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Old 02-11-2013, 09:06 AM   #1
Kremlar
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parking strategies? what are the ins and outs? Bonnet Creek shuttle?

Leaving for Disney World and Universal in a few days and instead of staying on-site like our last trip we are staying at a Bonnet Creek condo and renting a car so we can get around Orlando a bit more and do some off-site activities, visit a relative, etc.

3 adults, 1 big kid, 2 small kids, 1 big stroller, and we'd rather not be trapped at Disney waiting a long time for a shuttle. We want freedom whenever possible, but we were pretty happy with the Disney buses last year because they ran so often.

I do have one of those AAA VIP parking passes - we purchased our park tickets through AAA.

We're going to be hitting the parks as soon as they open and probably out of there in the early afternoon. There's a chance we could revisit a park in the evening, but no park hopping.

Looking for any and all tips and suggestions to save money and/or make our trip more enjoyable, but here are some questions I had:


- Does anyone know how often Bonnet Creek runs it's shuttle service? Is it full often? Worth using, or better to pay for parking if you have a car?

- I've heard some suggest parking in Downtown Disney and taking the shuttle into the park. Does this make sense? Feasible to do?

- If we do decide to go back to a park at night, if we've already paid for parking in the AM do we need to pay again?

Any tips or suggestions welcome!!

Thanks
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:09 AM   #2
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I don't know anything about the BC shuttle, so I can't answer that question.

There is no direct bus from DTD to any of the theme parks, precisely to stop people from doing what you propose. So parking at DTD is a bad idea.

You don't need to pay twice in one day. Just show your receipt. (This would be true even if you park-hopped.)

I don't know anything about the AAA VIP parking passes. Does that give you free parking at theme parks? If so then your problem is solved. If not, then you have to decide whether the $14 per day to park is worth it to avoid being tied to the BC shuttle. Rental cars and parking fees are part of the costs of staying off-site.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:20 AM   #3
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BC is so close relatively speaking to everything. We rent a car every year and take it to every park including the MK. Lots of Diser will take a shuttle to MK because you are dropped off closer to the MK, however, then you don't ride the monorail. For us, well, we like that monorail ride. We have stayed at BC (loved it) but never used the shuttle.

We started with a car when our DD was very young so we could come and go at will and not have to carry her on a bus or wait late at night after fireworks. We have never looked back. Many people love not having to drive, for us we love the control having a car gives us. So I would use your car everywhere you wanted to go and if you leave a park just save your receipt and you won't have to pay again when you return.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
I don't know anything about the AAA VIP parking passes. Does that give you free parking at theme parks? If so then your problem is solved.
Supposedly gives us access to closer parking spots, but never used one before. It's been years since I've gone to Disney and parked so I don't even remember how bad (or good) that was.

Quote:
If not, then you have to decide whether the $14 per day to park is worth it to avoid being tied to the BC shuttle. Rental cars and parking fees are part of the costs of staying off-site.
Yep, I know - just want to come up with the best plan for us before we get there.

Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
We started with a car when our DD was very young so we could come and go at will and not have to carry her on a bus or wait late at night after fireworks. We have never looked back. Many people love not having to drive, for us we love the control having a car gives us. So I would use your car everywhere you wanted to go and if you leave a park just save your receipt and you won't have to pay again when you return.
I believe we're going to feel the same as you.

Thanks for sharing your experience!
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kremlar View Post
Leaving for Disney World and Universal in a few days and instead of staying on-site like our last trip we are staying at a Bonnet Creek condo and renting a car so we can get around Orlando a bit more and do some off-site activities, visit a relative, etc.

3 adults, 1 big kid, 2 small kids, 1 big stroller, and we'd rather not be trapped at Disney waiting a long time for a shuttle. We want freedom whenever possible, but we were pretty happy with the Disney buses last year because they ran so often.

I do have one of those AAA VIP parking passes - we purchased our park tickets through AAA.

We're going to be hitting the parks as soon as they open and probably out of there in the early afternoon. There's a chance we could revisit a park in the evening, but no park hopping.

Looking for any and all tips and suggestions to save money and/or make our trip more enjoyable, but here are some questions I had:


- Does anyone know how often Bonnet Creek runs it's shuttle service? Is it full often? Worth using, or better to pay for parking if you have a car?

- I've heard some suggest parking in Downtown Disney and taking the shuttle into the park. Does this make sense? Feasible to do?

- If we do decide to go back to a park at night, if we've already paid for parking in the AM do we need to pay again?

Any tips or suggestions welcome!!

Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghtx View Post
I don't know anything about the BC shuttle, so I can't answer that question.

