Transportation experiences to and from budget resorts.

Snowwhyt

I feel the Magic with every visit ❤️
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
We will becoming from Art Of animation to the Wish in September and also from the Wish back to all-Star Movies resort two nights after the cruise. I have several questions.
As a gold member I expect I will get an early boarding time. I usually get to lunch before noon. I will have a wheelchair this time so things might be different. I can stand/walk/move but not like when I was in my 40’s which is the last time we left from a Disney resort. This time I will have a folding electric wheelchair.
1). What have been your experiences with Disney bus transportation for an earlier PAT?
2). Could you tell me your luggage arrangements from the room to the bus?
3). Will they do something different for me because I have a wheelchair this time?

We would like to soften the blow of leaving the ship with a day at Epcot. They open at 9 with no early hours for hotel guests. I would like to use Disney transportation unless you recommend otherwise to help out “The Plan”

4). Can we make rope drop? If not, what’s been your earliest experience?
5). Can luggage be dropped off so we can go right to the park? How would we do that?
6). I think the sky tram will take us right to the Epcot park if we leave from All Star Movies Resort. How much additional time will it take from dropping off the luggage using this service to get to Epcot?

7). Do you have a plan that worked for you that you could tell me about?
8). Who is your favorite movie character?

Edit: I kept reading that MK would open early and figured that since everyone was mentioning Magic Kingdom and not any of the other parks, it must only be that park only now. I’m so happy that I was wrong and misunderstood.
 
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I stayed at POFQ pre-cruise/WL post-cruise, so your mileage may vary

1) Our PAT was 11:30-1145, BG 6. The time stamps on my photos indicate I was waiting outside the bathrooms around 12:10, we were in Arendelle by 12:30? We did have small people with us, and they slow us down.
2) We had all the luggage we were checking by the door before 7 AM
3) No information on this one, but I think if we brought our stroller, it would have been folded and put under the bus and then removed at the port for us to bring on board.

4) The busses generally leave for the resorts at 9 AM. We got to WL by 10:30ish, I think? We were so tired we went straight to the room for a bit
5) You can check your luggage at the resort at luggage assistance (I think that's what the values call it)
6) If you're staying at all star resorts post cruise, that's bus only. The skyliner resorts are Pop Century/AoA, Caribbean Beach Resort and Riviera

7) So far it's only been DCL transfers, but I think if we go to a WDW resort post cruise, we're inclined to book a private transfer. We sat on that bus for an hour before it left.
8) Movie character....hmmmm. Probably Belle? Animated character overall- Donald Duck
 
1). If taking DCL transfers from a WDW resort, you don't actually select a PAT but it will be automatically assigned for you. Typically among the earliest. There is only 1 pick-up time for your resort so it's not based on PAT.
2). Bell Services (or Luggage Assistance at value resorts) will collect your luggage from your room. I think it's around 7am but you'll be told the time in the letter/email.
3). Can you do the steps up into a coach bus? If not, make sure you let them know you will need a bus with a lift. If you can do the steps, your chair will be put under the bus like luggage.

4). It may be possible, but unless you do private transportation and early debarkation I would not expect to get to a park until probably at least 11am or so if you are taking DCL Transfers, maybe even later if the bus makes multiple stops. They will take you to your resort where you can check your bags with Bell Services/Luggage Assistance and then make your way to the park.
5). DCL Transfers only go to the resorts, not to a park. There is no luggage service to take your bags to the resort without you going there as well.
6). As PP mentions, the Skyliner does not run from All Star Movies. You'll have to take a bus to Epcot.

7). When we've gone to a resort post cruise, it's been a resort (non-park) day. We swim, grab lunch, go to Disney Springs, etc.
 
We stayed at the Hyatt MCO prior and as a first time cruiser our boarding group was 3. We were on the boat before noon eating lunch. Took Disney transport to Yacht Club after and did not get there until 11:20 or so. Like the above poster we sat on the bus for quite some time before it left port. Our bus was stopping at 6 resorts and we were the 3rd dropped off.

This was 3 weeks ago.
 
We would like to soften the blow of leaving the ship with a day at Epcot. They open at 9 with no early hours for hotel guests. I would like to use Disney transportation unless you recommend otherwise to help out “The Plan”

AFAIK every park has the 30 minutes early entry for hotel guests EVERY day (no "hours" in the morning). It's just the evening hours that are not every park every day.

And in terms of taking Disney transportation from the port, I'm pretty sure you have to have a reservation at a resort to do that. Are you actually staying at Movies or were you just planning to drop stuff there? If the latter I'm pretty sure you'll need private transportation.
 
