All-Star vs Animation - Bus Service


#1

Earlier this month we timed the bus service at Pop Century, All-Star Sports and Art of Animation over four days, to every destination served. Times for 430 bus routes were collected from these resorts, between 7:30 AM and 11 AM (the peak time for transit to the parks).

On average....
A bus to the Magic Kingdom came every 7 mins at Pop, 8 minutes at Animation, 11 minutes at Sports
To Epcot every 10 mins at Pop, 12 minutes at Animation, every 11 minutes at Sports
To DHS, every 10 minutes at Animation and Pop, every 12 minutes at Sports
To Animal Kingdom every 12 minutes at Pop, 11 minutes at Animation, 10 minutes at Sports
To DTD/TL every 15 minutes at Animation and Pop, every 16 minutes at Sports

A couple of things:

  • The average time between bus arrivals is somewhere around 12 minutes, which is substantially better than 2014, when we measured it at 16 minutes
  • Sports wasn't sharing with the other AS resorts, as far as we could tell
  • The bus service seems roughly equal across the resorts we've looked at

We did several other resorts, too. I'll post them if anyone's interested.


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#2

That's pretty interesting to see @len. Seems like the main reason people pick pop or AoA is because of the (perceived?) better bus transportation. We actually found it to be pretty awful from POR last years in terms of getting back to the resort. I'd be curious if you timed it backwards going from the parks to the resorts. And also maybe the info from POP as that seems to be the main selling point that people bring up when they talk about which value to use.


#3

I'd be interested to read what you discovered about buses to and from PO-R, especially because we're going there next month and we've been reading such mixed comments on their buses. Thanks!


#4

Thanks @len. We used to stay at the All Star complex and, during resort hopping, never felt that our waits were excessive at AS. EDIT: I'm also no surprised that Sports wasn't sharing buses. We found that, like POR, during the busy mornings buses came direct All Star Movies, arriving empty for us. Sharing did happen later in the day and on return trips.

I agree with @outer the return service always seems painfully slow!

EDIT: Yes, I'd love to see additional data from other resorts.


#5

Just to clarify on my earlier statement about bus service at POR, we never had an issue getting a bus to the parks they came along pretty quickly, however, getting back from the parks was a different story. One night we waited over an hour because the line was long and they only had one bus going back and forth so we had to wait through two buses and finally got on the third. Other resorts, with shorter lines, were seeing two and three buses coming through for each one that came to pick up for our resort. After that we drove ourselves the rest of the trip. We have an upcoming stay at Pop where driving ourselves won't be an option so we'll see how it goes.


#6

Those numbers sound reasonable, but I also understand why someone could experience one bad wait during their stay that would throw off their perception of the bus service. I've stayed at All-Star Sports four times since September 2012 and usually drive to the parks, but usually take the bus to the Magic Kingdom. Since Sports tends to host a lot of groups (football players, cheerleaders, etc.) there are times when enormous lines form for the buses, though Disney seems to accommodate that by providing extra buses during those times. As for shared buses, I saw that in the mornings in September 2012 and March 2013 (though not returning to the resorts in the evening), but did not share buses at all during visits in July 2013 and December 2014.

My average wait time traveling to the Magic Kingdom during all four visits was 10 minutes, while my average wait for a bus back to the resort (usually shortly after park closing time) was 7 minutes. My worst waits for buses to Magic Kingdom were 27 minutes (9:24 AM on 3/19/2013) and 22 minutes (6:15 PM on 7/22/2013). My longest waits to return to the resort were 18 minutes (9:41 PM on 7/19/2013) and 12 minutes (12:30 AM on 12/17/2014). For both of my longest waits to return to the resort, buses were waiting in the stall when I arrived at the queue, but filled before I could board the bus. There were two other occasions when I saw long lines for buses to All-Star Sports and boarded a bus to All-Star Music instead, then walked back to my room from there.

The length of the bus ride seems to pretty consistently be 19 minutes.


#7

Added Pop's numbers to the OP.

ETA: It looks like there's one bus that's dedicated to going back and forth to WWOS between resorts, and I'd be surprised if this bus wasn't shared among resorts. Its loop to Pop, for example, is pretty much 30 minutes, which means it's picking up somewhere else too, because that's not a 30-minute round trip.


#8

This is very interesting information. Thank you Len. I would also be interested in hearing statistics for the other resorts.


#9

Thanks @len! Would love to see the numbers for POR if possible smile


#10

I too would love to see the POR numbers. Of course although I have seen the data in the UG before, I think the frustration is sometimes the amount of time on the bus. Early December when I stayed at WL it was painful to share a bus with GF. WL was picked up first, but then the buses could not get into the GF parking lot because of all the cars wanting to visit the resort! It added so much time to that bus ride.


#11

So if All-Star Sports wasn't sharing with the other All-Stars, does that mean that Music and Movies had their own dedicated buses too? Or did they share?


#12

When we measured them, they were not being shared.

In general I think sharing happens mid-day, roughly between 11 am and 4 pm.


#13

@len

Also, something interesting I learned at Pop in Dec 2016 when I complimented Guest Services on how quickly they picked us up from HS in the POURING RAIN.... he said they have installed cameras in some of the bus stops that helps them meet demand. He said when waiting for a bus, make sure you STAND in the bus line - don't sit in the benches.