Transportation questions: to drive or bus, that is the question

DD7 and I are going for Mommy/me trip May 26-June 2. We are driving down from Georgia so will have a car at our disposal but I’m not super interested in driving unless it will save significant time or walking distance. Staying at Pop Century and hoping to get a room request close to bus stop. Tentative plans below. Any circumstances under which we’d be better off driving than taking bus?

Sunday 4:30 dinner at 1900 Park Fare. Assuming driving and valet is best since no resort to resort buses? But if there’s enough time after check in maybe she would get a kick out of monorail to Grand Floridian after bus to MK?

Monday Early Morning Magic at DHS (aim to be there by 6:45), afternoon break at Pop/pool, back to DHS for evening

Tuesday PPO breakfast at MK, afternoon break at Pop/pool, back to MK for evening, staying through fireworks, can close the park and linger for shopping if up to it due to rest day next day.

Wednesday rest/pool day but character breakfast at Ohana at 10. Best transport to Poly?

Thursday PPO breakfast at MK, mid day hop to AK (hoping bus ride will serve as break but we have relaxed touring plan at MK that morning). Leaving AK around 8:15-8:30 pm (before park close/Rivers of Light ends)

Friday PPO breakfast at Epcot garden grill, mid day break at Boardwalk, afternoon/evening back in Epcot (unsure about Illuminations)

Saturday extra magic hour 8 am open at AK, mid day hop to MK, staying through fireworks and closing the park. Last night :cry:

I appreciate all of your wisdom and input!

I’m not a driver, DH is. Whilst onsite, he doesn’t drive to parks etc.

My view is take the Disney Transport. If this is a mom/daughter trip, why not enjoy the buses, monorails, boats? You see quite a lot of WDW that way, and you can see it, unlike if you’re having to drive. Also it gives you the chance to have a glass of wine or a cocktail if you want.

First night, you could always Uber to the GF if you’re short of time. If not, take a bus to Mk and get the boat. GF is the first call. Afterwards, take the monorail around to MK, heck take it all the way round and onto MK, do the complete loop.

Ditto for the Ohana breakfast day. Bus to MK and get onto the boat or monorail, whatever you didn’t do the first day!

DHS - maybe here is the day to drive for EMM and back. Then take the bus.

Getting back to the TTC at the end of the day at MK will be just as bad as waiting for a bus IMO. Might as well just go for the bus.

I certainly wouldn’t drive if park hopping.

Buses for EMH ( and PPO for MK) won’t be an issue if you’re ready and at the bus stop in time. You could always drive if you feel like it.

Others will no doubt have the completely opposing idea. Ultimately though, if you don’t want to drive - don’t! You just need to allow a little more time for the buses.

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We’ve found, during last 3 trips, how relaxing Disney buses can be. Been driving many years before that, just b/c had car with us. But since flying got us back in buses again, now we use them even if car with us. The littles think it’s part of the fun!

Only 2 caveats though: 1. after fireworks, b/c crowd 2. resort to resort travel.

If you can stay behind after fireworks for say 30 minutes, have a snack or walk through the stores, you’ll be better off than that crowd- regardless of bus or auto transport, it can get crazy with the first crowd exiting.

We took bus after fireworks this trip, after waiting 30 minutes. Was, surprisingly, a breeze. Liner fail re how many times we’d been caught in the crush b4 though.

Your car will serve you well resort to resort. We didn’t have car this trip. Had adr for 18 extended fam brunch at GF Cafe. Left Dolphin for bus stop, allowing around 1 1/4 hour to get to GF. We didn’t make it.

A series of mishaps: bus pulling away as we got to stop, so 20 minutes til next bus. Long line for bag check @MK stop though going to GF not MK (huh?). GF boat too full, had to wait for next. Following boat, once we were on it, had to be evacuated b/c rumors of lightning in area (huh? didn’t even see rain, sigh). Had to take monorail from MK to GF (20 minute ride, b/c goes in other direction).

By the time we got to GF, all seatings for brunch were actually over haha! We were around 45 minutes late.

That’s a long story way to say: IMO, if traveling resort to resort, take your car. We didn’t have cars, but should have Ubered for sure.

For MK it’s usually best and saves time to use Disney buses/transport since that gets you to the gates; driving there will only get you to TTC and then you need to use Disney Transport to get to the gates :wink:

Everywhere else it’s usually a time saver to drive, particularly if you arrive early and are close enough to not have need of using the parking lot trams.

That being said, we (almost) never rent a car and use Disney transport - or on occasion where we feel pressed for time or are going resort-resort, Lyft/Uber/Minnie Vans - and we like it fine. It’s a real vacation to me when I don’t have to do any driving (so I can also imbibe when I want without concern for safety in that way), I don’t have to figure out directions or listen to GPS, remember where to park, etc. I can just sit back and relax.

I’d probably really want to do that on a 1:1 trip like you’re planning!

So we always have a car and tend to drive to the parks. I know people love Disney transportation, but I just don’t have the patience for it. On my last two trips though I thought I should try out the bus to the MK since driving there is a pain. Big mistake. It just reinforced that driving is the best thing for me. I will say that since you have a car you should at least drive when traveling from your resort to another resort because that is challenging with Disney transportation. And you can self park at the other resorts if you have an ADR (you don’t have to valet).

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I love the buses and monorail but in the past 3 years have learned not to rely on them when time matters. There are so many variables that can lead to longer waits. There are now the boards that tell you when the next bus should arrive – and every time I used them last month the times would get longer and longer on the board. When I wasn’t on a schedule I didn’t care. but when time was a factor, I used my rental car. I usually rent a car now – I surf for discounts and deals. By my calculation its a wash compared to occasionally using Lyft or Uber. But it matters if/whether you have free parking, which you should also factor in.

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Very wise.

If we are time p-bound, like for an ADR, we simply plan to arrive an hour early and head for a lounge or just look around.

So heading to DS for NYE, I aimed to get there 2 hours before the ADR time.

If I was heading to another resort, it’s a chance to look around. Have a drink outside or at a table with a view.