Driving your own car vs buses...

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by epadisney, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. epadisney

    epadisney Earning My Ears

    Sep 5, 2009
    Hi! My family is driving to Disney in March and staying at POR. I've been hearing that the bus service from this resort is not always the greatest...and to allow 60-90 minutes of travel time to the parks each morning. Really??? That seems crazy. For our last stay (POFQ), we loved the convenience of not having to drive anywhere during the week. But now I'm wondering, would we be better off taking our own car to the parks each morning?
  2. Reddog1134

    Reddog1134 DIS Veteran

    Jun 2, 2009
    I enjoy the freedom of having a car. Most people will agree that if you have a car, it's easier to drive to all the parks except MK.
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  4. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 1999
    No, the buses don't take that long. I would estimate that it takes about 20-30 minutes bus stop to bus stop to get to the parks. But, you do have to include waiting at the bus stop and if you want to be at the park before rope drop. So, maybe it might take close to an hour if you start counting when you leave your room and stop counting when the park opens. Personally, I like to drive everywhere except the MK. I don't drive to the MK because I don't particularly like the Ticket and Transportation Center.
  5. mm1971

    mm1971 DIS Veteran

    Aug 30, 2011
    We have rented a car all trips but one. I would never rely on the busses again. I like having the freedom to go where we want, when we want. The busses can be hit or miss sometimes and can take up significant time depending on how busy it is. There is no cost to park since you are staying on property. We also sneak out to Dunkin Donuts sometimes.:scratchin It's just off property. If you don't mind waiting for busses when parks let out or it is busy then use the busses. You can also use the busses for some transportation and the car for other. We definitely prefer to drive and have the control.
  6. amylevan

    amylevan DIS Veteran

    Aug 31, 2005
    If you stayed at POFQ last time and had no problems, it's really not much different from POR since they share busses. So if you were ok last time, you should be ok this time.

    (And no I've never had 60-90 min of travel time from any of the resorts, and we almost exclusively use busses...)
  7. wdwrich

    wdwrich DIS Veteran

    Sep 26, 2002
    Totally agree! :thumbsup2
    And, if you travel between resorts (not parks) for meals especially in the evenings, using Disney transportation can be a nightmare.
  8. WedgieSock

    WedgieSock DIS Veteran

    Sep 4, 2012
    Personally we love the freedom of driving.

    You hear such conflicting stories about Disney Transportation .... I remember one thread on the Resorts board about how awful the buses were at POR and then another DISer jumped in to say they were at POR at the exact same time and thought the buses were wonderful :confused3
  9. aaarcher86

    aaarcher86 Registered

    Feb 17, 2010
    We enjoy driving. Even driving to MK doesn't bother us. It gives us more flexibility, and it makes it a ton easier for our ADRs at other resorts.

    It's free when you stay on property, so why not I say?! :thumbsup2
  10. gratefulfred

    gratefulfred Mouseketeer

    Mar 21, 2012
    If your car is there use it. I love having my car there
  11. JessM

    JessM We all have a dream

    Sep 5, 2012
    We always drive. We love the freedom of not having to stand around and wait for the busses. If you have AAA you can pick up a Diamond Star Parking pass (I was able to get one this year since I bought a park ticket from them, but I was also able to get one for my Dad without buying a ticket, it just depends on who is working when you go into your AAA branch to get one) which allows you to park at the front of the lot at the theme parks. Great for the Animal Kingdom and Epcot. We do normally take the bus to the MK.
  12. FlightlessDuck

    FlightlessDuck Y kant Donald fly?

    Jun 20, 2006
    I enjoy not having to deal with the traffic and sleep on the bus. If we drive down and have our car, we prefer parking it once at the resort and leaving it there.

