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View Full Version : Driving to parks a pain?


culli
06-04-2009, 07:11 AM
We like to stay at the park DVCs due to ease of park access. I really love SSR and sure I would like OKW but I'm just so impatient even if the busses are running quick. So my question is for those who drive to the parks how hard is it? Seems like the parking situtation at the parks, especially MK is a mess and would take longer to drive then walk to the park from the lot then taking a bus even it was running late?

We really want to stay at the THV or family would love that but NO WAY am I taking two busses to get to the park and two more to get back. I just find waiting for busses stressful, a personality quirk of mine, "is this our bus?", "how about this one".........kind of like "squirrel" in UP, that is me with bus. I have a hard time sitting still when I want to get somewhere.

On the flip side I could see it so easy to park right outside the unit, load up the family and in a few minutes be at the park. Then with that said if it isn't that bad I'm starting to think........hmmmmm staying offsite might not be that bad either :scared1: Did I really say that:scared1:

Tara
06-04-2009, 07:22 AM
We like to stay at the park DVCs due to ease of park access. I really love SSR and sure I would like OKW but I'm just so impatient even if the busses are running quick. So my question is for those who drive to the parks how hard is it? Seems like the parking situtation at the parks, especially MK is a mess and would take longer to drive then walk to the park from the lot then taking a bus even it was running late?

We really want to stay at the THV or family would love that but NO WAY am I taking two busses to get to the park and two more to get back. I just find waiting for busses stressful, a personality quirk of mine, "is this our bus?", "how about this one".........kind of like "squirrel" in UP, that is me with bus. I have a hard time sitting still when I want to get somewhere.

On the flip side I could see it so easy to park right outside the unit, load up the family and in a few minutes be at the park. Then with that said if it isn't that bad I'm starting to think........hmmmmm staying offsite might not be that bad either :scared1: Did I really say that:scared1:

Have you done much driving offsite? IME, the traffic is not fun to contend with a times. We almost always drive to the parks, even to MK. Yes, it's generally more efficient to take the bus to MK, but this way we can go
wherever we want to after we leave the park. We aren't locked into going back to our resort to get our car if we need or want to do something else. Plus we are in control of the a/c, we can have private conversations, we can store our gear, and we always get a seat. ;)

culli
06-04-2009, 07:28 AM
Have you done much driving offsite? IME, the traffic is not fun to contend with a times. We almost always drive to the parks, even to MK. Yes, it's generally more efficient to take the bus to MK, but this way we can go
wherever we want to after we leave the park. We aren't locked into going back to our resort to get our car if we need or want to do something else. Plus we are in control of the a/c, we can have private conversations, we can store our gear, and we always get a seat. ;)

We have never driven in Orlando.........straight from the plane to ME to resort. We don't do anything off WDW grounds and one of things we like is not having to worry about anything like getting around. Just starting to consider it but when we go to WDW it is to experience WDW not the other stuff. Now we do other things just not while at the world.

Deb & Bill
06-04-2009, 07:40 AM
MK is not the easiest to drive to. You have to park, then catch the tram to the TTC and then either take the boat or monorail over to the MK. The others are not so bad for driving. Unless you get parked at the very end of the row, the furthest spot from the tram pickup...

erionm
06-04-2009, 07:44 AM
As locals we always have a car and use Disney transportation unless there's a real time crunch to get somewhere.

donald...really
06-04-2009, 07:44 AM
MK we take busses, every other park we drive. And 9 times out of 10 we don't take the tram to the main gate, unless we are parked WAY in the back. For us it is more of a hassle waiting for and taking the bus.

drusba
06-04-2009, 08:03 AM
We always have a car. It is easy to drive around WDW as direction signs abound. It is also easy to go to a park with a car except MK. Here is what you will face driving from SSR/THV:

1. It will take about 8-10 minutes to drive to the Studios or Epcot and about 15 to AKV. You park in the lot and then take a tram to the front entrance. Those trams are quick and come along frequently; leaving the park the same. If you are an early arriver you can actually park close enough that you can just walk to the front gates. Driving to those parks rather than taking the bus from SSR will always be faster.

2. The problem with MK is not the drive, which is only about 10 minutes. The problem is the fact that the parking lot is still a monorail or boat ride away from MK because it is just outside the TTC. Thus you have to take a tram to TTC and then take a monorail or boat. The longest part of the trip is after you parked and for MK we have always found the trams to be less frequent than at other parks. Moreover, you can wait some time when leaving park at park closing to get on a monorail or boat. Net effect driving is really not any faster than taking the bus.

