When it comes to the Walt Disney World, the more you know, the better your overall experience. We’ve discovered this to be true through years of trial and error, and I’ve shared much of what we’ve learned on this blog.
But there’s something new afoot at Walt Disney World and friends, it is a GAME CHANGER. It’s called Express Transportation, and if you have Park Hopper tickets, it is your new best friend.
Park Hopper tickets are the ones that allow you to visit more than one theme park per day. In the past, this meant leaving the park altogether, driving or catching a shuttle bus to another park, and re-entering through the main gate. This whole process can easily take you an hour or more, eating up valuable time you could have spent riding It’s a Small World and eating Dole Whips.
Fortunately, Disney has been testing out a solution over the last few months. Express Transportation is a special shuttle bus system that departs from every park every half hour, from 10am until park close. Best of all, it drops off Park Hopper guests inside the main gates of the other parks.
You can purchase Express Transportation at Disney resorts and park ticket windows, or you can walk right up to the Express Transportation kiosk at the park and buy it just before hopping on. It’s $19 per person for one day or $29 per person for up to 7 consecutive days from the date of purchase. We bought it during our last trip to Disney a couple of weeks ago and LOVED it. Here’s how it works:
The Express Transportation kiosks are marked with the sign you see above, they’re centrally located, and they’re very easy to find. If you don’t have a map handy, just ask any cast member for directions. Once you’ve bought Express Transportation, all you have to do is show up 5-10 minutes before the hour or half-hour and check in with the cast member at the kiosk. They’ll scan your wristbands and take you ‘behind the scenes’ to your bus. Now relax and enjoy the view– You’ll be on Disney’s ‘backstage’ roads at times and will get to see some interesting sights, like the greenhouses where all the beautiful flowers and plants you see in the parks are grown and stored.
As of this moment, at least, not many people know about Express Transportation, so the buses are nice and empty — It’s actually a great way to take an air-conditioned breather in the middle of your day without wasting too much time.
Admittedly, some in our party took more than a breather!
With Express Transportation, it typically took us 15-20 minutes to get from one park to the next. I loved that Express Transportation entrances are not only inside the park, they’re right in the center of everything (you’ll find the kiosk beside Space Mountain in Magic Kingdom, Rock & Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios, the Kilimanjaro Safaris in Animal Kingdom and Spaceship Earth in Epcot), so you can get right on one of your favorite rides when you arrive. Thanks to Express Transportation, we were able to crisscross between parks during our stay and maximize our Park Hopper experience. I generally used the bus ride to update our Fast Passes for the next park with the My Disney Experience app.
As an added bonus, you get a little extra VIP treatment with Express Transportation — When we arrived at Animal Kingdom, for example, it was sprinkling outside. Cast members with umbrellas were waiting to walk us into the park without getting wet. It’s the little things, y’all.
We will be using Express Transportation with our Park Hopper passes from now on. Thanks to Disney for adding more value to the Park Hopper option!