We would like to soften the blow of leaving the ship with a day at Epcot. They open at 9 with no early hours for hotel guests.
AFAIK every park has the 30 minutes early entry for hotel guests EVERY day (no "hours" in the morning). It's just the evening hours that are not every park every day.
Yes, all 4 parks offer a 30 minute Early Theme Park Entry for resort guests every day, including check-in day. But with a 9am park opening, that would be 8:30am ETPE -- which is unlikely coming from a cruise, especially since you probably need to be there earlier to be at the front of the crowd. You might catch a few minutes of ETPE if you have a vehicle parked at the cruise terminal and do express walk-off then drive straight to the park (leaving luggage in the car). Everything would have to align perfectly for that to work, though.
 
Yes, all 4 parks offer a 30 minute Early Theme Park Entry for resort guests every day, including check-in day. But with a 9am park opening, that would be 8:30am ETPE -- which is unlikely coming from a cruise, especially since you probably need to be there earlier to be at the front of the crowd. You might catch a few minutes of ETPE if you have a vehicle parked at the cruise terminal and do express walk-off then drive straight to the park (leaving luggage in the car). Everything would have to align perfectly for that to work, though.

Right. I was confused because the OP said there weren't early hours that day.
 
If you want to get into EPCOT as soon as possible after your cruise, rent a car for your ENTIRE trip and park it at the port. You can then be on the road immediately with no wait, and then leave your bags in the car at EPCOT. Can you rope drop? Probably not, but I think you can get their pretty early. We didn't rush things, but were leaving the ship around 8:30, we stopped at a store on the way to EPCOT and was walking into EPCOT before 10:30 am. If we had skipped breakfast and did express walk-off (along with skipping the stop at a grocery store), I think we could have been there around 9.

The key is that we skipped the resort stop...that easily saved 45 minutes to an hour, because we could leave our bags in the car. We checked in online, and went to our resort mid-afternoon for a break.
 
AFAIK every park has the 30 minutes early entry for hotel guests EVERY day (no "hours" in the morning). It's just the evening hours that are not every park every day.

And in terms of taking Disney transportation from the port, I'm pretty sure you have to have a reservation at a resort to do that. Are you actually staying at Movies or were you just planning to drop stuff there? If the latter I'm pretty sure you'll need private transportation.
Im so glad to hear that each park opens early. Everyone just kept talking about Magic Kingdom opening early so I thought from posts that I was Reading that only MK opens early because that was all they mentioned.

We actually will staying at Movies 2 nights after the cruise.
I’m not a great writer sorry for the confusion.
You had it right. OP seems to be confused.
Yup, I’m currently reading “Walt Disney World hacks”. I’m only halfway through the book. She never mentions that all the parks open early, but does specify that main street is open an hour early and only the rides are open a half hour early.
Now I hope to find what the other parks have to offer early. So far all I’ve been able to find is the general hours of the park last year. Even when I was on Disney chat yesterday, they told me they couldn’t tell me the hours. I guess extra hours didn’t come up because I would have remembered that.
 
While you may not get a “full” day at EPCOT on disembarkation day, will getting to the park at noon or 1 pm and staying til close be long enough (too long?) for you?

It will still be hot and humid in September. Or would you consider one of the hard ticket Halloween parties for later that night and spend some time at the resort pool?
 
While you may not get a “full” day at EPCOT on disembarkation day, will getting to the park at noon or 1 pm and staying til close be long enough (too long?) for you?

It will still be hot and humid in September. Or would you consider one of the hard ticket Halloween parties for later that night and spend some time at the resort pool?
It’s that it’s so expensive to not get the whole day at the park that bothers me. If there was a half day price on a half day ticket it wouldn’t hurt so much.
When We/I go it’s all about getting as much as we can for the money we spend. Like if you went to an expensive all, you could eat crab leg dinner and only had soup and salad. Though if you’re a person who doesn’t like rides I feel there’s enough value in the park to see just entertainment.
But that’s not how I see Universal Studios. Much less entertainment and heavy on rides. Most of the rides I would pass on to avoid ruining my day from motion sickness. And for those reasons we normally pick Sea World as an alternative park for visiting.

Hot and humid, ugh. Think I’m going to hate this weather but, it is what it is. Maybe packing a few extra shirts? I need to figure something out for that. Any suggestions?

We are leaving at 6:45 the next morning and visited the Halloween party about 10 days before that. I’ll bet my “get up and go” will have up and left me by then.
PS always love reading your posts. And you are very kind to my atrocious writings trying to put my thoughts in paper.
 
