Driving vs Disney Transportation

We’ve always driven to DW, but in the past, we typically park our car at the resort and don’t move it - we’ve taken the bus everywhere. I’m thinking we may want to drive some during this stay. Only planning two days of park hopping (Epcot to MK and potential park hopping on our unplanned day at the end of our trip) and a couple of resort dinners (Wilderness Lodge and Ohana).

I read a recommendation on another site to drive to all parks except MK. Couple of questions:

  1. Do you agree that it’s quicker/more convenient to drive to AK, HS, and Epcot?
  2. Is it a headache to drive if you’re park hopping,specifically if one of those parks is MK?
  3. Will it be easier to drive to Wilderness Lodge and Ohana rather than take a bus?

I’m still trying to decide on where to stay - right now, reservations are at AS Movies Preferred room and I think we will probably end up keeping that or switching to Pop, depending on promos offered for Oct. But likely primary mode of transportation will be the bus.

Also, we will have an 8 yo and a 2.5 yo so will have a stroller as well. I remember when my son was a little younger than 2, it was a pain getting the stroller emptied and folded for the buses quickly. We’ll do that again if that’s a better option, but did want to point out that we’ll be managing a stroller, as well as a potentially exhausted older kid, as well.

  1. I typically take the buses to the parks when I go solo, but when DW comes with me, she prefers to drive (i.e. I drop her off at the entrance, park the car, and then meet her in the park). I drive more than enough every day for work, so the extra few minutes waiting for a bus is a “price” I’m willing to pay to not have to drive on vacation. Also, I like to enjoy “adult beverages” while on vacation, and I don’t have to worry about having to drive tempering my fun.

  2. On a day when I hop from MK to EP (which I do almost every trip) I use the mono for the hop. For hopping in general I find it easier to just get on a direct park-to-park bus than exiting the park, hiking or taking the tram to the car, driving to the next resort, fining a parking spot and then hiking or taking the tram to the park entrance.

  3. ABSOLUTELY better to drive between resorts than take the bus. To do it by bus takes two bus rides with a transfer at a park or DS. Best case is a 45 minute travel time (vs. 15-20 by car). One night it took me almost 90 min to get from BW to the Poly… One exception might be if you are doing Ohana or WL on a day that you will be in the MK; the boat to WL is very pleasant, and taking the mono (or a boat) to the Poly is easy.

As I have no kids, I really cannot comment on the difficulties of bus travel with them.

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We did a 17 person multifamily trip this past August. My family of 5 was the only family of the 4 families that had a minivan.
We beat them to the parks nearly every single time, the ONLY time they would beat us was if the bus was at the bus stop when we all walked up and my family had to walk the parking lot to the car. Most times we would have already been into a park and had time for one attraction.
I would always pull the family up to the drop off at the front of the parking lot, then go park (sometimes in the random open spots near the front) and meet them inside as I could move through the parking lot much quicker as a solo adult rather than with the kids.
The other kids would fight to be able to come in the minivan with us and travel in comfort and a/c.

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If you are staying on site do you have to pay the parking fee if you drive to a park or is it included?

Parking is free if staying at a Disney resort. You do NOT get free parking if staying at SOG. Not sure about the Swan/Dolphin.

I think that this is such a personal question. We always drive to every park including MK. We stay onsite as well. I actually enjoy the monorail/ferry and don’t feel that it adds THAT much time. Even if it does add time, it’s much more of a “known entity” situation. We do rope drop or close to it, so we aren’t worrying about parking trams. We like to hop and in the afternoon usually ask to drive up front for a better spot.

We had a stroller and it’s so nice to store stuff in the car as well as having your kid have a comfy/safe place to sit and fall asleep. It’s also nice to be able to easily get to the other resorts too. I’ve never had any sort of parking hassle at all!

I commute with both a car and public transportation and have to say that when I’m on vacation nothing says “luxury” like NOT waiting for a bus and jostling for a seat!!

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I’m thinking it sure would be nice at the end of the day to get in your car and leave as opposed to waiting for and then standing on a bus the whole way back!

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I am not sure if I would drive to the parks, but for hotel to hotel driving I would. Though, I travel with a teenager so I don’t have to worry about the same things that you do with littles- when my teenager was 3 for our first trip, I would have liked to have had the option to drive to parks when we were there.

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We usually drive to the parks. We have never had an issue with driving from one park to the other. It is much faster for us to do that. It’s easier to do that because you can leave and arrive when you want and you don’t need to rely on someone’s time schedule or having to stop some place else before you arrive at a hotel or park.

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That is precisely why I like to drive.
There was one trip we tried to use buses until the one night leaving MK and waited close to an hour for bus back to POR with 3 cranky sleepy kids (one doing the potty dance the whole time).
The next day I was over at Car Care Center picking up rental.