Using buses vs driving to the parks

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by momto3boysillbe, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. momto3boysillbe

    momto3boysillbe Mouseketeer

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    I know this question has probably been asked hundreds of times but I don't have much time to search through all of these pages right now and we're trying to decide on where to book our stay. So please forgive me. Currently we have a villa booked at Beach Club for Easter week but are considering less expensive options such as OKW and SSR. Of course the only place to get to with ease at these resorts is dowtown disney and we usually don't even bother going there until our last day of the trip. One of the main reasons we really want to stay at Beach Club is the easier access to Epcot and DHS so that is a huge +. I'm not the biggest fan of the buses. I get very aggravated when we've been sitting 30 min waiting for a bus and that has happened several times. Or when we're exhausted at night with our boys passed out and all that's left is standing room. But even with all of my frustration, it always seemed to me that it would be just as much of a hassle to drive to the parks ourselves and then have to ride another transportation to the park itself from the lot. For those that do drive instead of using the buses, have you found this to be quicker and less stressful? We drive to Disney from NC so we always have a vehicle.
     
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  3. grimley1968

    grimley1968 DIS Veteran

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    As much as I enjoy using Disney transportation, driving yourself is faster to 3 of the parks: AK, EPCOT and DHS. You just drive straight to the parking lot and walk or tram to the gate. Buses often have to make stops at other resorts en route to parks. Parking is free if staying onsite.

    The exception is MK, because you cannot drive to MK's gate. You have to park at the TTC, then tram or walk to a monorail or ferry boat across to MK's gate. This really adds to your travel time. But riding a bus to MK takes you to the gate, bypassing the TTC.

    For the other 3 parks we like to drive if possible. It's nice to know our own quiet car is waiting for us a short walk or tram ride in the parking lot right there. This just doesn't work out so well at MK.
     
  4. Ds4angels

    Ds4angels Mouseketeer

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    I asked this question as well and got a 50/50 response. I think we're going to wind up driving to the parks since it's free to park. Just the thought of waiting and waiting for a bus or having to stand at the end of the night holding a tired child makes this the right choice for us. We're driving down too, so we'll already have the car there

    Yes we'll have to take the boat or the monorail to MK, but we'll take the chance of waiting for that as opposed to waiting for a bus. Especially since our resort is the last to pick up/drop off (ASMo)
     
  5. Brian Noble

    Brian Noble His Curmudgeonly Highness

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    Driving is super simple; half the time I'm parked close enough to walk, but the trams are more or less continuous, just a few minutes wait at the most. As mentioned, it's a little faster to EP, DS, and AK. It's a lot faster to any other resort. It's about a push to MK; depends on exactly how the bus arrivals break.
     
  6. momto3boysillbe

    momto3boysillbe Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the responses. the blizzard beach stop before AK really slows that ride down so I'm thinking we might definitely try driving instead for that park. Getting to MK does seem like an extra bit of work though. We should try it at least once I guess. We never have. I have seen some say they never use the buses so I was curious how much time they thought it saved. It's getting more difficult now as my littlest guys are 5 & 7 so if they've fallen asleep in the stroller before we leave the park it's hard getting them on and off the buses. Especially if its full!
     
  7. redrosesix

    redrosesix DIS Veteran

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    I wouldn't agree with all of this -- often each all star resort has it's own dedicated bus, and when they don't it's just an additional stop (takes no longer than a city bus stop). Bus transportation is much more frequent at value resorts and they don't have multiple stops at the resorts like you'd find in other resorts. The longest I have ever waited for a bus either going to or coming from the parks is 15 minutes, which is the same as the longest I've ever waited for a parking tram.

    I totally agree with this, but I'd add that we only drive to AK and DHS if we're going early enough to walk from the parking lot to the park gate, like for rope drop. We don't spend a lot of time at Ep so we usually take the monorail from MK for that.

    But I would never drive to MK if I could take a bus -- once you've done the monorail and ferry to and from the TTC you get over the dazzle of it. Especially at park closing that extra 40 minutes - 1 hr of travel to get to your car ie. wait for the monorail, ride the monorail, wait for the parking tram, ride the parking tram, can just be a downer at the end of a really long day.

    But we've never stopped at another resort on our way to the parks...
     
  8. chipper10

    chipper10 Disney Obsessed

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    We much prefer to drive to the parks. Our older son has autism and we feel driving to the parks makes it easier for everyone. We don't drive to the Magic Kingdom though.
     
  9. Paging Tom Morrow

    Paging Tom Morrow DIS Veteran

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    We drive to the parks. Don't like to rely on the buses as we sometimes leave during times when a majority of guests are leaving. Waiting for a bus after Illuminations or Fantasmic just isn't very appealing.
     
  10. Brian Noble

    Brian Noble His Curmudgeonly Highness

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    It's worth doing---the ferry is particularly relaxing if the weather is nice.
     