Cheryl N. WI
06-04-2009, 08:09 AM
We always have a car and for the most part we drive to the parks except sometimes taking the bus to the MK because it drops you right there vs. taking the monorail or boat from the TTC. We started driving when DD who is now 15 was a toddler because then when we were ready to leave we always knew we could just go and not have to wait around for a bus or possibly have to hold a sleeping child while standing on a bus back to our resort. Driving and parking on our own has always seemed much quicker to us even with needing to take a tram from the parking lot to the gate area, the trams in the lots run constantly. We have never found it to be a problem to drive from MCO to WDW either, we take the less traveled 417 route vs the busier 528 to and from the airport.

cheezNE1
06-04-2009, 08:22 AM
MK is not the easiest to drive to. You have to park, then catch the tram to the TTC and then either take the boat or monorail over to the MK. The others are not so bad for driving. Unless you get parked at the very end of the row, the furthest spot from the tram pickup...

I'm a frequent driver to orlando and have always used the bus. I always wanted to drive to the park, but i've heard similar stories about how far the parking is from the themepark. :scared1: I like to drive to DTD when staying at SSR... its a quick 5 min. drive and not have to wait 20 min for bus and then 5 stops.

dianeschlicht
06-04-2009, 08:30 AM
While it's vacation, and I HATE to hurry on vacation, I like to take the Disney buses. I've never felt they were bad, and the only time I get disgruntled is if I have to be on a bus that stops at two different locations. That would be like the AK bus from OKW stopping at BLizzard Beach on the way. It's the reason we often will take our car to AK from OKW.

On the other hand, we find the buses to be VERY efficient when traveling to most of the parks. I alwlays think parking and taking the tram in is a real PITA! I'd much rather take the bus and get dropped off at the entrance.

If you've ever stayed off-site, you know how awful that traffic can be coming in to the parks. The waiting at the gate to pay, the waiting to get to your "spot", and the waiting for the tram etc. etc. etc. Nope, I'll stick with Disney transportation from all the resorts. I don't quite understand your comment about "park DVCs". As far as I'm concerned they are all close to a park.

photobob
06-04-2009, 08:42 AM
I always drive to WDW and never use my car to go to the parks. I drive a good bit with my job and find the use of Disney transportation a part of the reality escape. Can i get to a park more quickly using my car? Sometimes, sometimes not. Since joining DVC we have gotten more laidback with our approach to our trips so we don't get upset if the bus we are waiting for isn't there as soon as we walk up. The thing with bus transportation is your wait time is nothing but luck in timing when you get to the bus stop. I do hate to walk up to the bus stop just in time to see the bus I was needing heading out.

DebbieB
06-04-2009, 08:56 AM
I always rent a car and drive most everywhere. I just can't stand waiting at the bus stop and get crammed on, sometimes have to stand. Last October, it took over an hour to get from BW to MK for MNSSHP (from the time we got to the bus stop until we got off the bus). I once timed using the car from BWV to the main gate at MK, it was 25 minutes.

BEASLYBOO
06-04-2009, 09:03 AM
We drive in and depending on the resort and/or the park we are going to we take the bus or car. For MK, it's the bus unless we are doing evening EMH, we stay out till 1am and I like to have my car there rather than wait for the bus. For TL we always take the car, for some reason it's not a problem going but coming back, several times I've waited for a bus upwards of 50 minutes.

culli
06-04-2009, 09:04 AM
I don't quite understand your comment about "park DVCs". As far as I'm concerned they are all close to a park.

I'm talking about BCV, BWV and BLT....walk to the park!

BostonDisneyKid
06-04-2009, 09:06 AM
We always drive to the parks and find it much quicker and more convenient then using the buses. As has been noted, MK is the only park which may be an issue. The only difficult part we have found is timing the departure at park closing using the monorail to get back to the TTC. This can be complete insanity if timed incorrectly. If we have our vehicle and have closed the MK we stay in the park taking pictures and hang out in the courtyard until the crowd has diminished (about 1 hr) before heading back. If we know ahead of time we are going to be closing the park and dont want to stay out extra late we then take the bus from the resort to MK.

In regards to driving to and parking at the parks, there still remains a true best kept secret at wdw which few peolpe know... that secret is having a AAA diamond parking pass. Those with AAA diamond parking passes share a seperate lot with the handicap parking which is located closest to the entrances at each of the parks. This elimnates the long walks (accept at TTC) as well as the need to use the Tram to get to and from your parked vehicle to the gate. Having this is "key" imo, to driving/parking at the parks.

