How to Get Around Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World is a maze of parks and resorts. And if you didn’t drive your car, it’s a maze of transportation options. With boats, monorails, motor coaches and even a train, visitors could ride around in circles for their entire vacation. Here’s a few new options to get around Walt Disney World.
Minnie Van Service
Celebrating its First Birthday, the Minnie Van Service offer families a super cute way to get around Walt Disney World. With service from 6 a.m. to midnight, Disney guests can order a Minnie Van directly from their Lyft smart phone app.
Each red polka dotted van come equipped with passenger seating for six, two multi-age car seats and room for a stroller. Each van is driven by a Disney cast member and kids can pick out their favorite Disney music channel during the ride.
During my recent trip to Walt Disney World, I did just that. With a few taps on my Lyft app, I found a Minnie Van driver within a few minutes from my resort. Though the service is more expensive than traditional ride share, I loved it.
The Minnie Van service only operates in the Walt Disney World Resort area and the Disney Springs area. It is owned and operated by Walt Disney World. Each ride starts with a base price $15 and a per mile charge, paid through the Lyft app.
The Minnie Vans service all Walt Disney World Resorts and Parks plus Disney Springs. It even services the official Walt Disney World Disney Springs Resorts.
For an alternative to the Magical Express, the Minnie Vans provide service to Orlando International Airport (MCO). It’s $150 flat rate charge and doesn’t include gratuities.
The Magical Express is Walt Disney World’s complimentary motor coach transportation to the resorts. For guests staying at Walt Disney World resorts this service drops off and picks up from the Orlando International Airport.
I’ve used the Magical Express several times and find the service easy and efficient. Here’s some tips for utilizing this service.
- Make your Magical Express reservations before your airport arrival and departure.
- It’s easier to make Magical Express reservations while reserving your Walt Disney World Resort room though have your flight information handy.
- Reservations can be made or changed at anytime by calling (407) 939-1939.
- Don’t pack essentials and Magic Bands in your checked luggage since your Magic Band will be needed to check in for the Magical Express.
- Your checked luggage and you don’t travel on the same Magical Express if you use the yellow Magical Express luggage tags WDW mails to you.
- I grab my checked luggage from the baggage carousel and put in on my Magical Express bus. Then I don’t have to wait up to three hours for my luggage to arrive at my resort room.
- It can take up to 5 to 8 hours for your checked luggage to arrive at your resort room if you have an early morning airport arrival.
- Magical Express is located on the Ground Transportation Level of the Main Terminal of the Orlando International Airport.
- Magical Express service is available 24-hours a day and seven days a week though the checked baggage service is only available from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Transport pets in pet carriers inside the motor coach.
- Stow strollers in the luggage compartment of the Magical Express.
- For departures, your Magical Express pick-up time is usually three hours before your departure.
- Each Magical Express bus will pick up and drop off passengers at several resorts.
Alamo Rental Car
Since Alamo Rental Car is the official rental car company for Walt Disney World, it offers a special deal. For Disney guests flying into the Orlando International Airport (MCO) can pick up their rental car from the airport parking garage and return it to the official Alamo Rental Car returns in Walt Disney World for no additional charge.
I have used this hack twice and its great option for a family. I use other hotel points for some of my Disney vacation rooms. So when my family arrives, we can’t use the complimentary Magical Express.
And since I have a family of five, using ride share to and from the airport is expensive. For less than one ride to the airport, I can rent a compact car that fits my family.
Having a car during your Disney vacation is great for exploring the Disney Springs area. Or staying at an off-property resort.
And dropping off your rental car is easy. The Alamo Rental Car return just requires you to fill up the gas tank and drop the car with an attendant or drop the keys in a drop box.
After dropping off my rental car, I just hop on the complimentary park bus transportation.
New Transportation Options coming in 2019
When you stay at a deluxe Walt Disney World Resort, like the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, guests have several options to get to and from the parks. Using the Monorail and boat transportation is a great perk if you’re staying at a deluxe Walt Disney World resort.
Though guests staying at the moderate resorts only had the standard bus transportation to use. An efficient option to get to and from the parks, resorts and Disney Springs, lines can be long at park closing time.
New for 2019, Walt Disney World is launching a gondola service between Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation Resort and Pop Century Resort with Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Each gondola car will hold 10 passengers and be decorated with favorite Disney characters.
With the gondola towers lining up between the resorts and the parks, I can’t wait to try out this new transportation option.
Need More Information
I recommend the following guides for your trip. Even after several trips to Walt Disney World, I still pack and use my guide book.
Here’s all my favorite places in Disney Springs. And a first timer’s guide to planning your first Walt Disney World vacation.
Need a Room
I’ve stayed at the following Walt Disney World Resorts.
I’ve also stayed at the following Lake Buena Vista properties.
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