View Full Version : Would you recommend a car for park hopping while staying on site. Buses Slow?

01-22-2002, 11:11 AM
Would you recommend a car to park hop? I heard the buses are slow and it can take up to an hour and a half to get all the way to your destination. I am staying at ASM. Can I park for free? Is there special parking for resort guests at the parks.

Thank You

Minne 2002

Leaving in six days

01-22-2002, 11:20 AM
Hi, I have always heard that all stars have one of the best bus systems going. We stayed at Port Orleans and we had gotten a rental car because we wanted to go to Sea world on the way to the air port on our way home. We parked it at Port Orleans and forgot about it. When we went to check out we could not find it, all of the rental cars were white , thank god we had left a box of tissues in th back seat. My point is , we did not need it our entire stay and if it hadnt been for the fact that we wanted to see Sea World it would have been a waste not to mention the added expense and time that it takes to pick up and drop off. Either way enjoy your trip. deb

01-22-2002, 11:33 AM
When my whole family goes to WDW we have always had a rental car. On two trips when just the kids and I have gone we stayed on site at POFQ for a week and the bus was great for us. We also took the boat to DD and that was good also. On our next trip alone we stayed 2 nights at ASMu and then the rest of the week at the Poly. The bus at the AS was ok but stopped at ASsports first and then music. It was usually pretty full by the time it left music and then would go to movies if there was enough room to squeeze a few more people in. It also made stops like BB on the way to EPCOT even first thing in the morning. At the Poly we used the monorail most of the time and loved that. We did take bus to DD and waited quit a bit. We are getting a car for our trip in April because we are planning a trip to Sea World. The car is about $100 more than doing IBEX. Last Aug the kids and I used IBEX for the first time and the kids thought that was the greatest. We made a stop at the grocery store on our way to the resort and picked up snacks and drinks. Having a car when staying on site isn't necessary but will save time for some things and gives you flexability.

01-22-2002, 11:53 AM
If you're staying on property with bus service (especially at Allstar) I feel that a rental car is an unneccessary add'l expense. It could take you just as long to get to your car as it would to wait for a bus at the parks (especially MK).

Parking is free for resort guests...i think they park in the same place as day visitors.

The buses are part of the fun anyway!!!

01-22-2002, 02:15 PM
I had always done a rental car so last year I tried the Bus system to see what I prefered. I would have to say I like having the car. It is very helpful to have the car if you want to go off property to eat, shop or to sightsee. I did not have a car in Oct and it cost us $15 to take a cab to the Polynesian for our Characher breakfast (there was a ton of traffice due to a marathon) I also like going from point a to b without a change of buses in DD.

But this is a very debated issue here on Intercot and we should keep in mind it is a personal choice-somepeople LOVE the Buses. That is what makes us great..our diversity!

01-22-2002, 02:18 PM
I am going to pop this over the Vacation Planning Forum...I think you will get some better answers there!!

01-22-2002, 02:35 PM
It will only take long if you are trying to get from one resort to another resort and only if you have to go through DD. this is not the parks - WDW buses are very efficient at taking you back and forth to the parks. If you only want to go to the parks - you won't need a car.

01-22-2002, 02:39 PM
The advantage of a car is that it gives you a choice. Generally speaking I love the buses and hardly ever have to wait more than a few minutes but for park hopping a car can be useful.

Parking is free for resort guests except at special events (like MCMCP). Epcot to MK or MGM is fairly easy - monorail or boat(s) but MK to MGM or anywhere to AK can be more time consuming.

It all depends what you think you will be doing. My last trip we had a car for part of the time and it was fine with or without; we just did different things. graemlins/mickey.gif

Have a great trip :D

01-22-2002, 02:43 PM
We always have a car because it seems like if you shop for a good deal, it's cheaper to rent a car for a week that to pay for transportation to and from the airport. We also use it to go out to the beach for a couple days or for a trip or two to the store for some groceries (snacks and breakfast stuff).

However, while we are at WDW, we do use it. We too have forgotten where we parked it before. The Disney transportation has worked fine for us, especially since our kids are older and we seldom end our day together anyway.

I don't know about anyone else, but I hate getting in a hot, closed up car in the summer. By the time you walk to your car, open it up and let it cool off a bit, drive to your destination finding your way around the maze of roads, find a parking space, and walk back in from the parking lot... well you might as well have waited a little while for the cool bus and have to worry about navigating the traffic yourself. I also enjoy talking to the people on the bus.

01-22-2002, 03:49 PM
We have done the rental car in the past to get to and from the airport. When we do this we use National because they have a site on property where you can pickup and drop off the car. Frankly, for a few dollars more, we found IBEX to be more convenient because you have limited hours for pickup at the site on property. Also, if you plan on leaving the property, it is almost required to have wheels.

However, if you plan on staying on property your entire trip, there is no need for a car. Read the transportation map in detail and you will not have any problem getting around. I will agree though with the comments about it being easier to get from a resort to a park and back again rather than from resort to resort and to and from downtown Disney.

A tip for the monorail. If there is a long line for the Magic Kingdom express and not for the resort monorail, hop on board the resort one. The time spent stopping at the resorts is much less than the time spent standing in line for the express.

Also, if you are at MGM or Animal Kingdom going to Magic Kingdom if the Magic Kingdom bus line is long, board the bus for the poly or Grand Floridian and then take the monorail.

01-22-2002, 05:42 PM
spiceypj is right on the money. I stayed at the All Stars, and it only ever took a long time to travel between resorts. The transport to and from the parks was verry efficient. When you consider that you would have to park and walk to the gate if you drove, it is often quicker to take the Disney transport to the theme parks.