I totally get the “get your money’s worth” with Disney prices. But I have been enough times over the years (usually only a few days at a time) that I am not discovering new things, mainly enjoying my favorites. And realizing a 12-hour day in the heat is not my idea of fun. Even if the price per hour is higher. My body has taught me this. I become a cranky kid when tired. I understand why there’s crying at the Happiest Place in Earth. Nine hours from noon to fireworks is plenty for me.

If you truly want to get the most hours, your best option is have a rental car and park it in the garage at the port, so you can do self-disembark (means taking all your luggage) and leaving first chance you get.

While it would get you to WDW much sooner, I don’t know about parking. Resort guests can park for free at the hotel and theme parks, but would you have to check-in at the resort first? Or would your hotel reservation be enough to avoid paying at the parks lot if you went straight from Port to EPCOT?

Or do you just treat it as a resort day and utilize the pool (so much bigger than on the ship)?

…Thanks for the kind words.
 
Yup, I’m currently reading “Walt Disney World hacks”. I’m only halfway through the book. She never mentions that all the parks open early, but does specify that main street is open an hour early and only the rides are open a half hour early
This is quite possibly old information. Prior to COVID, this was true, but they now let all resort guests in 30 minutes before general opening (they will check your room key) with all or most rides open. This was certainly the case this past January, last December and September. Once, they did let us in about 45 minutes before the general opening at HS, and we were on and off ROTR before they even opened the park. Given that that was the first time we ever managed to ride ROTR, it was a great start to the day.

We went from the Wish to WDW early last September. EPCOT was planned to be our first day. We had intended to get to our resort (Boardwalk) and then go straight to EPCOT around 10:30 and troll around the world eating from food and wine booths staring at around 11 am. We have friends who live in Florida who we didn't think we'd get a chance to see, but they made last-minute arrangements for us to meet up for lunch at DS so we didn't get to EPCOT until around 2:30 pm. We still managed to get to a number of attractions and did eat some (though we were reasonably full from lunch). There were extra magic hours that night for Deluxe resorts and we did partake in it but only for about 30-45 minutes. It was so hot we took a lot of breaks throughout the day (yay for Nemo and Friends - full air conditioning). Even with only getting there mid-afternoon, it was still a good, full day. Having that extra 45 minutes was nice (got us onto Ratatouille) but I'd have still been happy if I'd left right after the fireworks.
 
This is quite possibly old information. Prior to COVID, this was true, but they now let all resort guests in 30 minutes before general opening (they will check your room key) with all or most rides open. This was certainly the case this past January, last December and September. Once, they did let us in about 45 minutes before the general opening at HS, and we were on and off ROTR before they even opened the park. Given that that was the first time we ever managed to ride ROTR, it was a great start to the day.

We went from the Wish to WDW early last September. EPCOT was planned to be our first day. We had intended to get to our resort (Boardwalk) and then go straight to EPCOT around 10:30 and troll around the world eating from food and wine booths staring at around 11 am. We have friends who live in Florida who we didn't think we'd get a chance to see, but they made last-minute arrangements for us to meet up for lunch at DS so we didn't get to EPCOT until around 2:30 pm. We still managed to get to a number of attractions and did eat some (though we were reasonably full from lunch). There were extra magic hours that night for Deluxe resorts and we did partake in it but only for about 30-45 minutes. It was so hot we took a lot of breaks throughout the day (yay for Nemo and Friends - full air conditioning). Even with only getting there mid-afternoon, it was still a good, full day. Having that extra 45 minutes was nice (got us onto Ratatouille) but I'd have still been happy if I'd left right after the fireworks.
I have to say I am thankful that the park is only open from 9-10 MK and 9-9 for E & HS and even happier AK is 9-7. Since we’re gonna be breaking MK up into two days that should be helpful so that I don’t feel like I have to run to the rides like I did when I was in my 20s and the park was open till midnight. The wheelchair should make it easier for me, but I am expecting complications with that as well. I just think I won’t find out about them till I get there.

So I went to Barnes & Noble to page through a few books to see which ones I was most interested in. I read a review online and it said that this book was printed in 2024, but the outdated information was only “180 day advance booking for dinner reservations” instead of 60 days.
I’m a little more than halfway through the book and have found four separate notations how to make cards and other thank you notes for cast members. Out of 450 tips I don’t need 10 of them on how to give compliments. Obvious this money would’ve been better spent on a Dole pineapple whip!
I would go back and find the tips that mentioned the Magic Kingdom like it was the only place that has extra hours but it’s absolutely not worth going and reading this thing twice. I’m gonna finish this stupid thing only because I paid for it.
But it sure does have me feeling like a fool here on the boards.
 

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