Driving or Bus to MK from AOA when taking midday break?

Hi all - this forum (like all things TP) is so helpful. I have read the Unofficial Guide cover to cover but still remain uncertain about something.

We are staying at AOA and renting a car. We will be at WDW for a week and plan to visit MK, EP, and AK. On each day we are there, we plan to take a midday break of 4 hours to go back to AOA.

I have read/understand that it may be significantly faster to take the bus from AOA to MK, because the bus deposits you right in front of the park. However, I have also read that families who plan on taking midday breaks are often better off having a car to get them to and from the park during break time. Also, I am concerned about which mode (car or Bus) is better for leaving the park at night. We only plan to stay for Wishes one night, and on other MK days will likely leave after dinner.

Given those factors, anyone want to take a stab at suggesting whether we should drive to MK or take Bus? Or maybe some combination (Car to MK in am, car back to AOA midday, bus back to MK, Bus back to AOA at night)? TIA

We stayed at AOA a few weeks ago, and we elected to drive to every park, every day (including MK). We also took mid-day breaks most days.

When we did rope drop, we parked in the 1st row new to the “preferred parking” spots every day, so it was a short walk to the park and back to our car. When we returned to the parks, depending on how late in the afternoon it was, there was often nobody attending the lots, so we were able to drive to the first few rows again. (This didn’t happen every time, but most.)

We never had an issue leaving the parking lots or with traffic at the end of the day, but we usually took a leisurely stroll after closing (after Illuminations, Fantasmic, and ROL) to reach the park’s exit. (This paid off especially well when we left ROL and travelled the opposite direction as most of the crowds. We continued to take the “least travelled route” and were rewarded with a private concert and dance party that lasted at least 30 minutes in Africa!)

The only time we had an issue leaving a park was when we stayed for Wishes at MK and then took another 30-45 minutes strolling around before we left the park. (It was out last MK day, and we never want to leave!!) When we did get out, the monorail line extended all the way back to the gates at MK (both the resort monorail and express), and the lines for the ferry and for the friendship boats were all crazy long, too. To make matters worse, it started to rain :-(. We got in line for the resort monorail and waited more than 45 minutes to board. By the time we got to our car at the TTC, it was after 10:00pm. (Wishes and park closing were at 8:00pm that night.) I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a miserable experience.

However, even given this one experience, I would still opt to drive to every park.

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I have no direct experience but I’d imagine the time might be the same. Waiting for the bus will probably take about the same amount of time it takes to get to your car since it is mid-day and fewer buses run. Bonus for the bus is your just standing there waiting (versus walking) and you might get lucky. Drawback for the bus is it might take longer, and the buses can be crowded and unpleasant. Might wait until you are there and ask about the bus schedule and then make the call?

We stayed at AoA and drove everywhere and it was great. This was the first time I did this, I usually park the car and don’t see it again until we leave. We took the bus from AoA to MK to watch fireworks the first night we were there and it was crowded, hot, and unpleasant. That ended our desire to ride the bus for the remainder of the week :wink: We didn’t take mid-day breaks though.

Thanks! Seems like people talk about long waits for buses at the end of the evening too, though - so maybe it all evens out on that front.

We are here now and have a car. We have been trying the bus system and sometimes it is great, other days terrible. We drive to all parks in the morning, and usually will use the bus for our break (leaving park and returning). In the winter we just use the car all the time (except MK), but on days like today when it was 95 degrees, we drive in the morning and park at the Contemporary or in front row at TTC. Used the bus for our break, and tonight when the hordes of people are clogging up the monorail and buses, we will walk back to the CR and get our car. Easy peasy. You can valet there, or make an ADR for 1 person at the Wave, then you can park as you have an ADR. Just don’t say Hi, we want to park here for MK.

We found the bus waits to take the midday break to AOA and back weren’t long. We did have a long wait to get the bus back after the fireworks from MK one night though.

I would absolutely recommend driving! We drive everywhere and have no regrets or qualms about it! If you are there are rope drop you can get a fantastic spot and then if you come back in the afternoon, ask the attendants if you can try for a closer spot.

We took our 1 year old and it was great being able to be a little bit more of a pack rat in the park because we knew we could unload the stroller into the trunk and not have to carry everything on the bus. It was also great if our son fell asleep in the car seat on the break and we could just carry him up to the room. I like being able to park the car right by the room too.

For the MK, if the lines for TTC transport look long, take the Ferry. It fits basically everyone who is in line as opposed to the monorail which does sometimes require a wait. But I don’t think we really ever waited much for the monorail. And there is no stroller folding needed on the monorail or Ferry which I think is a plus!

Oh, I love this idea of park in the morning and use bus for break so you don’t lose your great parking spot!

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We were just there for 8 nights last week! We rented a car for maximum flexibility and honestly, it worked out better to drive the entire time. We have 5 and 2yo boys and it was really easy to go back and forth using the rental. MK may be the only place where the bus is more advantageous. However, on super crowded days you would have to wait a bus or two before you could get on one (esp if you had a stroller).

I want to ditto @melcort10, take the ferry if the monorail line looks long. The ferry came quickly and can pack in more people than the monorail.

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