Ever notice the red, blue and green painted lines on the roadways leading into the parking lots just past the booths. If you follow the colored lines, they route around the outer boarders of all of the lots to the front parking lot by the gates entrance. If you follow these, the colored line will bring you to the designated location within the lot which then has signs for each deisgnation accordingly (blue=handicap, red=aaa diamond parking, green =buses and trailers). Handicap parking is always closest and the AAA diamond parking is right next to the handicap.

culli
06-04-2009, 09:11 AM
We always drive to the parks and find it much quicker and more convenient then using the buses. As has been noted, MK is the only park which may be an issue. The only difficult part we have found is timing the departure at park closing using the monorail to get back to the TTC. This can be complete insanity if timed incorrectly. If we have our vehicle and have closed the MK we stay in the park taking pictures and hang out in the courtyard until the crowd has diminished (about 1 hr) before heading back. If we know ahead of time we are going to be closing the park and dont want to stay out extra late we then take the bus from the resort to MK.

In regards to driving to and parking at the parks, there still remains a true best kept secret at wdw which few peolpe know... that secret is having a AAA diamond parking pass. Those with AAA diamond parking passes share a seperate lot with the handicap parking which is located closest to the entrances at each of the parks. This elimnates the long walks (accept at TTC) as well as the need to use the Tram to get to and from your parked vehicle to the gate. Having this is "key" imo, to driving/parking at the parks.

Ever notice the red, blue and green painted lines on the roadways leading into the parking lots just past the booths. If you follow the colored lines, they route around the outer boarders of all of the lots to the front parking lot by the gates entrance. If you follow these, the colored line will bring you to the designated location within the lot which then has signs for each deisgnation accordingly (blue=handicap, red=aaa diamond parking, green =buses and trailers). Handicap parking is always closest and the AAA diamond parking is right next to the handicap.


Ok what is AAA diamond parking and how do you get it!?!?!? Hmmmmm my Mom also qualifies for HP and if she is with us that might not be a bad thing either.

Mouseaholic!!!
06-04-2009, 09:11 AM
We ALWAYS drive - especially when we stay at a property on the YC, BC, BWI, Swan, Dolphin route. When we have tried busses there --- we have ALWAYS given up and taken people along with us.

MK is a breeze and we now prefer the ferry. It's BIG - great views of MK coming and going.

We do not enjoy the "MOO" factor of the bus system.

Now I will say we always travel when resorts and parks are not full and often can park at AK or MK and simply walk to the park or ferry. That greatly increases the convenience, of course.

We travel to WDW so often that our days are also not park intensive. We enjoy visiting other resorts - often joining friends for meals there......don't forget the shopping and mineature golf which is on our schedle too. A car makes those trips worth it hands down.

Using my Holiday Inn prrioity club points for free car rentals also makes complete sense to us. Our 10-day December trip.....taxes and fees.....total cost of our 10-day car rental, $47

whitfamily
06-04-2009, 09:16 AM
We have done both bus and drive ourselves. With DS2 and DS9 we find it easier to just drive to the parks. IMO driving allows a lot more flexibility. But, definitely a personal decision based upon your family needs! I would personally not want to stay off-site...I love that when you are on-site, you are tucked away in the magic of Disney the whole time! Good luck and have a great vacation :)

BostonDisneyKid
06-04-2009, 09:30 AM
Ok what is AAA diamond parking and how do you get it!?!?!?
AAA diamond parking passes are available to AAA members at regional/local branch offices. Some local offices give them out freely upon request to any/all members and some local/regional offices require the purchase of something "disney" (park ticket, event ticket, vacation packages, etc) through AAA to receive the parking pass. You just leave it on your dashboard and when you go through the toll booth show them your pass (also provides free parking if not staying on-site) and they will direct you to follow the painted line until they end at the AAA diamond parking lot.

dianeschlicht
06-04-2009, 09:50 AM
I'm talking about BCV, BWV and BLT....walk to the park!

That's not a plus in my book....I get enough walking IN the park.

dianeschlicht
06-04-2009, 09:56 AM
In regards to driving to and parking at the parks, there still remains a true best kept secret at wdw which few peolpe know... that secret is having a AAA diamond parking pass. Those with AAA diamond parking passes share a seperate lot with the handicap parking which is located closest to the entrances at each of the parks. This elimnates the long walks (accept at TTC) as well as the need to use the Tram to get to and from your parked vehicle to the gate. Having this is "key" imo, to driving/parking at the parks.

