REVIEW: Express Transportation at Walt Disney World – Best upcharge ever?
Disney has recently started offering Express Transportation between parks at Walt Disney World. For either $15 for a single day or $24 for 7 days, you can get on a bus that will take you directly to the park of your choosing without the hassle of bag check or even leaving the park you’re currently in. The wonderful thing is that you are picked up and dropped off inside the main gate of each park. Here are our thoughts.
You can buy the pass at any of the 4 theme park ticket windows, Guest Relations, a kiosk at the boarding location, Disney Springs ticket window, or concierge at a Walt Disney World hotel. The Cast Member will then link the pass to your MagicBand. From there, you simply find the boarding location for the park you’re at and hop on the bus to your next park. Please note that you do need to have a ticket or Annual Pass with Park Hopping access due to the nature of the drop off point.
In the Magic Kingdom the pickup and drop off location is between the exit for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and the Buzz Lightyear meet and greet (or Carousel of Progress, if you don’t know where the meet and greet is).
At Epcot, the pickup/drop-off location is to the East of Spaceship Earth, between Gateway Gifts and Guest Relations.
In Animal Kingdom, the location is to the left of Kilimanjaro Safaris, as you’re facing the entrance.
In Hollywood Studios, the entrance is to the right of the FastPass return line for Rock N’ Roller Coaster. You actually walk through the Sunset Showcase courtyard.
Here’s a quick rundown of the routes and times we experienced.
Animal Kingdom to Epcot: 20 minutes
Epcot to Hollywood Studios: 10 minutes
Hollywood Studios to Magic Kingdom: 14 minutes
Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom: 21 minutes
Some of the backstage views were great too. We got to see the backside of Tower of Terror, Pandora (in the distance, nothing too great), the giant LED boards for Sunset Safari, Imagineering buildings at Epcot, and a variety of backstage buildings at Animal Kingdom. Of course, there are signs that ask for no photography in backstage areas.
Overall, we thought the service was great and there was great value in being able to skip bag check and leaving the parks. Our experience was that the buses were all on time and reliable. Each of the parks had a bus leaving every 30 minutes, on the dot. The hours are 10am until park close at each respective park.
On two of the four routes, we were the only guests on the bus. On the other two routes, there were one or two more families, taking up less than a quarter of the bus. Each of the parks had individual lines for the buses and it’s a first come, first served operation should there even be enough guests to fill the bus.
The whole operation is run by Guest Relations Cast Members and they were all wonderfully helpful and very pleasant to talk to. At its current price point, it’s a great value for your on-the-go family or couple. Of all the Walt Disney World upcharges, this is the best, and one that we’ll be paying for again.
Our only complaint is that there is no annual option for Annual Passholders. We’d gladly pay an extra $100 for it.
Given the short lines and short waits, I would highly suggest this for your next Walt Disney World vacation.