Early Theme Park Entry and PARKING

DCVGC

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Early Theme Park Entry starts for resort hotel guests starting October 1.

For those who've had success with extra magic hours, is it possible to drive to Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, or Epcot from your DVC resort and also take advantage of early entry? The problem I'm seeing is that castmembers won't let you into the parking lot early enough so that if you have to drive back around, chances are you won't finish parking before resort guests are already heading in. (MK may be different due to TTC?)
 

kes601

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
During extra magic hours it was possible. Nobody really knows how early entry is going to work at this point since it officially doesn’t start until 10/1.
 

drusba

I went to Iowa once, and it was closed.
Joined
Aug 19, 1999
There are two other issues to be aware of. Disney now sells "preferred" parking at $20 to $25 more than regular parking and keeps the aisles close to the park usable only by preferred parkers. The other issue may or may not resolve by October, but currently there are no trolleys running the parking lots that take those who have parked to the park, i.e., from wherever you park, which can be a very long way from the park, you have to walk.
 
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Dizzydizney

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
I’ve parked at all three early in the morning, before park opening. There is always someone at the booth. Go early enough and you can park pretty close. Except Animal Kingdom, the unicorn lot is closed off, or it was last time I was there. Hopefully they will get the trams running again soon.
I’ve also parked early at Epcot to board the monorail to MK, but that was BP (before pandemic). Under no circumstances will I ever park at MK. I’ll brave the bus early in the morning.
 

Donnask8pro

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
I’ve parked at all three early in the morning, before park opening. There is always someone at the booth. Go early enough and you can park pretty close. Except Animal Kingdom, the unicorn lot is closed off, or it was last time I was there. Hopefully they will get the trams running again soon.
I’ve also parked early at Epcot to board the monorail to MK, but that was BP (before pandemic). Under no circumstances will I ever park at MK. I’ll brave the bus early in the morning.
This is exactly my question. How early does the Epcot parking lot open to jump monorail to MK for early entry? And end park hopper at Epcot. Staying at the Dolphin. TYSM
 

Dizzydizney

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
This is exactly my question. How early does the Epcot parking lot open to jump monorail to MK for early entry? And end park hopper at Epcot. Staying at the Dolphin. TYSM
According to things I’ve read on DVC news on these boards, the monorail starts one hour before park opening. Epcot was not opening until 11 for a while, but most recently it’s been opening at 9. I would assume parking would be open at 8 am or earlier at Epcot since guests staying on site can enter at 8:30. Not sure how long the monorail runs after park closing. Have you considered taking the Hollywood boat to Hollywood and boarding a bus to MK? Not sure how that schedule goes for busses. If you close out at Epcot, you can boat or walk back to Dolphin. Do you get free parking at parks if staying at Dolphin?
 

Donnask8pro

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
According to things I’ve read on DVC news on these boards, the monorail starts one hour before park opening. Epcot was not opening until 11 for a while, but most recently it’s been opening at 9. I would assume parking would be open at 8 am or earlier at Epcot since guests staying on site can enter at 8:30. Not sure how long the monorail runs after park closing. Have you considered taking the Hollywood boat to Hollywood and boarding a bus to MK? Not sure how that schedule goes for busses. If you close out at Epcot, you can boat or walk back to Dolphin. Do you get free parking at parks if staying at Dolphin?
Yes free parking at parks. I’ll have to figure it out. Don’t want to drive back while finishing Epcot w a few adult cocktails
 

Dizzydizney

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
I don’t know what I was thinking!!! You can take the bus to MK from the Dolphin....no need to boat to Hollywood......although the morning bus to MK can sometimes be a long wait from your resort. Just remember that you can’t walk through the back gate of Epcot to get the monorail to MK if MK is your park reservation for the day...Epcot would have to be your park reservation for the day and you can’t get into MK before 2. I forgot about that 2 pm thing a few times my last trip, still used to having regular park hopping.

Probably a good idea to not drive if you’re going to indulge in adult beverages. Have to say there were a lot of tasty looking drinks at the kiosks at Food & Wine. Also I noticed a lot of construction in the Epcot roadways. I’ve driven out of Epcot at night stone cold sober and had trouble navigating even without construction going on.
 

Donnask8pro

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
I'll drive to TTC and then drive back to Dolphin and walk to Epcot after 2. We've been 3x since covid. Season holders at US/IOA
Thank You!
 

Dizzydizney

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
Does the Dolphin bus drop off at the MK gate now that it's a 3rd party company? Taking the ferry or monorail can be quite a hassle when things get crowded.
Dolphin participates in early morning hours, so one could walk to poly to take the resort monorail after getting off the Mears bus at the TTC. Since one can assume they won’t be running the express monorail early. She has decided to drive to the TTC, so she could still walk to the Poly for the monorail.
 

HappyDisneyWife

Powered by pixie dust... and espresso ;)
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Does the Dolphin bus drop off at the MK gate now that it's a 3rd party company? Taking the ferry or monorail can be quite a hassle when things get crowded.
Swolphin no longer drops guests off at the gate. That was quite a shock/blow from one trip getting Disney resort treatment to the next being outcasted to “the drop off!!” (Both trips were post-covid.) It was a major downgrade.
 

ScubaCat

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 12, 2008
Swolphin no longer drops guests off at the gate. That was quite a shock/blow from one trip getting Disney resort treatment to the next being outcasted to “the drop off!!” (Both trips were post-covid.) It was a major downgrade.
Bummer! Oh well. I remember that experience from my last off-site stay. It's definitely a downgrade to say the least.
 

chaoskids

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 2, 2000
Are cars being held at the gates while resort buses can enter? Especially interested in AK.
 

Dizzydizney

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
Are cars being held at the gates while resort buses can enter? Especially interested in AK.
The majority of Disney transport buses now use a different entrance to the bus depot.....they go up to the traffic light at Sherbeth Road and right before AKL and turn right.
During the early morning Magic, if you are not staying at one of the approved resorts, you can still go through the main turnstile at the entrance, but then they have a number of cast members checking your band before you can go much further.
In my experience at AK in the last 3 years or so I’ve never seen them hold back cars. When FOP first opened it was total chaos at the parking toll gate. Seems normal now.
 

Donnask8pro

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
Dolphin participates in early morning hours, so one could walk to poly to take the resort monorail after getting off the Mears bus at the TTC. Since one can assume they won’t be running the express monorail early. She has decided to drive to the TTC, so she could still walk to the Poly for the monorail.
Why would I have to walk to Poly? Monorail doesnt do MK early entry from TTC? What did I miss haha TY btw
 

Dizzydizney

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
Why would I have to walk to Poly? Monorail doesnt do MK early entry from TTC? What did I miss haha TY btw
I could be wrong, but it seemed the express monorail was not running early last week while the resort one was. They may assume that people parking are not staying on property. Or maybe they scan you before boarding the resort monorail at the TTC if it stops there. And I don’t think the parking lot tram is running yet either, it wasn’t at AK.
You would probably get a better answer on the transportation board here. Things keep changing by the day it seems. I wonder why the Swan and Dolphin are no longer included in the Disney transport.
Anyway, you received lots of information...sorry if mine is inaccurate.
 

Bellagirl

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 15, 2021
Really hoping someone who has been recently since early entry has started can report about how it was at the TTC. How early did you arrive at TTC and which monorails we’re running. Did you have to wait or did monorail start early?
 

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