There is no direct bus from DTD to any of the theme parks, precisely to stop people from doing what you propose. So parking at DTD is a bad idea.

You don't need to pay twice in one day. Just show your receipt. (This would be true even if you park-hopped.)

I don't know anything about the AAA VIP parking passes. Does that give you free parking at theme parks? If so then your problem is solved. If not, then you have to decide whether the $14 per day to park is worth it to avoid being tied to the BC shuttle. Rental cars and parking fees are part of the costs of staying off-site.
If one of the adults has an annual pass, you can park for free. The AAA parking pass does not give you free parking. It just lets you park up closer t the front as long as that area is not full.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kremlar View Post
Leaving for Disney World and Universal in a few days and instead of staying on-site like our last trip we are staying at a Bonnet Creek condo and renting a car so we can get around Orlando a bit more and do some off-site activities, visit a relative, etc.

3 adults, 1 big kid, 2 small kids, 1 big stroller, and we'd rather not be trapped at Disney waiting a long time for a shuttle. We want freedom whenever possible, but we were pretty happy with the Disney buses last year because they ran so often.

I do have one of those AAA VIP parking passes - we purchased our park tickets through AAA.

We're going to be hitting the parks as soon as they open and probably out of there in the early afternoon. There's a chance we could revisit a park in the evening, but no park hopping.

Looking for any and all tips and suggestions to save money and/or make our trip more enjoyable, but here are some questions I had:


1. Does anyone know how often Bonnet Creek runs it's shuttle service? Is it full often? Worth using, or better to pay for parking if you have a car?

2. I've heard some suggest parking in Downtown Disney and taking the shuttle into the park. Does this make sense? Feasible to do?

3. If we do decide to go back to a park at night, if we've already paid for parking in the AM do we need to pay again?

Any tips or suggestions welcome!!

Thanks
1. I have read here that BC has very good bus service. You may get a better response if you asked over on the Orlando Hotels and Attractions forum. One big issue is that for the MK you will be dropped off at the TTC.

2. Terrible idea since it requires two buses and is kind of frowned upon here.

3. No

Also your AAA does get you closer but you still have to pay.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:21 AM   #8
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never pay to park. there are plenty of places to park for free if you are ok with a little walking.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:26 AM   #9
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Bonnett Creek is awesome!! Just sayin'. We had our own car (and have for every single trip ever) and would not DREAM of doing without one. Disney transportation is the pits.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:40 AM   #10
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Had relatives stay offsite Christmas of 2011. I'm pretty sure it was BC but they did not like the shuttle.

I believe he said that the shuttle schedule was always at park opening but not before so they couldn't get there early to get in line. They also did not like the inability to go back and forth except on the scheduled shuttle times. They would have prefered a little more flexability. They've decided that they will stay onsite next time so that they can drive with free parking or take the bus/boat systems.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:50 AM   #11
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The giant "We love Bonnet Creek" thread in the Orlando Resorts forum should contain information on the shuttle frequencies - usually someone will post a picture of the current schedule. When we went in September 2012 it ran more or less every half hour starting an hour before opening BUT there is a lengthy gap in service during the middle of the day. I think buses were shared between two parks.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:09 PM   #12
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We have use BC shuttles in the past trips with no problems, as long as you keep a schedule available. This year we drove to all four parks just for convenience since we were a larger group. I've only used AAA pass in previous years, and the parking is closer.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:51 PM   #13
Kremlar
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Just a followup, we ended up paying for parking (no shuttle). Got there early and used our AAA VIP pass for closer spots. Worked out great for us!
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSLRuser View Post
never pay to park. there are plenty of places to park for free if you are ok with a little walking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kremlar View Post
Just a followup, we ended up paying for parking (no shuttle). Got there early and used our AAA VIP pass for closer spots. Worked out great for us!
DSLRuser... where is you can park for free and walk?? do tell...

Kremlar... Did you like WBC? so what is the AAA vip parking pass? a closer parking spot? does every park have that parking and did you ever leave and come back to the same or different park later in the day and still park close?? TIA
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:02 PM   #15
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Kremlar... Did you like WBC? so what is the AAA vip parking pass? a closer parking spot? does every park have that parking and did you ever leave and come back to the same or different park later in the day and still park close?? TIA
I did like Bonnet Creek.. I wish we had more time to spend on the resort, but we did use the pools & hot tubs a few times and they were nice - kids loved them. Everyone was friendly, no timeshare pressure.

We got the AAA VIP pass from AAA when we bought tickets there. Seemed to let us park closer, I think it was the same as handicapped parking - parking attendants had us follow the blue/green lines on the roads to the proper lot.

No, never returned later in the day.
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