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Hotel Buses...Good, Bad or Ugly?

hynostroza

New Member
Hello everyone!! Well I am currently planning my girlfriend, her nephew and my vacation next year. We decided to go next year on the second week of October, so I am trying to find out everything I can before we finally book our vacation. I am currently looking at the hotels (Coronado, Port Orleans -French Quarter and also the Riverside).

I had a couple of questions regarding Hotel Buses to each of the theme parks.

First, does each hotel have their own buses or does it start at another hotel and then pick up passengers from other hotels before going to the park and also does it do the same thing on the way back from the park?

Secondly does anyone know how long these bus rides take? I've heard people waiting as long as an hour or longer to be able to board to get back to their hotels.

Little back info, I am in California and live about 25 minutes away from Disneyland. So the time we get in our car and deal with traffic and get to the parking structure then through security checks then to walk to the gates (Disneyland trams were down) and then into the park it is roughly around 1hour and 30-45 minutes for the whole journey. And vice versa coming home, minus the security check. So we are ok dealing with delays. Just like to know what to expect with the buses.

I have been thinking also about using the hotel buses in the mornings and using either Uber or Lyft on the way back. Good? Bad?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
First of all… using Uber or Lyft will be a faster choice. But the expense can add over the time you are in a trip. So it is a good option if the money side isn’t going to be an issue with your trip budget.
The resorts all have their designated buses running on a schedule. Times for arriving buses are shown on screens at the bus stops. Usually the wait times displayed are fairly accurate. Depending where you are staying can determine the time waiting and the number of people wanting to get on. For example… POFQ had two bus stops situated towards the front of the resort each splitting up the parks to go to. You look for the bus labeled for the park you want. PORS is a larger resort area so they have multiple stops. Again you look for the bus designated for the park you want to go to. This larger pick up process can make the buses take longer to load up and get to the parks.
And the time to get to the park can vary depending which resort you’re staying at. POFQ is fairly centralized to the parks so their bus usually takes 20 - 30 min drive.
If you are going to take a bus back to the resort, each park has a resort designated lane for each one to load from. At the end of the night if you are in line to load up, it can take longer due to the increased number of guests looking to get back to the resorts at the end of the night.
Using Uber/ Lyft there is a separate load or drop iff area designated for ride share guests.
Overall we’ve had good results using Disney buses. Again if money isn’t an issue Uber will usually be faster and of course more comfortable.
You can do a search online and see charts telling bus delivery times for each resort.
 
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hynostroza

New Member
Original Poster
Thank you so much for the response and information. Yes we do have a budget and was hoping the buses would be a good choice. And honestly I heard good things and bad things, but that being said, is it true the buses operate before the parks opens?
 
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"El Magnifico"

Premium Member
Depends on the resort. Some resorts share bus routes (WL and Contemp). For Riverside and Coronado there are multiple stops on the "loop" within the hotel So it's not as if you hop on - go directly to the parks. Depending on which stop you are at the hotel you could have 3 maybe 4 additional stops on the way up or back.
 
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JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Thank you so much for the response and information. Yes we do have a budget and was hoping the buses would be a good choice. And honestly I heard good things and bad things, but that being said, is it true the buses operate before the parks opens?
Yes buses will start arriving anywhere from 45 min to an hour before park opening. They will run 2 hrs after park closing. At POFQ and Contemp there will be a CM at the bus stop at that time to help guests with the start of the bus loading.
 
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JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Thank you so much for the response and information. Yes we do have a budget and was hoping the buses would be a good choice. And honestly I heard good things and bad things, but that being said, is it true the buses operate before the parks opens?
A lot of the bad bus stories come from the trips during the most heavily crowded seasons when the buses are overwhelmed by numbers. Disney for a while was making the situation better with routing better and staffing and trying to get the system more efficient. It was getting better but now there’s reports of staffing shortage of drivers. Our trip in May staying at the contemp we had no issues with bus delays or overly long waits, so I have no bad stories to tell.
 
