Psssst. I’m going to let you in on the Walt Disney World Resort’s best kept secret: Disney Express Transportation. I tried this new service a few weeks back and would highly recommend it to anyone with a Park Hopper ticket.
Park Hopping in Disney Can Be Time Consuming
I love to park hop. There’s just one problem–it can take a long time to move between parks. Ultimately once you decide to hop to another park you have to:
- Walk to the front of the park to exit
- Navigate to the bus stop (boat, monorail, or car)
- Wait for the bus (boat, monorail, or tram)
- Transport over to the other park
- Pass through security
- Go through ticket touch points
- Proceed to the next attraction or experience
Phew! I’m tired just thinking about it.
Skip the Headaches with Disney’s Express Transportation
Guests can skip all the headaches traditionally associated with park hopping by using Disney’s Express Transportation. How? Disney’s Express Transportation buses pick up and drop off within the park. Remember the seven steps usually associated with park hopping? Scratch off about half them.
Disney Express Transportation Locations
Here’s a closer look at the Disney Express Transportation locations within the four theme parks.
Most noteworthy is the fact that Disney Express Transportation buses have a set schedule. There’s no need to rush. I know I hate it when I bust my butt to get to the bus stop only to see the it pull away.
At this time, Cast Members are not handing out printed schedules nor is one available online or via the My Disney Experience app. As a consequence Guests should ask for the outbound schedule upon arriving at their destination.
Disney Express Transportation Schedules
The following schedules were accurate as of May 9, 2017. Remember to verify the schedule at the check-in point.
Magic Kingdom to
Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 20 and 50 past the hour
Epcot at 10 and 40 past the hour
Disney’s Animal Kingdom on the hour and half hour
Disney’s Hollywood Studios on the hour and half hour
Magic Kingdom at 10 and 40 past the hour
Disney’s Animal Kingdom at 20 and 50 past the hour
Disney’s Hollywood Studios to
Magic Kingdom at 20 and 50 past the hour
Epcot on the hour and half hour
Disney’s Animal Kingdom at 10 and 40 past the hour
Disney’s Animal Kingdom to
Magic Kingdom on the hour and half hour
Epcot at 20 and 50 past the hour
Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 10 and 40 past the hour
*Disney Express Transportation service starts at 10AM
DIStracted Tip: Bus drivers hold strict to the schedule. Be sure to arrive between 5-10 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
Once you decide you want to hop, proceed to the Disney Express Transportation check-in. The Cast Member will tap your MagicBand or ticket and either direct you to wait near the check-in point or escort you backstage. Forget about taking pictures while backstage–there are signs requesting Guests refrain from taking photos.
As a life-long Walt Disney World Resort Guest it was fun to get a glimpse behind the scenes. Most of what Guests see is pretty hum-drum–parking lots, Cast Member buildings, warehouses and the like; however, I got a kick out of the complicated gate system at the Magic Kingdom and seeing the backside of the Hollywood Tower Hotel (I guarantee it’s more exciting than the backside of water!)
Feel like a VIP with Disney Express Transportation
We used Disney Express Transportation for three days and hopped a total of eight times. Of those eight times using the service the most crowded bus had eight Guests. When was the last time you rode a Disney bus with eight people? Obviously with numbers that low not only do you get to sit, you can practically lay down! As this service becomes more popular and Summer crowds descend on the parks I would expect the buses to be more crowded.
DIStracted Tip: Disney Express Transportation is currently in the testing phase; however, one Cast Member told us that they extended it for approximately one year. I for one hope that this service takes off and they continue to offer it.
Cost of Disney Express Transportation
The service itself is economical: a 1-day pass is $15 and a 7-day pass is $29. However, there is a built-in expense Guests need to consider. Disney Express Transportation is only available to Guests with the Park Hopper option. Guests with a single day ticket will need to tack on an additional $50-$63 for the Park Hopper option. Meanwhile those with a multi-day ticket will add on either an additional $60 (2-3 day base ticket) or an additional $75 (4+ day base ticket) per ticket.
DIStracted Tip: Single day tickets must be used the day of purchase. Seven day passes are valid for up to seven consecutive days beginning on the day of purchase. Plan accordingly.
Obviously all of this convenience and flexibility comes at a price. Let’s take a closer look at what a family of four (two adults and two children) could pay to enjoy this service.
|3 day ticket||7 day ticket|
|Adult Base Ticket||$289 + tax||$410 + tax|
|Child Base Ticket||$271 + tax||$390 + tax|
|Park Hopper Option||+ $60||+$75|
|TOTAL:||$1,476 + tax||$2,016 + tax|
Undoubtedly some families will skip the service based on cost alone. Others may find it worth the extra cost to enjoy the dependability and convenience afforded by the service–most notably Annual Passholders or folks that regularly purchase the Park Hopper option. After all if you’ve already invested hundreds if not thousands of dollars to visit the theme parks–what’s another $29?
Where to Purchase Disney Express Transportation
You can purchase Disney Express Transportation tickets at the following locations:
- Any theme park or Disney Springs ticket window
- Guest Relations
- Disney Resort hotel concierge locations
- Walt Disney World Swan Hotel and Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel ticket desks
- Disney Express Transportation check-in locations
What do you think–will you take advantage of Disney Express Transportation on your next visit?