Walt Disney World is conducting a test of Express Transportation until January 7, 2017. Can I just say, this is a great option for park hopping while you are visiting the theme parks?
We decided to try this service the other day. We parked our car at Epcot and purchased our tickets at the Ticket booth. You need to have theme park tickets with the park hopper option to purchase the express transportations. You have two options, a single day for $15.00 or a multi-day pass for $24.00. The multi-day pass is good for 7 consecutive days from the day you purchase it. The Express Transportation is loaded on your MagicBand. Be sure to ask for the map of the check-in locations at each park. The best part of this service is that you only need to go through a security checkpoint once during your park hopping. This would be at the first park you visit.
FYI- the check in location at Epcot is on the left side of Spaceship Earth as you enter the park. There is a gift shop, bathrooms and then you will see the check-in signs.
The Express transportation service starts at 10 AM, so you wouldn’t be able to use it for park opening. There are a few benches to sit on while you wait. You will wait onstage and then a Guest Services cast member will take you back to the bus. You are requested to check in about 5 mins before the bus arrives. If you ask a cast member, they will tell you the time they expect the bus to arrive. We weren’t able to get exact times for each park so you may have to wait a bit for a bus. The first 2 buses we rode no wait at all; the second 2 we had to wait 25-30 minutes for the bus.
We did this at 10:00 AM and were the only two on the bus to Animal Kingdom. Our ride took about 19 minutes. You are not allowed to use your camera while you are in a backstage area. I felt like we were on our own personal VIP tour of the parks using this service. FYI- if you don’t want the magic spoiled, you might not want to use this service since you do see many backstage areas.
When we got to Animal Kingdom, we decided to have lunch while we were there so we went to Flame Tree Barbecue. We walked around for awhile before deciding to visit Hollywood Studios next. The bus ride again took about 20 minutes and this time we had 7 people on the bus. We were lucky, there was a bus waiting so we were walked right back. The Animal Kingdom check-in area is at a stand back by Kilimanjaro Safari. At this location, there aren’t any benches for you to sit on while you wait.
When we arrived at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we were back by Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. We decided to stroll around and had a Starbucks while we watched the Stormtroopers come down the street. When we left they took us back to some benches by Sunset Showcase. (Club Villain)
The trip to Magic Kingdom again took about 20 minutes. The bus stop here is behind the Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. We decided to ride Buzz Lightyear and then went over to Tomorrowland Light & Power Company – the gift shop at Space Mountain. We shopped and then I treated my daughter to one of the best rides in the parks – a $2.00 massage to relax from our park touring.
When we went back to the check-in station we were told we had just missed the bus. It would be a 30 minute wait for the next one. We were free to go ride an attraction while we waited. There aren’t a lot of benches in this area, but there are some planters to sit on, or go over by the Tomorrowland Transit Authority and sit there. Our bus ride took about 20 minutes again. This time there was a family onboard that we talked with. They had bought the multi-day option and they loved being able to park hop!
All too soon our park hopping adventure using Express Transportation was over. We toured all 4 Walt Disney World theme parks in a little over 4 hours. In all my visits to the parks I have never done all 4 in one day, so it was a first for me. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat! If you are here on vacation, this is a great way to park hop. You could ride the attractions in one park, have lunch in another, even visit the other parks to ride the attractions or do some shopping. This is one offering from Walt Disney World that I hope stays around after the test. I think they need to offer benches in each park while you wait. It would be nice to have a better idea of what time the buses run to each park, so you can minimize your waiting. If you get the chance to try this service, let us know what you think in the comments below.
‘Til next time, See you in the parks!