityWalk than general parking$60
Prime Upgrade+$23
Valet Parking – Closest parking to CityWalk$27 – $75

These additional costs often make hiring a car more money than the convenience is worth given the availability of rideshare services in the area.

Shuttle Bus

The cheapest option albeit not the most convenient is to take a shuttle bus provided by Attraction Express.

These scheduled buses leave Sanford Airport multiple times a day and cost $25 for the first passenger and $10 for any additional passengers.

This bus visits all of the on-site hotels at the Universal Studios Orlando Resort, however, your bus tickets must be purchased online in advance.

Public Transport

Sadly there is currently no public transport options between Sanford Airport and Universal Studios.


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