Bus vs. driving to parks - WWYD

Hello! Previously, I’ve only ever taken bus transportation into the park, but was considering driving right to the park on our arrival day.

We will be arriving at the Boardwalk Villas on 9/20 by 7:45am. We have AK planned for that day. I’m not sure if we should park and then take the bus (wasn’t sure how early they are running them these days?!), or just drive right to AK (also wasn’t sure how early they are letting people into the parking lots?). First time we’ve ever done a park on arrival day. I want to get there early, get what we can done, and head out early afternoon for the hotel. Any suggestions? This is a last second trip that we are winging. It’s slightly stressing me out :upside_down_face:

The Unofficial guidebook says that if you have a car it is better than the buses. The only exception is going to MK while staying at a MK resort.

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I would drive to AK, personally. With low crowds you should be able to park close to the entrance. Then you’ll be able to leave when you want without having to wait for a bus to arrive, or deal with any waits for a bus because of the limited capacity of each.

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In @Randall1028 's trip last week he didn’t really have a lot of problems w/ buses other than there were unmarked… well… they do stop running pretty early it seems too. If you drive to the park, arrive as close as possible to opening and expect to wait 10 min after opening before they start letting cars though. That has been our experience twice now and confirmed by others in these forums. If you arrive to the gate too early they will force you to turn around and tell you to come back later.

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If you have a car, driving to AK is almost always quicker than taking the bus.

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oh… IF you feel comfortable taking a Lyft they will drop you right out front of gates/security. AK is the only Lyft drop this close to a park entrance. Any day we were going to AK and staying on property we just took a Lyft over. Too close to entrance to do it any other way. We would take the bus back to resort though.

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We’ve always had a car. Its almost always quicker to drive to the parks. When Im ready to go, Im ready to go. The longest wait is for a Disney bus when your feet are aching and your tired and hungry.

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and… then you don’t get a seat and have to stand… blech that’s the worst! We started using Lyft a lot more.

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Mmmm no. Just cause I didn’t complain constantly about it doesn’t mean there weren’t recurring problems. :wink:

Over filling(making it so you don’t get to board), sporadic, and long delays were all a thing. And it was daily. But the most reliable times to use them was first thing in the morning. That had the least amount of issues.

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Thanks for clarifying and not being a complainer :wink:

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We used Disney transportation and our van about half and half. For AK, we drove. It was no biggie. The only downside was at the end of the hot, sweaty day, and we had to walk and walk to get back to our car. Yes…we were “close” as far as parking goes. But when you are hot and tired, it still felt like miles! :slight_smile: Still, I think driving was the wiser move for AK.

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We live close enough to Orlando that we always drive rather than fly, so we always have our car.

After a long day at a park, it is nice to immediately have your own private space with peace, quiet and comfort.

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Hahaha. Thanks for the laugh. And the valid point.

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We used Disney Transportation once this week, albeit the Skyliner from CBR directly and not busses. But after that one experience with the lines and the waiting, we took the car the rest of the time. With parks at around 25% capacity, you get to park in the front lots no matter what time you get there. They aren’t even using the far back lots so walking to your car is no big deal. Mk and HS let you line up 1hr early and AK, EP us 30 min. But get there on the nose, we got sent back around twice this week for getting there 2 min early.

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Thanks for the info. I’m confused though; are you suggesting to show up as close as possible to park opening (9am), or parking lot opening? Your statement could read as if cars won’t be permitted into the lot until 9:10am, and from what I’ve read, parking lots seem to be accepting cars @ one hour to 45 minutes before park opening. Thanks for clarifying!

oh good point, I see where what I wrote is confusing. For example, parks open at 0900, so arrive at 0800 and expect to wait until 0810 to be let through the parking gates. If you arrive too early they will turn you around. Is that more clear?

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Yes, thanks for the update!

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Thanks for parking tip. How have the ride and food lines been this week?

What about the parking cost at the parks? We are hoping to go in December and will have a car for the first time. Since I can’t purchase an AP, I hate to get dinged nightly for my resort parking and then again at the parks, but I definitely feel safer with my car than bus transport right now.

Once you pay for the day, you may park at any of the other theme parks . If you are a Guest staying at a Disney Resort hotel, you receive complimentary standard parking at Disney theme parks for the length of your Resort stay . You must present valid Disney Resort hotel identification to enter the parking lots.

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