Buses and ME

I’ll be taking a bus for the first time in many, many years. Going from POR to the MK for am EMH. The WDW Website says buses generally start 1hr before park opening. Guessing this means I should be at the POR bus stop before 7am? Where does the bus drop off? I’ve seen bus stops just outside the MK main entrance on the pathway to the CR. Is that the exit spot? Anything else I need to know?

Also, I may take the ME for the first time ever. Guessing I should plan 90min for that? Any tips there? It would likely be a late-ish arrival at MCO. Anywhere from 10p to midnight. Haven’t booked flights yet.

Thanks in advance!

Yes, I would be at the bus one hour before opening. The MK bus drops you off right outside the gate. I always plan 90 minutes from plane landing to resort but it can take 2-3 hours ( not usual, but possible).

Holy smokes! Possibly 2-3hrs! Considering a cab now. Wonder if I can ask the driver for an ETA and snag a cab if I think it’s too long? Saw a post from Len saying 90-120 min before opening on buses. Wonder if POR could give me a more precise answer at check-in? Thanks for the rapid response! Have a great day!

I have taken DME to POR and it was the only stop, I have taken it when it was the 4th stop (OKW, SS, FQ, POR). It changes so much! A cab will be at least 60 dollars (it was over 50 last time I did it).

Thanks. So, sounds like I need to be flexible. Have you taken ME late? Betting it may be longer later? Maybe they wait for the bus to fill before departing?

They do try to fill the buses but I have not arrived latebin years. Hopefully someone else can give some feedback.

Many thanks again!

We arrived at about 11pm on a Monday in. Feb. We grabbed our luggage and walked right through to the bus. Sat on the bus for 10-15 waiting for others. Bus was not full when we left. Stopped at CBR then POP. I thought it was pretty quick. We have never had issues with DME.

The buses are usually quite good. Yes, sometimes there is a delay or extra stops, but the longer time estimates really are outliers. We enjoyed the DME ride - cushy seats, welcome video, lots of excited people, no worries about directions or traffic.

By the way, do NOT use the yellow luggage tags! With your late arrival you will need to get your bags yourself. The MDE driver will stow them under the bus for you (usual tip = $1/bag.) It’s going to feel like a bit of a trek to your room late at night with your suitcases, but I think you’ll really like POR once you’re settled and have a good night if sleep.

@SallyEppcot @Legomaster225 Thank you! Never check bags anyway so I’m good to go. Do you guys have the impression that bus drivers know when they will head out? Perhaps hyper focused on 2-3hr waits which I wouldn’t do. A $60 cab or Uber sounds about right in that situation. Although, ME would be a new experience and which gets me excited somewhat about it.

Well, it wouldn’t be a 2-3 hour wait to leave the airport. A 3 hour time estimate would be from the moment you step off the flight to arriving at a park or restaurant. The general rule of thumb is to allow 3 hours from flight arrival to something you’re trying to schedule like an ADR or a FPP. Most people give a 1.5 to 2 hour estimate for the time it takes to get from the plane to your room. That includes a lot of fiddly bits on either end that you’ll have to endure no matter what your mode of transportation is - picking up luggage, walking through the airport, room check in at the resort, walking to your room, etc.

The buses leave when they’re full, so the driver might be able to give you an estimate. There’s a whole fleet of them, and when you go to the MDE area they scan your magic band and point you towards the one that’s headed to your resort. If it’s a busy time of day, you’ll get straight on the bus and everyone else on the bus will also be going to your resort or maybe one other one. Once the bus is full, they leave. It’s about a 30 minute drive in a bus or your own rental car, so that’s a chunk of time that doesn’t depend on your mode of transportation. If your flight lands at a less busy time they’ll probably put people from multiple resorts on the same bus so that they can fill the bus more quickly. You don’t wait as long to leave the airport, but then the drive will take more time because of the extra stops. Does that make sense?

(Edited to correct the airport to WDW driving time. I looked up the right time.)

I came in late, around 11 pm, was put on an empty bus and sat for 30 minutes waiting for the bus to fill. And then I was the last of four stops. So I know it was easily an hour and a half to two hours before I got to the resort. It’s just the luck of the draw as to the fullness of the bus and what stop you are.

Thanks! That’s the info I needed.