  11. 2binak

    2binak DVC Owner

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    Before we had DD, we didn't mind using the buses but now that we are traveling with a young child, we find being in control of our transportation is much less stressful than relying on the buses. It's also really nice to get into your own quiet car at the end of the day.
     
  12. AaronInWI

    AaronInWI Mouseketeer

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    Just to add my two cents, our first three trips we used Disney transportation exclusively. Our last trip in September, we drove down so we were able to use our car to get everywhere. Personally, I'd never use Disney transportation again after having my own vehicle. If you consider that you're driving the same roads/routes as the buses, then it makes sense that driving yourself would be as fast, if not faster than, Disney buses. (We've only stayed onsite, at the Contemporary, so I can't speak for getting to/from Magic Kingdom.) We never waited more than 5 minutes for a parking tram, which is far less than we typically waited for a bus on previous trips. And staying at the Contemporary, we shared a bus with Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian. So we always had those stops to deal with, as well. But, there are certainly others who like to leave their car at the airport or resort parking lot, and not have to get behind the wheel until the trip is over. I like driving in general, so I don't mind driving on vacation as well.
     
  13. redrosesix

    redrosesix DIS Veteran

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    Resorts that have other methods of transportation don't have as many busses as those that have only busses. So while your bus went to several monorail resorts, the all star buses and pop busses don't go to other resorts.

    Not sure about the mods and the DVC resorts -- I'm pretty sure they all have several stops in their resort but I don't know if their bus stops at several resorts.

    I think if you combine all the methods of transportation that wdw provides, they do a pretty awesome job of getting all those people around every day.
     
  14. WILDERNESS FAN 55

    WILDERNESS FAN 55 CANNOT GET ENOUGH

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    In the "off" seasons you can park at a MK hotel and go from there via monorail. Busy times they are a lot stricter. I always have a car, but last trip we stayed at WL and used a bus to get to MK. 3 AK buses-1 EC and 1 DTD came by before a MK bus came. Very frustrating. I know I could have taken a boat also but mistakenly thought bus would be faster. Thinking of trying ME for our 5 day trip in Dec but requires a lot more thinking still. Have the car rental already for May trip:thumbsup2
     
  15. grimley1968

    grimley1968 DIS Veteran

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    You're still subject to be towed if you try this. We normally go in October, which is pretty much off season. We've seen cars towed from the Poly multiple times at this time of year, presumably due to a crowded lot and a non-guest parking there. I would never risk this, especially when the TTC lot is literally adjacent to the Poly lot.
     
  16. GaSleepingBeautyFan

    GaSleepingBeautyFan DIS Veteran

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    I don't mind the buses but my husband prefers to drive our car to the parks rather than wait for the buses. It is faster.

    The only exception is MK or if we know we'll be drinking. If we will be drinking or going to MK, we take the buses.

    When I go solo, I normally fly. So I save money and just take Disney transportation everywhere.
     
  17. WILDERNESS FAN 55

    WILDERNESS FAN 55 CANNOT GET ENOUGH

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    Oh I understand but haven't been towed in 30 plus years I've been parking there. Again slow season only with no special events at the hotels. Beats the main parking lot !
     
  18. aubriee

    aubriee <font color=brown><marquee>Chocolate always makes

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    When we were there this past Feb we saw a car being towed at the Contemporary parking lot. We had our three y/o GS with us and he wanted to watch the "big truck" pull the car up onto it's bed. The only people there were the tow truck driver and some CM in uniform, so assume the car was being towed because some guest parked there instead of in the MK lot. There are signs up as you enter those parking lots that they are for guests of that resort only. Frequently the CM at the gate will tell people coming in for dining ADRs that parking is for two hours only, if you are not a guest of that particular resort. Feb is slow season, but they were still towing cars. No way would I take the chance.
     
  19. momto3boysillbe

    momto3boysillbe Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for your reply and POV. We stayed at Bay Lake previously and I had already forgotten about the extra resort stops. Most of the other resorts we've stayed at though have buses that service only that particular resort but with the extra stops within the resort. There can be lots of extra stops so glad to hear driving works out better for your family.
     
  20. momto3boysillbe

    momto3boysillbe Mouseketeer

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    That's a good point. We usually try some drinks around the world at Epcot so that would probably not be the best park to drive to.
     
  21. Shelly F - Ohio

    Shelly F - Ohio Disney Extraordinaire

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    We did an experient during our trip. DH drove the car from Epcot to SSR and I took the bus. DH waited at SSR for 42 minutes for me to arrive. The next day we did the same only in reverse. I took the bus to the AK and he drove. He waited 28 mintues for me. So there was over an hour of vacation time spent taking Disney transportation. Mulitply that by a 7 day trip and you have spent 7 hours just waiting/riding buses!!!!
    If you go to more that one park a day the time wasted on Disney tranporation in crazy
     

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