One of the best perks of staying in a Disney World Resort Hotel is that you have access to free transportation to all of the parks and Disney Springs. Disney World Bus transportation is one of the most available options for getting around the property. In this post, I am going to share with you everything you want to know about Disney World buses including where they go to, how to catch one, trivia, and more.
Disney World Buses
For a lot of people, Disney World buses are not their favorite mode of transportation. Lines to get on them can be long. Knowing how to use the system though makes a lot of that aggravation go away.
Each resort has at least one bus stop station. Bus stops are located near park entrances; near Disney Springs’ Town Center entrance; and along roadways inside the resort (for more expansive resorts) or near the resort’s entrance (for smaller resorts). Resorts that are spread out and bigger have a few more bus stops within the resort. A couple of resorts like Caribbean Beach also have an internal bus service.
Social Distancing on Disney Buses
Disney World transportation is following all CDC guidelines regarding social distancing and safety. All guests are seated in sections with partitions between each section. All guests must be seated. To help move crowds quickly there are more buses running even though there are fewer guests to help get people where they want to go as quickly as possible. There are still waits though, so please practice patience during this time period.
Masks are to worn on the bus at all times.
When Do Disney World Buses Start Service and End Service?
Bus service from Disney Resort hotels usually begins about an hour and a half to two hours prior to park opening and ends 1 hour prior to park closing. Busses provide service for the ticketed Early Morning Magic and the free Extra Magic Hours. If you ever have any concerns or worries about your early reservation at a park, just talk to Guest Services at your resort. A lot of blogs suggest using Uber. I am a cheapskate and have found that Disney is very good about getting you to where you need to go on time for free.
Return service to Disney Resort hotels ends 2 hours after park closing or until all the guests have been bussed back. They will not leave you stranded at the park, even if you stay for the Kiss Goodnight.
Are Disney Buses Handicap Accessible?
All Disney busses are handicap accessible. Wheelchairs and scooters are loaded first. Each bus can take up to 2 wheelchairs or scooters at one time. The family can board with the person in the wheelchair/scooter. If more than 2 people in your party have ECVs or wheelchairs you will need to take different buses. This is a Department of Transportation rule, not Disney’s. Guests using canes, walkers, crutches, or those who have difficulty walking can board via the rear door. Guests should share their request to use the ramp or rear door with the bus driver or the Cast Member at the Bus Station before boarding.
Use The My Disney Experience App to Check Bus Arrival Times
Bus arrival times are available on the My Disney Experience app. They are also posted in each bus stop station on an information board. The times update frequently as traffic conditions change and can make busses have delays. This technology tracks the buses through GPS technology to give projected wait times, though buses usually run at intervals of no more than twenty minutes. Disney also stays on top of crowd changes. If there are a lot of people waiting for a certain park, they may reroute buses to accommodate that need.
Disney Bus Riding Tips and Tricks
1. Practice Folding Your Stroller
Unlike the monorails or boats, strollers need to be folded up when boarding a bus. Again, this is a Department of Transportation Rule, not Disney’s. Since many people rent strollers that are not their own there might be a learning curve in opening and closing the stroller. Practice a few times in your resort room before going to the bus stop.
2. Pick a Perfectly Cooled/Warmed Seat
Disney busses get chilly for some people. Not me, but I have gotten chilled a couple of times. In the back of the bus, you are close to the engine and it is a bit warmer back there. It is cooler in the front of the bus. The air vents are up as well so standing gets you a cooler spot. Even with all these hacks, it is Florida and it is hot and busses can get crowded. It might not be the coolest ride in the middle of the summer.
3. Common Courtesy Goes a Long Way
If the bus is crowded, please don’t take up a seat with your bags. If you can, sit small children on your lap. Let the elderly, mommas holding babies, and pregnant women have a seat. On the flip side, some disabilities are invisible. That means while someone may look completely healthy they might not be. Don’t make assumptions about someone if they don’t offer their seat to someone.
4. Quickest Way to Get to a Resort for a Meal Using a Disney Bus
If you are trying to get to a resort for a meal, take a bus to the park that is closest to the resort you are trying to get to. Then transfer to a boat, bus, or monorail to get to the resort. Going to the Studios to get to a Magic Kingdom area resorts only makes it take longer. Same thing with Animal Kingdom area restaurants. Animal Kingdom runs buses every 8 minutes to Kidani and Jambo.
5. Use Package Delivery to Your Resort
Rather than carrying your bags all throughout the park and on the bus, use the free package delivery service to get your souvenirs to your resort. Not only does it save your arms, but it also saves space on the bus.
Fun Facts about the Disney Bus Transportation System
- How many buses does Disney own? There are over 400 Disney buses to get you where you need to go.
- The Disney bus fleet currently is the third-largest fleet of any Florida transportation system, behind Miami’s Metrobus and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority.
- Disney buses are environmentally friendly. Disney Transportation bus fleet is one of the first in the country to run on R50, a cleaner renewable diesel (RD) made from used cooking oil and non-consumable food waste.
- Disney Freebie Alert: Your Disney Bus Driver may be carrying around some collectible transportation cards. You can always ask them if they have any.
Overall, I think the Disney Bus Transportation system is a great way to get around. Most Disney bus drivers love what they do and you can experience magical moments even on a bus.