  13. kydisfan

    kydisfan Mouseketeer

    Feb 10, 2012
    We generally drive in the mornings and take the bus in the afternoon for some reason. We are usually running late in the mornings so driving is real easy.
  14. eliza61

    eliza61 DIS Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
    Outside of whichever park is nearest to my resort (i.e. epcot to BC) I drive my own car.

    the first two years I went to disney my children where small. I hated dealing with the strollers and buses, especially at the end of the night. guest were down right nasty when I didn't have my kids out of the stroller the nanosecond the bus rolled up, buses always seemed to take at least 30 mins. I hate waiting 30 mins for a ride let alone a bus. LOL.

    anyhoo, we love driving. It opened up tons more eating options since now we can go resort to resort quickly, we've found disney extremely easy to get around (have yet to get stuck in heavy traffic) and now that we've been so often we've explored outside the park.

    No car, no trip is my motto.
  15. hidingmickey

    hidingmickey wuteva

    Nov 18, 2012
    Argh you guys keep me on the fence about renting a car for Christmas! And please tell me more about the AAA thing! What if we did not book through them?
  16. minnie mum

    minnie mum Unapologetic Disney Fan(atic)

    Mar 8, 2011
    It really seems to depend on the individual AAA office. Some will give them out to any member who asks. Others will only give them out with a purchase (park tickets or package).

    We drive TO WDW on occasion. But we don't drive IN WDW. We park it and forget it for the duration. DH says he does enough driving at home- he doesn't want to have to contend with it on vacation too. We've never had a problem with the buses. We may take a taxi back to our resort at night if we've been dining at another resort. (And since we would probably have enjoyed a beverage or two during the evening, we couldn't have driven our car anyway).
  17. tndisneyfan

    tndisneyfan DIS Veteran

    Mar 8, 2005
    I prefer to drive, until our last couple of trips we even drove to MK but we will no longer do that. I like to drive because I can control what time I get to the parks. I know if I want to be at DHS for rope drop I need to be in the car about 15-20 minutes before the time I want to be at a turnstyle. With the busses you don't have that control. You may get to the stop and a bus pulls up as you do, but you may get there and one may be pulling away just as you arrive. Another may be along in 10-15 minutes or it may be 30 or more, you just never know. I like not having to build in extra time that could be spent sleeping.
  18. pouncingpluto

    pouncingpluto DIS Veteran

    Oct 23, 2000
    Like the others in this thread, we almost always get a car and use it to go anywhere but MK (or, if staying in the Boardwalk area, we take the boat to DHS and walk to Epcot). We're going in February for my daughter's second birthday, and I'm trying to save a little money, so we are going take ME instead of renting a car and stay at Bay Lake Tower (Contemporary DVC) and make it a Magic Kingdom-focused trip (MK is very walkable from BLT). We can also take the monorail to Epcot (not sure if it is faster than bus, but it is more fun). So I figured I can deal with just taking the bus to and from AK once and DHS once.

    The resort location is key. I wouldn't rely on buses if I were staying anywhere but an MK resort, or maybe an Epcot resort.
  19. sharadoc

    sharadoc Visit WDW since '86, driving since '94.

    May 6, 2008
    We prefer driving but we do have exceptions:

    1. OKW - the bus service has always been great there, never have to wait long and the bus stops are usually really close to the park entrance.
    2. Boats - always take a boat if available.

    But, overwhelmingly, we prefer driving. I have had horrendous experiences waiting at parks for buses so to avoid that, we drive. I know it's not perfect but waiting in line for 45 minutes, or dealing with the strollers taking up space, or drunks from Epcot make our vehicle much more comfortable.
  20. biondagirl

    biondagirl Mouseketeer

    Jul 2, 2011
    We stayed at POP in 2010 and the buses were horrible. The second day we started taking our own car. And did it again in 2011. It just works out better for our family.
  21. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala 1937, what a year that was

    Jun 22, 2001
    I don't rent cars because Disney has made it unnecessary. But you do have to allow enough time to get where you are going.

    I would say at least 45 minutes to go from a resort to a park. At least an hour to an hour and a half to go between resorts. And it may take less time than that, or it may take more time than that. You have to add in time in case it takes longer for the bus to come. In case the bus is full and you have to wait for another one. In case the bus has to stop and load or unload wheelchairs or scooters.

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