Originally Posted by Chaoticsweetness
You can use the buses even if you don't stay onsite. It really is free.
People who stay off site are paying crazy high prices for tickets. Part of those transportation costs are embedded there. Maybe that is what is covered with the hopper fees. but I don't think it is fair to say anything at Disney is free. I guess, if someone parked at DTD, rode a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge, walked around the resort, and then took the bus back to DTD and left. That might be considered free.