Drive to the parks or use hotel transportation? What's best?

smiley124

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 9, 2019
We've been to Disney multiple times and we always stay on property but have never considered driving to the parks once we're there. We've just always kept our car parked at the hotel and used the buses to get around. I just learned that hotel guests get free parking at the parks so now I'm wondering if that would be a better transportation experience. My dominant memory of the bus system is lines, more lines, waiting, having to stop at other hotels to let people on/off and often standing on very full buses at the end of long days. It seems like driving ourselves would be way better/faster, but since we've never done it I'm not sure. Am I missing something? Is park parking/driving a good idea or no? We'll be there next week after a several years hiatus so I would love some insight on this self drive/park dilemma. TIA! :)
 
  • glocon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2010
    We’ve done both and I like both. You will find lots of people at polarized opposites on this one. When my husband is with us he prefers to drive and that works just fine. Always get a seat and it smells good. When hubby doesn’t come, I’d rather use buses so I don’t have to drive. But frequently wait long for buses, and monorails smell like barns.
     

    kniquy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2014
    We personally enjoy not having to worry about driving during our WDW vacations. I don’t think that the time you would save would be significant enough to warrant having to pack in the car, drive around property, park, most likely have to take a tram to the entrance all to do it when you want to get back to the hotel. Just being driven around makes your day a little less stressful. I guess the worst thing you could do would be to try it and see for yourself. With the app having the bus arrival times it does help a bit to know when to get to the bus stop.
     

    Shellyred8

    I'd rather be at Disney
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2016
    One thing to keep in mind is that if you drive and park, you may have to wait in the tram lines (lines are usually long at park close). If you leave at park close, you will also have to wait in traffic with everyone else that is leaving at that time too. If you plan to leave before park close, I think driving would be a decent option where you wouldn't have to wait around as much.

    I would recommend trying it with HS or AK and see how it goes for them. If you like it, you can do it for the other parks. If not, go back to using Disney transportation.

    With MK, as others have mentioned, you have to park at the TTC and then monorail or ferry over. I actually don't mind taking the ferry, as I really enjoy that ride and seeing MK come into view across the water. :)

    Have a great trip!
     

    smiley124

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2019
    Thanks everyone! (and keep the opinions coming) There is a lot of wisdom in these posts and you've given us a lot to think about. Based on the posts so far I'm leaning towards buses. I was really hoping driving ourselves would be a time saver, but it doesn't sound like that's the case...
     
  • JETSDAD

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2016
    We have started using a greater mix of driving and Disney transportation than we used to. After driving down from Canada I never used to want to drive anywhere. Park it and leave it there for the entire trip. Now we tend to drive more often but very rarely to MK. We do typically take a mid-day break and when we go pack to a park for the evening we usually use Disney transportation as we never know where we may end up. Sometimes we hop parks again or decide to catch a bus to Disney Springs. We just don't want to have to worry about where we last parked or to fight traffic at park close. It really depends on the plans though and sometimes how far we are away from the bus stop at our resort (for instance, at Kidani it is very convenient to park near the elevator to our section and just drive).
     

    Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    This is something you'll have to decide what you like. You couldn't pay me to ride the bus no matter where or when. We love having the freedom to come and go where we please, when we please. Plus, we get to have our own space.
     

    McNs

    NZ
    Joined
    Aug 8, 2014
    We drove on our 2017 visit and decided to try buses this year. The buses suck! If we ever go again it will be with a car.
     
  • sam_gordon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2010
    I'm one who doesn't mind the busses. I'd rather have someone else drive. BUT each family has their own priorities. I agree with others who say if you're on the fence, give driving a try.
     

    Donna M

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 8, 2008
    If you stay till park close the line for the busses can be super long. It feels nicer to be sitting in our own car and waiting in traffic if need be. I like to drive depending on the park and hotel, sometimes it makes more sense to take the bus, like if you aren't heading over or back at busy times, the park is close to your hotel, you don't know the roads, or don't like driving.
     

    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    I personally would use Disney transportation everywhere. But people who want to drive should drive - except, as has been mentioned above, to/from MK.
     

    Eeyore daily

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2019
    I'm in the bus only group. It's bad enough driving to Disney from Tampa so when I get there I don't want to drive again. We took a cab from Epcot to All Star Sports and got back the same time as the bus did. So to me it's not worth it to drive.
     

    zoo2tycoon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2012
    We drive ... tend to park hop lots. Use app to remember where we parked-
    Don’t like bus. Did like the one the had a few years ago that you paid for and got on behind scenes in park and took you to other park behind scenes ( it was a trial that didn’t last long).
     

    mrsnate

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2019
    I am also in the undecided group. We'll be renting a car for the week, and DH prefers to have one at all times, but I am unsure if it will affect "the magic" if we drive vs taking transportation. My 2 year old is obsessed with busses, trains, boats, etc.
     


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