How much time should I plan for leaving a park, driving ourselves to the next park, and getting inside the second park in the middle of the day? (HS, Epcot, and AK, mainly) Hoping it will be faster than Disney transportation. First timer here, so thanks in advance for any advice.
With the exception of going to/ from MK it should be a little faster to drive. For MK I thunk most people would recommend Disney busses due to the time getting to the TTC and then to your car.
It’s probably 30 minutes from leaving a park to get your car , drive to another park, and then get to the entrance.
I’ve rented a car for every trip for the last 10+ years. Disney transportation is fine, but has issues – especially if you want to park hop. Even with the long trek to your car from MK it can still be faster to drive than get on the bus. Plus, you have the freedom to come and go at your schedule not waiting on a bus for 20+ minutes only to find it full or not going where you want to be.
FYI – Since this is your first time, a lot of people are unaware of how far away the MK parking lot is from the actual park. From your car you have to take a tram to a station and then get on a boat just to get to bag check / security before getting to the turnstiles. Be prepared to add at least 30 minutes just to get into the park – even at RD.
I am excited for the Skyliner. Maybe these gondolas, along with Minnie Vans, will be the combo I try next time to go without a rental car.
Security check is now at the TTC, so prior to the monorail/ferry to MK. If you’re coming from a monorail resort, they have security prior to the monorail as well.
I usually allow 45 minutes between parks - once you get in a car with AC it’s a good time to change socks/shoes, reapply sunscreen when you won’t immediately sweat it off, and have a cool drink from your car cooler. I allow longer when traveling to/from MK.
Keep in mind you could park your car at MK and if you’re hopping to Epcot you can take the monorail, so you don’t have to allow extra time. Just be sure you know when the monorail will stop running back to MK - usually not an issue, but best to ask. This can be an issue if you park at Epcot and hop to MK since MK can be open substantially later than Epcot.