We are staying at AoA. My daughter insists that the bus is always the best option and I disagree. When should we bus and when should we drive? We plan on rope dropping every morning, park hopping and going to MVMCP. The one morning we plan on rope dropping EMH at AK.
We are open to Uber also.
As an Uber driver myself in my city, I can attest to the fact that driving when major events let out is extremely lucrative, i.e. extremely expensive for customers. My guess is that an Uber to the park is reasonable. But if you have something where thousands of people leave at once and a finite number of cars, prepare for a premium. I've seen surges as high as 8x standard rate. For my own trip, we'll be bus all the way. Except for the two Universal days. Haven't decided that, cause we're staying at Port Orleans, and I don't want to switch hotels
Have you considered the Express Bus transportation option? If you are hopping that would be your best bet between parks but is a more difficult proposition if your car is parked at one of the parks. Inside park to inside park in less than 20 minutes on a VIP bus.
I'm on team bus, lol. I feel it's just more convenient for my group
We always drive. We park hop, always do at least two parks in a day and sometimes we go to all 4 parks in one day. We always RD the first park and try to get there before the busses start to arrive. We also take a break in the middle of the day. I like the freedom of coming and going when we want and not having to plan around the busses.
For the most part, it's really a matter of preference and what works best for your family. I always have a car, because I drive to WDW, but I am perfectly content to leave it parked the entire time I'm there. For me, driving is a necessity of life and not something I especially enjoy doing. I spend 90 min a day commuting, and not having to drive anywhere on vacation, even if it means having to wait a bit for a bus, is a major plus. The one exception to this is when going from resort to resort, especially in the evenings (e.g. going to dinner at a different resort) If it's between CR/Poly/GF/WL/FW, I don't think it makes much sense to drive, likewise for BC/YC/BW or POP/AoA. But for something like AKL to CR or BW to Poly, then yes, I would definitely drive.
But I'll couch all of these comments by saying that I am a middle-aged adult who either goes alone or with my wife, so I don't have kids, strollers, mid-day breaks, etc. to take into account.
Too many combos to think of.
Bus is NOT always the best - I personally think the bus service is bad for the most part.
Anytime you go to MK - the chance of the bus being faster is probably greater as you don't have to to the ferry / monorail. However - to me - that is PART of the experience. The park was designed to be "OVER THERE" and a far off destination that you need to travel to in a FUTURISTIC MONORAIL or a NOSTALGIC PADDLE WHEEL - not a BUS. So I like the "getting" to MK mentality
Epcot / HS - Boat - for same reason.
If you are going to / from AK and EPCOT sure I would do a car for sure.
If you are park hopping from park to park (not back to your hotel) - car is CERTAINLY much faster as the bus routs are not direct.
Personally - I find park hopping more of a distraction than anything else.
When traveling between parks the express bus is absolutely faster than the car. The express bus runs on a schedule, you arrive 5 minutes before departure and are inside the next park in less than 25 minutes total (sometimes under 20 minutes), including the 5 minute wait time. It can take much more time than that to walk out of the park to your car, drive to another park, walk/tram to the gates and go through bag check and security.
so if you are not having to rent a car and will already have your own there, you could take the approach we had. My plan was always to bus, but I had my deadline for when we would hop in the car if the bus was not arriving when I wanted it to.
2 mornings we used Disney transport (Epcot and MK)
2 mornings we used our own car (DHS and AK)
We chose to use the car on DHS day because my husband was heading to play golf in the afternoon, so it was just easier. For the AK day, we chose to use the car because we had to be there so earlier (dang you pandora!) and using the car meant a little extra sleep time since we didn't have to plan extra for busses.
But this is a premium service correct?
It is but time is money at Disneyworld... It works out to about $4/person per day if getting the 7 day plan. About the cost of a bottled water in the parks.
No I agree. Time is money on vacation etc. I am just finding it hard that WDW continues to nickle and dime you. By staying on property you should have good transpiration - but that seems to be lacking and has been for years. This is one more reason why we don't hop. I am sure some people love it - but since they have started charging for it (yes it used to be free) we haven't felt it is a justifiable experience.
If you are referring to the in-park to in-park express bus, this is brand new, and has never been free. There always have been and are still "free" buses (or monorails or boats) between the parks, but you have to leave the park and go to the bus line.
Here is a thread that you may find useful:
Express bus transportation is a new service. It was never free. Again, it's $4 a day/person. I get avoiding dessert parties and the like as not worth the cost but for someone to save as much if not more than an hour park time daily for 4 bucks we are happy to pay. We often visit 3 parks a day... one at rope drop, a 2nd for FP+, and a third for dinner or fireworks or both. We feel this gets us the most bang for our $$$.
I guess it is nice that I they have that. However still find it one more way to nickel/dine us. Also for me don't see any real reason to park hop most of the time. No real need to. Each park (usually) is at least a days worth of fun so why make it more complicated.
I will add one thing: I have not been to DW yet (29 days!), but I go to Disneyland all the time. When I do RD to fireworks, I am exhausted at the end of the day. Dead. And the drive back to LA (about 35-40 minutes) is the worst part of my day. So if you just do one park a day, RD to closure, I do think that buses are better, if it's only for not having to deal with the traffic/driving back to the hotel. But that is my personal opinion, based on DL.