If you want to visit other resorts for Dinner etc, I'd recommend driving, 'cos that can thake an hour and a half.

01-23-2002, 01:23 AM

Never... EVER... has there been such a great bus service... NEVER! Save the car... the bus is the way to go!

01-23-2002, 09:43 AM
For trips to WDW parks, the buses win every time (for us) over cars!

If you want to go further afield to see Seaworld, International drive, Universal, or other Orlando / Florida attractions you may need a car!

We stayed in AS Music the first time we visited (1999) and had a great time without a car. The bus system to WDW parks is really excellent. (but can get quite full!). It is also has the advantages of:
1. being free to resort guests (car parking at the parks costs $5-$6 per day);
2. takes you to within 100 yards of the park entrance (car parks are enormous and require a shuttle transport to the park from thre car park. You can also use the monorail for some trips between parks!

That year, we concentrated on WDW parks and did little else and it worked out very well without a car. We booked a taxi for occassional trips out shopping to international drive and to get to Seaworld, which proved relatively expensive, but much cheaper overall than car hire!

In 2000, we stayed at CBR and hired a car. This does provide greater flexibility and enabled us to get out to better value places for breakfast and dinner (and more dining variety that the CBR resort offered). However we still used the WDW bus system for every trip to a WDW park (except blizzard beach one day and one trip to Disney Studios (when we had been out in the car anyway).

I must say that the bus system proved to be very frequent and reliable and the only problems we had were waiting for ages to get back from Downtown Disney one evening on the first trip.

..we're off in 3 days to CBR and staying for 3 weeks" - MRS POTATO HEAD!!! WAY TO GO IDAHO!

..and will still use the buses to go to the parks and use the car or other trips!

See you on the TOWER OF TERROR!!!!!!!

01-23-2002, 01:00 PM
We always grab a car at MCO for our stays. Although I'm sure that the buses are fine, we really like the freedom that having a car gives us. graemlins/mickey.gif

01-23-2002, 03:49 PM
We use the bus lots, but always rent a car too. The cost is much different. Four rides on Mears or whatever is more then 100.00 to start with, so I always figure that 1/2 the car rental for a week is going to be spent anyway. We find (have stayed at ASMusic, ASSports, Dixie Landing - opps!, Yacht Club, Coronado Springs, Shades of Green, and The Institute) that the buses generally work best for going to and from the parks. Never drive to MK, but occassionally to Studios or AK. The car is good for:
1. Downtown Disney - who wants to lug packages back on the bus or wait at 2:00 a.m. after Pleasure Island?
2. Water Parks - bus service is good here but it is a zoo if the park closes for rain. We also often go someplace else before or after a water park and then don't have to lug our change of clothes around with us.
3. Hoop De Do - this is a real nightmare on buses.
4. Trips to other resorts for a meal or show. Getting from one resort to another almost always requires you to go throught the TTC and can take an hour or more.
5. Hopping from a park to another activity and then back to a park without returning the resort. Say you are starting out at the Studios, going to a water park in the afternoon, seeing Cirque du Solie (sp??) in the early evening, and then going to Epcot for the Reflections of Earth. If you try to do this on buses it could take you 30-45 minutes to get from one to the other each time.

The bottom line depends on what you are going to do. If you are only going to the parks and tend to stay in the same place all day, then you probably won't use a car. Skip it. Otherwise, give it some serious thought.

01-24-2002, 07:24 PM


We always drive down and having the car there gives us so much freedom.

01-24-2002, 07:42 PM
I personally always rent a car since I'm a bit of a control freak and like to be able to do what I want, when I want. I also like going off-site occassionally.

That aside, I would take the bus to the Magic Kingdom. The reason is two-fold:

1. The trip from the TTC can be time consuming.

2. Currently they aren't opening the monorail or ferry until 10-15 minutes before postd opening time. As such, you don't get to the front gate until 5-10 minutes after opening and resort guests get a good headstart over those who park at the TTC.

01-24-2002, 07:44 PM
We use the busses. My husband is not a very patient man, and he finds no problem in waiting for a bus. He also agrees that it is sooo nice being dropped off right outside of the park, instead of having to park and walk, or park and ride a tram. By the time you do that you could be in the park (if you rode the bus). But it is up to you! If you have lots of off-site plans, maybe get a car for a couple of days...


01-25-2002, 02:28 PM
I just wanted to note that it is always nice not to have to drive when returning from Pleasure Island after having had a few. ;)

01-25-2002, 04:44 PM
<blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by TCLites:
We use the bus lots, but always rent a car too...

The bottom line depends on what you are going to do. If you are only going to the parks and tend to stay in the same place all day, then you probably won't use a car. Skip it. Otherwise, give it some serious thought.<hr></blockquote>

TC: very good points. We always use the bus, but next time will rent a car for the occasions listed in your post.

Well said.

01-25-2002, 06:38 PM
Use the BUS. We drove down to Fla. and styaed at the All-Star Sports Resort in 2000. We did not touch the car once while we were there. We see it like this: This is vacation and I don't want to hassle with parking and worry about door dings and then have to walk to the entrance. The bus system in perfect in my eyes. I don't like to drive when I'm on Vacation, I drive enough as it is. Last year we Flew down for a week to spend at Universal and found that using a car service to and from the airport is the way to go. I

[ January 25, 2002: Message edited by: JoeMaz ]</p>

01-26-2002, 05:26 PM
We had our car with us the last trip, but never used it. We love the buses!! I'd have to say though, next time, I WILL use the car to MGM on the night we see Fantasmic. It was a mob scene getting out of there. Disney was on the job, of course, bringing in extra buses, but we still had to wait about 45 min (at least) to get a bus back to our hotel.