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mf1972

Well-Known Member
we’ve been here since monday & have not encountered any issues at all. the most we’ve waited for a bus would be around 10 minutes. we have noticed a lot of non disney buses picking up & dropping off guests. i guess it could be a shortage of drivers, but they are running promptly so far.
 
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Linny

New Member
We just returned from Disney (Oct. 18-23) and had no issues at all with the buses. The parks were very busy especially Magic Kingdom. We probably waited 10-15 minutes at the max for a bus and was seated every time.
 
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Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
We've always relied heavily on the Disney buses to get us around property, and have generally been happy with how frequently they show up, regardless of resort location or pricing level (value/moderate/deluxe/DVC). The only time we choose to Uber instead is if we need to go from our hotel to another hotel (e.g., for a dining reservation).

Whether at crowded times (e.g., President's Day Week, 2020) or low-crowd times (e.g., end of August, 2021), with taking a bus up to 20 times in an average Disney vacation (up to 4 times a day, if we're going to and from parks twice, with a mid-day break), we'll typically see just 1 or 2 waits over 15 minutes (5-10%). Usually, we're on in less than 10 minutes. We do have to board a standing-room-only bus on occasion, or give up seats to later-boarding passengers who need them, but that's no big deal: we're all able-bodied, and most trips between hotels and parks are only 15-20 minutes anyway.
 
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Stevek

Well-Known Member
We loved the busses, only had 2 issues that I can remember.

2014 - Caribbean Beach Bus service was abyssmal. Wait time longer than any other experience we had.
2017 - Bus from AK back to hotel had no AC after a 90+ degree and 90%+ humidity day.

That being said, we will be staying at Pop in about a month and plan to use the skyliner for both Epcot and DHS. Busses for AK and MK. We will likely uber to fort wilderness for our Trail's End dinner.
 
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JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
We loved the busses, only had 2 issues that I can remember.

2014 - Caribbean Beach Bus service was abyssmal. Wait time longer than any other experience we had.
2017 - Bus from AK back to hotel had no AC after a 90+ degree and 90%+ humidity day.

That being said, we will be staying at Pop in about a month and plan to use the skyliner for both Epcot and DHS. Busses for AK and MK. We will likely uber to fort wilderness for our Trail's End dinner.
At times the wait for a skyliner load can be long as well. Its still new enough that everyone wants to try it out. Our May trip there was an extensive line for loading from EP. I think the wait we had was around 50 minutes. We also had a 20 minute sit in the middle of the ride when it stopped mid route. Fortunately it wasnt humid or windy which could have made the stall miserable.
 
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Stevek

Well-Known Member
At times the wait for a skyliner load can be long as well. Its still new enough that everyone wants to try it out. Our May trip there was an extensive line for loading from EP. I think the wait we had was around 50 minutes. We also had a 20 minute sit in the middle of the ride when it stopped mid route. Fortunately it wasnt humid or windy which could have made the stall miserable.
Yeah, I've heard that as well. The return trips from Epcot and DHS may end up being by bus. All depends on if we stay till close.
 
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KTK

Member
We rely heavily on the buses as well and feel they are overall reliable. We follow two simple rules when it comes to using the buses: get to the hotel bus stops early (45 minutes before the park you are going to that day opens) and leave the parks before they close. By doing this, the buses should be less crowded. I
 
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bigorangeandy

Well-Known Member
From Port Orleans FQ/R pre Covid the buses were direct to the parks in the mornings. In the afternoons/evenings at times they would pickup at French Quarter first then on to Riverside before heading to the parks. The shared buses typically only occurred when very few guests were on the bus (middle of the afternoon as an example).
 
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Freshee61

Well-Known Member
Just got back from this weekend wdw trip. We love the buses.
Leaving Epcot tonight took buses to pop had to wait 30 min because they had to have a bus come get us due to we should’ve used skyliner. Both options should be readily available unless other wise informed.
 
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ppete1975

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone!! Well I am currently planning my girlfriend, her nephew and my vacation next year. We decided to go next year on the second week of October, so I am trying to find out everything I can before we finally book our vacation. I am currently looking at the hotels (Coronado, Port Orleans -French Quarter and also the Riverside).