Ever notice the red, blue and green painted lines on the roadways leading into the parking lots just past the booths. If you follow the colored lines, they route around the outer boarders of all of the lots to the front parking lot by the gates entrance. If you follow these, the colored line will bring you to the designated location within the lot which then has signs for each deisgnation accordingly (blue=handicap, red=aaa diamond parking, green =buses and trailers). Handicap parking is always closest and the AAA diamond parking is right next to the handicap.

That's a GREAT tip for AAA members! It almost makes me want to join AAA!

BostonDisneyKid
06-04-2009, 10:06 AM
Oriiginally posted by BostonDisneyKid:
...a true best kept secret at wdw which few peolpe know... "that secret is having a AAA diamond parking pass. "

Originally posted by: dianeschlicht
That's a GREAT tip for AAA members! It almost makes me want to join AAA!


:thumbsup2

whitfamily
06-04-2009, 10:20 AM
That's a GREAT tip for AAA members! It almost makes me want to join AAA!

You can buy them off of eBay for about $10. They are good for an entire year and you park right up front. We just used ours this past trip and it saved alot of time, especially when it came to MK. You're right next to the TTC. For AK we were actually closer than the resort buses.

culli
06-04-2009, 10:31 AM
You can buy them off of eBay for about $10. They are good for an entire year and you park right up front. We just used ours this past trip and it saved alot of time, especially when it came to MK. You're right next to the TTC. For AK we were actually closer than the resort buses.

Thanks I have this in my BB notes to remember when we go there!

DisneyMim
06-04-2009, 10:38 AM
W ALWAYS drive everywhere. So much easier. I always laugh when people say it's more of a pain. I guess different strokes for different folks sort of thing. My husband knows the best way to get anywhere in WDW. When we first became member back in 1991 we spent hours just driving around the whole area and found (as many of you know) that the way Disney sends you is not always the fastest way. We like having a car because we can just go from park to park, resort to resort (if we are having dinner), shopping, or (god forbid) leaving WDW to go buy something that we forgot. Also the outlets, I LOVE shopping! Yes the MK is a hard park to drive to, but we usually park at Epcot and take the monorail. Last August my daughter and I did a "girl's only" trip and stayed at the Beach Club. I didn't want to rent a car so we used Disney transportation. I could not believe how bad it was. Terrible. We waited way too long for a bus to MK and AK. We finally walked through Epcot and got the monorail. Way too much walking though. Also the buses were PACKED and we had to stand most of the time. I really missed having a car. We ended up taking a cab a few times as we were going to miss our dinner ressies, and yes I did allow enough time, but to me an hour and half to get from one resort to another is nuts. ANYWAY, as in everything is life everyone is not going to like the same thing and that is how it should be. It's wonderful that Disney has such an extensive transportation system and everyone on property can use it. As for my family, we'll continue to rent a car.

Enjoy The Magic!!

crisi
06-04-2009, 10:45 AM
It really depends on where you like your frustration.

I don't enjoy driving. So my husband drives. My husband is a car snob - no little $200 a week rental for him - unless I want to listen to him complain all week. I become navigator, which I'm not good at, and then I get to listen to him complain about that every time we take a wrong turn. The those big expanses of dark asphalt get HOT, so the kids whine about that for the trudge to the tram and the wait for the tram.

For our family, taking the bus to the parks involves less whining - it may take longer to take the bus (when we are in a hurry we grab a taxi - or when we don't want to bother with the bus - which is still cheaper than any rental my husband wouldn't whine about). They don't whine about the wait unless it gets really long. The bus stops are usually shaded - at at the hotel have benches, which cuts down on whining. They don't even whine if they have to stand on the bus.)

Now, I imagine there are plenty of families that don't whine about the rental car, about their wife's navigation skills, about have to WALK from the car - that do whine about waiting for and standing on the bus.

ETA: I forgot about the frustration of the rental car counter. We've had the worst luck with rentals in Orlando - the car we reserved not being there, having to wait an extra hour for a car to be ready, no carseats when we needed them (and had them reserved), extra charges showing up on the credit card we didn't agree to.

DebbieB
06-04-2009, 10:54 AM
That's a GREAT tip for AAA members! It almost makes me want to join AAA!

Most AAA will only give them to members who booked their travel reservations through them.

That's not a plus in my book....I get enough walking IN the park.

Nothing beats walking to BWV after Illuminations rather than walking to the front of the park and having to catch a bus.

