Help Needed: Transportation Timing for Surprise

I want to surprise my DW with a massage at the GF Spa on the day we check in (4/23). With the hope that we will get an early check-in at CBR, I’m trying to figure out the timing to get her to the spa using Disney transportation. As a back up, we will have our own vehicle, but I’d like to use Disney transportation.

We have a dinner reservation at Big River at Boardwalk at 5pm.

Are the times below feasible? Am I leaving enough time? Is this too much for our check-in day?

  • Leave CBR at 1:30pm (Bus to MK, then Monorail to GF)
  • Arrive at GF at 2:15pm
  • Arrive at Spa at 2:30pm (Spa from 3:00pm to 3:50pm)
  • Leave GF at 4:20pm (Boat to MK, then Bus to Boardwalk)
  • Dinner at Big River at Boardwalk at 5pm
  • Skyliner to CBR after dinner

While DW is at the spa, I plan to take my three kids to CR and Poly to get some 50th pressed pennies.

I think your first transfer point is ambitious. You’ll need more than 45 minutes to bus and then monorail as outlined here. I would plan at least an hour, 75 minutes to allow for delays. 20 minutes wait time for bus at CBR, 20 ride time from CBR to MK, and 20 minutes to get through security, wait for monorail, and ride to GF (might be faster to boat). Always better to be early than late, and nothing worse than being stressed about getting to a spa appointment on time!

I am also concerned that 40 minutes will not be enough to get from GF to MK and bus to Boardwalk. I would plan at least an hour for that as well. Figure 20 minutes ride time minimum from the time the bus arrives at the MK bus depot. Allow at least 20 minutes wait time at that same bus depot. Also cushion with 20 minutes monorail wait and ride time, and walk time too.

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I concur with @OBNurseNH you want at least an hour, sometimes 90 min, as buffer when using Disney transport. Any chance you could make her reservation at the Swolphin spa instead? Then you can walk to Big River saving oodles of transport time/stress. Maybe even kill time for the kids with a Skyliner ride.

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I had a feeling I was rushing it.

If we take our vehicle, will we be able to park at the GF? Also, what you are thoughts on the drive time from CBR to GF?

Plan B might be:

  • Drive to GF
  • Drive back to CBR
  • Skyliner to Boardwalk
  • Skyliner to CBR

I can still take my kids on the monorail/boat while DW is “spa-ing it up.”

My hope was to give her the more “iconic spa” at the GF.

Also, I have a goal to get as many 50th pressed pennies as I can. This allows me to knock out the ones at Poly and CR.

You shouldn’t have a problem doing so as you have a reservation at the spa.

Drive time should be roughly 20 mins but I’d plug it into GPS to be sure.

I think your plan B will result in a completely better experience with less stress

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Plan B will also give your wife more time to just chill out in the spa before and after the massage, which to my mind are some of the best parts of getting a massage at a spa and help make it feel worth the cost.


Please drive. If you really want this to be a relaxing experience for your wife drop her off early and don’t rush to pick her up either. The spa is an experience and not just another attraction to tick off a list.

Why not drop her off and take the kids to play mini golf? Rushing to get there and rushing to make a dinner reservation immediately after isn’t very relaxing.


@OBNurseNH, @Fleetian, and @LTinNC82: Advice taken! :slight_smile:

She does not like to be rushed. Plan B it is! Thanks for helping make sure I’m starting our trip off well.


Let me ask you this too: how much of a surprise is this going to be? Because I would want to know earlier rather than later so that I could feel like I was prepared to be naked in front of a stranger for a massage. I wouldn’t like it sprung on me on the way there or upon arrival. Just some thing I thought of


My DW needs 24 hours notice on most anything. I’m most likely going to surprise her this Saturday right after we surprise our offspring with the trip.


Perfect. Good plan my friend