Park Hopping with Littles

Talk to me about park hopping with littles. Am I crazy if I think it’s worth the cost of Minnie Vans so that we can save time and nerves making the most out of our short trip with 2 under the age of 3? What are your experiences? Is it true that hopping via free transportation is likely going to take an hour or more each way? We are staying on the monorail, BTW, so that helps.


We never hopped when the kids were little. But if we had, it would have been after the midday break, and we’d have used buses. They are charging a premium for Minnie Vans these days and I think it’s really lousy for those who have little other choice.

Hopping could literally take an hour to go between parks on buses. This is why we didn’t hop then - and to be transparent, we don’t hop now. It’s just not worth the waste of time to do it on a regular basis, not to mention the upcharge on the tickets


Yes. This is why I haven’t used Disney buses in 20 years. I haven’t done Minnie Vans, but use standard Lyft. Are you comfortable with normal ride share? If so, they are a fraction of the price of Minnie Vans.

I used to rent a car for my trips just so I could Park Hop, but since WDW now charges for hotel parking I let Lyft do the driving. It’s, basically, the same cost as parking at the hotel which is even less than a rental car anyway.

I don’t think the ride shares can do two car seats though.


With littles (mine are 6 months, 2, and 4) we only hop after a midday break. And we just use the busses since we would already be using a bus anyway.

Since you’re on the monorail loop, I would consider making MK your PM park to hop to in the evenings.


Have always hopped. Always used buses. Since 1988. 1994 hopped with 2 & 3 yr old.

Just been our style.

Nice thing about Disney: as long as your style’s not hurting anyone it’s all good.


we need 2 carseats, and the Minnie Vans automatically come with them. Otherwise, I’d be in on standard ride share options!

1 Like

That makes sense. Mine have too much FOMO on “vacation” to leave a park and nap in a room. They do better just passing out in the stroller once they can’t fight it anymore. Since yours are close to the same age as mine, what stroller do you use? We use a double BOB at home, but I’ve rented a citi-mini double for WDW. I’m trying to picture carrying a double stroller down bus isles :confused:

That’s right. You could probably request 1, but it costs more, i believe. I doubt 2 would be an option.

On average how long does ride share hopping take? I’m curious for building touring plans.


We use a City Mini GT double. Love it. Super easy to fold up. Just grab both hands (one in each seat) and lift up. It’s really not terrible on the bus on the way there. On the way back, I would try to pack up your stuff while you wait so that you’re not trying to fold up a stroller with all your junk spread out in it. I’m a big fan of 2 gallon ziplock bags for our stuff, carried in a backpack. Makes security super easy & easy to find what you need.

Have you been to WDW with kids before? I would try to build in some pool & resort time if you can. Even if they don’t nap, it helps them wind down I think.

Re: timing of Minnie vans- it depends on how close one is. There is more demand than supply IMO, especially at peak times. By the time you get a Minnie van, it shows up, the driver installs both car seats, you get everyone loaded, etc, it won’t be a speedy process. I think Minnie Vans are great is certain circumstances (resort to resort, early AM travel, late PM travel, etc), but the busses really are not bad. Promise.

If you do use a Minnie Van, please check that the seat is installed properly. When they rolled out this service, one of the big plusses they advertised was that CMs were specifically trained in car seat safety. Unfortunately my one experience with this was that the seats were 100% not installed properly.

We had a Lyft driver tell us Lyft specifically told him that he wasn’t allowed to carry car seats for his passengers and it was solely on the customers to provide the necessary seats for their children. Minnie Van comes with two clean, newish Graco car seats which may make it worth the up charge with your littles.

This last trip was the first time we’ve used ether Lyft or Minnie Van and it totally spoiled us. Was very easy and convenient when kids are tired and hot and worn the mess out.

1 Like

I understand the no break. Everyone says Littles need a break, but my nieces and nephews who are three and younger simply don’t. We are theme park people, and they are wired to keep going, napping in the stroller when they want to. For hopping, have you considered making sure your hops are between parks that have alternative forms of transportation. For example always hop between MK and EP or always hop between DHS and EP. Maybe plan to not hop the day you do AK.

FWIW, I tried out the minivans on my last trip since they are the only ones that can actually go all the way up to Magic Kingdom. They are very nice in Japan by official cast members, but they are pricey. I would keep an eye out for Lyft discount codes because you can use the Lyft discount codes when booking minivans.

1 Like

I wouldn’t hop. You can’t do everything. Less can be more when you are enjoying yourself.

1 Like

If you start placing the call as you are walking to the pick up spot it can take 20 minutes or less. It’s pretty convenient.

I took about 30 minutes - booked the Minnie van as I started to head toward the exit

Tell us why you feel like hopping will make the most of your short trip? I have DS1 and DS4 going in October and we are not hopping. We pretty much do one park until 2/3/4ishhhh and then go back to the hotel for early to bed.

Stroller related: I bring two singles so that we can split up and because DS4 won’t always ride in one, but I also have a citi mini gt double at home that I would def bring to Disney so I think you’re on the right track.

1 Like

This is what we did - cut our days short. Even as an adult I felt tired. DH was done every day. He saw the buses to other parks and said “people would go to another park after this.” I’m under orders for our next trip to cut back even more. Disney is tiring with all the walking and the heat.

We haven’t taken them to Disney yet, but they can hang on Game Day in The Grove in Oxford, where even I need anxiety meds. We are staying at a convenient resort though in case we need to take them back to the room.

I like the flexibility. We are meeting my sister, her family, and my parents there so we are dealing with a party of 9. We are utilizing the low crowds on MVMCP days and then hopping somewhere else. I really want to do AK at night, but my sister only wants to do a few things at Epcot. Also, due to the fact that we only have 3 day hoppers we are hopping so that my husband and I can stroll late night at epcot while the kids crash in the stroller. There are only a couple of things that we are interested in doing at HS, and I don’t want to waste an entire day there without hopping.

1 Like