I had a couple of questions regarding Hotel Buses to each of the theme parks.

First, does each hotel have their own buses or does it start at another hotel and then pick up passengers from other hotels before going to the park and also does it do the same thing on the way back from the park?

Secondly does anyone know how long these bus rides take? I've heard people waiting as long as an hour or longer to be able to board to get back to their hotels.

Little back info, I am in California and live about 25 minutes away from Disneyland. So the time we get in our car and deal with traffic and get to the parking structure then through security checks then to walk to the gates (Disneyland trams were down) and then into the park it is roughly around 1hour and 30-45 minutes for the whole journey. And vice versa coming home, minus the security check. So we are ok dealing with delays. Just like to know what to expect with the buses.

I have been thinking also about using the hotel buses in the mornings and using either Uber or Lyft on the way back. Good? Bad?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Ive stayed at port orleans several times, i dont mind the buses at all, it seems ak is longer to get one but that could be timing as im a rope dropper. But i dont mind them at all and they seem to be rather quick and its better than paying or having a rental car and dealing with that mess.

The only issue i have with them are the guests. Maybe im old fashioned (in my 40s) but you will see teens, and adults sitting in all the chairs, while women, little kids, and the elderly have to stand due to capacity. I understand that someone might have a knee issue or something, but some of these people should be offering their seats. I am positive they are aware of that as you will see them looking away and not looking at the person who can barely stand. To me if your kid is over 6 they should offer their seat, and any able bodied male shouldnt be sitting unless the bus is empty. I dont blame disney for this, as this is completely manners Sorry soap box rant over.
 
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Rob562

Well-Known Member
The only issue i have with them are the guests. Maybe im old fashioned (in my 40s) but you will see teens, and adults sitting in all the chairs, while women, little kids, and the elderly have to stand due to capacity. I understand that someone might have a knee issue or something, but some of these people should be offering their seats. I am positive they are aware of that as you will see them looking away and not looking at the person who can barely stand. To me if your kid is over 6 they should offer their seat, and any able bodied male shouldnt be sitting unless the bus is empty. I dont blame disney for this, as this is completely manners Sorry soap box rant over.

I agree with you about seats for young children and the elderly (and bonus points to the parents that clear extra seats by making their two small children share a seat), but why would a woman require a seat solely because she's a woman? In my view, remaining seats should be first-come-first-serve among able-bodied teens and adults, regardless of gender.

-Rob
 
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ppete1975

Well-Known Member
I agree with you about seats for young children and the elderly (and bonus points to the parents that clear extra seats by making their two small children share a seat), but why would a woman require a seat solely because she's a woman? In my view, remaining seats should be first-come-first-serve among able-bodied teens and adults, regardless of gender.

-Rob
it might be a bit outdated, but for the same reason you open doors for women. Manners I was taught as a kid, then again I am southern so theres that.
 
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We stayed at Wilderness Lodge for a week in mid September and was pleasantly surprised with the busses. Only one issue at MK park closing when no bus came for 30 minutes. The entire line started yelling and singing to get the suoervisors attention across the road. When she saw the long line we literally had a bus there in under a minute!
 
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JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
I agree with you about seats for young children and the elderly (and bonus points to the parents that clear extra seats by making their two small children share a seat), but why would a woman require a seat solely because she's a woman? In my view, remaining seats should be first-come-first-serve among able-bodied teens and adults, regardless of gender.

-Rob
I will still give up my seat because thats how I was raised. I still have kept my standards of behavior. Both adults and kids are now so buzy staring at their phones they are unaware anyone is around them and they are so self centered and would never think about another persons needs. I will continue giving up my seat, but I kind of agree with you. Todays women want no special treatment, want total equality and dont look at themselves as a weaker sex. Theyve pushed and pushed against males even to the point of refusing men showing them kindness, so if they now find themselves standing, thats whats come out of all this genders dont mean anything crap.
 
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