Goofy DVC
06-04-2009, 11:24 AM
Hey Mouseaholic, I'm a Holiday Inn Priority Culb Member also. I've used my points for car rentals and also AE Lodging Gift Cards. All I do, is charge everything to the room then pay off the charges with my American Express gift cards. I travel alot so I usually will have $750 in AE Lodging Cards. It works great.Sometimes I'm free air, free car, and free fun!!!:goodvibes

culli
06-04-2009, 11:38 AM
That's not a plus in my book....I get enough walking IN the park.

:rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2:

I look at waiting in line as not a plus.......I get enough waiting and having people annoy me IN the park :laughing:

dclfun
06-04-2009, 11:49 AM
We just returned from a week's stay at Jambo concierge. We live locally- in fact it only takes me 7 minutes to get from my doorstep to a park entrance, so normally I like to take the busses to relax when we're staying onsite. NEVER AGAIN! Now that Kidani is open I don't think additional busses were added. We waited a good hour to get one way to any park, plus the busses that stop also at a water park to/from the resort making it even longer. I figure I'm not going to waste two hours of my day going to/from and even using more time on busses if we wanted to come back to the resort for an afternoon rest or to escape the rain. It's much easier and quicker to drive- hands down. If I were staying at SSR or OKW where there are multiple stops, then there's no way I'd take the bus- why spend your vacation time that way?---Kathy

DonnaL
06-04-2009, 12:32 PM
If we stay at OKW or SSR we pretty much always drive everywhere..if at VWL we also drive everywhere except MK...we take a boat there. If at BCV or BWV we boat to HS and Epcot or walk to either and drive to MK and AK. At AKV we also drive everywhere....even AK. We have found we don't like WDW transportation taking us close to an hour to get somewhere........we always rent a car and have also found the signage at WDW is excellent and if you look at a good property map you can also find much shorter routes (some of which are not always marked in road signage, but, are public roads nonetheless) to most areas of property. We have our favorite shortcuts from everywhere on property and I would say it takes us no more than 10/15 minutes to get to the entrance of any park from any DVC resort.....or from resort to resort as the case may be. Now, keep in mind, we do travel mostly during the less busy seasons.......never in the summer and never over Thanksgiving, Christmas break, or Easter......but, mostly early January, mid May, and sometimes early Fall.

tjkraz
06-04-2009, 12:36 PM
Is driving faster than busing? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But what driving does offer is certainty. I KNOW that I can leave SSR or BWV and be at the Poly for breakfast ADRs in about 15 minutes. I KNOW how long it takes to get to a theme park in the morning.

When you rely on bus service you're stuck with their schedule. If you just miss a bus you could be sitting at the stop for 15+ minutes before the next one even arrives. At park closing time you could have to wait for 3-4 buses to pick-up before you can even board one due to the number of guests departing at the same time. If Disney decides to combine routes you could stop at 3-4 separate hotels before arriving at yours.

In my experiences we have never had instances where the bus service was better than driving. On several occasions we have driven to the parks but the kids want to take the bus back to the room. My wife will take kids on the bus while I drive back. On every single occasion I have beaten them back to the resort. That's with us leaving at the same time, me taking the tram, fighting traffic, parking at the resort, etc. Sometimes I'm there a minute before them...sometimes 10 minutes.

The other thing driving provides is flexible transportation. Want to go from Epcot to Blizzard Beach and then to Downtown Disney? Good luck using Disney buses. None of those destinations are connected by direct service.

Straughn
06-04-2009, 12:50 PM
I always rent a car when I go to WDW. Having seen the lines for Magic Express at MCO, I much prefer dealing with the line at the Alamo counter. Like others, I drive to all the parks except MK. Since I tend to arrive right around park opening time, I don't end up parked so far away from the gate that I consider it a problem. Sometimes I get lucky and I end up at the end of the row near the tram stop; others time I am all the way at the far end and have the longer walk. That doesn't really matter to me. What does matter is having to wait for the bus at the end of the day and then being stuffed on one with a lot of tired, cranky, crying children. I much prefer getting in my car and enjoying the quiet as I drive back to my villa.
Since I generally stay at VWL, I can take the boat to MK which I find a very pleasant experience.

cdtommie
06-04-2009, 01:18 PM
[QUOTE=DebbieB;32128189]Most AAA will only give them to members who booked their travel reservations through them.



They gave us the pass when we brought park tickets for BIL's family back in April (we didn't use it anyway since wife wanted us to park next to them). But this was the first time they offered us the pass (we've picked up park tickets at AAA for family members several times) so this is definitely hit or miss.